Skinner’s Stimulus-Response Theory University Essay Example


The 20th century saw an influx of eminent psychologists who did not only study children behavior but proposed development theories that are still relevant today. A prime example is B. F. Skinner, whose discovery of operant learning has been highly influential in the study of modern-day psychology. Skinner’s postulations have not only had a significant impact on behavioral change theories but have shaped how the field of infancy and childhood development is approached. While Erik Erikson’s psychosocial development theory would be useful in measuring childhood development, it is still limited as it mainly focuses on personality, whereas Skinner’s stimulus-response theory explains how the environment can be adjusted to implement behavioral change.

Erikson’s Psychosocial Development Theory vs. Skinner’s Stimulus Response Theory

Erik Erikson’s psychosocial development theory suggests that personality development takes place in phases from childhood through maturity. At each stage, a person undergoes a unique psychosocial crisis that leaves a permanent positive or negative impact on their personality. In chronological order, the eight stages are trust vs. mistrust, anatomy vs. shame, initiative vs. guilt, industry vs. inferiority, identity vs. role confusion, intimacy vs. isolation, generativity vs. stagnation, and ego vs. despair (Maree, 2021). Successful completion of each stage ensures that a person acquires the basic human virtues.

The only similarity between Erikson and Skinner’s theory is that they both focus on certain aspects of human development. On one hand, Erikson’s main focus is on personality development whereas Skinner’s theory is mainly focused on behavioral development. However, they are largely different on different levels. For instance, Erikson’s theory revolves around an aspect of social development which occurs at specific age groups in life (Maree, 2021). On the other hand, however, Skinner’s theory revolves around learning behavior as per the guidelines of operant conditioning. Skinner proposes that change occurs when consequences are reinforced while change in Erikson’s theory is as a result of conquering a psychosocial dilemma.

B. F. Skinner’s theory posited that stimulus could be used to either reinforce positive behavior or make undesired behavior extinct. Doing away with unwanted behavior requires the introduction of punishment or hostility. The stimulus-response theory proposed that the frequency of a behavior can be increased with appropriate reinforcement. The process of reinforcement is often scheduled and can come either as a variable ratio, fixed interval, variable interval, or fixed ratio (Schlinger, 2021). Therefore, unlike classical conditioning, where learning is said to be unconscious and uncontrolled, Skinner’s classical conditioning experiments revealed that learning is a scheduled process.

Skinner’s stimulus-response learning offers a solid foundation for examining child development behavior. Since stimuli do not exist in a vacuum, and that it greatly affects the behavior of a child as it grows, then it can be deduced that the environment plays an important role in childhood development. Using operant conditioning, researchers have found that the onset of development phenomena such as early communication, auditor perception, social referencing, and joint attention are all developed from interacting with the environment (Pelaez & Monlux, 2017). With this understanding, then operant conditioning can be used to alter the behavior of a child by manipulating their environment.

A child who has been brought up in a home full of hostile aggression will have their development affected. Under Skinner’s stimulus-response theory, hostile aggression would be categorized as a negative stimulus capable of negatively affecting a child’s behavior. However, the use of appropriate positive reinforcement could enable such a child to overcome the effects of their usually hostile environment. Reinforcement is a fundamental block of Skinner’s theory as it constitutes anything that strengthens and evokes a desired response (Pelaez & Monlux, 2017). For example, the use of verbal praise, tangible rewards, and nonverbal cues are positive reinforcers that would set a child on their way to positive behavioral change.

Skinner’s stimulus-response theory is heavily reliant on the idea that behavior is malleable depending on one’s environment as it can be made extinct or it can be reinforced further. It also suggests that environmental development causes progressive changes in how people interact with their environment (Schlinger, 2021). While interactions with one’s environment are subtle, they are fundamental triggers of behavioral change. For a child who has been subject to hostility, a change in their environment would introduce new ways of interaction that would ring them desired behavior.

For the stimulus-response to be effective, a behavior plan or program has to be developed. It takes into account the need for a proactive approach towards implementing change. In a classroom setting, for instance, teachers or behavioral coaches cannot assume that children will automatically learn social skills without proper planning (Gil-Madrona et al., 2019). Cooperative activities are platforms where feedback can be shared between teachers and learners to facilitate development of social and auto-control skills. Without a behavior program, the process of behavior modification will not take place. In the case of a child from a background of hostility, it is paramount that a behavior program is implemented consistently.


In summary, B. F. Skinner’s stimulus response theory is an important tool that advocates for change. The theory is heavily based on the idea of using reinforcers to modify the environment and subsequently introduce change. Since the theory is focused on how behavior can be influenced, it can be used to positively impact the behavior of a child whose background has been filled with hostile aggression. With a concrete behavior program, positive reinforcers could be used to encourage such a child to adopt more desirable behavior.


Gil-Madrona, P., Gutiérrez-Marín, E. C., Cupani, M., Samalot-Rivera, A., Díaz-Suárez, A., & López-Sánchez, G. F. (2019). The effects of an appropriate behavior program on elementary school children social skills development in physical education. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 1-8. Web.

Maree, J. G. (2021). The psychosocial development theory of Erik Erikson: critical overview. Early Child Development and Care, 191(7-8), 1107-1121. Web.

Pelaez, M., & Monlux, K. (2017). Operant conditioning methodologies to investigate infant learning. European Journal of Behavior Analysis, 18(2), 212-241. Web.

Schlinger, H. D. (2021). The impact of B. F. Skinner’s science of operant learning on early childhood research, theory, treatment, and care. Early Child Development and Care, 191(7-8), 1089-1106. Web.

Evaluation Of A Proposed Leadership Development Intervention In Google

The proposed training and development intervention for leadership development in Google is well thought through and provides interesting points. The overall structure of the post is logical and introduces the company under consideration, addresses the existing leadership training practices, and presents the suggested intervention with the timeline established. In particular, I find the inclusion of the importance of knowing the employee dynamics and teamwork patterns particularly useful. These factors are crucial to understanding what the employees need as individuals and as a collective and can help shape the leadership intervention. Thus, according to Lacerenza et al. (2018), team performance and the relevant team-level outcomes are closely correlated with leadership, including transformational and empowering leadership styles. Therefore, it would be beneficial to assess the needs of different teams before rolling out the leadership intervention. Furthermore, the enhancement of personal and interpersonal skills during the intervention is a constructive inclusion.

However, the proposed rolling-out schedule is relatively short, and more time should be allocated to the initiative, particularly to the preparation stage. The first step described in the basic schedule includes gathering data on organizational and employee needs would require a substantial amount of time for execution as Google employs many people in different departments. In addition, Aldulaimi (2018) notes that leadership development programs are most efficient when participants are purposefully selected and supported throughout the intervention. Therefore, the employee evaluation and selection process are likely to take a substantial amount of time, and one week assigned would not be sufficient. Overall, the proposed training and development intervention is well structured and considers the importance of the existing workplace dynamics and teamwork practices that should be explored in-depth before program initiation, as well as organizational and personal outcomes.


Aldulaimi, S. H. (2018). Leadership development program and leaders performance for mid-level managers in Saudi petroleum company, ARAMCO. Arab Economic and Business Journal, 13(1), 15–24.

Lacerenza, C. N., Marlow, S. L., Tannenbaum, S. I., & Salas, E. (2018). Team development interventions: Evidence-based approaches for improving teamwork. American Psychologist, 73(4), 517–531.

Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Technology


The technological advancements have led to the development of aircraft security systems, helping the public gather information about an aircraft. ADS-B is a technology that allows an aircraft to determine its position through satellite navigation, and periodically broadcasts it, allowing it to be tracked for safety purposes. The Traffic Information service broadcast (TIS-B) supplements ADS-B operations but should be improved for more efficiency. Additionally, ADS-B security features are wanting since it has posed many aircraft risks. Furthermore, the radio range technology of the ADS-B should be developed for dependable broadcasting. While the ADS-B is better than radar systems, its TIS-B, security, and radio range technologies need to be improved for safety purposes.

Traffic Information Service – Broadcast (TIS–B)

TIS-B operates hand in hand with the ADS-B systems but is subject to several limitations. The technology allows aircraft operators to get air traffic information in real-time (Besada et al., 2022). TIS-B uses ADS-B ground stations and radar data to transmit aircraft data to the cockpit displays. Pilots use the technology to see other aircraft’ information such as altitude, directions, and speed vectors, among others. While the TIS-B is beneficial for pilots’ and controllers’ decision-making, it is advisory in nature. Moreover, the integration of the radar system makes it slower in relaying information. Furthermore, aircraft should be equipped with operable transponders to appear as targets on display. The limitations encumber the functionality of the technology. Therefore, the system should develop in such as manner that it is only dependent on the ADS-B for updates. Additionally, miniaturization technologies should be adopted to enhance the installation of transponders. Advancing the TIS-B technology would make it faster and more efficient for pilots.

ADS-B Security Features

Although ADS-B plays a significant role in relaying aircraft information, its security features are wanting. Aircrafts equipped with the system relay their information to other aircraft, including their specific navigation information. While many aircraft utilize the information for their safety, some may use it to advance their ill motives. For instance, terrorists to hijack an aircraft can use the ADS-B to accomplish their mission. Moreover, there has been an increased concern about the penetration into the ADS-B system by hackers (Federal Aviation Administration, 2019). The U.S director of the Government Accountability Office stated, “ADS-B is integrated into aircraft avionics, it will have the same kinds of potential vulnerabilities as many other internet-based technologies in terms of potentially being activated or de-activated remotely and without permission” (Walsh, 2018). Therefore, the ADS-B security features should be improved in such a manner that it only allows authorized parties to access aircraft information. Improving ADS-B security protocols would enhance the systems’ adoption by sensitive institutions such as the military.

ADS-B Radio Range

Although there are advanced communication technologies, the ADS-B radio range is limited to about two hundred and fifty nautical miles. Consequently, the system’s ability to receive and send signals is dependent on the altitude, site distance, and obstructing terrain (Walsh, 2018). Aircraft that navigate harsh terrains such as high altitudes and those with poor weather have their ADS-B transponders failing to relay information. Therefore, such aircraft are at risk of causing an accident. The limited ADS-B radio range needs further development to make it sustain terrible terrains and send signals to longer distances. Incorporating complex communication technology into the ADS-B would enhance its communication capabilities.


ADS-B is one of the secured and safe systems that aircraft use to relay information that is crucial for other aircraft. The system incorporates various technologies that allow pilots to observe air-traffic information and make crucial navigation decisions. However, ADS-B is subject to various limitations, making it less efficient for pilots. TIS-B system that compliments ADS-B uses slower radar systems. Moreover, the ADS-B security protocols can be easily hacked risking an aircraft. Furthermore, the system’s radio range is effective within a limited distance. Therefore, improving the TIS-B, security, and radio range technologies within the ADS-B system will make it more useful to aircraft operators.


Besada, J. A., Carramiñana, D., Bergesio, L., Campaña, I., & Bernardos, A. M. (2022). Modeling and simulation of collaborative surveillance for unmanned traffic management. Sensors, 22(4), 1498. Web.

Federal Aviation Administration. (2019). Public ADS-B Performance Report (PAPR) User’s Guide: Flight Standards Service. Federal Aviation Administration. Web.

Walsh, D. (2018). The latest on U.S Military aircraft ADS-B security concerns. Aviation Today. Web.