Monday, March 27, 2006

Who is Operant and Why Does He Need to be Freed?

I mentioned in my last post that the title for my blog was drawn from one of the first psychological concepts I learned in college. My name comes from my graduate training in behavior therapy.

An operant is any overt behavior, which is potentially controlled by either stimulus, or a consequence. The stimulus is called an antecedent, because it happens before the response occurs. The consequence is either reinforcing or punishing, which means that it affects the frequency of a behavior. A free operant is a behavior that happens without systematic application of antecedents or consequences. Some might say that my views are free operants, depending on how worthy they are of being ignored. Still, it's a pleasure to write about them and to explore them myself.

So with my nom de blog, I pay tribute to my graduate training. Make no mistake about it. I hated the graduate school. After graduation, I still had to return to campus on occasion. I felt my anxiety rise the moment I walked into the psychology building. It was a tribute to the power of classical conditioning.

Nevertheless, I got excellent training there. I passed my licensing exam on the first try, and not too many people could say that. I passed because of the education I got there.

Sadly, I have to post anonymously in order to protect both my clients and my employer. I don't want my clients to worry that they might appear on the internet. The views that I post are mine alone, and not my employer's.

No comments: