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Definition of "operant" []

  • Operating to produce effects; effective. (adjective)
  • Psychology Of, relating to, or being a response that occurs spontaneously and is identified by its reinforcing or inhibiting effects. (adjective)
  • One that operates. (noun)
  • Psychology An element of operant behavior. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "operant" in a sentence
  • "He argued that this occurs through a process that he called operant conditioning."
  • "Because the brain reward system is part of a larger brain circuit that underlies a primitive form of learning called operant conditioning, activating it not only produces pleasure, but also teaches people to repeat the drug-taking behaviors that turned it on in the first place."
  • "a stimulus such as food is a reinforcer only if its presentation increases the frequency of a response in a type of associative conditioning known as operant conditioning."