Operant conditioning is a type of learning where behavior is controlled by consequences. Key concepts in operant conditioning are positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment and negative punishment.
Positive reinforcement is giving something pleasant after a behavior. This increases the probability that the behavior will continue. Examples are:
Negative reinforcement is taking away something unpleasant as a result of the behavior that is acceptable. This is also meant to increase the behavior. Examples are:
Positive punishment is used to decrease a behavior and is presenting something unpleasant after the behavior. Examples are:
Negative punishment is also used to decrease a behavior and is removing something pleasant after the behavior. Examples are:
As you can see with these different examples, operant conditioning can be used to control behavior using positive and negative actions.