In Skinnerian operant conditioning, when a certain behavior has no consequences (that is, it produces neither a positive nor a negative response), it will occur less frequently.
Example: A rat learns that when it presses a certain lever, it will receive a food pellet. It begins to press the lever more and more often. Once it stops being rewarded with food, however, it will soon stop pressing the lever again.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Jan 2009