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  • The Simpsons: Bart vs. Hamster

    Lisa conducts an experiment to determine if Bart is smarter than a hamster. She puts the two subjects through tests involving cupcakes. At the end of the experiment, both Bart and the hamster have a negative response to seeing cupcakes.

  • Ghostbusters (1984): ESP Test

    Professor Venkman conducts an ESP test on two students. He passes the female student despite her wrong answers and shocks the male student despite him giving the correct answer. Every time the male student is about to be shocked, he shows anxiety. Eventually, he gets fed up and leaves.

  • The Big Bang Theory: Negative Reinforcement vs. Positive Punishment

    Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj use negative reinforcement and positive punishment to keep themselves focused on their work. It doesn't exactly work as planned.

  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: Good Manners

    Double D uses bandages to inflict pain on Ed and Eddy whenever they demonstrate poor manners. His goal is to improve their behavior. After just a short time, it appears that his strategy is working. Double D's strategy is an example of positive punishment since an unpleasant stimulus (the removal of the bandage) is applied to decrease a negative behavior (yelling or being rude). This concept is not explained entirely correctly in the clip, however. Double D explains that his actions remind Ed and Eddy of their manners (a reinforcer for positive behavior) rather than punish them for their negative behavior. Regardless, this clip is an excellent illustration of operant conditioning.