BMod Lec4 Essay example

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Chapter 4
Reinforcement

Reinforcement:
Is a basic principle of behavior
Was established by Skinner in laboratory research and over 40 years of human research Is a component of many (most) Behavior
Modification procedures

Defining Reinforcement
1.
2.
3.

The occurrence of a behavior
Results immediately in a consequence
The behavior is strengthened (more likely to occur again in the future in similar circumstances) Present: Behavior is followed by a consequence Future: Behavior is more likely to occur
** Functional definition of reinforcement

Effects of Reinforcement on
Behavior
Increase in frequency
Increase in duration
Increase in intensity
Increase in quickness (decrease in latency) You get more of whatever the reinforcer is contingent on

What is Operant Behavior?
Behavior that is strengthened through the process of reinforcement - behavior that is controlled by its consequences

What is a Reinforcer?
The consequence (stimulus or event) that follows operant behavior and strengthens operant behavior

Two types of reinforcement
Positive reinforcement
Negative reinforcement
Both positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement strengthen behavior - they make the behavior more likely to occur in the future

What is Positive Reinforcement?
Behavior is followed by the presentation of a stimulus (a reinforcer) and the behavior is strengthened

What is Negative Reinforcement?
Behavior is followed by the removal of a stimulus (a punisher / aversive stimulus) and the behavior is strengthened

Escape and avoidance behaviors: are involved in negative reinforcement
Escape - the behavior results in the termination of (escape from) the aversive stimulus and the behavior is strengthened.
Avoidance - the behavior results in the prevention of (avoidance of) the aversive stimulus and the behavior is strengthened.

Everyday Examples of Negative and
Positive Reinforcement
Push the power button on the TV remote
Put on a coat on a cold day
Use an umbrella
Slap a mosquito
Turn up the volume on your i-pod
Close the window when it rains
Wear earplugs on a noisy job
Composing an e-mail
Turn on the exhaust fan
Click on the “Explorer” icon and get to the internet
Turn off the alarm buzzer
Give in to a screaming kid
Screaming kid gets an treat in a store
Tell someone to be quiet in a movie

Positive and Negative Reinforcement in the
Same Situation
Tantrum in a grocery store
Child’s tantrum behavior is strengthened by getting candy from a parent (positive reinforcement) Parent’s behavior of giving candy to child is strengthened by termination of the tantrum (negative reinforcement)

Unconditioned Reinforcers
Biologically determined - survival value for the individual
Food, water, human contact (warmth), oxygen, sexual contact, escape from cold, heat, pain, extreme levels of stimulation

Conditioned Reinforcers
A previously neutral stimulus
- repeatedly paired with an established reinforcer (an unconditioned or conditioned reinforcer)
- will function as a reinforcer
Examples of Conditioned Reinforcers
Sight, sound, and scent of parents
Parents’ smile, tone of voice, attention, praise
Types of toys, TV shows, music, clothes, activities
Grades, positive evaluations
Accomplishments (social, physical)
Money
Others

Conditioned Generalized
Reinforcers
Paired with a wide variety of other reinforcers Money, praise, tokens

Factors that Influence
Reinforcement
Immediacy
Consistency (contingency)
Motivating operations (EO and AO)
Individual differences…