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PSYB45H3 Lecture Notes - Generic And Specific Intervals, Bes, Reinforcement

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Zachariah Campbell

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Chapter 15: Differential Reinforcement
โ€ขDifferential reinforcement of alternative behaviour (DRA)
oA behavioural procedure used to increase the frequency of a desirable behaviour and to
decrease the frequency of undesirable behaviours.
oResults in an increase in the future probability of the desirable behaviour
oAt the same time, any undesirable behaviours that may interfere with the desirable
behaviour are not reinforced. Results in a decrease in the future probability of the
undesirable behaviours.
oThus, DRA involves combining reinforcement for a desirable behaviour and extinction of
undesirable behaviours
๎€Antecedent: A nurse is present
๎€Response: Mrs. Williams complains
๎€Consequence: A nurse provides attention
๎€Outcome: Mrs. Williams is more likely to complain each time a nurse is present.
๎€Antecedent: A nurse is present
๎€Response: Mrs. Williams says positive things
๎€Consequence: Nurses provide attention
๎€Outcome: In the future Mrs. Williams is more likely to say positive things when a
nurse is present.
๎€Antecedent: A nurse is present
๎€Response: Mrs. Williams complains
๎€Consequence: Nurses donโ€™t provide attention
๎€Outcome: In the future, Mrs. Williams is less likely to complain to nurses

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oDRA is an effective way to increase a desirable behaviour because, by decreasing an
interfering behaviour through extinction, it creates an opportunity for the desirable
behaviour to occur and be reinforced.
โ€ขWhen to Use DRA
oBefore implementing DRA, you must decide whether it is the right procedure in a
particular situation.
oTo determine whether DRA is appropriate, you must answer 3 questions:
๎€Do you want to increase the rate of a desirable behaviour?
๎€Is the behaviour already occurring at least occasionally?
๎€Do you have access to a reinforcer that you can deliver after the occurrence of the
๎€DRA is a procedure for strengthening a desirable behaviour. However, the
desirable behaviour must be occurring at least occasionally if you are to reinforce
it. If the behaviour is not occurring at all, DRA by itself is not an appropriate
๎€If shaping or prompting is used initially to evoke the behaviour, DRA may be
used to strengthen and maintain the behaviour.
๎€Finally you must be able to identify a reinforcer that you can use each time the
behaviour occurs.
โ€ขHow to use DRA
o1. Define the desirable behaviour
๎€Identify and define the desirable behaviour you plan to increase with DRA.
Reinforce correct behaviour
o2Define the undesirable behaviours
๎€Define the undesirable behaviours you plan to decrease with DRA. Donโ€™t
reinforce undesirable behaviour.
o3. Identify the reinforce
๎€Reinforcing desirable behaviour and withholding reinforcement for undesirable
behaviour. Reinforcers may be different for different people, its important to
determine a reinforce specific to the person with whom you are working.
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