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Chapter 18: Positive Punishment Procedures & the Ethics of Punishment
•In positive punishment, aversive events are applied contingent on the occurrence of a problem
behaviour, and the result is a decrease in the future probability of the behaviour.
•Contingent on the problem behaviour, the child was made to engage in an aversive activity. As a
result, the problem behaviour was less likely to occur in the future. An aversive activity is a low-
probability behaviour the person typically would not choose to engage in.
•Although an aversive stimulus is an environmental event that can be a punisher for another
behaviour. A person will try to avoid or escape from performing an aversive activity. As a result,
the change agent often has to use physical guidance to get the person to engage in the aversive
activity contingent on the problem behaviour.
•When applying an aversive activity as a positive punisher, the change agent instructs the client to
engage in the aversive activity immediately contingent on the problem behaviour. If the client
doesn’t engage in the activity on command, the change agent then uses physical guidance to make
the client engage in the behaviour. Eventually the client should engage in the activity in command
to avoid the physical guidance that previously followed the command.
•Application of aversive activities:
•Types of Positive Punishment Procedures:
Decrease aggressive and disruptive behaviours exhibited by people with mental
retardation in institutional settings.
Client is required to engage in an effortful behaviour for an extended period
contingent on each instance of the problem behaviour.
2 forms of overcorrection
oClient has to engage in correct forms of relevant behaviour
contingent on an instance of the problem behaviour.
oEngage in correct behaviour with physical guidance if necessary,
for an extended period or until the correct behaviour has been
repeated a number of times.
oEx. Teacher marks a incorrect spelling word and tells student to
write correct word out ten times.
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o Contingent on each instance of the problem behaviour, the client
must correct the environmental effects of the problem behaviour
and restore the environment to a condition better than that which
existed before the problem behaviour. Physical guidance is used
as needed to get the client to engage in the restitutional activities.
oThe client overcorrects the environmental effects of the problem
oExample: when Allison wrote on the walls her father made her
clean the wall and another wall in the kitchen. Correct went
beyond the damage done by the problem behaviour.
oContingent Exercise: involving application of aversive activities.
Client is made to engage in some form of physical exercise contingent on an
instance of the problem behaviour. The result, is a decrease in the future
probability of the problem behaviour. Unrelated to PB.
Used to decrease the problem behaviour when a person is engaging in a problem
behaviour is a compliance situation (the person is instructed or asked to engage in
The person is guided physically through the requested activity contingent on the
occurrence of the problem behaviour.
Serves 2 functions: its positive punishment of the problem behaviour because the
aversive stimulus (physical guidance) is applied after the problem behaviour, and
it negatively reinforces compliance with the requested activity because the
aversive stimulus is removed after compliance.
If the problem behaviour is negatively reinforced by escape from a requested
activity, the guided compliance procedure removes the reinforcer (escape) and
thus involves extinction, as well as positive punishment and negative
•Antecedent: Lindseys father tell her to pick up her toys
•Behaviour: Lindsey whines and argues
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