Behavior Modification Chapter 15 Notes.docx
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Behavior Modification Chapter 15 Notes
-Recall from Chapter 5 that we distinguished between natural reinforcers, which happen as a normal part of
everyday events, and programmed reinforcers, which are deliberately provided with the goal of increasing
-Using indirect assessment methods to identify reinforcers has some limitations. First, like all self-report
measurements, they may be less accurate than direct methods might be (Northup, 2000). Second, individuals
whose verbal abilities are very limited, such as young children and people with developmental disabilities, may
be unable to answer the questions even when the items are read to them. And third, people who are extremely
depressed may feel that nothing gives them pleasure.
-A good way to determine what consequences will reinforce a person’s behavior is through direct assessment
methods: observing and recording the individual’s reactions toward the stimuli when they occur or are
-First, we can use naturalistic observations—observing the person in his or her natural environments and
recording the frequency and duration of each behavior displayed. The second direct assessment method
involves conducting structured tests—that is, presenting a previously
selected set of stimuli and assessing which ones the person prefers.
-Three approaches can stop people from reinforcing someone’s problem behavior. One way is simply
to describe the situation to them and ask them to stop reinforcing the problem behavior. The second approach
is to reinforce them for not reinforcing the target person’s problem behavior. The third approach involves having
the other people share in the rewards the individual earns for improved behavior.
-Studies have shown that by about 8 to 10 years of age, children who can perform the target behavior can
monitor other children’s acts and provide reinforcement for correct responses. During baseline, the students
who were to receive the intervention had averaged only about half as many correct math problems as their
classmates. But their performance improved dramatically, equaling that of their classmates by the end of the 3-
week intervention and during the next 12 weeks of follow-up assessments.
-For a behavioral deficit, the level of the starting response might be higher than the average baseline frequency but
lower than the highest frequency. For a behavioral excess, the level of the starting response might be lower than the
average baseline frequency but higher than the lowest frequency.
-The longer we delay giving reinforcement, the less effective it will be in strengthening the behavior. Sometimes
the reinforcers we’re using cannot be given immediately--we should find ways to bridge the delay in time
between the behavior and the reinforcer. The best way to bridge the delay is to use additional reinforcers, such
as tokens or praise, that can be delivered immediately
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