BM chapter 9
-Shaping: used to develop a TB that a person doesn’t currently exhibit
its defined as the differential reinforcement of successive
approximations of a TB until the person exhibits the TB.
Differential reinforcement (DR): involves the basic principles of
reinforcement & extinction. It occurs when one behavior is reinforced
in one particular situation and others are not. As a result the behavior
that is reinforced increases and those that don’t decrease through
process of DR ( reinforcement of a closer approximation & extinction
of a previous approximation) continues until the person finally exhibits
When shaping is used to develop language, the successive
approximations or shaping steps include babbling, word sounds, part
- to begin shaping you identify an existing behavior that is an
approximation of the TB. This is called the starting behavior or 1st
Skinner used shaping to get lab rats to press the lever in an
experimental chamber 1X1 sq ft.
Dolphin trainers use shaping to get them to do tricks.
- Trainers make the clicking sound each time they give the dolphin a
fish to eat as a reinforcer. Because the Clicking sound is paired with
this unconditioned reinforcer, it becomes a conditioned reinforcer.
When using shaping timing is important. You want to deliver the
reinforcer at the exact instant that the correct approximation occurs;
otherwise you might accidentally reinforce a different behavior.
-Applications of shaping:
1) Generating a novel behavior ( ie person is not currently engaging in
that particular behavior)
2) resisting a previously exhibited behavior
3) changing some dimension of an existing behavior
it can be used to generate a variety of TB in a variety of populations
including high level athletic performance, therapeutic exercise for
headache control, toilets in infants, compliance with medical
interventions by individuals with mental retardation & children’s use
of contact lenses.
-Decibel meter: used to detect loudness of speech.