Ex: modify psy classes behavior--> increase class participation and do well in class.
Targets:answer question, read chapters, attend lecture
Positive Reinforcers we can use for this target:
Tangible Reinforcer: physically, like a gift card
Consumable Goods : candy or choco
Activity Reinforcer: more breaks in class
Social Reinforcer: praise from proff
Feedback Reinforcer: answer question correctly proff smiles back or says that answer was
Identifying and Strengthening Positive Reinforcers
For behaviors that are maintained by more than one reinforcer, we can assess the relative reward
value of each reinforcer through functional analysis methods. We can determine what reinforcers to
apply in our program and what existing reinforcers must overcome or eliminate to change the target
Generating hunches about what consequences will have high reward value can be a useful first step
in identifying potential reinforcers for a particular individual. Positive Reinforcement: adding something to situation that increases behavior.
Programmed Reinforcers: doesn't just naturally occur in the environment someone
intentionally implements it. You can use a programmed reinforcers through positive
reinforcement to change peoples behavior.
Programmed Reinforcers: deliberately provided with the goal of increasing specific
behaviors. They are rewards that are deliberately applied with the intentions of
strengthening specific behaviors.
Natural Reinforcer: happens as a normal part of everyday events. They are unprogrammed rewards
people receive as a natural part of their everyday lives.
Identifying Potential Reinforcers
Interviews and Questionnaires: a straightforward way to identify potential reinforcers is to ask
individuals what items or experiences they like or find pleasurable. This can be done by them filling
out questionnaires like Preferred Items and Experiences Questionnaires (PIEQ) or surveys. The PIEQ
assesses young adults and adolescents preferences for dozens of potential reinforcers that are
appropriate for that age group and that can be controlled and administered efficiently and effectively.
PIEQ has high degrees of validity and reliability. Using indirect methods to identify reinforcers has
some limitations. Those who are limited in speaking like children and mental disabiltiies may not be
able to answer questions, so info is not accurate. Its better to use direct assessment methods.
Direct Assessment Methods:
Good way to determine what consequences will reinforce a persons beh.
Observing and recording individuals reations toward the stimuli when they occur or are available.
Can be carried out in two ways:
Naturalistic observations: observing the person in his or her natural environments and
recording the frequency and duration of each behavior displayed. This approach identifies high-
probability to serve as activity reinforcers. The activities that the person performs most frequently or
for the longest amounts of time are likely to be good reinforcers.
Structured Tests: presenting a previously selected set of stimuli and assessing which ones the
person prefers. The stimuli can be presented in two ways: a) one at a time, while collecting data on
how soon the person approaches or reaches for the stimuli, or b) two or more at a time, while
collecting data on which ones the person chooses . Structured tests are especially useful when we try
to identify reinforcers for individuals who have severe learning or motor disabilities. It is also effective
in changing childrens behavior. Enhancing Effectiveness:
Sampling: ex: shopping at Costco, people are allowed to sample at the store, this is don’t because
they want to increase the behavior of buying the goods, so they let you taste something so you
would buy it.
Modeling: modeling increases the effectiveness of the positive reinfocer because everyone just
saw how you got the consequence so ex to get choca teacher says answer question, student
answers questions and other students see him answer and get choca so they answer too. So the
student models which behavior to do to get the choca. You let others watch you giving out the
reward or enjoying the reinforcer which increases the behavior.
Publicly Posting o Performance: ex lawyer ads " I am william maatar I made 1000 dollars" or
posting grades and names on door for students to see so ones who do poor want to do good"
Enhancing Reinforcer Effectiveness:
Reinforcer Sampling: EO involves presenting a small or brief sample of the consequence before the
behavior occurs to increase the likelihood that the person will make the response and get the
reinforcer. Ex: to encourage a child with metal retardation to repeat a word you say, you might
show the child a small bit of candy that he or she will receive after saying the word. Stores selling
food sometimes a similar method, displaying the food or allowing customers to sample items they
can buy in larger quantities.
Modeling: useful EO for increasing reinforcer effectiveness. Individuals who see others receiving
and enjoying pleasant consequences for their behavior tend to increase the value they place on
these consequences and copy the behavior they saw other people do. This effect was
demonstrated with elementary schoolchildren who has mild retardation. The researcher had the
teacher praise some children in the classroom when they were in their seats and paying attention
to their work. Praising attentive behavior in these children increased the attentive behavior of the
children who were praised and of classmates who were sitting near them.
Explaining or demonstrating: the value of a reinforcer is an especially useful EO for token
reinforcers, which have no value in their own right. An explanation of a token reinforcement
system can work with individuals who can understand it; but if they cant they’ll need to have the
tokens either for desirable they already perform readily or for no particular behavior at all and then
exchanging the tokens immediately for backup reinforcers. Public Posting: or performance data is an effective EO, especially if the reinforcer is feedback or
Using varied reinforcers: is an EO because the potency of a single reinforcer often declines with
frequent use. This decline can be because of satiation or because the person habituates to-that is,
gets "used to" or "tired of"-- a particular reinforcer.
How to Administer Positive Reinforcement: Reduce Extraneous Counterproductive
Three approaches can stop people from reinforcing someone's problem behavior:
Simplify to describe the situation to them and ask them to stop reinforcing the problem behavior.
Reinforce them for not reinforcing the target persons problem behavior. This method was used in
the program to reduce the classroom tantrums of a girl named Diane. In addition to giving Diane
tokens for nontantrum behaviors, the teacher attempted to reduce the social reinforcer she might
receive from other students for disruptive behavior. If Diane had a tantrum, she was taken to the
back of the room so her classmates couldn’t watch her, and the classmates were given candy treats
if they didn’t turn around.
Other people share in the rewards the individual earns for improved behavior. The intervention for
Dianes tantrums, the whole class would have a party if she did not have a tantrum for four half-days
in a row.
Who Will Administer Reinforcement?
Peer-Administered Reinforcement: children who can perform the target behavior can monitor
other children's acts and provide reinforcement for correct responses. Ex: intervention to improve
math skills in underachieving kids, whose classmates served as tutors. Jobs included keeping
scored of the number of math problems each target student completed correctly. Comparing that
number with the current goal, and deciding whether the student had earned any backup reinforcers.
Self-Adminsitered Reinforcement: used in behavior therapy. Problem with using self
administered reinforcement is that sometimes people take unearned rewards difficult to know how
to deliverate these errors are. Although it may seem that the indiciduals must know they have not
erformed the bej. Oftentimes these reinforcement errors appear to result from the person simplu
using bery lenient standards in assessing their beh. Three approaches can help reduce these
1) training by using modeling and instruction methods can teach the person to apply more rigorous
or accurate standards in assessing personal beh.
Having the person make his or her target beh. And goals public appears to increase
accuract in self-reinforcement persons accuracy in self-reinforcement