Increasing Behaviors through Operant Conditioning
March 1, 2013
Student Behavior Modification
Target behavior: Asking/answering questions during lecture
Goal/outcome: Increasing class participation
Target behavior: Read chapters and attend/watch lectures
Goal/outcome: Improve study habits
A token economy is a system of behavior modification-based on the systematic
positive reinforcement of target behavior. The reinforcers are symbols or tokens that can be
exchanged for other reinforcers. Token economy is based on the principles of operant
conditioning and can be situated within applied behavior analysis (behaviorism). Token
economies are applied with children and adults.
Review Positive Reinforcers
Examples? Bonus points, get a prize,
Tangible reinforcers: sth you physically got. Like a gift card.
Consumable reinfocers: candy/chocolate
Activity ~: you get more breaks in today’s class.
Social ~: communicating with classmates
Feedback ~: good job! for participating, your grade is posted
How do we ascertain what will be positively reinforcing to a group?
What do students find positively reinforcing?
Are we talking about programmed or natural reinforcers?
Enhancing Effectiveness (methods) Sampling: samples. give them a little taste of the reward, they might be more likely to
want the reward.
Modeling: see another ppl get the chocolate, and you want that too through watching
them enjoying the reinforcer.
Explaining or demonstrating the value:
Public posting of performance: showing publicly this ppl did this and they got this.
Publicly showing ppl that you’re doing a good job could be an incentive for all the ppl to
follow doing that favorable behavior.public effect.
Ways to Administer Reinforcement
Pros and Cons: pros—easier to reinforce right away b/c I can have much more
tokens to the reward than the actual amount of reward/resource I have. (I only
have one Mr.Salad). Cons—sb’s gonna count and make a lot of tokens
Continuous reinforcement schedule
Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons: it’s random, but also un