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Lecture Note For PSYB45, Lecture 3

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Christian Campbell

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Chapter 3 Getting Behaviour to Occur More Often with Positive Reinforcement Positive Reinforcer - An event that, when presented immediately following a behaviour, causes the behaviour to increase in frequency (or likelihood of occurrence). The term positive reinforcer is roughly synonymous with the word reward. Positive Reinforcement - the principle of positive reinforcer - It states that if, in a given situation, somebody does something that is followed immediately by a positive reinforcer, then that person is more likely to do the same thing again when he or she next encounters a similar situation. - Examples of positive reinforcement with desirable behaviour outline in table 3-1 on page 32. Baseline - Refers to the observation phase prior to the reinforcement program - This is where you observe the individual in their natural environment and their natural behaviour before the behaviour modification treatment is applied. - This is done to compare the results of before and after the treatment - Can be presented in a graph. Operant Behaviours - Behaviours that operate on the environment to generate consequences, and in turn influenced by those consequences - Also called operant responses - Operant behaviours that are followed by reinforcers are strengthened while operant behaviours that are followed by punishers are weakened. Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Positive Reinforcement 1) Selecting the behavior to be increased The behaviors to be reinforced must first be identified specifically. By being specific with your target behavior, you a) help to ensure reliability of detecting instances of the behaviour and changes in its frequency, which is the yardstick by which one judges reinforcer effectiveness and b) increase the likelihood that the reinforcement program will be applied consistently. 2) Choosing Reinforcers ( Different strokes for different folks) Everyone doesnt share the same reinforcement unlike food for when someone is hungry, or candy for children. It is important to use a reinforcer that is effective with the individual which whom you are working. Ex Dianne was asked to read some sentences and some of the reinforcers were candy, if she read the sentences correctly. But she did very poorly on the task, and the reinforcement she got (candy) was
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