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Chapter 18

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Zachariah Campbell

Chapter 18 Positive Punishment Procedures and the Ethics of Punishment Application of Aversive Activities An aversive activity is a low-probability behavior the person typically would not choose to engage in A problem behavior is decreased by the contingent application of aversive activities Contingent on the problem behavior, the person is made to engage in the aversive activity This form of positive punishment is based on the Premack principle, which states that when the requirement to engage in a low-probability behavior (the aversive activity) is made contingent on the occurrence of a high-probability behavior (the problem behavior), the high- probability behavior will decrease in the future Although an aversive stimulus is an environmental event that can be a punisher, an aversive activity is a behavior that can be a punisher for another behavior A person will try to avoid or escape from performing the aversive activity therefore, the change agent often has to use physical guidance to get the person to engage in the aversive activity contingent on the problem behavior When applying an aversive activity as a positive punisher, the change agent instructs the client to engage in the aversive activity immediately contingent on the problem behavior Types of Positive Punishment Procedures that Use Aversive Activity Overcorrection o Developed to decrease aggressive and disruptive behaviors exhibited by people with mental retardation in institutional settings o The client is required to engage in an effortful behavior for an extended period contingent on each instance of the problem behavior o Two forms: Positive Practice The client has to engage in correct forms of relevant behavior contingent on an instance of the problem behavior The client engages in the correct behavior, with physical guidance if necessary, for an extended
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