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Midterm Notes

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Ryerson University
CMN 100

5 Extinction Extinction: a process that weakens operant behaviour • A behaviour that had been reinforced for a period of time was no longer reinforcer • Thus, the behaviour stopped occurring • Once the reinforcement stops, individuals engage in the behaviour less and less, and ultimately stop engage in the behaviour • As long as a behaviour is reinforced, at least intermittently, it will continue to occur • effective for decreasing problem behaviours in children and adults Once the behaviour is no longer reinforced, it often increases briefly in frequency, duration, or intensity, before it decreases and stops. This is called extinction burst • Example – When Mark pushes the on button the remote control, it does not turn on the TV, he pushes it longer (increased frequency) and harder (increased intensity) before he finally gives up • Novel behaviours (behaviours that do not typically occur in a particular situation) may occur for a brief period when a behaviour is no longer reinforced • The novel behaviours during extinction bursts may include emotional responses, such as acting in an angry fashion and cursing a coffee machine for not dispensing the coffee • Extinction bust is a natural reaction to the termination of reinforcement • The increased frequency, duration, or intensity of the unreinforced behaviour (or the novel behaviour) that occur during extinction –may be reinforced. Example – When Julia screams and cries louder for attention, her parents may come into the room and give her the attention she was not getting for crying Spontaneous recovery: the behaviour may occur again even after it has not occurred for some time • Natural tendency for the behaviour to occur again in situations that are similar to those in which it occurred before extinction • If there is not reinforcement when spontaneous recovery occurs, the behaviour will not continue for long 5 • Example – Greg may still try occasionally to open the back door to his building. If the door happens to open one day, his behaviour of using that door will be reinforced, and he will more likely to try to use that door again Procedural Variations of Extinction The two procedural variations of reinforcement are positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement • A behaviour may undergo extinction regardless of the type of reinforcement • The outcome of extinction is the same • If a behaviour is positively reinforced, a consequence is applied or added after the behaviour • Thus, extinction of a positively reinforced behaviour involves withholding the consequence that was previously delivered after the behaviour • If a behaviour is negatively reinforced, the behaviour results in the removal or avoidance of an aversive stimulus • Thus, extinction of a negatively reinforced behaviour involves eliminating the escape or avoidance Nick works part-time as a custodian. He hates to c
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