12 Dec 2010

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Reducing the Probability of Behaviour
Sometimes learned behaviours are detrimental to operation of organization & need
to be reduced or eliminated.
Two strategies that can reduce probability of learned behaviour:
Extinction = the gradual dissipation of behaviour following the termination of
Behaviours that have been learned under delayed or partial
reinforcement schedules are more difficult to extinguish than those
learned under continuous, immediate reinforcement (eg. Harder to
extinguish the joke-telling behaviour of a committee member who was
only partially successful at getting a laugh than of one who was always
successful at getting a laugh.)
Punishment = the application of an aversive stimulus following some
behaviour designed to decrease the probability of that behaviour
Can be emotional or physical
Should be performed immediately so they know what they did
In negative reinforcement, a nasty stimulus is removed following some
behaviour, increasing the probability of that behaviour; with
punishment, a nasty stimulus is applied after some behaviour,
decreasing the probability of that behaviour.
Principles that can increase the effectiveness of punishment
Provide an acceptable alternative for the punished response
(eg. Caught making personal calls using office phone during
office hour; scolded; AND given something to do)
Limiting the emotions involved in punishment ( managers
should be sure that their own emotions about the employee are
under control before punishing, and they should generally avoid
punishment in front of observers)
Make sure the chosen punishment is truly aversive
Punish immediately- if immediate punishment is difficult to
apply, the manager should delay action until a more
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appropriate time and then reinstate the circumstances
surrounding the problem behaviour
Do not reward unwanted behaviours before or after punishment
(eg. Employee caught making personal call, and later received a
gift of flowers from manager cuz the manager feels sorry to
have scold the employee. This gives the employee confusion)
Do not inadvertently punish desirable behaviours (eg. Manager
who does not use all his capital budget for a given fiscal year
might have the departments budget for the nxt year reduced,
punishing the prudence of his employees)
Social Cognitive Theory
Emphasizes role of cognitive processes in regulating behaviour. (eg. Ppl learn by
observing the behaviour of others)
People learn by observing behaviour of others & can regulate their own behaviour by
thinking about the consequences of their actions, setting goals, monitoring
performance, and rewarding themselves.
Human behaviour can best be explained through system of triadic reciprocal
causation in which personal factors & environmental factors work together &
interact to influence peoples behaviour.
Peoples behaviour also influences personal factors & the environment. (thus,
operant learning theory and social cognitive theory complement each other in
explaining learning and organizational behaviour)
Components of social cognitive theory:
Modelling (Observational Learning Theory)- the process of observing and
imitating the behaviour of others
Learning occurs by observing or imagining the behaviour of others
(models), rather than through direct personal experience.; self-
reinforcement is occurred in the observational learning process
Self-efficacy beliefs people have about their ability to successfully perform a
specific task
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