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Chapter 6

PSYC 3610H Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Dispersed Knowledge

Course Code
PSYC 3610H
Shawn Carter

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Chapter 6 Decreasing a Beh. with Operant Extinction
When a response (previously reinforced) is not followed by
reinforcement, the individual is less likely to engage in the
behavior again
Difference Between Operant & Respondent
Operant extinction (decrease in an operant response due to no
longer being reinforced)
Respondent extinction (decrease in a CR due to a CS no longer
being followed by a US)
Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Extinction
1. Control of reinforcers for the beh. that’s to be decreased
2. Combining extinction with + reinforcement for an alternat beh.
3. Setting in which extinction is carried out (minimize alternate
reinforcers in setting & program changes in other settings)
4. Instructions: Make use of rules (may speed up beh. change)
5. Extinction may be quicker after continuous reinforcement
6. Beh. being extinguished might get worse before better
(extinction burst (increase in responding during extinction)
7. Extinction may produce aggression
8. Extinguished beh. may reappear after a break (spontaneous
Extinction Pitfalls
Unaware misapplication pitfall (Extinction program might be
undone by other, less trained ppl)
Partial knowledge pitfall (Desirable beh. may be extinguished
when insufficient reinforcement is given)
Effective Application of Extinction
Select behavior to be decreased
o Be specific, select proper location, select beh. which
you can control the reinforcers maintaining it
Preliminary considerations
o Keep track of how often beh occurs b4 extinction,
identify reinforcers & desirable other beh.
Implementing the plan
o Tell the person about the plan b4 starting, use rules of
reinforcement if rewarding other beh., be consistent
Weaning from the program
o Be prepared for occasional relapses, three possible
reasons for failure (…)
Three Possible Reasons for Failure
1. Attention withholding is not the reinforcer
2. Undesirable beh. is receiving intermittent reinforcement from
another source
3. The desired alternative beh. has not ben strengthened
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