Chapter 17: Using Punishment: Time out and Response cost.
Punishment: giving aversive stimuli or taking away an reinforcing thing to ultimately
decrease the likelihood that a behavior will occur in the future. Usually is online used
after extinction, differential reinforcement and Antecedent manipulations have all been
used but the behavior still persists?
Many people don’t like the idea of punishment specially the + punishments where you
give aversive stimuli. But it is important to note that it does not mean giving shocks, if
just means giving something that will decrease in occurrence a particular behavior in the
future. But still because of this reason it is used as a last resort. – Punishment is used first
and then + as the last resort. There are two negative punishments: timeout out and
Person being removed from the reinforcing activity for certain period of time whenever a
problem behavior occurs. This is usually called timeout from positive reinforcement It
is always a good idea to using differential reinforcement of alternative behavior, and also
the stimulus control procedures discussed before are all used to make timeout even more
Types of timeout:
Exclusionary timeout: person is removed from the room or the reinforcing environment
where the problem behavior occurred and is taken to another room. This removes the
person from all sources of positive reinforcement (i.e. go back to the end of the room and
you can’t join them). NonExclusionary timeout: person remains in the room while
being removed from the access to positive reinforcement (taken out of room where you
are playing games). Usually is used if the person does not cause disturbance to others
while in the room or when the person can be removed from this reinforcing acitivity ( i.e.
if you put me at the back of the class I can still watch the movie so not good here.
Exclusionary ( outside the room) is best.
Using reinforcement with timeout:
Always use differential reinforcement procedure with timeout. Timeout decrease the
problem behavior and the DRO or DRA will increase the alternative desirable behavior or
provide reinforcement for the absence of the behavior, while at the same time applying
extinction to the problem. The reason using DR is that when you do timeout you are
taking away reinforcers, by using DR you provide other reinforcement otherwise you
may create an imbalance and the problem behavior might come back.
Consideration in using timeouts:
1) What is the function of the problem behavior?
Make sure to use it only if the behavior is maintained by + reinforcement involving
either social or tangible reinforces. Time out removes access to these and it is because of
this it is successful. In addition the timein environment (where the problem behavior
occurs) must consist of these + reinforcement activities, be not aversive, and less
reinforcing then the timeout environment. Chapter 17: Using Punishment: Time out and Response cost.
Time out is no appropriate to be used for problem behavior that is maintained by
reinforcement (avoidance: i.e. you timeout person from what he hates) or automatic
stimulation (you take person and leave him alone and now he can pull his hair as much
as he wants to get sensory stimulations).
2) Is time out practical in the circumstances?
Time out is only practical when the change agent (the person enforcing the timeout) is
able to implement the time out (i.e. physical fit to carry you and put you in a room if
you resist). Also the physical environment conductive to its use (that is do we have a
proper room or area to use for time out). Note: the room should not be locked and the
child should always be attended to etc (see notes).
3) Is time out safe?
Timeout rooms must not contain thi