Chapter 17: Antecedent Control: Rules and Goals
Because our behavior of responding to various antecedent stimuli (people, places, words,
smells,) haver been reinforced, those stimuli exert control over our behavior whenever
Treatment packages that focus on the manipulation of antecedent stimuli fall into the
categories of rules, goals, modeling, physical guidance, situational inducement, and
describes a situation in which a behavior will lead to a consequence.
rules can function as an SD--a cue that emitting the behavior will lead to the reinforcer
identified in the rule, or a cue that not following the rule will lead to a punisher
Sometimes rules clearly identify reinforcers or punishers associated with following the
rules, but in other cases, consequences are implied (ex. rules stated in the form of advice)
Rules in the form of a command or a threat imply that noncompliance will be punished.
Partial rules: Rules that do not identify all three aspects of a contingency of
reinforcement (antecedent, the behaviour, and consequence)
Contingency-Shaped Versus Rule-Governed Behavior
contingency-shaped behaviour: behavior that develops because of its immediate
consequences and typically strengthened through "trial and error"
rule-governed behaviour: behaviour controlled by the statement of a rule and often
involves delayed consequences and frequently leads to immediate behavior change.
When Rules Are Especially Helpful
1.When rapid behaviour change is desirable
much more rapidly than shaping, chaining, or trial and error
2.When consequences are delayed
Adding the rule, there is a increased chance of the delayed reinforcer being effective
3.When natural reinforcers are highly intermittent
4.When behaviour will lead to immediate and severe punishment
Rules can help people learn appropriate behavior when learning "the hard way" could
Why Rules Control Our Behavior
1. although the reinforcer identified in a rule might be delayed for an individual, other people
might provide other immediate consequences if the individual follows or does not follow
2. an individual might follow a rule and then immediately make reinforcing statements/
failure to comply with a rule might lead to immediate self-punishment.
3. our operant-respondent interactions give us a reinforcement history so that following rules
is automatically strengthened and failure to follow rules is automatically punished.
When you comply with the rule, your anxiety decreases and your rule following is
maintained by escape conditioning.
whether such automatic consequences will continue to influence your rule
following will depend on the extent to which you continue to experience
punishment for noncompliance with rules
Effective and Ineffective Rules
1.Specific versus vague descriptions of be