PSYA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Applied Behavior Analysis, Reinforcement, Operant Conditioning

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20 Apr 2012
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Chapter 7: Part 2 pg. 208-225
Reinforcement, Punishment, and Extinction
-Behaviour analysts study environment interactions by manipulating the relations among
components of the three term contingency
-of 3 elements, consequence is the most frequently manipulated variable
-operant behaviours can be followed by 5 different kinds of consequences:
Positive Reinforcement
-positive reinforcement: an increase in the frequency of a response that is regularly and reliably
followed by an appetitive stimulus
-appetitive stimulus is any stimulus that an organism seeks out
-a positive reinforcer is an appetitive stimulus that follows a response and increases the frequency
of that response
-involves occurrence of an appetitive stimulus
Negative Reinforcement
-negative reinforcement: an increase in the frequency of a response that is regularly and reliably
followed by the termination of an aversive stimulus
-aversive stimulus is unpleasant or painful
-a negative reinforcer is an aversive stimulus that is terminated as soon as a response occurs and
increases the frequency of that response
-involves termination of an aversive stimulus
-not same as punishment
-both negative and positive reinforcement increase the likelihood that a given response will occur
again
Punishment
-punishment: a decrease in the frequency of a response that is regularly and reliably followed by
an aversive stimulus
-a punisher is an aversive stimulus that follows a response and decreases the frequency of that
response
-effective in reducing or suppressing undesirable behaviour, but can also produce several negative
side effects:
-unrestrained use of physical force (can cause serious bodily injury)
- often induces fear, hostility, and other undesirable emotions in people receiving punishment
(may result in retaliation against punisher)
-organisms learn only which response not to makedoes not teach the organism desirable
responses
-reinforcement and punishment are most effective in maintaining or changing behaviour when
stimulus immediately follows the behaviour
-consequences of our actions teach us whether to repeat those actions
-events that follow a response by a long delay were probably not caused by that response
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Response Cost
-response cost: decrease in the frequency of a response that is regularly and reliably followed by
the termination of an appetitive stimulus
-form of punishment
-procedure that produces response cost is often referred to as time out from positive
reinforcement or omission when it is used to remove a person physically from an activity that is
reinforcing to that person
-response cost causes behaviour to decrease whereas negative reinforcement causes a behaviour
to increase
Extinction
-extinction: a decrease in frequency of a previously reinforced response because it is no longer
followed by a reinforcer
-behaviour that is no longer reinforced decreases in frequency (said to extinguish)
-extinction occurs when an organism makes a response that is no longer reinforced
-if organism does not have an opportunity to make that response, it will not extinguish
-if a response longer “works” there is no point in persisting in making it
Other Operant Procedures and Phenomena
-basic principles of reinforcement, punishment, and extinction are used in other operant
procedures to teach an organism a new response, to teach it when to or when not to respond, or
to teach it how to respond in a particular way
Shaping
-most behaviour is acquired through organism’s interaction with reinforcing and punishing events
in its environment
-shaping: the reinforcement of behaviour that successively approximates the desired response
until that response is fully acquired (developed by Skinner)
-behaviour analysts use shaping as a formal training procedure in the lab
-target behaviour is behaviour displayed by a person having the appropriate skill
-stimuli that are produced by your behaviour serve as reinforcers for that behaviour
-you’re satisfied only when your behaviour improves so that it more closely resembles the target
behaviour
Intermittent Reinforcement
-intermittent reinforcement: the occasional reinforcement of a particular behaviour; produces
responding that is more resistant to extinction
-each response has a certain probability of being reinforced, or responses are reinforced after
particular intervals of time have elapsed
-probability-based patterns require a variable number of responses for each reinforcer referred to
as a ratio schedule of reinforcement
-fixed-ratio schedule: a schedule of reinforcement in which reinforcement occurs only after a fixed
number of responses have been made since the previous reinforcement (or start of the session)
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