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Chapter 7

Behaviour Modficiation - Chapter 7 Book Notes

5 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB45H3
Professor
Zachariah Campbell

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7
Stimulus Control: Discrimination and Generalization
The effects of reinforcement, extinction, and punishment are situation-specific. A behaviour occurs in
situations in which it has been reinforced in the past. A behaviour stops occurring in situations in which it
has not been reinforced or has been punished in the past
Antecedents: stimulus events that precede an operant response
Stimulus events, situations, or circumstances that are present when it occurs or were present
before the behaviour
Understanding antecedents provides us with information on the circumstances in which the
behaviour was reinforced and the circumstances in which the behaviours was not reinforced or
was punished
Stimulus Control
Stimulus of control: a behaviour is more likely to occur when a specific antecedent stimulus was present
A behaviour is under stimulus control, when there is an increased probability that the behaviour
will occur in the presence of a specific antecedent stimulus or a stimulus from a specific stimulus
class
Almost all behaviours are under stimulus control
Behaviours do not occur randomly, but occur in the specific situations in which they are
reinforced
ExampleWhenever Kevin wants money, he asks his mom and she usually gives him money.
When he asks his dad, his dad usually refuses. Thus, he usually asks his mom for instead of his
dad. His moms presence is an antecedent for Kevins behaviour of asking for cash
Kevins moms presence has stimulus control over Jakes behaviour of asking money
ExampleWhen the phone rings, you pick it up and talk to the person who called
Antecedent = the phone rings, behaviour = you answer the phone, consequence = you talk to the
person who called
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7
Picking up the phone when it rings is reinforced by talking to the caller
Picking up the phone when it does not ring is not reinforced because no one is on other end
Developing Stimulus Control: Stimulus Discrimination Training
The antecedent stimulus that is present when a behaviour is reinforced is known as the discriminative
stimulus (SD)
The process of reinforcing a behaviour only when a specific antecedent stimulus (SD) is present is called
stimulus discrimination training. There are two steps involved:
When the SD is present, the behaviour is reinforced
When any other antecedent stimuli are present, the behaviour is not reinforced. During
discrimination training, any antecedent stimulus that is present when the behaviour is not
reinforced is called an S-delta (S)
The presence of SD does not cause a behaviour to occur, but rather increases the likelihood the
behaviour because it was associated with reinforcement in the past
A rat learns to press a level in an experimental chamber, when the lever-pressing response is reinforced by
food. Through discrimination training, a rat learns to press the lever when a certain audible tone is
presented (reinforcement) and not to press the lever when a different tone is presented (extinction)
Reading is a behaviour that is developed through the process of stimulus discrimination training
Reading is under stimulus control
If we see the letters CAT, we say “cat, and we do not say “cat when any other combination of
letters is presented
When we see a written word and say the correct word, our behaviour is reinforced by praise from
teachers. Thus, the written word develops stimulus control over our reading behaviour
If we say it incorrect, the adults response wrong! is a conditioned punisher
With spelling, the spoken word is the SD, and our response involves writing or saying the letters
that spell the world
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Description
7 Stimulus Control: Discrimination and Generalization The effects of reinforcement, extinction, and punishment are situation-specific. A behaviour occurs in situations in which it has been reinforced in the past. A behaviour stops occurring in situations in which it has not been reinforced or has been punished in the past Antecedents: stimulus events that precede an operant response Stimulus events, situations, or circumstances that are present when it occurs or were present before the behaviour Understanding antecedents provides us with information on the circumstances in which the behaviour was reinforced and the circumstances in which the behaviours was not reinforced or was punished Stimulus Control Stimulus of control: a behaviour is more likely to occur when a specific antecedent stimulus was present A behaviour is under stimulus control, when there is an increased probability that the behaviour will occur in the presence of a specific antecedent stimulus or a stimulus from a specific stimulus class Almost all behaviours are under stimulus control Behaviours do not occur randomly, but occur in the specific situations in which they are reinforced Example Whenever Kevin wants money, he asks his mom and she usually gives him money. When he asks his dad, his dad usually refuses. Thus, he usually asks his mom for instead of his dad. His moms presence is an antecedent for Kevins behaviour of asking for cash Kevins moms presence has stimulus control over Jakes behaviour of asking money Example When the phone rings, you pick it up and talk to the person who called Antecedent = the phone rings, behaviour = you answer the phone, consequence = you talk to the person who called www.notesolution.com
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