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Chapter 13-25

PSYB45H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 13-25: Stuttering, Reinforcement, Stimulus Control

Course Code
Zachariah Campbell

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-Previous chapters talk about how to establish behaviour, this chapter talks about behavioural
procedures for identifying /understanding problem behaviours and increasing/decreasing existing
- this is the first step that needs to be taken to change a behaviour.
- ex/ 4 year old who keeps
oFirst, you have to understand why a person engages in that behaviour so you need to have a
3-term contingency to show the antecedent events that evoke the behaviour and the
reinforcing consequences that maintain it.
oIdentifying these variables before treating a problem is called functional assessment
-Functional assessment for Jacobs problematic behaviours:
oThe mother was interviewed and asked her questions about the problem behaviours, the
setting and the day care routines, the antecedent circumstances, the consequences when
Jacob engaged in the problem behaviours, other behaviours that he engaged in, and previous
treatments that she tried with Jacob.
oHe observed Jacob and recorded info on a B and Cs each time Jacob engaged in the problem
behaviours. He observed Jacob until he could determine which antecedents and consequences
were reliably associated with the behaviour. Jacob was more likely to engage in the problem
behaviours when other children took his toys, and the reinforcer was that the kids would give
his toys back (when he banged his head)
-Experiment of having kids touch his toys some days and have kids not touch his toys other days
showed that he was more likely to engage in that behaviour on days that children played with his
toys. This showed that other kids playing with his toys were an antecedent for the problem
behaviours and it confirmed the reinforcer for the problem behaviours was that the other kids gave
back the toys.
-Treatment involved teaching him to ask the other kids to give back his toys when they took them.
Asking for the toys is a behaviour that is functionally equivalent to the problematic behaviour so it
produced the same outcome as banging his head, which was getting his toys back. When Jacob
exhibited aggressive behaviour, he did not get his toys back. TREATMENT HELPED by replacing
undesirable behaviour with a desirable one.
-Conducting a functional assessment is always the first step in using beh mod procedures to decrease
problem behaviours.
-Differential reinforcers can also be used to reinforce a behaviour to occur under a certain stimulus.

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Defining Functional Assessment
-Behaviour is lawful- wanted and unwanted behaviours are controlled by environmental variables
(respondent by antecedent & operant by antecedents and consequences). Its the relationship between
the environment and the client. We can understand it, measure it, and affect change of the
-Behaviour is a function of environmental variables
-Functional assessment is the process of gathering info about the antecedents and
consequences that are functionally related to the occurrence of a bad behaviour
oIt gives you info about why a problem is occurring
oIdentifies the discriminative stimulus (something that has stimulus control)
oGive info on reinforcing consequences and antecedent stimuli (time and place of behaviour,
people present, environmental stimuli before the behaviour and frequency of the target
oThis info on the 3term contingency will help identify the A that has stimulus control over the
behaviour and the reinforcing C that maintain the B.
-Treatment considerations:
It can provide the existence of alternative behaviours (behaviour that is mutually
exclusive from the problem behaviour, ex/ replacing kicking behaviour to get a toy with
asking nicely for it. You cant engage in both at the same time) that may be functionally
equivalent to the bad behaviour
motivational variables (establishing operations that influence the effectiveness of stimuli
as reinforcers and punishers, operations that can be modified)
Other sources of reinforcement- stimuli that may function as reinforcers for the person
Outcome of previous interventions: history of previous treatments and their outcomes.
-Functional assessment gives info on:
oProblem behaviour- an objective description of the behaviours that make up the problem
oAntecedents- objective description of environmental events preceding the program
behaviour, including aspects of the physical environment and the behaviour of other people
oConsequences- an objective description of environmental events that follow the problem
behaviour, including aspects of the physical environment and the behaviour of other people
oAlternative behaviours- info on desirable behaviours in the persons repertoire that may be
reinforced to complete with the problem behaviour

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oMotivational variables- info on environmental events that may function as establishing
operations to influence the effectiveness of reinforcers and punishers for the problem
behaviours and alternative behaviours
oPotential reinforcers- info on environmental events- including physical stimuli and the
behaviour of other people- that may function as reinforcers and be used in a treatment
oPrevious interventions- info on the interventions that have been used in the past and their
effects on the problem behaviour
-What is the function or reinforcing consequences of problem behaviour? There are four
classes of reinforcing consequences
1.)Social Positive Reinforcement- Positive reinforcement is mediated by a third-party- when a
positively reinforcing consequence is delivered by another person after the target behaviour.
oIncludes: attention /praise/reactions, access to activities, or tangibles/good /things provided
by another person
ex. Anna receives attention from her mom as a reinforcer for her bad behaviour, and
Jacob received his toys back from the other kids (tangibles) as a reinforcer for his bad
2.)Social Negative Reinforcement-mediated by a 3rd party as well except involves the termination of
an aversive stimulus. When another person terminates an aversive event after the occurrence of a
target behaviour, the behaviour is said to be maintained by SNR.
a.Child who complains to parents gets out of doing a chore as a result of complaining
b.Student who bangs her head when instructed to do an academic task may escape from the
task as a result.
c.Asking a friend not to smoke so you don't have to smell it as a result
d.All examples result of escape from the task reinforces the bad behaviour
3.)Automatic Positive Reinforcement- reinforcing consequence occurs as an automatic consequence
of the behaviour itself. Not mediated by a third-party and occurs automatically (without human
a.Some behaviours produce sensory stimulation that reinforces the behaviour- playing with a
bright toy provides visual stimulation.
b.Ex. going to the kitchen to get water is automatically positively reinforced by having it (if
asking someone else, it is socially positively reinforced)
c. Interaction with the non-social environment
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