Chapter 20 Book Notes

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Published on 16 Dec 2010
School
UTSC
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB45H3
Chapter 26- Helping an Individual to Develop Self-Control
Case Study
Many problems of self control involve self restraint- learning to decrease excessive
behaviors that have immediate gratification- such as excessive smoking, eating, drinking,
and TV watching.
Responses that need to be increased –such as studying, exercising, being assertive, and
performing household chores.
Make people speak of “Will Power” that is responsible for overcoming such problems.
It is more useful to look at how problems of self control stem from differences between
effective versus ineffective consequences of a behavior.
Problems of Behavior Excesses
One type of self control problem consists of behavior excesses –doing too much of
something.
All such behavior excesses lead to immediate reinforcers (good taste, enjoyable scenes
on TV etc) and even though they might also lead to negative consequences, the latter
are often ineffective.
Immediate Reinforcers Versus Delayed Punishers for a Behavior
A teenager lies about getting the homework done and is allowed to leave with
friends.
Lying is immediately reinforced. The lie is not discovered until later, and the
consequent punishment (e.g. being grounded, failing the assignment) is long
delayed from the instance of lying.
If a behavior leads to immediate reinforcers but delayed punishers, the
immediate reinforcers win out.
The immediate backslapping and laughter of friends after someonechugs a
pitcher of beer may override the delayed punishing consequences of a
hangover.
Immediate Reinforcers Versus Cumulatively Significant Punishers for a
Behavior
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Eating an extra dessert is immediately reinforced by the good taste.
Although the negative effects (excess cholesterol, etc.) of the extra dessert
immediate, they are too small to be noticed.
Rather, it is the accumulation of extra dessert on many occasions that causes a
health problem.
Another example is , problem of smoking. The immediate mediate
consequences of smoking (nicotine effects, etc) are positive for smokers. And
although there are immediate negative effects (additional tar deposited on the
smoker’s lungs) the harmful outcomes from a single cigarette are too small to
counteract the enjoyment of smoking.
It is the accumulation of the effects of hundreds of cigarettes that results in
shortness of breath, sore throat, coughing
Thus, for many self control problems, the immediate reinforcement for
consumption of harmful substances (nicotine, cholesterol etc.) wins out over
the unnoticeable immediate negative effects that are only cumulatively
significant.
Immediate Reinforcers (for Problem Behavior) Versus Delayed Reinforcers (for
Alternative Desirable Behavior)
For self control problems involving a choice between two alternative
behaviors, both of which results in positive outcomes, the one that produces
the immediate reinforcer frequently wins out.
Problems of Behavior Deficiencies
Another type of self control problem consists of responses that need to be
increased- such as flossing your teeth, taking good lecture notes and
exercising regularly.
Such behaviors usually lead to small, immediate punishers. And even though
there may be positive outcomes if the behavior occur, or major negative
outcomes if the behavior dont occur, both of these outcomes are often
ineffective.
Immediate Small Punisher for a behavior versus Reinforcers That are
Cumulatively Significant
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Document Summary

Chapter 26- helping an individual to develop self-control.  many problems of self control involve self restraint- learning to decrease excessive behaviors that have immediate gratification- such as excessive smoking, eating, drinking, and tv watching.  responses that need to be increased such as studying, exercising, being assertive, and performing household chores.  make people speak of will power that is responsible for overcoming such problems.  it is more useful to look at how problems of self control stem from differences between effective versus ineffective consequences of a behavior.  one type of self control problem consists of behavior excesses doing too much of something.  all such behavior excesses lead to immediate reinforcers (good taste, enjoyable scenes on tv etc) and even though they might also lead to negative consequences, the latter are often ineffective. Immediate reinforcers versus delayed punishers for a behavior.