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BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION-CHAPTER FOURTEEN
What is extinction?
The basic the principle of behaviour in which eliminating the reinforcing consequence of a
behaviour results in a decrease in the frequency of the behaviour.
THE CASE OF WILLY
Whenever a female staff member asked Willy to partake in any activity he would vigorously
argue and refuse to get involved whereas he would perform the task without much
compulsion when requested by a male staff member.
The antecedent was that the staff member who is female makes a request, the behaviour is
that Willy refuses to complete the task and makes sexist remarks, and the consequence is
that the staff provides attention (arguing, explaining)
What was the procedure implemented by the group home manager used to make Willy’s
Told the staff about the functional assessment, that it was the attention that was
Then they would have to ignore him
Then modelling was used with other staff members to teach them the behaviour that
they should partake in in order to make this program effective
Warned the staff that consistency was key or else Willy would be resistant to change
Also warned about potential of extinction bursts to occur
There should be praise if he engages in the task so that this competing behaviour
would be reinforced and the undesirable behaviour would be diminished
To promote generalization all the staff members needed to be involves in the
Willy cannot refuse to do a task if he was never asked to do on
Describe the protocol or procedure implemented with an individual in order to use extinction
as a means of decreasing their problem behaviour?
1. The first step is that data should be collected to assess treatment effects record
before and after , behavioural definitions should be used, find the baseline, see if
generalization occurs, if experimentally evaluating, use an appropriate research
design and assess IOR, if it did not change you must reassess
2. Identifying the reinforcer for the problem behaviour via usage of functional
assessment identify the antecedents, sometimes different reinforcers may function
for different problem behaviours, a behaviour may serve different functions in
different contexts , may be maintained by positive or negative reinforcement