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Chapter 15

Chapter 15: Differential Reinforcement

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB45H3
Professor
Zachariah Campbell

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B45: Behaviour Modification
Chapter 15: Differential Reinforcement
DIFFERENTIAL REINFORCEMENT OF ALTERNATIVE BEHAVIOUR (DRA)
Differential reinforcement of alternative behaviour- behavioural procedure used to increase the frequency of a
desirable behaviour and to decrease the frequency of an undesirable behaviour.
The desirable behaviour is reinforced each time it occurs, any undesirable behaviours that may interfere
are not reinforced.
The DRA involves combining reinforcement for a desirable behaviour and extinction for undesirable
behaviours.
Stereotypic behaviour- repetitive behaviours that do not serve any social function for the individual.
They function to produce some form of sensory stimulation for the individual.
Ex. Those with mental retardation may always slap their heads with their hands, body rocking etc.
When to Use DRA.
You must answer these three questions before deciding if DRA is the right procedure to use:
1)Do you want to increase the rate of a desirable behaviour?
2)Is the behaviour already occurring at least occasionally?
3)Do you have access to a reinforcer that you can deliver after the occurrence of the behaviour?
If procedures such as shaping or prompting are used initially to evoke the behaviour, DRA may then be used to
strengthen and maintain the behaviour.
Steps On How to Use DRA.
Define the desirable behaviour helps ensure that you are reinforcing the correct behaviour and allows you to
record the behaviour to determine whether treatment is successful.
Define the undesired behaviours helps ensure that you are not using reinforcement when the undesirable
behaviour occurs and also allows you to record the undesirable behaviours to determine whether they
decrease after DRA
Identify the reinforcer it is important to determine a reinforcer specific to the person with whom you are
working; the reinforcer is what will be increasing the desirable behaviour
Reinforce the desirable behaviour immediately and consistently a delay in reinforcement of the desirable
behaviour will make DRA less effect, so will the inability of being inconsistent
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Eliminate reinforcement for the undesirable behaviours if the reinforcer for undesirable behaviours cannot be
eliminated completely, it at least must be minimized so that the contrast between the reinforcement of the
desirable and undesirable behaviours is maximized
Use intermittent reinforcement to maintain the target behaviour continuous reinforcement for the desirable
behaviour is used in the early stages of DRA; however, once the desirable behaviour is occurring
consistently and the undesirable behaviours occur rarely, if at all, you should start to thin the schedule of
reinforcement and reinforce the desirable behaviour intermittently
Program for generalization generalization means that the target behaviour should occur outside the training
situation in all relevant stimulus situations
Using Differentiated Negative Reinforcement of Alternative Behaviours (DNRA).
DNRA has been used in a variety of studies to decrease problem behaviours that are maintained by negative
reinforcement and to increase appropriate behaviours to replace the problem behaviours.
DRNA- a procedure for decreasing a problem behaviour by reinforcing a functionally equivalent alternative
behaviour (a competing behaviour) to replace the problem behaviour
A couple of variations of DNRA exist in which different types of alternative behaviour are reinforced to replace
the problem behaviour:
Differential reinforcement of an incompatible behaviour (DRI) - a type of DRA behaviour in which a
physically incompatible behaviour is reinforced to replace the problem behaviour.
Ex. If the problem behaviour is head slapping, in which individuals slap themselves on the side of
their heads, any alternative behaviour involving the use of hands would be an incompatible
behaviour.
Playing with toys with their hands would be an example of incompatible behaviours that could be
reinforced to replace the head slapping in a DRI procedure; whenever the child is about to slap its
head, if it is holding a toy (which is usually hard), it would be less likely to do so because it would
hurt more.
Differential reinforcement of communication (DRC)- it is called functional communication training;
a type of DRA procedure in which a communication response is reinforced to replace the problem
behaviour
Ex. an individual with a problem behaviour reinforced by attention would learn to ask for
attention.
Ex. An individual with a problem behaviour reinforced by escape from a particular situation (i.e.
cleaning or homework) would learn to ask for a break from the situation.
This communication response is more efficient that the problem behaviour,
communications is used as an alternative behaviour.
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Description
B45: Behaviour Modification Chapter 15: Differential Reinforcement DIFFERENTIAL REINFORCEMENT OF ALTERNATIVE BEHAVIOUR (DRA) Differential reinforcement of alternative behaviour- behavioural procedure used to increase the frequency of a desirable behaviour and to decrease the frequency of an undesirable behaviour. The desirable behaviour is reinforced each time it occurs, any undesirable behaviours that may interfere are not reinforced. The DRA involves combining reinforcement for a desirable behaviour and extinction for undesirable behaviours. Stereotypic behaviour- repetitive behaviours that do not serve any social function for the individual. They function to produce some form of sensory stimulation for the individual. Ex. Those with mental retardation may always slap their heads with their hands, body rocking etc. When to Use DRA. You must answer these three questions before deciding if DRA is the right procedure to use: 1) Do you want to increase the rate of a desirable behaviour? 2) Is the behaviour already occurring at least occasionally? 3) Do you have access to a reinforcer that you can deliver after the occurrence of the behaviour? If procedures such as shaping or prompting are used initially to evoke the behaviour, DRA may then be used to strengthen and maintain the behaviour. Steps On How to Use DRA. Define the desirable behaviour helps ensure that you are reinforcing the correct behaviour and allows you to record the behaviour to determine whether treatment is successful. Define the undesired behaviours helps ensure that you are not using reinforcement when the undesirable behaviour occurs and also allows you to record the undesirable behaviours to determine whether they decrease after DRA Identify the reinforcer it is important to determine a reinforcer specific to the person with whom you are working; the reinforcer is what will be increasing the desirable behaviour Reinforce the desirable behaviour immediately and consistently a delay in reinforcement of the desirable behaviour will make DRA less effect, so will the inability of being inconsistent 1 www.notesolution.com
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