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Chapter 5

Chapter 5.doc

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Amanda Uliaszek

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Chapter 5- Reinforcement: Positive and Negative Defining reinforcement - Reinforcement refers to the process in which a consequence of a behaviour strengths that behaviour, making it more likely to occur in the future. The consequence is contingent on the behaviour – that is, the consequence occurs if the behaviour does. The object or event that serves as the consequence in reinforcement is the reinforcer (a stimulus that is introduced or changed when the behaviour occurs). - Natural reinforcers are consequences that happen spontaneously as a normal part of everyday events and are not planned and given systematically to affect behaviour, even though they do. Eg: Telling a joke is reinforced by the enjoyment of other people express. - Automatic reinforcement is when a behaviour produces a reinforcer directly, without other people playing a role. Some evidence suggests that automatic reinforcement can maintain in the repetitive/ritualistic behavioural excess. - Programmed reinforcers are provided within a program of reinforcement with the goal of increasing or strengthening specific behaviours. - In positive reinforcement, the consequence involves presenting or adding a stimulus called a positive factor. - In negative reinforcement, the consequence of a behaviour involves decreasing or removing an aversive stimulus. Eg: Drinking alcohol to reduce unpleasant feelings. - Reasons for confusion between negative reinforcement and punishment: 1 .Both involve aversive stimuli, which we tend to link with some types of punishment, but in punishment the aversive stimuli such as scolding occurs after and in negative reinforcement its before. 2. The word negative could suggest the process or behaviour that is undesirable, but it doesn’t. The word positive means a stimulus is being added and negative means a stimulus is being subtracted or removed. - Unconditioned reinforcers (primary reinforcers) are consequences that function as reinforcers even when the individual has had no learning history with them. - Conditioned reinforcers (secondary reinforcers) are stimuli that did not have the ability to strengthen behaviour until they became reinforcing as a result of learning. Types of positive reinforcers - Tangible : material objects we can perceive, such as toys, clothing or musical recording. - Consumable: things we can eat or drink such as candy, fruit or soft drinks. - Premack Principle is a rule which involves performing high-probability behaviours, and these will work as reinforcers only for less frequent behaviours. - Studies shows that having the opportunity to engage in high-probability behaviours can increase people’s performance of infrequent behaviours. - Response deprivation hypothesis: using a high-probability behaviour as a rewards makes the activity contingent on performing an infrequent behaviour, thereby restricting or depriving the person of his or her usual opportunities to perform the high probability behaviour. - Social reinforcers are consequences consisting of interpersonal acts that strengthen one’s behaviour, as when our behaviour receives praise,
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