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University of Toronto Scarborough
Amanda Uliaszek

1 Feb, 2013 PSYB45 Review of operant conditioning:  Behaviours are increased and decreased based on the consequences  Reinforcement = an increase in target behaviour  Punishment = decrease in target behaviour Types of consequences:  Positive = adding something  Negative = removing something Examples:  A person smokes cigarettes (-ve reinforcement)  A person avoids doing homework (+ve reinforcement)  A person brushes teeth (+ve reinforcement)  A person eats a cupcake (+ve reinforcement)  A person comes to office hours (-ve/+ve reinforcement) Outline: Biofeedback Behavioural contracts Self-monitoring Implementing conditioning procedures Biofeedback:  Gain voluntary control over involuntary biological processes  Types of biological processes  Relationship to respondent conditioning When does this work? Headaches Relaxation Epilepsy Hypertension Stress reduction Benefits?:  Can be done at home  Only need minimal training  Relevance to a wide range of aliments Drawbacks?:  Equipment  Placebo effect  False claims Behavioural contracts: Formal contract including-  Target behaviour  Relevant antecedents  Relevant consequences  Monitoring process E.g. 1 of behavioural contract: 1) Target behaviour and antecedent – cutting arms with razor blades preceded by emotion dysregulation. 2) Monitoring – cutting behaviour will be monitored by mother with checks on arms and legs at the end of each day 3) Consequences – Each day with cutting, she loses internet privileges for the following day. For one week without cutting, she receives an afternoon out with friends. E.g. 2 of behavioural contract: 1) Target behaviour – completing 1 hour of studying per day. 2) Monitoring – behaviour is monitored by roommate each day. 3) Consequences – when studying is completed, 1 hour of TV is permitted. Common applications of behavioural contracts:  Classrooms  Institutions  Parenting  Suicide Benefits:  Can reduce disagreements and errors  Increased commitment  Makes goals more clear  Will have all the elements for success  Improve interactions between parties Drawbacks:  Have a second person involved  Needs room to re-negotiate Self-monitoring:  Improve efficiency in daily life  Break a habit  Develop positive lifestyle habits  Master a difficult skill Tools and techniques:  Complete a functional assessment  Daily diaries  Behavioural contracts  Make environmental changes  Use cognitive approaches (think about benefits/ distraction/ re-perceive the antecedents) Managing consequences:  Respondent methods and CERs  Self-administered punishment  Self-administered reinforcement (preferred items and experiences, questionnaires) PIEQ: 1) General items 2) Snack foods 3) Beverages 4) Outcomes for work, chores or skills 5) Friends/ relatives’ actions toward you 6) Leisure activities (Active) 7) Leisure activities (passive) Example:  Study more  Quit nail biting  Reduce eating high-calorie food  Run a marathon Befits and costs: - Benefits Easy Applies to a wide range of behaviours - Costs Taking unearned rewards Avoiding punishments Improper functional assessment Time and energy Chapter 22 An intervention using extinction procedures to reduce people’s strong conditional emotional responses (CERs) to social situations found that ratings on a subjective unit of discomfort scale (SUDS) for feared social CSs declined by about 3.2% per treatment session. By the end of the 16 sessions in the intervention, the clients’ SUDS ratings had declined by about 50%. When used in respondent therapy, extinction is often called exposure because the procedure exposes the person to the CS or a stimulus like it without the US. Reappearance of an extinguished CR can occur in 3 ways – 1) Spontaneous recovery 2) Renewal 3) Reinstatement If the CS and US are presented together again after extinction has been carried out for a prolonged period, the strength of the CR often returns very rapidly. Respondent extinction can help in treating substance abuse. To reduce a respondent behaviour, a procedure called counterconditioning trains the target person to substitute a competing or incompatible behaviour for the CR when the CS is present. This technique is called counterconditioning because it was developed to reverse a person’s previous learning of fear. Peter received counterconditioning therapy once or twice a day. The procedure simply involved bringing the rabbit a little closer each time while Peter ate some favorite foods in the presence of an assistant he liked. Other interventions using counterconditioning had the target persons imagine social situations in which a CS occurred: - A college student who was afraid that she would humiliate herself imagined various scenes at the banquet like Her ex-boyfriend arriving dressed in leotards (her jolly reaction was the competing response) Most people don’t know how to relax when feeling tense, one indication of feeling tense is blood pressure. Relaxation refers to a state of calmness with low psychological and physiological tension or arousal. Techniques to produce relaxation gained wide acceptance in the 1970s as psychological treatments for the CERs especially anxieties and phobias. A few points should be kept in mind: 1) The setting 2) Session length and schedule 3 commonly used relaxation techniques – progressive muscle relaxation, autogenic training and meditation. After individuals have mastered the technique, they can develop a rapid relaxation induction method that allows them to calm themselves quickly with a set of words. Progressive muscle relaxation involves alternately tensing and relaxing separate muscle groups while resting which leaves the muscles more relaxed than they were before (developed many years ago by Jacobson). Two aspects of the progressive muscle relaxation procedure are controversial. 1 , researchers are not certain whether it is necessary or desirable to tense the muscles as part of the process. One study found evidence that alternating between tensing and relaxing muscle groups may not be as effective (other researchers have reported contradictory results). The second controversial aspect of the progressive muscle relaxation procedure involves the value of using audio-recorded protocols or scripts to guide the process during relaxation sessions (in person training is more effective) Autogenic training has people imagine being in a pleasant and peaceful scene and experiencing specific bodily sensations such as their arms feeling warm or heavy: My left arm is heavy ….. I’m at peace….. my left arm is heavy …… my left arm is heavy…… I’m at peace One advantage of autogenic training is that it doesn’t require the person to tense and relax muscles which is important for people who suffer from medical conditions such as severe arthritis or low back pain. Meditation is the process of contemplating or focusing one’s attention on an object, event or idea to help people become detached from their physical states, thoughts and feelings. The verb desensitize means to make someone less responsive or susceptible to certain stimuli such as a CS. Wolpe used his concept of counterconditioning as the basis for developing a technique to desensitize people’s fears. Systematic desensitization is designed to reduce a CER by presenting CSs that are successively more fear arousing while the individual remains in a physiologically calm state. The technique is called systematic because it is carried out with a gradual step-by-step
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