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Chapter 6

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Amanda Uliaszek

Chapter 6: Extinction Naela. S • extinction- in operant conditioning, process or procedure in which reinforcement is terminated for a previously reinforced behaviour, making it less likely to occur in future -->it is process where rate & force in performing the no-longer reinforced response decreases • e.g. Helen's psychotic talk - nurses ignored it (used procedure of extinction), since nurses paying attention was past reinforcer . She reduced her psychotic talk from 90% of her speech to 25%. Extinction for Positive Reinforcement • positive reinforcement (receiving tangible/social reinforcers) = extinction involves making sure those rewards no longer provided -->e.g. Intervention tht used extinction to reduce arithmetic errors by Bob which had received positive reinforcement: -->Bob, reversed the digits in two-digit sum which was reinforced when he got attention from teacher: -->when teacher marked 20-problem work sheets, she marked each correct answer with “c” & each incorrect (reversed digits) with “x” which appeared to provide attention from teacher that served as reinforcer for reversals -->Intervention phase: teacher continued to write “c” for correct with now a pat on the back (“good job”) but did not mark /comment on any incorrect item -->result: baseline digit reversals occurred at high levels & declined in intervention phases Extinction for Negative Reinforcement • negative reinforcement= extinction involves preventing individual from escaping or avoiding the unpleasant situation • e.g. Intervention tht used extinction to decrease target behaviour which was maintained due to negative reinforcement: --> Drew who had autism, had problem behaviours (showed aggression/ self-injurious behaviour) tht were reinforced by Drew's escape from the task he was learning, during speech training --> intervention used extinction, which consisted of stopping the behaviour’s negative reinforcement: when problem behaviour occurred, speech therapist simply continued the session & physically guided Drew's completing task --> result: his problem behaviour high during baseline and decreased during intervention phases The Process and Characteristics of Extinction • e.g. Vending machine: u insert change and pull lever but chocolate bar doesn't come out. This behaviour isnt reinforced. But u pull the lever once agin and nothing happens. =strongly pull lever several times and even kick the machine! Extinctions Burst andAggression • extinction burst- temporary increase tht sometimes occurs in frequency or magnitude of a response soon after an extinction procedure is introduced • (e.g. pulling lever on vending machine rapidly & strongly) • Fig 6-3 shows an extinction burst for first night in an intervention implemented to decrease amount of time infant was awake after having gone to sleep -->intervention: used extinction so parents put child to bed & did not return if infant woke up • vending machine shows phenomena of aggression: Extinction often increases target person's aggression & other emotional behaviours • when using extinction, behaviour analysts often reinforce actions of two types: • competing response- an action that is incompatible or conflicts with performance of a target behaviour -->e.g. children with autism cant engage in repetitive hand flapping behaviour if their hands are folded on their laps • alternative behaviour- is dissimilar to and can take place of target behaviour as desirable act, but two actions aren't necessarily incompatible & cud occur together --> e.g. students raising their hands to ask question is an alternative behaviour for just blurting it out • if raising their hands reinforced by attention from teacher, blurting out would be placed on extinction: so when child blurts it out gets no attention from teacher & raising hands would get immediate attention • thus target behaviour (blurting out) is less likely to be performed Gradual Decline & Reappearance of the Behaviour • Extinction has two characteristics: ->behaviour tends to decline gradually or irregularly -> fig.6-3 infant's awake time generally decreasing trend but fluctuated during beginning of intervention ->extinguished behaviour can reappear temporarily even though reinforcement is not given for behaviour • in spontaneous recovery- reappearance of previously extinguished behaviour; the response tends to be weak and is temporary if extinction conditions continue -->main factor is passage of time between periods of extinction • two conditions can lead to spontaneous recovery: --> placing another behaviour on extinction causes previously extinguished response to recur -->may happen b/c antecedents tht were present when behaviour had been reinforced in past are present again : • e.g. kid all of sudden
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