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Chapter 17

PSYB45H3 Chapter 17: PSYB45 Chapter 17

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Jessica Dere

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PSYB45: Behaviour Modification Clara Rebello PSYB45 Chapter 17 – Antecedent Control: Rules and Goals Antecedent Control  Because of behaviour of responding to various antecedent stimuli has been reinforced, punished, or extinguished, those stimuli exert control over our behaviour whenever they occur  Before designing a lengthy behaviour modification program with procedures like shaping  Ask: Can I capitalize on existing forms of stimulus control?”  Treatment packages that focus on the manipulation of antecedent stimuli (also called antecedents) fall into the categories of rules, goals, modeling, physical guidance, situational inducement, and motivation Rules  Rule: A situation in which a behaviour will lead to a consequence o A specific behaviour will “pay off” or have a bad outcome in a particular situation o As we grew up, we learned that following rules often led to rewards o A rule can function as an S  A cue that emitting the behaviour specified by the rule will lead to the reinforcer identified in the rule/A cue that not following the rule will lead to a punisher  Sometimes rules clearly identify reinforcers or punishers associated with the rules o In other cases, consequences are implied o Reinforcers are also implied for rules stated in the form of advice o Rules given in the form of a command/threat imply that noncompliance will be punished  Rules that don’t identify all 3 aspects of a contingency of reinforcement are referred to as partial rules o Some focus on behaviour o Others identify the antecedent while the behaviour and consequence are implied o Some identify the consequences while the antecedent and the behaviour are implied o Because of our learning experiences, partial rules also control our behaviour  Contingency-shaped vs. rule-governed behaviour o Contingency-shaped behaviour: Behaviour that develops because of its immediate consequences rather than because of a specific statement/rule PSYB45: Behaviour Modification Clara Rebello  Involves immediate consequences and is typically strengthened gradually through “trial and effort” (immediate reinforcement and nonreinforcement) o Rule-governed behaviour: Behaviour controlled by a statement of a rule  Often involves delayed consequences and frequently leads to immediate behaviour change  Often behaviour that might seem to be strengthened by the direct effects of reinforcement is also the result of rule-governed behaviour  Descriptive praise/behaviour-specific praise (“Good girl for cleaning your room”) is often recommended over general praise (“Good girl”)  When rules are especially helpful o When rapid behaviour change is desirable  Correct use of rules can often produce behaviour change much more rapidly than shaping, chaining, or trial and error o When consequences are delayed  By adding a rule, you can increase the chances of the delayed reinforcer having an effect on the desired behaviour o When natural reinforcers are highly intermittent o When behaviour will lead to immediate and severe punishment  Rules can help people learn appropriate behaviour when learning “the hard way” could be costly  Why rules control our behaviour/why we follow rules that identify very delayed consequences o Although the reinforcer identified in a rule might be delayed for an individual, other people might provide other immediate consequences if the individual follows/doesn’t follow the rule o An individual might follow a rule and then immediately make reinforcing statements  Failure to comply with a rule might lead to immediate self-punishment o Our operant-respondent interactions give us a reinforcement history so that following rules is automatically strengthened and failure to follow rules is automatically punished  Whether automatic consequences will continue to influence your rule following will depend on the extent to which you continue to experience punishment for noncompliance with rules PSYB45: Behaviour Modification Clara Rebello o Exceptions to this generalization (the reasons above)  Rules introduce extra stimuli and responses that, in some circumstances, can have the net effect of interfering with contingency-shaped behaviour  Five conditions that affect the likelihood of rule-following behaviour o Specific vs. vague descriptions of behaviour  A rule that describes behaviour specifically is more likely to be followed than one that describes a behaviour vaguely o Specific vs. vague descriptions of circumstances  A rule that describes specific circumstances in which the behaviour should occur is more likely to be followed than a rule that describes the circumstances vaguely or not at all o Probable vs. improbable consequences  Rules are likely to be followed if they
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