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Chapter 5

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Amanda Uliaszek

Chapter 5 Defining Reinforcement  Reinforce means to strengthen or increase  Reinforcement refers to the process in which a consequence of a behaviour strengthens that behaviour, making it more likely to occur in the future  the consequence is contingent on behaviour, that is the consequence occurs if the behaviour does  the object or event that serves as the consequence in reinforcement is called a reinforcer, a stimulus that is introduced or changed when the behaviour occurs  measurement of that behaviour should show latency or increased frequency, duration or magnitude  also known as a reward  natural reinforcers happen spontaneously as a normal part of everyday events and are not planned and given systematically to affect a behaviour, even though they do  ex. Telling a joke is reinforced by the enjoyment of other people, a sequence of movements such as writing a word, and eating food is reinforced by its good taste and hunger  a certain type of this is automatic reinforcement, in which a behaviour produces a reinforce directly, without other people playing a role (ex. Scratching an itch)  a. r can maintain nervous habits  programmed reinforcers are provided within a program of reinforcement with the goal to increase or strengthen specific behaviours (ex. High grades for good work in school) Positive and Negative Reinforcement  A behaviour is followed by a consequence, and the sequence can take either positive or negative way  Positive reinforcement involves presenting or adding a stimulus, called a positive reinforcer, after the individual has performed the response  When the negative pattern occurs, a stimulus is subtracted, ex. If a boy has a tantrum in a store because his mother refuses to buy him candy, and she relents, the tantrum stops  In negative reinforcement, the consequence of the behaviour involves decreasing or removing an aversive stimulus ex. Drinking alcohol to reduce unpleasant feelings, taking aspirin to decrease pain  In punishment, the aversive stimulus occurs after the behaviour occurs, and in negative reinforcement the aversive stimulus is present before the behaviour that removes it Unconditioned and Conditioned Reinforcement  Unconditioned reinforcers or primary reinforcers are inborn process, in which they are not learned and the individual has no learning history with them (ex. Food, water and warmth, and reduction of hunger)  Conditioned reinforcers or secondary reinforers are stimuli that did not have the ability to strengthen behaviour until they became reinforcing as a result of learning (ex. Praise television shows and music we like) Types of Positive Reinforcers  Tangible= material objects we can perceive ex. Clothes or toys  Consumable= thing we can eat or drink  They both include unconditioned and conditioned reinforcers  Activity reinforce, using an activity as a reinforce after doing the desired behaviour  Ex. Teacher says you can colour after you do your math homework  This is called a high probability behaviour  Premack proposed that one reason consequences are reinforcing is that they involve performing high probability behaviours and these activities will work as reinforcers only for less frequent behaviours, called the Premak Principle  Effective method and easy
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