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Chapter 15

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Amanda Uliaszek

CH.15: Using Basic Reinforcement Procedures to Increase a Behaviour By: Naela.S Identifying and Strengthening Positive Reinforcers • can generate hunches bout what consequences will have high reward value can be first step in identifying potential reinforcers for a pasticular individual • take into account the age & gender: 1 grader prefers tangible or consumable (candy) reinforces over social reinforcer like praise // teenager values entertainment, music recordings, clothing as reinforcers Identifying Potential Reinforcers • programmed reinforcers- deliberately provided with goal of increasing specific behaviours Table 15.1- types of positive reinforcers Type of Reinforcer Definition Tangible/consumable Items tht are material objects, such as toys or musical recordings, or tht we can eat or reinforcers drink Activity Opportunities to engage in activities we would choose to do when we have a free reinforcer choice Social reinforcer Interpersonal acts, such as praise or smile, by other ppl Feedback reinforcer Info tht assesses or guides our performance of a behaviour Tokens reinforcer Conditioned reinforcers tht can be exchanged for backup reward, such as tangible or activity reinforcer Interviews and Questionnaires • identifying potential reinforcers by asking individuals what items/experiences they like or find pleasurable: --> interview or survey (e.g. Preferred Items & Experiences Questionnaire (PIEQ) for adolescents & adults to identify potential reinforcers from the list & can also add potential reinforcers tht weren't on list) • limitations of using indirect assessment methods: 1.) may be less accurate than direct methods 2.) ppl whose verbal abilities are limited (young children, ppl with developmental disabilities) may be unable to answer questions when items read to them 3.) ppl who are extremely depressed may feel that nothing gives them pleasure DirectAssessment Methods • direct assessment methods: observing & recording individual’s reactions toward stimuli when the occur/ are available • 2 ways: • -->naturalistic observation- observing ppl in natural env't & recording freq./duration of duration of behaviour • identifies which high-probability behaviours person often performs which can serve as activity reinforcers • -->structured tests- presenting previously selected set of stimuli & assessing which ones the person prefers • 2 ways: (a) one at time, while collecting data on how soon person approaches or reaches for stimuli (b) two or more at time, while collecting data on which ones person chooses Enhancing Reinforcer Effectiveness • diff types of establishing operations (EOs) that can help enhance reinforcer effectiveness: • reinforcer sampling: presenting small or brief sample of the consequence before the behaviour occurs to increase likelihood tht person will make response and get reinforcer • e.g. Costco allowing customers to sample items so they can buy in larger quantities • modeling: individuals who see others receiving & enjoying pleasant consequences for their behaviour tend to increase value they place on these consequences & copy behaviour they saw other ppl do • e.g. elementary children w/ mental retardation; teacher praised students who were in seats & paying attention which increased attentive behaviour of children who were praised and (b/c modeling) children who sat near them • explaining or demonstrating the value of the reinforcer (esp. important for token reinforcers which have no value unless explained) • ppl who can't understand token reinforcement system, will need to have token associated repeatedly w/ backup reinforcers • public posting of performance data (esp. if reinforcer is feedback or praise) • e.g. public posting of sports skills performance data (based on self-selected goals) enhances effectiveness of feedback for athletes • using varied reinforcers: effectiveness of single reinforcer declines with frequent use b/c of satiation or person gets “used to” or “tired of” particular reinforcer • e.g. children who get to listen to snippet of their favourite song as reward for doing tasks may become less interested in hearing tht music so there should be VARIETY of songs from a playlist which they can choose from How toAdminister Positive Reinforcement Reduce Extraneous Counterproductive Reinforcers • 3 ways to stop ppl from reinforcing someone's problem behaviour: • -->describe the situation & ask them to stop reinforcing problem behaviour • -->reinforce them for not reinforcing target person's problem behaviour ; e.g. besides giving Lucy tokens to stop disruptive behaviour in class, & to reduce social reinforcers she mite've received from other students for disruptive behaviour—if Lucy had tantrum, taken back of the room so classmates cudn't watch her & given candy if they didn't turn around • -->having other people share in the rewards the individual earns for improved behaviour ; e.g whole class gets pizza party if Lucy doesn't throw tantrums for four days • behaviour analysts usually have enough control of person's env't to eliminate counterproductive reinforcer : ->occurs in training sessions with children who have used their problem behaviours (self- injurious behaviour), to escape sessions –eliminating escape involves process of extinction- ending negative reinforcement form escaping session • what if we can't control existing reinforcement? Provide strong positive reinforcer for an alternative behaviour • --->e.g. if kids with devptl disabilities complied with training requests, children cud choose their reinforcement: break from training for 30 sec (negative reinforcement) or favourite food item (positive reinforcement) 4/5 kids chose food Who WillAdminister Reinforcement? Peer-Administered Reinforcement • by 8-10yrs of age children who can perform target behaviour can monitor other children's acts & provide reinforcement for correct responses th • e.g. intervention to improve math skills of some 5 graders whose classmates served as tutors: --> tutors had to keep score of the # of problems student completed correctly, comparing that with current goal & deciding whether student had earned any backup reinforcers -->result: performance improved dramatically-equalling tht of their classmates by end of 3- week intervention & next 12-week followup • advantages of using peers as tutors/administrators: -->ppl requiring the intervention can receive more freq. & individualized help -->peers who serve as tutors gain from experience themselves ( same behaviours they're helping others improve, such as socialization w/ classmates, also tend to improve in themselves) -->general social relationship between tutor & tutees improve • disadvantage: peers more liberal than teachers in giving reinforcers; e.g. providing reinforcers tht weren't earned Self-Administered Reinforcement • e.g. college students studying & psychotherapy patients' feel
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