Behavior Modification Chapter 9 – Motivation
Definition: Traditional Views- Motivation is a process that initiates, directs, and maintains physical and psychological
activities of people and other organisms. It is divided in 2 parts: Drives- which are mainly unconditionally and biologically
based, such as hunger and thirst, and Motives- which are at least part ly learned and psychologically or socially based,
such as the desire for money and the things it buys.
Achievement motives- the desire to succeed and make significant and valuable accomplishments. For e.g. Thomas
Edison fits the definition of achievement motive. He and over thousand inventions like bulbs, microphones. Broad
motives, such as for achievement, are like personality traits.
Desire and Readiness to Change:
The desire to change is considered a motive, and assessing it can be important in therapy, especially if the client fill out
Scale of Motivation to Change Behavior Pg. 134.
A theory called the stages of change model describes a series of 5 stages through which people’s motivation and
intention to modify a specific behavior, such as exercising, progress in readiness to change. At the lowest stage, the
person has no interest in changing the behavior; at the highest stage, the person has completed the change and is
working to maintain it. People at an intermediate level called preparation have made commitment to modify the
behavior, such as starting to exercise.
A Behavior Analytic View:
Mainly focuses on ways to manipulate motivation as an antecedent. Because behavior analyses try to maximize the
effects of antecedents and consequences, the motivational functions of the antecedents need to make as effective as
possible the specific consequences we will use in efforts.
Establishing operations is environmental manipulations that alter the effect of a stimulus such as water, as a reinforcer
and increase the frequency of all responses that have been reinforced with that stimulus in the past.
Motivating Operations (MOs) as procedures that temporarily alter the (a) effectiveness of a reinforcer or punisher on
behavior and (b) performance of behaviors that normally lead to those consequences.
2 effects of MOs: 1. Value- altering effect: changing the effectiveness of consequences; 2. Behavior- altering effect-
changing the performance of behaviors that normally lead to those consequences
MOs value- altering effects + behavior altering effects
2 types of behavior altering effect: 1- Evocative effect if it increases the behavior; 2- Abative effect if it decreases the
MOs can be of 2 types:
1. Establishing Operations (EOs)- increase the effectiveness of a reinforcer or a punisher (the value- altering effect)
and lead to the corresponding changes in behavior (behavior- altering effect). If an EO applies to a reinforcer it
increases the behavior (evocative effect); If an EO applies to the punisher it decreases the behavior (an abative
effect). 2. Abolishing operations (AOs)- decrease the effectiveness of a reinforcer or punisher on behavior. If an AO applies
to a reinforcer it decreases the effect (an abative effect); if an AO applies to the punisher it increases the effect
Motivating Operations Value- Altering Effect Behavior- Altering Effect
Reinforcement Punishment Reinforcement Punishment
Establishing Operations (EOs) Increase Increase Increase behavior Decrease behavior
effectiveness effectiveness (evocative effect) (abative effect)
Abolishing Operations (AOs) Decrease Decrease Decrease behavior Increase behavior
effectiveness effectiveness (abative effect) (evocative effect)
Establishing And Abolishing Operations For Reinforcement:
When we have not eaten for a few hours eating food becomes positive reinforcer leading to the behaviors such as food
Food deprivation and satiation are MOs for food serving as a reinforcer: Being deprived for food is an EO, and
consuming food is an AO. The changes in reinforcer strength are value- altering rffects and the changes in the behavior
are behavior- altering effects. As shown in the table EO (deprivation) should have the value- altering effect of increasing
reinforcer effectiveness and the evocative behavior- altering effect. In contrast, the AO (satiation) should have the value-
altering effect of decreasing reinforcer effectiveness and an abative behavior- altering effect.
EOs and AOs should also have similar effects with negative reinforcement- the reduction of an uncomfortable condition,
such as high or low room temperature in your home. E.g. The behavior of adjusting the room temperature assuming that
you have to go to a vacation and had lowered the temperature to save on bills. Now you return and find the room cold
so the reinforcer evocative behavior- altering effect will both be very strong. In contrast, if the room temperature was
not changed at all before you left, on your return an AO would be in effect, decreasing the reinforcer effectiveness and
the behavior of adjusting the temperature(the abative effect)
For e.g. when kids try to avoid any sort of training for a difficult task they engage into a self-injurious or destructive
behavior. Let's take 3 autistic boys who are trying to avoid a training-- EO, increasing the reifnorcer effectiveness and
the evocative effect for their destructive escape behavior. Ben one of the boys' EO would be his having to perform the
same tasks over and over, which led to his hitting and punching behaviors that disrupted the training. When the