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Chapter 4 Using Reinforcement to Increase Operant Behavior

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1 Chapter 4 Using Reinforcement to Increase Operant Behavior

2 What Is Reinforcement? reinforcement is a process of applying a consequence that strengthens behavior the consequence is a stimulus called a reinforcer focus on the outcome of reinforcement (strengthening) rather than interpret what each individual views as good and bad reward is usually not used as a synonym for reinforcer

3 Positive and Negative Reinforcement
some distinguish between positive reinforcers and negative reinforcers positive refers to a consequence that is given negative refers to a consequence that is taken away negative reinforcement is not a technical term for punishment some have argued that we should drop the terms positive and negative

4 Reward Value reward value is the degree to which a consequence will change behavior strength of a consequence can vary from time to time value of a reinforcer can be influenced by its quality and quantity

5 Unconditioned and Conditioned Reinforcers
unconditioned or primary reinforcers do not have to be learned conditioned or secondary reinforcers acquire their value through association with other reinforcers the process that develops the value of a conditioned reinforcer can modify the value of primary reinforcers

6 Unconditioned and Conditioned Reinforcers (continued)
value of reinforcers differs across individuals because of differential experiences

7 Why Are Reinforcers Reinforcing?
consequences may serve to strengthen behavior by reducing biological drives drive reduction is not necessary for reinforcers to change behavior sensory stimulation may serve to reinforce the rate of a behavior can reflect on reward value

8 Types of Positive Reinforcers
tangible reinforcers activities social reinforcers feedback tokens covert reinforcers

9 Tangible and Consumable Reinforcers
tangible reinforcers are material objects consumable reinforcers are items we ingest food can serve as a reinforcer, but it has several drawbacks

10 Activities as Reinforcers
the opportunity to engage in a behavior can have reinforcing value the Premack principle holds that a behavior that occurs at a higher rate than another can serve to reinforce the other comparison of rates can be complicated by how an instance of behavior is defined

11 Activities as Reinforcers (continued)
the response deprivation hypothesis suggest that the Premack principle works because we work to overcome restrictions placed on higher-rate behavior

12 Social Reinforcers social reinforcers are consequences that involve personal communication from others social reinforcers are easy to deliver, can be applied immediately, are not very disruptive because social reinforcers occur naturally outside of therapy, they tend to insure generalization of treatment

13 Feedback feedback is information about characteristics of performance
feedback can be direct or implied by reinforcers applied feedback with other reinforcers such as praise can work better than feedback alone biofeedback is a procedure in which an individual is given feedback about physiological response

14 Tokens tokens are symbolic reinforcers that can “buy” other (backup) reinforcers without backup reinforcers, tokens are simply serving as feedback or social reinforcers token systems can offer a more complex set of contingencies token systems can help overcome problems associated with consumables

15 Covert Reinforcers covert reinforcers are imaginal consequences
covert reinforcers might not have as much value as their overt counterparts; they are available and easy to apply

16 Identifying Potential Reinforcers
speculation about what might serve as high-value reinforcers can be based on demographic factors and on simple observation indirect assessment methods verify reinforcing value using interviews or questionnaires to ask the individual what they find pleasurable

17 Identifying Potential Reinforcers (continued)
while indirect methods may be easier and faster to apply, they may be less valid and they can be used only with subjects with necessary verbal abilities

18 Enhancing Reinforcer Effectiveness
strengthen reinforcers by: associating them with other more powerful reinforcers presenting a brief sample of the reinforcer before the behavior occurs modeling the use of the reinforcers with others

19 Shaping shaping is used to develop complex behavior by gradually increasing expectations for delivery of reinforcers qualitative shaping requires that the quality of the performance of the task become better quantitative shaping requires increases in amount of behavior

20 Shaping (continued) the first step in a shaping program is to do a task analysis task analysis breaks down complex behavior into a sequence of smaller steps progress can be accelerated by using shortcuts to stimulus control

21 Timing and Schedules of Reinforcement
initially, immediately reinforce every instance of behavior once behavior is established, reduce the frequency of reinforcement (thinning) intermittent or partial reinforcement procedures reinforce fewer than every instance of behavior

22 Timing and Schedules of Reinforcement (continued)
schedules of reinforcement are systems used to describe the pattern and frequency of delivery of intermittent reinforcement extinction involves the elimination of a previously established reinforcer reliance on reinforcement can be phased out by gradually increasing the delay between behavior and consequence

23 Chaining Methods three methods can be employed to teach a chain of behaviors: forward chaining begins with the first link in a task; when a link is mastered, an additional link is added as a new requirement for reinforcement

24 Chaining Methods (continued)
backward chaining follows a similar procedure to forward chaining except that the first step is to complete the last link; additional steps are added, and the completion of the task is the only task that is reinforced total-task presentation requires the completion of the whole series to be reinforced

25 Using Reinforcers to Develop Behavior Chains
prior to training, conduct task analysis on complex behaviors all approaches should use prompts steps should be simple enough to insure success

26 Using Group and Individual Contingencies
social reinforcers controlled by group members can strengthen misbehavior of an individual lottery procedures allow individuals in a group to earn chances to win large rewards by engaging in appropriate behavior group contingencies consequate the cumulative behavior of a group

27 Can Rewards Undermine Behavior Control?
when children are extrinsically reinforced for a preferred behavior they may become less likely to engage in that behavior when those reinforcers are not available the effect is not that widespread the effect seems to be limited to certain types of behaviors and reinforcers the suppression is only temporary

28 Who Will Administer Reinforcement?
peer-administered reinforcement has effectively increased performance in academic settings self-administered reinforcement often is used in self-control reinforcement can deviate from specified contingencies

29 Who Will Administer Reinforcement? (continued)
reinforcement errors can be reduced by: teaching more accurate self-assessment making target behaviors more public reinforcing accurate assessment

30 Escape in escape conditioning, a behavior eliminates an aversive stimulus escape can maintain both adaptive and maladaptive behaviors extinction can eliminate maladaptive escape responses negatively reinforcing behaviors that are incompatible with the maladaptive response can eliminate an escape response

31 Avoidance in avoidance conditioning we engage in a behavior that will keep an aversive stimulus from being presented contact with the aversive stimulus does not occur when successfully avoided avoidance learning may involve both respondent and operant conditioning

32 Avoidance (continued)
avoidance can become very strong and persistent persistence may be the result of cognitive factors

33 Factors Affecting Negative Reinforcement Effectiveness
negative reinforcement is stronger when the reward value is high much of our behavior is controlled through negative reinforcement few behavioral treatments apply negative reinforcement

34 Factors Affecting Negative Reinforcement Effectiveness (continued)
use of physically aversive consequences serve as bad models and can lead to aggressive behavior

35 Tips on Using Reinforcement
select consequences with strong reward value and apply consistently avoid reinforcers that work against the desired outcome make clear the contingency between behavior and reinforcer vary reinforcers maintain high reward value use naturally occurring reinforcers whenever possible

36 Tips on Using Reinforcement (continued)
Consequences should effect immediately, but use reinforcers that are minimally disruptive of the learned behavior thin the schedule of reinforcement once behavior is established eliminate counterproductive, extraneous reinforcers

37 Tips on Using Reinforcement (continued)
avoid reinforcers that may be difficult to withhold periodically view data to verify behavior is increasing

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