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Methods for Changing Target Behavior

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1 Methods for Changing Target Behavior
Chapter 2

2 Essential Paradigm for Operant Behavior
The essential paradigm for operant behavior includes an antecedent (or antecedents) that occurs before the behavior and may potentially influence the occurrence of the target behavior, followed by the behavior itself, which in turn is followed by a consequence (or consequences) that may potentially affect the future occurrence of the behavior under the same or similar circumstances. The current phisiological condition would affect the quality of consequences. When you are hungry, you wont continue the consequence which is performance of the task for a long time.

3 3-Term Contingency Antecedents Behavior Consequence
What is occurring prior to emission of behavior? What is occurring that is both observable and measurable? What occurs immediately following the emission of behavior? Do the same antecedents appear to evoke the same behavior? Is the same behavior occurring? Does the delivery of the same consequence appear to influence the next behavioral response? Data are collected to answer questions 4th Contingency: Environmental stimuli affecting all these

4 3-Term Contingency It is the consistent pairing of antecedent with behavior, behavior with consequence, and consequence with antecedent that encourages a change in or maintenance of the target behavior. Behavior should be measurable, observable, collectable and repetetive. Sometimes there isn’t any apparent antecedent, like a verbal antecedent a self rule self talk. Historical antecedent what happened before. Sometimes you never know.

5 Reinforcement Reinforcement occurs when the probability that a behavior will occur in the future under the same or similar antecedent conditions is increased (or maintained) by the delivery of a consequence following the behavior.

6 Concerning Reinforcement
Reinforcement should not be perceived as meaning “good” or necessarily “pleasant.” The manner in which behavior is influenced in the future determines whether or not reinforcement has actually occurred. Reinforcement need not be systematic; it may occur accidentally/as in incidental learning.

7 Concerning Reinforcement (cont.)
The individual being reinforced determines whether a consequence is actually reinforcing or not. It’s his future behavioral responses that reveal whether reinforcement has occurred. The antecedents and reinforcing consequences of behavior are not always observable.

8 Characteristics of Reinforcements & Punishments
Antecedent Behavior Consequence Positive Reinforcement No specific requirement. Future probability increases under similar antecedent conditions. Something is introduced/ added to individual’s world. Negative Reinforcement Must be aversive to the individual. Aversive antecedent is removed from individual’s world. Positive Punishment Future probability decreases under similar antecedent conditions. Something is introduced/added to individual’s world. Negative Punishment Preferred stimulus available. Stimulus is removed from individual’s world.

9 Positive Reinforcement
Positive refers to the type of consequence delivered, not to the quality of the reinforcing event. When positive reinforcement occurs, a consequence is delivered that involves adding to the environment. Examples include delivery of praise, awarding of a token, or allowing the person to engage in a preferred activity.

10 Positive Reinforcement (cont.)
The goal is to increase the probability that the target behavior will occur again in the same or similar conditions. The key to determining if reinforcement has occurred is in evaluating whether behavior has strengthened or increased.

11 Bribery The “reward” is delivered as the antecedent to the desired behavior. In other words, the stimulus that is intended to reinforce behavior is given before the behavior in hopes that the desired behavior will occur afterwards. Not the same as reinforcement, in which the reinforcers are delivered contingent on the occurrence of the desired response.

12 Negative Reinforcement
Do not confuse with punishment. When negative reinforcement occurs, behavior is increased. Negative reinforcement refers to the removal of a stimulus as a consequence of a behavior. The antecedent is aversive to the individual; its removal as a consequence of the emission of the target behavior is what reinforces that response.

13 Negative Reinforcement (cont.)
Relies on the desire of people to avoid or escape undesirable stimuli. An example of this would be the red lights and buzzers that activate when a person starts a car. These are aversive antecedents that are removed when the person buckles his seatbelt.

14 Premack Principle Simply refers to engaging in a highly preferred activity as a consequence for performing a less preferred activity, e.g. “finish your homework and then you can watch TV.” Access to the activity must be controlled. If the individual can gain access to the preferred activity noncontingently, then use of this principle with that activity may be futile.

15 Shaping Providing positive reinforcement for responses of the target behavior that are closer and closer to the performance criterion. Shaping is generally used when the topography of the behavior is being progressively changed.

16 Reinforcer Menus A compilation of various stimuli (e.g., activities, things to eat, types of praise or statements, objects) that possess a reinforcing quality for the individual. Consider the following when designing the menus: The age and interests of subject. The behavior to be reinforced and quality of reinforcement that would be comparable to the effort for the behavior.

17 Reinforcer Menus (cont.)
List potential reinforcers based on this information Identify reinforcing activities that may be applied using the Premack Principle Interview the subject to find out likes and dislikes. Consider consequences that will be new to the individual. Use reinforcers that are readily available and occur naturally in the environment. Record data to ensure applied consequences are producing a reinforcing effect.

18 Satiation Occurs when a previously reinforcing stimulus no longer possesses its reinforcing quality. Usually occurs due to overexposure. Occurs more frequently when food or drink are used as reinforcers.

19 Primary Reinforcers Those stimuli with which an individual requires no prior experience in order for the stimuli to possess reinforcing qualities. Food, beverages, and affection are examples of primary reinforcers. Used exclusively only when other reinforcers cannot be identified.

20 Secondary Reinforcers
Require some experience and derive their reinforcing properties from being paired with primary reinforcers or existing secondary reinforcers. For example, praise or a pat on the back that has been paired with affection generally begins to acquire a reinforcing property all its own.

21 Generalized Reinforcer
One that may be exchanged for any one of a variety of primary or secondary reinforcers, and through that pairing the generalized reinforcer obtains its quality or value. Money is the most obvious example. Tokens and point systems are more commonly used in school and clinical settings.

22 Quality of Reinforcers
Type, degree, number, and so forth of reinforcer delivered should be commensurate with the achievement of the target behavior (or its reduction). The more difficult it is to emit the target behavior, the greater might be the quality or quantity of the reinforcement.

23 Reinforcement Schedules
Ratio Schedules

24 Continuous Schedules Every correct response is reinforced.
Typically used when the target behavior is being newly acquired. Used to establish correct responding and then thinned toward intermittent schedules that require more than one correct response to regularly obtain reinforcement. While commonsense may indicate that this schedule results in great strength, the opposite is actually true. Abbreviated as CR or CRF in research literature.

25 Fixed Ratio Schedules Require that the individual perform a set number of responses of the target behavior before delivery of reinforcement (e.g., a student would have to utter four complete sentences before a reinforcer is delivered). Number of responses required may be gradually increased as responding improves. Abbreviated as FR schedules (e.g., FR-4 means a fixed ratio of 4 responses before the delivery of reinforcement).

26 Variable Ratio Schedules
Require that the individual emit an average number of correct responses to obtain reinforcement. The average is achieved by varying the number of correct responses required so that when all correct responses are divided by the number of reinforcers delivered, that average number is obtained. Individual is less likely to anticipate accurately when reinforcement will be delivered and should emit the target behavior in a more consistent or steady manner. Ratio strain may occur if ratio of correct responses is increased too quickly. Abbreviated VR (e.g., VR-10 means an average of 10 correct responses to obtain reinforcement).

27 Interval Schedules Used when the target behavior occurs so frequently that measuring each occurrence would be problematic. The first correct response following the elapse of a predetermined time period is reinforced. For example, if the target behavior is uttering complete sentences, the first correct response following a 1-min (or whatever time one sets) interval would be reinforced.

28 Interval Schedules (cont.)
Reinforcement may be delivered for the first correct response after a fixed interval of time (e.g., after 1 min following the last delivery of reinforcement). Or reinforcement may be delivered after an average or variable interval of time (average of 10 s or 10 min). Abbreviated as FI (fixed interval) or VI (variable interval) schedules.

29 Interval Schedules (cont.)
VI schedules prevent individual from accurately anticipation reinforcement and produce a more consistent response pattern. Important to note that interval schedules are used with target behavior that are counted, not time based.

30 Response Duration Schedules
The researcher delivers reinforcement based on how long a behavior is continuously emitted. With a fixed response duration schedule, reinforcement is delivered after the target behavior has been continuously emitted for a fixed period of time (e.g., after every 2 min). With a variable response duration schedule, reinforcement occurs following an average length of continuous emission of the target behavior (e.g., VD-5 min). Average is achieved in the same manner as with variable ratio schedules, substituting time periods for the number of responses required.

31 Methods to Decrease Behavior

32 Arguments against Use of Punishment
Individual learn what not to do, not what to do. May create a model of aggression and physical control to be emulated by the individual. My inflict pain or hardship. At times, it is used with individuals who are unable to express an unwillingness to participate in such measures. It merely suppresses behavior and may not eliminate the undesired response, particularly in other settings or situations. Individuals may avoid or escape from environments where punishment is employed.

33 Argument in Favor of Punishment
Some special circumstances warrant the use of punishment. For example, if an individual exhibits behavior that is clearly dangerous to himself or others, punishment may be used to immediately suppress the behavior.

34 Considerations for Punishment
Aversiveness must be individually determined. May be necessary to use more intense levels of aversive stimuli to achieve desired reduction in behavior. Side effects should be expected. Maintenance of the behavior reduction may be variable. Aversive stimuli should be delivered consistently and immediately. Use of aversives should be restricted and carefully monitored.

35 Positive Punishment Positive refers to the consequence for behavior rather than a quality of the phenomenon. With positive punishment, an antecedent occurs, the behavior occurs, and the consequence of the behavior is an addition to the environment (e.g., a verbal reprimand). The result is that the probability of future occurrence under the same or similar circumstances is decreased. The future reduction or weakening of behavior essentially defines punishment. The individual’s response to the consequence is what determines whether or not punishment has occurred.

36 Negative Punishment An antecedent occurs, the behavior is emitted and the consequence is the removal of something from the environment. The result is that the probability that the behavior will occur again under the same or similar antecedent conditions is reduced. Example: Teacher asks a question, one student blurts out an answer, teacher takes away a point, and student no longer calls out.

37 Negative Punishment (cont.)
Removal of privileges for misbehavior is another example of negative punishment. Negative punishment requires the presence of some desired or preferred stimuli that can be removed as a consequence of the target behavior. Response cost is a form of negative punishment (i.e., levying fines when a target behavior occurs). Usually used in conjunction with a token economy, or point system.

38 Extinction The reinforcer(s) of a behavior is identified and removed or withheld when the behavior occurs. Relies on the premise that once reinforcement is withheld, the behavior eventually will decrease or be eliminated. Targeted behavior may actually “get worse” before a reduction begins to occur. Spontaneous recovery may occur, when for no apparent reason an individual emits a behavior that had been extinguished.

39 Extinction Example: An individual may use gestures to communicate when speech is more appropriate. The practitioner could extinguish the behavior by withholding any reinforcement that occurs as a result of gesturing (e.g., responding to a nonverbal gesture). Person may gesture more to get the practitioner’s attention until realization occurs, but eventually the gesturing should decrease if no reinforcer is available to maintain its strength.

40 Differential Reinforcement
The target behavior to be weakened or eliminated is identified, more desirable behaviors are identified that may replace the target behavior, and the desired behaviors are reinforced while the target behavior is also being weakened.

41 Differential Reinforcement (cont.)
Advantages over simply decreasing behaviors: Individual is also learning what do do as well as what not to do. The individual’s overall level of reinforcement is less likely to be reduced. The individual may find such a program preferable to one that focuses on punishment. Individual observes a model for encouraging behavior change that also stresses reinforcement. Individual may be less likely to wish to escape or avoid the environment if reinforcement is available.

42 DRO Differential reinforcement of other—or omitted, or zero rates of—behavior. Involves the rewarding of the absence of the targeted behavior for a specified period of time. Behaviors other than the target behavior are rewarded. Must develop a contingency plan if the target behavior is emitted.

43 DRI/DRA With differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior (DRI) and differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA), specific adaptive responses are identified to replace the maladaptive responses. With DRI, the targeted adaptive response is one that is physically incompatible with the targeted maladaptive response (e.g., if a child is in his seat, he cannot be out of his seat at the same time).

44 DRI/DRA With DRA, the individual is rewarded for a more desirable response but not one that is not physically incompatible wit the target behavior (e.g., one may give compliments rather than insulting others). There must be a contingency plan for when the targeted undesirable response is emitted as well.

45 DRL Differential reinforcement of low rates of behavior is used when the target behavior is an appropriate response that occurs at an inappropriate level or is a behavior in need of elimination. The researcher systematically rewards the individual for emitting fewer and fewer responses until the behavior is occurring at acceptable levels or has ceased altogether.

46 Response Interruption
The researcher literally interrupts the emission of the target behavior that is to be reduced or eliminated in strength. May involve a verbal or physical interruption. May be used in conjunction with differential reinforcement.

47 Overcorrection A procedure that is intended to tech the individual an alternative or desirable behavior that corrects the effects of the behavior targeted for reduction. The corrective response is repeated over and over to enhance the likelihood that that response will be learned, or an exaggerated form of an adaptive behavior is performed. Includes two basic intervention procedures: restitutional and positive practice overcorrection.

48 Overcorrection (cont.)
Simple restitution involves restoring an environment to its previous condition. Restitutional overcorrection involves restoring the environment to a better than previous condition. Positive practice overcorrection involves the repeated practice of an alternative to the target behavior.

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