Presentation on theme: "Chapter 9: Punishment! How does it work, and how can we use it effectively?"— Presentation transcript:
Chapter 9: Punishment! How does it work, and how can we use it effectively?
Punishment - review While reinforcers strengthen and support responses, punishment weakens them in one of two ways: –Applying an aversive or unpleasant stimulus OR –Removing an appetitive or pleasant stimulus
Types of punishment Positive punishment is the type where you add an unpleasant stimlus as a consequence of a response (and the response is weakened) Negative punishment is the type where you remove a pleasant stimulus as a consequence of a response (and the response is weakened)
Two Basic Types of Negative Punishment Time-out involves the loss of access to positive reinforcers for a brief period of time following the occurrence of a problem behavior. Response-cost is the removal of a specific reinforcer following the occurrence of a problem behavior
Negative Reinforcement vs. Extinction To see the difference, ask yourself this question: –Does the behavior weaken because performing the behavior no longer leads to a reinforcer OR –Does it weaken because performing the behavior leads to the removal of something you otherwise possess
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Punishment Intrinsic punishment is punishment that is an inherent (naturally built-in) aspect of the behavior that is being punished –Example: You use a knife improperly and get a nasty cut or you smoke a cigarette and it makes you cough Extrinsic punishment is punishment that follows the behavior but is not a natural part of that behavior –Example: You say something your grandmother doesn’t like and she grabs the cookie out of your hand or you smoke a cigarette and someone makes a negative comment
Primary vs. Secondary Punishers Primary punishers are those that we find naturally punishing (e.g. shocks, loud noises) Secondary punishers are those that are punishing because they have become associated with some other punisher (e.g. a mother counting to five may work because it has been associated with spankings) –Some of these are generalized secondary punishers because they have been associated with so many other punishers (e.g. an icy stare from your spouse)
Side effects of punishment Punishment does not teach the correct behavior – it merely suppresses the incorrect (or even other, correct) behaviors The person doing the punishing may become a discriminitive stimulus for punishment Punishment elicits a strong emotional response
MORE side effects of punishment Punishment can promote aggression The use of punishment can, through modeling, teach that it is the best way to control behavior (this is especially a problem with physical punishment and verbal abuse) The use of punishment is strongly reinforced, and so can become too frequently used
Benefits of Punishment Although it should not be overused, in some cases punishment can have positive side effects: –It can sometimes lead to an increase in social behavior (especially after negative punishment like time out) –It can sometimes lead to an unexpected improvement in mood –It can lead to an increase in attention to the environment
Effective use of punishment Immediate vs. delayed Consistently applied Negative Punishment instead of Positive Punishment when possible Sufficient (but not too much) intensity Explanation Combined with positive reinforcement!
Best Strategy! MILD PUNISHMENT to temporarily suppress the misbehavior –Conditioned Suppression Theory – punishment doesn’t really weaken the behavior, but it produces an emotional response that interferes with the occurrence of the behavior PLUS REINFORCEMENT to emphasize and strengthen the correct behavior
Effects of Non-Contingent Punishment What happens when the learner has no control over when punishment is given? –Learned Helplessness – a breakdown in learning ability caused by repeated exposure to uncontrollable aversive events Example: Effects of child abuse –Masserman’s Experimental Neurosis – an experimentally produced disorder in which animals exposed to unpredictable events develop neurotic-like symptoms Example: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder