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Motivating Operations. 2 Stimulus Control Discriminative Stimulus (S D ) –A stimulus in the presence of which a response has been reinforced –And in the.

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Presentation on theme: "Motivating Operations. 2 Stimulus Control Discriminative Stimulus (S D ) –A stimulus in the presence of which a response has been reinforced –And in the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Motivating Operations

2 2 Stimulus Control Discriminative Stimulus (S D ) –A stimulus in the presence of which a response has been reinforced –And in the absence of which a response has not been reinforced S-delta (S Δ ) –A stimulus in the presence of which a response has not been reinforced

3 3 Response: Bang on table Reinforcer: “Honey, don’t do that! You’ll hurt yourself! S D : Mom S Δ : Dad No response

4 4 Response: Scream Reinforcer: Break from work S D : Teacher Joe S Δ : Teacher Jenny No break

5 5 Response: Hold out picture of spoon Reinforcer: spoon S D : Person in room S Δ : No one in room No spoon

6 6 Response: “Open door” Reinforcer: Door is opened S D : Teacher S Δ : Peer Door is not opened

7 7 In The Behavior of Organisms (1938), Skinner argued against the use of the term “drive” – why? –Wanted environmental variables to be the focus of analysis, rather than viewing it as an “internal causal variable” –So, rather than talking about a hunger drive, he proposed talking about the relation between food deprivation and changes in behavior –Skinner argued, “The degree of hunger developed during the fast is, of course, increased, and the rate at which the rat begins to eat is therefore increased as well” (p. 350). –He also argued that this type of control is different from that of an S D. Motivating Operations (Sundberg, 2004)

8 8 “Deprivation is put to practical use when a child is made more likely to drink milk by restriction of his water intake” (p. 146) “Satiation is put to practical use when...an abundance of hors d’oeuvres is use to conceal the scantiness of the dinner which follows” (p. 147). “When we present an aversive stimulus, any behavior which has previously been conditioned by the withdrawal of the stimulus immediately follows....The presentation of the aversive stimulus therefore resembles a sudden increase in deprivation” (p. 172). Science and Human Behavior (Skinner, 1953)

9 9 In 1950, Keller and Schoenfeld further refined Skinner’s ideas in Principles of Psychology and used the term establishing operations But beginning in the late 1960s, motivation was left out of many behavioral textbooks and was no longer considered by some to be a separate behavioral principle as Skinner analyzed it “The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis which began publication in 1968, contained no entries of “establishing operations” in the cumulative indexes (1978, 1988) covering the first 20 years of publication. However, there were 5 entries on “motivation,” but they all involved the use of motivation as a consequence rather than as an antecedent variable” (p. 5) Motivating Operations (Sundberg, 2004)

10 10 In a series of papers Jack Michael (1982, 1988, 1993, 2000) elaborated on Skinner’s analysis of motivation, while adopting Keller and Schoenfeld’s (1950) term “establishing operation.” His def of the EO essentially the same as Skinner’s of deprivation, satiation, and aversive stimulation. But Michael (like Keller and Schoenfeld) thought that a special term was needed for the different types of variables that fit Skinner’s definition: “The term ‘deprivation’ has generally been used...but does not adequately characterize....Salt ingestion, perspiration, and blood loss...likewise temperature changes...emotional operations...and fear....” (Michael, 1982, p. 150). Motivating Operations (Sundberg, 2004)

11 11 What does “wanting” mean from a behavioral perspective? 1.The thing that is “wanted” would function as a reinforcer at that moment in time; and 2.At that moment, behavior that has been previously reinforced with that thing will be more likely to occur

12 12 MO is sometimes called “The 4 th term of the operant contingency” –The SD and the EO are both antecedent stimuli that evoke behavior Recently, Michael proposed motivating operation (MO) as a more technically precise term The MO is a stimulus/event that has 2 effects on a contingency –Value-altering effect An MO can change the value of a consequence (make it more or less reinforcing) –Behavior-altering effect An MO can change the current frequency of the behavior that’s been reinforced by a consequence in the past Motivating Operations

13 13 Establishing Operation –Increases the reinforcing effectiveness of a consequence Food deprivation increases the reinforcing effectiveness of food Sleep deprivation… Being deprived of a favorite toy… –Increases the current frequency of the behavior Food deprivation evokes behaviors that have been reinforced with food in the past Sleep deprivation… Not having access to a favorite toy for a while… Abolishing Operation –Decreases the reinforcing effectiveness of a consequence Food consumption decreases the reinforcing effectiveness of food Sleeping… Playing with a favorite toy all day… –Decreases the current frequency of the behavior Food consumption abates behaviors that have been reinforced with food in the past Sleeping… Playing with a favorite toy all day… 2 Types of MOs

14 14 The Different Effects of Establishing and Abolishing Operations Effect Establishing Operation (EO) ↑ reinforcing effectiveness ↑ behavior

15 15 The Different Effects of Establishing and Abolishing Operations Effect Establishing Operation (EO) ↑ Reinforcing effectiveness ↑ behavior Abolishing Operation (AO) ↓ Reinforcing effectiveness ↓ behavior

16 16 UMOs are MOs that are unlearned We are born with the capacity to be more affected by food as a reinforcer when we’re hungry (food deprived) than when we’re full 9 Main UMOs for humans… Unconditioned Motivating Operations (UMOs)

17 17 Unconditioned EOs EO Increases effectiveness of… Evokes… Food deprivation Water deprivation Sleep deprivation Activity deprivation Oxygen deprivation Sex deprivation Becoming too warm Becoming too cold Increase in painful stimulation

18 18 Unconditioned AOs AO Decreases effectiveness of… Abates… Food consumption Water consumption Sleeping Being active Breathing Orgasm Becoming cooler Becoming warmer Decrease in painful stimulation

19 19 Conditioned Motivating Operations (CMOs) – MOs that are learned CMO: Sight of screw on toy that needs battery change Response: “Do you have a screwdriver?” Reinforcer: screwdriver

20 20 CMO – Example CMO: Suspicious sound Response: Call security guard Reinforcer: Security guard’s response

21 21 CMO - Example CMO: Sight of fire truck behind closed door Response: “open door” Reinforcer: Open door

22 22 CMO –Example CMO: Peanut butter and bread with no knife Response: “knife” Reinforcer: knife

23 23 CMO – Example CMO: Alphabet puzzle with all letters except “A” Response: “A” Reinforcer: Letter A

24 24 Other Examples Telephone call to go somewhere in the car would make what reinforcing? –Keys $1 million to draw a cat would make what reinforcing? –Pen

25 25 MO vs. SD How are they similar? –They both precede behavior –They both evoke operant behavior (but for very different reasons) How do they differ? –SDs have to do with the availability of a reinforcer (has the reinforcer been delivered in the presence of that object in the past?) –MOs have to do with the effectiveness of a reinforcer (Is the “reinforcer” reinforcing at that moment in time?) Take It to the Skinner Box!

26 26 Stimulus Control: Availability of the Reinforcer Food is reinforcing, but will only be delivered when SD is present Response: Press lever SR+: Food SD: Light on MO: Haven’t had anything to eat for 10 hrs Response: Press lever Extinction: No Food SΔ: Light off MO: Haven’t had anything to eat for 10 hrs

27 27 Response: Press lever SR+: Food SD: Light on EO: Hasn’t had anything to eat for 10 hrs Response: Press lever Food would be delivered, but it’s not an SR+ SD: Light on AO: Just ate a large amt of food MO Control: Value of the Reinforcer Food is available, but is only reinforcing when he is food deprived

28 28 Response: Bang on table Reinforcer: “Honey, don’t do that! You’ll hurt yourself!” S D : Mom in room S Δ : Dad in room No response MO: Low attention/ stimulation

29 29 Response: Scream Reinforcer: Break from work S D : Therapist Joe S Δ : Therapist Jenny No break MO: Difficult Task

30 30 Response: Hold out PECS picture of spoon Reinforcer: Spoon S D : Person in room S Δ : No person in room No spoon MO: Soup with no spoon

31 31 Response: “Open door” Reinforcer: Door is opened S D : Teacher S Δ : Peer Door is not opened MO: Sight of fire truck behind door

32 32 MO Interventions for Problem Behavior Maintained by Social SR + (Wilder & Carr, 1998) What are the social SR + functions of problem behavior? Noncontingent delivery of the reinforcer maintaining problem behavior –Functions as what type of MO to decrease problem behavior? –Noncontingent Reinforcement (NCR) AO Decreases effectiveness of… Abates… Providing tangible noncontingently Providing attention noncontingently

33 33 MO Interventions for Problem Behavior Maintained by Social SR - (Wilder & Carr, 1998) What are the social SR - functions of problem behavior? 3 Types of Interventions –NCR: provide escape from task or interactions noncontingently –Curricular revision: modify complexity, duration, rate, novelty of task –Stimulus or demand fading: Initially eliminate task demands and then slowly reintroduce them All of these function as AOs to decrease the effectiveness of escape as a reinforcer and abate behavior that has been reinforced with escape in the past

34 34 MO Interventions for Problem Behavior Maintained by Automatic SR (Wilder & Carr, 1998) Problem behavior maintained by automatic SR + –Examples? –Intervention: provide noncontingent access to the same type of stimulation that maintains the problem behavior –Hypothesize the sensory consequences that maintain problem behavior and identify toys/leisure items that provide similar stimulation (“environmental enrichment”) Problem behavior maintained by automatic SR - –Examples? –Intervention: eliminate or reduce the source of some type of aversive physiological stimulation or state –Provide drugs, massage, sleep

35 35 References Keller, F. S., & Schoenfeld, W. N. (1950). Principles of psychology. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. Michael, J. (1982). Distinguishing between discriminative and motivational functions of stimuli. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 37, Michael, J. (1988). Establishing operations and the mand. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 6, 3-9. Michael, J. (1993). Establishing operations. The Behavior Analyst, 16, Michael, J. (2000). Implications and refinements of the establishing operation concept. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 33, Skinner, B. F. (1938). Behavior of organisms. New York: Appleton- Century-Crofts. Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York: MacMillan. Sundberg, M. L. (2004). A behavioral analysis of motivation and its relation to mand training. In L. W. Williams (ed.). Developmental disabilities: Etiology, assessment, intervention, and integration pp. Reno NV: Context Press. Wilder, D.A., & Carr, J.E. (1998). Recent advances in the modification of establishing operations to reduce aberrant behavior. Behavioral Interventions, 13,


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