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Reinforcement. Reinforcement . Occurs when a stimulus change immediately follows a response and increases the future frequency of that type of behavior in similar circumstances Reinforcement can also strengthen the duration , latency , magnitude , and/or topography of behavior

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Reinforcement

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Reinforcement


Reinforcement

  • Occurs when a stimulus change immediately follows a response and increases the future frequency of that type of behavior in similar circumstances

  • Reinforcement can also strengthen the duration, latency, magnitude, and/or topography of behavior

  • How immediate?

    • The behavior closest in time to the reinforcer will be strengthened

    • When behavior is affected by a delayed consequence, language is probably playing a role and not simply reinforcement


Rule-Governed Behavior

  • Behavior controlled by a verbal description of a contingency

  • Example:

    • If you get your work done by the end of the day, we’ll go to McDonald’s.

  • Allows behavior to come under control of delayed consequences


Signs That Behavior is a Result of Rule Following Rather Than Reinforcement

  • No immediate consequence for the behavior is apparent

  • The response-consequence delay is greater than 30 seconds

  • Behavior changes without reinforcement

  • A large increase in the frequency of the behavior occurs following one instance of reinforcement

  • No consequence for the behavior exists, including no automatic reinforcement, but the rule exists


Common Mistakes in Talking About SR

  • Reinforce him when he points to right picture.

    • We reinforce behaviors, not people

    • How might you say the above sentence differently?

  • Practicing reinforces the skill.

    • What’s wrong with this statement?

  • Artificial reinforcement

    • Consider using contrived

  • Feedback = Reinforcement

    • Feedback: Info a person receives about a particular aspect of his behavior following its completion


Classifying Reinforcers

  • Unconditioned (Primary) SR

    • A stimulus change that functions as a reinforcer even though the learner has had no particular learning history

    • Examples?

  • Conditioned (Secondary) SR

    • A previously neutral stimulus change that has acquired the capability to function as a reinforcer through stimulus-stimulus pairing with a reinforcer

    • Generalized conditioned Reinforcer: conditioned SR that has been paired with a variety of reinforcers

  • Positive/Negative Reinforcers


Positive Reinforcement

  • Occurs when a behavior is followed immediately by the presentation of a stimulus that increases the future frequency of the behavior in similar conditions

  • Positive reinforcer: a stimulus whose presentation or onset functions as reinforcement


Positive Reinforcer SR+

ResponseR

Open a bag of chips

See chips

Have the cup in your hand

Reach out to your cup

Get a token on your token board

Say, “hi”


Negative Reinforcement

  • Occurs when a behavior is followed immediately by the removal, termination, reduction, or postponement of a stimulus that increases the future frequency of the behavior in similar conditions

  • Negative reinforcer: a stimulus whose termination or reduction functions as reinforcement

  • Can be unconditioned (e.g., pain) or conditioned (e.g., dirty look)

  • Note: Negative Reinforcement is not punishment!


Negative Reinforcer SR-

R

Cover ears

Loud sound goes away

Scream

Hard work is removed

No more scary sight

Look away


Escape and Avoidance

  • Previous examples were escape contingencies (the response produces escape from something)

  • Avoidance Contingency

    • Response prevents or postpones something

    • Examples

No stumbling

Walk perfectly

Look at teacher

No reprimand


Automatic Reinforcement

  • Reinforcement can be classified as social or automatic

  • Social Reinforcement: the reinforcer is delivered by another person

    • e.g., attention

  • Automatic Reinforcement: Reinforcement that occurs independent of the social mediation of others

    • Automatic Positive Reinforcement:

      • e.g., humming, eating something

    • Automatic Negative Reinforcement:

      • e.g., scratching an itch, spitting something out

    • Nothing special about it – it would be reinforcing if delivered by someone else

  • A behavior can be socially reinforced in some situations and automatically reinforced in others

    • e.g., playing a musical instrument

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    Automatic Reinforcer

    ResponseR

    Hum

    Hear nice sound

    Eat a candy

    Taste sweet

    Itch is gone

    Scratch itch

    Spit out lima beans

    Gross taste is gone


    Problem Behaviors Often Maintained by Automatic Reinforcement

    • Stereotypy

    • Self-injurious behavior (SIB)

    • Pica

    • “Habit” disorders? (e.g., trichotillomania, nail biting, skin picking)

    • Tics?


    Classifying SR by Physical Properties

    • Edible

    • Sensory

    • Tangible

    • Activity – opportunity to engage in a behavior functions as a reinforcer

    • Social


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