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Unit 4
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  1. Unit 4 Rule-governed behavior Performance Diagnostic Checklist

  2. Unit 4: Introduction & Schedule • Unit exam over study objectives (27 points), Wednesday, 10/17 • Michael: Indirect acting contingencies • Malott: Rule governed behavior • Gaetani et al: Applied study on self monitoring • Exercise: PDC analysis and interventions (8 points), due this Wednesday • PM project proposal due, Monday, 10/15 • One week from tonight

  3. PDC Exercise for Wednesday • Use the PDC from the Pampino et al. article from U2 to conduct a functional assessment for: • 1-2 pinpoints you identified in U2 for a job you have had or • Interview another member of the class and do an assessment for 1-2 pinpoints they identified • This will work best if you identify a pinpoint that represents a performance problem, but you can also do it on a pinpoint that is being performed well

  4. PDC exercise, cont. • State the job title and measures, indicating whether this is for a job you have had or if you interviewed another class member • Provide a graph similar to the ones on page 11 of the U2 Pampino et al. article • Bar graph showing the % of questions that identify a problem in each of the four areas of analysis • Antecedents • Equipment and processes • Knowledge and training • Consequences (note that most of the questions “No” represents a problem, but not always)

  5. PDC exercise, cont. • Identify (just using bullets): • 2-3 major problems (no training, no feedback, no conseq) • Or for good performance, 2-3 things mgt is doing that helps sustain/maintain that good performance • Based on the preceding step: • list/state 2-3 possible interventions that could potentially improve performance - in some detail, in other words, don’t just say, “add feedback” rather be a bit more specific (posted task clarification, private graphic feedback once a week, posted group feedback, etc.) • Or for good performance, 2-3 things that mgt could do in addition to what they are doing to improve performance even more • Your recommended intervention must be based on your PDC analysis - that is the point of doing the PDC analysis • You will lose points if you do not do this

  6. Phooey!! Introduction to rule governed behavior • When dealing with changing the behavior of human adults, certainly workers, we are usually dealing with indirect acting contingencies, not direct acting contingencies. • In order for consequences to affect behavior directly, they must occur within 60 seconds or so after the behavior (molecular perspective) • You often hear: • If workers go on strike and management gives in, management has reinforced workers for going on strike • The sales commission that sales rep receive once a month reinforces their sales behaviors Both Michael and Malott would say: Well, Malott would, jack would be likely to say something stronger)

  7. SO2: Michael on indirect contingencies • Michael makes a very complex argument with respect to the example he analyzes about grant writing. • Example A person applies for a research grant and then 6 months later gets a letter in the mail informing him he has gotten the grant. And then the person writes more grants. Many would call getting the grant money reinforcement for writing the grant. But Michael says, “NO! It is no, even though grant writing may increase.” (not going to talk about SO1)

  8. SO2, cont. • I want to go through his argument carefully and head off a problem • Michael is NOT arguing that the delay is the main problem. Many Malottians say that - and while that is a problem, it is not Michael’s main argument. (he wants to convince molar folk as well, so he is not arguing the point simply on the delay issue) • Rather, Michael is basing his argument on the “automaticity of reinforcement.” • That is, that operant conditioning is automatic - if a particular reinforcer follows a behavior, that behavior will increase in the future.

  9. Michael’s example again A researcher writes a research grant and 6 months later receives a letter indicating he received the money. As a result, he writes more grants. Now assume the researcher writes a research grant and 6 months later receives a letter telling him he has received the same amount of money as an inheritance.

  10. Michael’s argument • I think we would all agree (as would Michael) that the inheritance money would not increase grant writing • But, Michael’s point is if operant reinforcement was at work, that is, if we were dealing with direct acting contingencies, then both the grant money and the inheritance money should increase grant writing • If money is a reinforcer, then it should increase grant writing regardless of whether it was money from a granting agency or an inheritance • Why? Because of the automaticity of reinforcement. A reinforcer will increase any behavior it follows - the organism doesn’t have to understand “why” he/she is getting it - all that is important is that the Sr follows behavior

  11. SO2, cont. • Others would say: (the molar perspective) • Those situations are very different! • Receiving grant money is causally related to writing the grant while the inheritance money is not. • Therefore, it IS simple reinforcement • How does a person “know” the money is causally related to the grant? • A lot of other behaviors occurred in between • Without a complex verbal repertoire (indirect acting cntg), the grant money would not increase grant writing

  12. Michael’s unstated underlying argument • Reinforcement increases behavior when consequences are causally related to the behavior, when there is an if-then relationship between behavior and the consequence • However, we also know that “adventitious” reinforcement also increases behavior • Reinforcement that just “happens” to follow a behavior will increase that behavior as well • That is, behavior can be accidentally or “adventitiously” reinforced • SO2B: Why/how is the following example related to Michael’s argument about grant writing?

  13. Contingent Reinforcement: FR1 Reinforcement Schedule From lecture Adventitious Reinforcement: FT20” Reinforcement Schedule From lecture

  14. SO2C: Analogous contingencies, from lecture Contingent reinforcement: (assume FR1 for pigeon) Adventitious Reinforcement: (assume FT for pigeon)

  15. SO3: Direct and indirect effects • Michael then provides examples from OBM where procedures are likely to influence behavior, but consequences are too remote to be “simple” reinforcement/punishment • Makes the point that the indirect effects are the ones we are interested in - the direct effects are not very interesting • Monetary bonus for sales reps for meeting quota, and checks are placed in the mailboxes on Friday afternoon • Direct effect, increase sales • Indirect effect, look in mailbox more frequently on Friday afternoons, or walks more quickly to the mailbox on Friday afternoon (picked on OBM because of me!)

  16. SO3: More examples: Direct and indirect effects • A wrestler who is too heavy and needs to make weight for a meet eats small meals one day. The next morning he steps on the scales and sees he has lost weight. • Direct effect? • Indirect effect? • Weekly lottery for attendance. When workers arrive on time to work, they receive a “lottery ticket” that is placed in a hat and the drawing is held at the end of the week. • Direct effects? • Indirect effect? (picked on OBM because of me!)

  17. SO4: 3 clues that an effect is indirect (briefly) • Delay - if the consequence is delayed by more than 60 seconds • Preconsequence increase in behavior • Tell workers in advance that we are going to implement a feedback program and they increase performance before getting the feedback • Ask a worker to stay late and finish a project and that you will take the worker to lunch the next day if he/she stays - and the worker stays late.

  18. SO4: 3 clues, cont. • Large change in behavior as a result of a single delivery of a consequence: direct effects tend to occur gradually • Praise a worker for mopping up oil spills on the floor, and the worker then does it from then on • Criticize a worker for smoking near flammable material - he never does it again (I am not going to talk about SO5 - straightforward)

  19. SO6: Three reasons why are we successful even if we talk about indirect effects as direct effects • Some OBM interventions do involve direct acting contingencies • Praise that immediately follows behavior • On-line feedback/measurement in mfg • “We don’t get distracted by by inner directedness, rather we look to the environment for causal variables and manipulate those variables.” • Examples - related to SO6B • In BBS, we don’t try to change “attitudes” by only posting signs about how important safety is. Consequate performance. • We don’t try to change “satisfaction” in order to increase productivity (1st and 3rd are quite straightforward - students have trouble with the second)

  20. SO6: Third reason why are we successful even if we talk about indirect effects as direct effects • Our methdology and empiricism: may be the most important reason • Objective measurement of performance/behavior • Record/measure behavior over time as it occurs in the workplace • As a result, we constantly assess whether our interventions are actually working • Daniels, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” • 50% of experimental articles in JAP used self-report measures to assess the effects of their interventions - we know how unreliable verbal reports are

  21. Malott’s definition of a rule • A rule is a verbal description of a behavioral contingency, where a contingency consists of: SD: R ––––> Sc (consequence)

  22. SO7: Malott on rule-governed behavior • 7A: Biggest problem with respect to self-control for humans? • Not the delay, which is a problem with nonhuman animals • Nonhuman animals, smaller, more immediate consequences control behavior much more effectively than smaller, long delayed conseq. • Delay is not a problem with humans as evidenced by the large number of indirect acting contingencies (interventions) that have significantly affected behavior/performance

  23. SO7A cont. • So, the biggest problem is not the delay, but the fact that consequences are often: • Too small to reinforce or punish the response even though the cumulative impact may be crucial for the individual • Immediate punishers of smoking are too small to affect smoking, even though cancer is likely • Immediate effects of exercise are too small to maintain exercise program to maintain weight and health

  24. SO7B: Confound in analysis of example: Wittkopp, Rowan, & Poling The example: • Performance Issue: Machine set-up times in a manufacturing environment • Feedback intervention significantly decreased set-up times and increased annual gross profits of the company by 10%

  25. Malott’s analysis • Initial problem: Long set-up times were due to small, cumulative outcomes. That is, each single instance of off-task behavior had minimal adverse impact on the company’s profit, and short set-up times had minimal positive effect • Malott says if the following rule existed, workers would not have a problem following it (even though consequence is long-delayed, it is now sufficiently big to affect performance): A single unauthorized coffee break will reduce your machine’s gross profit by 10% for the year, but will not take effect until exactly one year after the illegal coffee break.

  26. Malott’s analysis: A confound according to Dickinson • A single unauthorized coffee break will reduce your machine’s gross profit by 10% for the year, but will not take effect until exactly one year after the illegal coffee break. • Do you buy Malott’s analysis that “any operator who was planning on staying with the company for the next year should have no problem complying with such an easy-to-follow rule, though the outcome would be delayed.” • Do you think a set-up mechanic would follow that rule? • Why or why not?

  27. The confound--- from lecture

  28. Example: Forklift driver loading boxcar • Check the boxcar to insure that cases of the product were not damaged in shipping • No nails, straps or metal boards that would damage cases • No contamination such as grain, chemical powder, liquids • No holes in sides, floor or ceiling of the boxcar that would expose cases to weather and contamination

  29. Some consequences: • Fewer customer complaints • Gets praise from supervisor • Takes longer to load boxcar • Must work harder due to physical effort • Increase number of cases not damaged or contaminated • Costs related to damaged goods reduced • Customers will order more products because they arrive in good condition

  30. So Dickinson’s addition: from lecture

  31. SO9A: Back to Malott, the 2nd problem that makes rules hard to follow for humans • Improbable/uncertain consequences • Safety: workers can perform unsafely many, many times and never get hurt • No safety goggles - usually no eye damage • Don’t mop up oil spills - no falls • Poor lifting techniques - no back strains • Walk under or jump over moving conveyer belt - no falls, clothing or body parts don’t get caught in belt • Change light bulb using chair rather than step ladder? • When pealing potatoes or fruit, cut toward yourself with blade rather than away (trimming/flashing plastic parts in mfg) (first - consequences are too small and only “matter” asthey “cumulatively” add up)

  32. SO9B • If a person has a “close call,” he or she will usually perform safely for a while, but then stops performing safely. Why, from a behavioral perspective? R (perform safely) ––> Sr- (avoids injury) • Avoidance - no salient, obvious consequence, so the behavior will extinguish • Particularly a problem if the unsafe behavior is followed by immediate positive reinforcers, such as less effortful, takes less time

  33. Avoidance behavior is hard to maintain Even in the operant laboratory with nonhumans and “tight” control, avoidance behavior (analogous to performing safely) is very difficult to maintain. Eventually the organism will not engage in the behavior and come into contact with the aversive consequence. Only then will the organism start responding again. R (avoidance behavior) ––> Sr- (avoids aversive) No R (no avoidance beh) ––> Sp (aversive)

  34. SO10: Easy and hard to follow rules • Easy to follow rules, outcomes are • Sizeable • Probable • Hard to follow rules, outcomes are • Too small (but may have cumulative large effect) and/or • Improbable • Delay is irrelevant • From lecture

  35. SO11: Same confound in Malott’s analysisPersonal vs. organizational outcome: Wilk & Redmon • For exam • What was Malott’s analysis in terms of the change from the hard to follow rule to an easy to follow rule - that is, what was changed to make it an “easy to follow” rule according to Malott • What is the confound in Malott’s analysis according to Dickinson? • From lecture • From lecture (not going to over this or talk about it - but I do want to add the third and fourth parts I want in your answers - I could not give them to you in the SOs without giving away the answers to earlier SOs.)

  36. SO12: Procrastination - why isn’t the rule an SD? Add for the exam: Explain your answer A person has four hours to finish a project before the deadline. The rule? If I do not get to work right now, I will miss the deadline and look bad. Why isn’t the rule an SD?

  37. SO12: from lecture- explain!

  38. SO13: Even when the rule describes an indirect contingency, what controls rgb? Explain. • Direct acting contingencies, specifically direct acting escape* contingencies • That is, molecular contingencies are responsible for rgb • The statement of the rule is an MO that: • Establishes noncompliance as a learned aversive condition, thus • Increasing the reinforcing value of the termination of the aversive condition and • Evoking behaviors that have, in the past, terminated the aversive condition (escape contingency because of the immediate reduction in the aversiveness of the situation) • Thorny issue, NFE. Is the rule an MO or is the learned aversive condition it generates the MO, or are both MOs? (note escape, not avoidance!)

  39. What’s missing from the analysis, but assumed? • Add to SOs: According to Dickinson, when will a rule establish noncompliance as a learned aversive condition and when won’t it? • Noncompliance with the rule will only be truly aversive if the outcome/consequence stated in the rule is valuable (reinforcing) to the individual. • If “not looking bad” to the supervisor is not valuable for the individual, then the rule statement would not be expected to generate a learned aversive condition (next slide - Malott’s counter argument?)

  40. Would Malott counter with the following? NFE • There is such a thing as “generalized rule following” that may make noncompliance with any rule somewhat aversive depending upon one’s learning history • Malott’s “Jewish mother” metaphor • In other words, there are rule followers and people who are not rule followers and the extent to which you are a rule follower depends upon your reinforcement history • Do you obey written signs? • Do you “follow rules” when there is no one there to consequate that behavior? (well, enough - onto SO 15)

  41. SO14: What causes a person to state a rule, for example when facing a deadline? • Malott is providing a complete analysis of the sequence of behaviors • If we are to completely explain/analyze rgb, not only do we have to analyze how rules govern behavior, but we have to analyze why a person states a rule to begin with

  42. SO14, cont. • Simple situation where someone prompts you. “Don’t you have something to do right now?” “Aren’t you supposed to be working?” • More interesting analysis is when someone doesn’t prompt you -

  43. SO14, cont: No prompt from someone else • Observing yourself being unproductive (or not doing what you are supposed to be doing) generates a learned aversive condition • You observe your own behavior and the visual and other stimuli from that observation are the causal stimuli • Stating the rule decreases the learned aversive condition of observing yourself being unproductive R –––––––>MO: R ––––––––> Sr- observe stimuli/not working state rule decrease aversive yourself aversive cond stimuli & condition

  44. SO14, cont: Complicated! (NFE) R –––––––>MO: R ––––––––> Sr- observe stimuli/not working state rule decrease aversive yourself aversive cond stimuli & condition MO noncompliance with rule another av. condition MO: noncompliance with rule aversive condition R –––––––––> Sr- comply with decrease in aversive rule condition caused by noncompliance

  45. SO15: Malott’s analyses of organizational culture • 15A. For cultural practices to deal effectively with contingencies that are not direct acting… Leaders must be able to describe organizational contingencies and rulesthat are related to the survival of the organization/culture (from context, not directly stated this way in the article) • 15B&C. The important role of leaders is to… • Describe the contingencies related to organizational survival • Develop rules that will effectively influence worker behavior with respect to the contingencies related to survival • Explicitly state the rules to workers, especially the management team, and monitor compliance with those rules (Agnew & Redmon)

  46. Gaetani et al. self-monitoring study • Nice article that demonstrates the importance of personal consequences and the necessity to be very obvious and explicit about how the targeted performance will affect the individual • Small business owner (machine shop) who often came to work late - an average of 3 hours and 45 minutes during baseline! • First had him self-record “lateness” but it wasn’t until the researchers had him record the number of potential lost customers that his behavior was consistently affected over time (am not going to go over many of these study objectives)

  47. SO21: Not answered in text • Based on the graph, do you buy the authors’ conclusion that the addition of data plotting (following self-logging) decreased tardiness further? Why or why not?

  48. SO24: Two excellent points • The two points may seem redundant to you - they are very similar, however: • 24A. The first relates to all types of consequences (not just consequences associated with self-monitoring) and relates to the fact that a consequence must be specific and personally relevant • 24B. The second point relates specifically to self-monitoring: Self-management and self-monitoring may have limited impact if the value of the target behavior is not explicitly clarified (in this case, tardiness = loss of potential customers and business)

  49. Questions?? • On to PDC project