Cooper Chap 12

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Q:Negative reinforcement can be defined as: Stimulus _______________, contingent upon a response, which _______________ the future probability of that response.

A:Removed, increases

Q:Which of the following is an example of a negative reinforcement contingency?

A:Jo is sitting near a window at Starbucks having a cup of coffee. The sun is streaming in the window, and it is too warm for Jo-she is beginning to perspire. Jo moves to another chair away from the window, where it is shady. The next time Jo goes to Starbucks, she sees the sun shining in the window again and sits in the chair in the shade instead.

Q:Mary Jo decides to implement a negative reinforcement intervention with one of her students, Anjali, to increase the amount of work Anjali completes. Mary Jo tells Anjali, if you complete 15 math problems today (Monday), you don't have to do your math worksheet on Friday. What is one problem that might arise with this intervention?

A:The best answer here is that the stimulus change following the occurrence of the behavior is not immediate. There is no evidence that Mary Jo is being inconsistent in reinforcement delivery or that the reinforcer is available for competing behaviors. However, even if Mary Jo is consistent in delivering the reinforcer on Friday, this intervention is not likely to work because so much time will elapse between the occurrence of the target behavior and the delivery of the reinforcer. Especially early in an intervention, it is important that the reinforcer immediately follow the target behavior. The magnitude of the difference in stimulus conditions before and after the target behavior is relatively high-that is, Anjali will go from having to complete 15 math problems to completing no math problems.

Q:Unlike assessments for identifying positive reinforcers, assessments for negative reinforcers must place equal emphasis on _______________ as well as the consequence events for target behavior.

A:In an escape contingency the EO is present prior to the occurrence of the target behavior, while in an avoidance contingency, the EO is not present prior to the occurrence of the target behavior.

Q:Which of the following is an example of free-operant avoidance?

A:All of these are examples of an avoidance contingency because in each example, the individuals engage in a behavior (crossing the street, putting on a helmet, and lowering hurricane shutters) to avoid the presentation of a currently absent aversive stimulus (talking to Donna, a head injury, and broken windows, respectively).

Q:Which of the following behaviors could be maintained by negative reinforcement?

A:All of these behaviors could be maintained by negative reinforcement. The removal of an aversive stimulus can reinforce a variety of target behaviors. Whether those target behaviors are socially appropriate or not is irrelevant.

Q:An unconditioned negative reinforcer:

A:Unconditioned negative reinforcers influence people's behavior because we have inherited the capacity to respond to them. These are stimuli that we do not have to learn to avoid. These stimuli are aversive because they produce pain and/or discomfort. Examples of unconditioned negative reinforcers are electric shock, loud noises, intense light, and temperature extremes.

Q:The textbook describes a study by Ahearn and colleagues (1996), in which negative reinforcement was used to increase food acceptance in children. In this example, during baseline, bite acceptances produced access to toys and bite refusals produced removal of the spoon (negative reinforcement). During the intervention, bite refusals no longer produced removal of the spoon. Instead, the spoon was only removed if a bite was accepted. As soon as a bite was accepted and every time a bite was accepted, the spoon was briefly removed. Which factors that are important to consider for effectively changing behavior with negative reinforcement are illustrated in this example?

A:This example clearly illustrates all of the characteristics of an effective negative reinforcement intervention. The acceptance of a bite immediately and consistently produced negative reinforcement. The spoon was never removed if the bite was not accepted, ensuring that negative reinforcement was not available for competing responses. And the magnitude of stimulus change before and after the target behavior was large and clear (i.e., the spoon was present prior to the target behavior and was removed following the target behavior).

Q:The study by Rodgers and Iwata (1991) that analyzed the effects of positive reinforcement, error correction procedures, and an avoidance procedure demonstrated that:

A:Error correction procedures may produce learning, at least in part, due to an avoidance contingency.

Q:Ethical concerns about the use of negative reinforcement stem from:

A:The use of negative reinforcement is concerning to some because it requires the presentation of aversive stimuli as an antecedent (EO) to a target behavior. In some cases, this may involve presenting stimuli that are particularly noxious to individuals in order to motivate them to engage in the target behavior. The presentation of these noxious stimuli can also generate undesired behaviors, such as running away and crying. Negative reinforcement contingencies do not require one to deprive an individual of positive reinforcement over time-this is required, however, for positive reinforcement contingencies, which creates its own ethical dilemmas. Negative reinforcement contingencies do not require the presentation of an aversive stimulus following a target behavior. This is associated with punishment procedures, however, assuming that such procedures produce a decrease in the future probability of the target behavior.

Q:The potential negative side effects (e.g., crying, running away) of negative reinforcement are similar to the side effects associated with:


Q:Write the definition of negative reinforcement and provide an example of negative reinforcement that has not been discussed in class or presented in the textbook. When giving your example, write it in the form of the diagrams found in the textbook, and be sure to include all four components of the diagram.

A:The definition of negative reinforcement is stimulus removed (terminated, reduced, or postponed) contingent upon a response, which increases the future probability of that response. Answers for examples will vary. However, your answer should be in the following format and should include all of these components:

Be sure that your example includes an aversive event in the EO box and that the aversive event is terminated, reduced, or postponed in the SR- box. The response box should have an observable response in it. The SD box should have some sort of cue in it. To the right of your diagram, there should be an arrow pointing up with a statement below it that includes the target response noted in the "Response" box and a statement that this response is observed to increase under the same conditions in the future.

Q:What are some stimuli that might serve as negative reinforcers? Identify at least one negative reinforcer that is unconditioned and one negative reinforcer that is conditioned. Then, select one and show how that negative reinforcer could be used to teach a behavior (the behavior can either be socially appropriate or socially inappropriate). Use the diagramming notation presented in class to illustrate the negative reinforcement contingency.

A:Examples of unconditioned negative reinforcers might be electric shock, loud noises, intense light, extreme temperatures. The key is that these stimuli are aversive due to our inherited capacity to respond to them. Examples of unconditioned reinforcers are difficult, demanding tasks and parental nagging. These stimuli were once neutral to the individual but become aversive because they have been paired with other aversive stimuli. For example, parental nagging may be paired with spankings or being sent to time-out. Examples will vary for the diagrams, but your diagram should follow the format below and should include all components:

Q:What is the key difference between an escape contingency and an avoidance contingency?

A:In an escape contingency, the aversive stimulus is present as an EO prior to the occurrence of the target behavior. The target behavior then terminates that EO. For example, if it is raining outside and raindrops are falling on your head, putting up an umbrella terminates raindrops falling on your head. In an avoidance contingency, the aversive stimulus is NOT present as an EO prior to the occurrence of the target behavior. However, it is "threatened." By engaging in the target behavior, the individual avoids the presentation of that aversive stimulus. For example, if you are inside and you are planning to go outside, but you see that it is raining, you might put up your umbrella before you walk out the door to avoid having raindrops fall on your head. Both of these examples are negative reinforcement contingencies, but the first is an example of an escape contingency and the second is an example of an avoidance contingency.

Q:Explain the difference between social negative reinforcement and automatic negative reinforcement.

A:Social negative reinforcement requires another individual to deliver or mediate the reinforcement. For example, if it is very noisy outside, an individual may ask a person sitting near the window to close the window. When the other person closes the window, the loud noise is terminated. In this case, another person delivered (mediated) the reinforcement. In automatic negative reinforcement, the reinforcer is delivered as a function of engaging in the target behavior. For example, if I walk across the room and close the window, which terminates the noise, this is automatic reinforcement. My response of closing the window produced the reinforcement.

Q:What are four things you can do to increase the effectiveness of negative reinforcement?

A:The four factors that can increase the effectiveness of negative reinforcement are: (a) the stimulus change must follow the occurrence of the target response immediately, (b) the magnitude of the reinforcement must be large, (c) the negative reinforcer must be provided consistently when the target behavior occurs, and (d) reinforcement should be unavailable for competing (nontarget) responses.

Q:You are working with a child with autism, who engages in problem behavior to escape completing daily living tasks, such as washing his hands before lunch. You would like to teach this student to politely say, "Don't want wash hands," rather than to tantrum when told to wash his hands. You set up an instructional program where you will make several hand-washing requests throughout the day in order to provide the child with opportunities to practice saying "Don't want wash hands." Each time the child makes this request, you allow him to escape washing his hands. What are the ethical issues that might arise from such a plan and how can you plan for and/or decrease these negative effects?

A:One ethical issue that arises with the use of negative reinforcement is that to implement it, an aversive event must be present. In some cases, this aversive event is more noxious than in others. In the example given here, the aversive event is a request for the child to wash his hands. This aversive event is not as noxious as other aversive stimuli, for example the presence of an electric shock. Therefore, the ethical issues involved in presenting the aversive stimulus are not as significant as they would be with more noxious events. Another ethical issue is that the presentation of the aversive stimulus may generate behaviors that compete with acquisition of the target behavior. That is, the presentation of a hand-washing request may produce a tantrum, which could interfere with the development of more appropriate verbal requests. Such negative side effects can be reduced by ensuring that the target appropriate behavior is easier to do than the inappropriate behavior (see Chapter 11) and by prompting the more appropriate response (see Chapter 17).

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