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Reward - What are the problems? 465
Terms in this set (17)
What is reward?
Reward, otherwise known as positive reinforcement is the presentation of a reinforcer following a behaviour in attempt to increase the likelihood of the behaviour reoccurring in future. This reward is pleasant, rather than aversive, and is a favoured method of reinforcement by many. However the use of reward is not without its downfalls.
What is bribery?
Reward or positive reinforcement is often referred to as bribery. While not all forms of reinforcement are bribery, the issue of bribery does arise when the reinforcement used is implemented for the BENEFIT of the person DELIVERING IT, rather than for the direct benefit of the client.
What is a related issue to bribery?
The use of high probability behaviours to achieve an immediate end e.g. giving a child a chocolate bar in the supermarket to keep quiet, actually benefits the parent.
What is the solution to bribery?
The chance of bribery is reduced if reward is implemented by a TRAINED professional (e.g. psychologist) who knows the APPROPRIATE situation in which to implement reward.
What is the problem with using extrinsic reinforcers?
The use of extrinsic reinforcers can lead to some problems. It is thought that perhaps the use of extrinsic rewards can undermine the value of intrinsic rewards. For example giving a child money for receiving an A in a class, rather than praise. Ideally you want
When using an extrinsic reinforcer on a rich schedule of reinforcement
It is extremely likely there will be behaviour change, however once the reinforcer is removed, due to the behaviour being very transient, there is often relapse in unwanted behaviour
How does therapy itself become an extrinsic reinforcer?
Therapy itself can become an extrinsic reinforcer. The therapy situation can become more reinforcing than the natural world, and the individual can become a sort of therapy "addict". This can lead to several problems such as the individual purposely exhibiting unwanted or inappropriate behaviour in order to gain access to therapy.
What is the solution to the problems associated with using extrinsic reinforcers?
- Wherever possible aim to use reinforcers tied to the behaviours NATURAL function, or natural rewards. The use of natural rewards result in the best chance for behaviour maintenance.
- If this is not possible, use extrinsic reinforcers for a long enough amount of time that they become intrinsic. For example, there may not be any social reinforcers immediately for weight loss, so other extrinsic reinforcers may be needed, but over time people will begin to praise the individual and provide intrinsic reward.
What is counter control?
Counter-control is when the implementation of positive reinforcement results in opposing forces from other directions or individuals. For example, reinforcing a child differently to the rest of the group (classroom) or siblings, can result in envy from peers.
What is the solution for counter control?
If possible, include peers and siblings in the intervention to avoid counter control. OR use intrinsic natural reinforcers that do not set the individual apart from others like extrinsic reward may.
What is the problem with withholding reinforcement until the correct behaviour occurs?
This can result in hostility and aggression and a variety of other inappropriate behaviours. For example, if rewarding all children with ice cream for finishing their vegetables, yet one child does not finish his or her vegetables, this may result in crying, whining or a tantrum.
ALSO, the promise of reward can sometimes lead to incompatible behaviours e.g. the promise of ice cream if remaining quiet at an appointment may cause so much excitement and anticipation the child is unable to keep quiet.
SOLUTION = maybe don't mention the upcoming reward
What are the three operant effects that can arise due to use of reward?
Reinforcement is associated with a number of operant effects including
1) Generalisation and discrimination
2) Response induction
What is generalisation/discrimination? How can we achieve it?
If behaviour change is limited to a specific setting then discrimination occurs (and behaviour change will not occur in other settings)
Ideally you want to change behaviour across all settings, generalisation even though the transfer to a novel environment (e.g. school) can result in removal of the reinforcer (e.g. praise by parent for not yelling)
SOLUTION = Diverse training using a variety of rewards/reinforcers across a variety of settings increases the chance of generalisation. As well as the use of multiple agents to deliver the reward. Natural reinforcers will help also.
What is response induction? What is the solution?
Sometimes other inappropriate behaviours associated with reward will increase in frequency as well e.g. child given lollies for completing homework results in ALL behaviours being ENHANCED to try and get reward (lollies), even NEGATIVE behaviour e.g. doesn't finish dinner yet demands lollies. It is INAPPROPRIATE to implore agent for more reward and may interfere with the target behaviour.
SOLUTION = make SURE to only reinforce the target behaviours and no other behaviours
What is imitation? What is the solution?
The child or client may imitate the AGENTS behaviour in order to change the behaviour of others e.g. try and reinforce peers with lollies.
SOLUTION = do NOT use arbitrary rewards and try to use natural reinforcers where possible.
Any other considerations?
- Be careful the client does not become clingy or attached to the agent because of the presentation of reinforcement. This interferes with development of the target behaviour and generalisation.
SOLUTION = vary reward, vary avenues of reward, don't let reward ALWAYS follow signal, train diversely
In CONCLUSION - what can you do?
Use of reward or positive reinforcement can be very successful however it is not without its shortcomings therefore it is extremely important that several considerations are made when using reward.
It is important that a variety of novel reinforcers natural to the environment are used.
It is important that diverse training occurs
MUST reinforcer occurrences of generalisation.
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