CHYS 3P47 - Test #2 - 2022

1. (L) Using definitions from the textbook and/or lecture, distinguish between conditioned and unconditioned reinforcers. Give two examples of each.
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- Conditioned Reinforcers:
o A previously neutral stimulus that is repeatedly paired with an established reinforcer that will now function as a reinforcer.
o Stimuli that were not originally reinforcing but have become reinforcers by being paired or associated with other potential reinforcers or something that is an unconditioned reinforcer.
§ (You were not born with these being reinforcing; something MADE them to be reinforcing to you)
§ Ex., praise, a picture of a loved one, favourite TV show, and/or clothes that make us look good.
- Unconditioned Reinforcers:
o Stimuli that are reinforcing without any prior learning or conditioning.
§ (These stimuli are biologically determined: Survival value for the individual ("Hard-wired" into most humans)).
§ Ex., food, water, human contact, getting away from pain, etc.
- Backup Reinforcer:
o A tangible item that serves as reinforcers and can be acquired with conditioned reinforcers
o (When a stimulus becomes a conditioned reinforcer through deliberate association with other reinforcers, the other reinforcers are called backup reinforcers).
§ Ex., a dog trainer pairs the sound of a whistle with the delivery of a dog treat to a dog. A treat is a backup reinforcer and after several pairings, the whistling sounds becomes a conditioned reinforcer. Later, when training the dog to roll over, the sound of the whistle is presented as an immediate conditioned reinforcer, and the whistling sounds continues to be intermittently paired with the treat.
§ Ex., children getting check marks for good behaviour and the check mark is paired with a candy. The candy is the backup reinforcer, and the check mark becomes the conditioned reinforcer. But it must occasionally be paired with the backup reinforcer to remain effective.
o The backup reinforcers in Erin's program were the opportunity to go on social media
o A target behaviour of mine that I would like to improve is eating so much junk food. Every day that I avoid junk food, I get a point on the calendar and the backup reinforcer would be I get one small gift sent to me from my Amazon Wishlist.
o The points were conditioned reinforcers because they are paired with the opportunity to get something off my Amazon Wishlist. The backup reinforcer for the points is also a conditioned reinforcer because I was not born with the stimuli provided by online shopping being unconditioned reinforcers for myself.
- Simple Conditioned Reinforcer:
o A simple conditioned reinforcer is a conditioned reinforcer that is paired with a single backup reinforcer.
§ Ex., subway token (money), coupon for a free hamburger (food) because you can only redeem one thing with those reinforcers.
- Generalized Conditioned Reinforcer
o A generalized conditioned reinforcer is a stimulus that is paired with more than one kind of backup reinforcer.
§ Ex., money, because you can do a bunch of different things with money like buy food, clothes, and more.
- Simple Conditioned Reinforcer < Generalized Conditioned Reinforcer
o A generalized conditioned reinforcer is more effective than a simple conditioned reinforcer because generalized conditioned reinforcers are not dependent on just one MO (motivating operation).
o They also lead to maintain stronger conditioned reinforcers since the more backup reinforcers there are available allows for any one of them to be strong enough to maintain the conditioned reinforcer, at any given time.
- Stimuli = Conditioned Reinforcers BUT NOT Tokens
o Ex., Praise, a call to dinner, the sight of a loved one, or a friendly greeting.
These are all associated with more powerful reinforcers, and therefore are conditioned reinforcers. However, they are not tokens because they cannot be accumulated and exchanged for various backup reinforcers
- Conditioned Reinforcers - Factors that Influence Effectiveness:
I. The Strength of Backup Reinforcers
§ The reinforcing power of a conditioned reinforcer depends in part on the reinforcing power of the backup reinforcer(s).
II. The Variety of Backup Reinforcers
§ The reinforcing power of a conditioned reinforcer depends in part on the number of different backup reinforcers with which it has been paired.
· Ex., money is a strong generalized reinforcer because of its pairings with many backup reinforcers such as food, clothing, shelter, entertainment, etc.
III. The Number of Pairings with a Backup Reinforcer
§ A conditioned reinforcer is likely to be stronger if it is paired with a backup reinforcer many times.
· Ex., encouraging statements (i.e., "good boy!" to your dog) immediately following a desirable behaviour is likely to be a stronger conditioned reinforcer is that expression has been paired with, for example, pets for your dog, many times as opposed to having been paired with pets just once.
o Unaware-Misapplication Pitfall
§ People who are unfamiliar with the principle of conditioned reinforcement may unknowingly misapply it.
· Ex., A parent reprimands a child for poor behaviour. As a result, the child begins to cry. After seeing this, the parent feels guilty and runs to the child, hugs them, and gives them a treat. The possible outcome of this procedure is that scolding could become a conditioned reinforcer that would maintain, not eliminate the behaviour it follows.
o Partial-Knowledge-Misapplication Pitfall
§ Ceasing to pair a conditioned reinforcer with a backup reinforcer can have unfortunate results for those who are not aware that this will cause a conditioned reinforcer to lose its value.
· Ex., A teacher uses happy face stickers to reward good grades on tests but fails to use effective backup reinforcers. The result is that the stamped happy faces will lose whatever reinforcing power they may have had when they were first introduced.
o Conditioned reinforcement is involved in influencing babies to babble sounds in their nature language even without the presence of an adult because of automatic conditioned reinforcement - a reinforcing effect produced by a response due to the resemblance of that response to a conditioned reinforcer - the sounds of the vocal responses have become conditioned reinforcers - automatically strengthen their production responses.
(L) When you are defining behaviour operationally, describe three things that the definitions must consist of to help ensure accuracy. Briefly describe eacho Objective: it can be observed (by one or more of the five senses). It does not include any reference to internal states nor to a person's motives. Guessing and subjective judgements, on the part of the observer, are not required. o Clear: the behaviour is "clear" such that an observer can read it, and readily perform the response. o Complete: it describes what is an instance of the behaviour, and what it not an instance of the behaviour. A non-example is a behaviour that may be mistaken for the target behaviour.What are the two parts to the principle of operant extinction?o Two parts to the principle of operant extinction are § If an individual emits a previously reinforced behaviour, and that behaviour is not followed by a reinforcer, § Then that person is less likely to do the same thing again when next encountering a similar situation.(L) Write out two examples of operant extinction following undesirable behaviour that are not in the textbook. For each example, specify the situation, response, immediate consequences, and long-term effects.o Example #1 § Situation: A child is riding in the car with his Mom § Response: Child cries and yells when they want to go to the park § Immediate Consequences: the parent ignores this and continues driving § Long-Term Effects: The child will be less likely to cry and yell being when they drive by the park next time. o Example #2 § Situation: You are sitting in your living room with your dog and strangers walk by your large window. § Response: Your dog starts barking loudly at the strangers § Immediate Consequence: You do not react to the strangers or your dog barking § Long-Term Effects: Your dog might be less inclined to bark at strangers being that they get nothing out of it.Is a parent ignoring a child's behaviour an example of operant extinction? Explain why or why not on the basis of the definition of operant extinction.It would be extinction only if the attention of the parent was the reinforcer that was maintaining the behavior that was being ignored. However, if the child's behavior was maintained by some other reinforcer, such as attention from another child, then ignoring the behavior by the parent would not be extinction.Is telling someone to stop eating candies and the person stops an example of operant extinction? Explain why or why not on the basis of the definition of operant extinction.No. With extinction, a behavior decreases in frequency because instances of that behavior are no longer followed by a reinforcer. With candy eating, the reinforcer is the good taste. If the child ate the candy, the good taste would still be there. Thus, the behavior (eating candies) stopped because of being told to stop, not because the reinforcer was withheld following instances of the behavior.Describe an example of combining extinction with positive reinforcement of an alternative behaviour.o Ben, a 2-year-old, screams when seeing a cookie as a request for one. o Ben's Mom prompts him to engage in approximation for "cookie" rather than screaming for one o Therefore, Ben's Mom would no longer provide the cookie following the screaming (extinction) and would only provide the cookie following an approximation of the cookie (reinforcement). o Thus, Ben still receives the cookie (a reinforcer), but under circumstances where a more appropriate and acceptable behaviour occurs - engaging in an approximation such as "cuh" or "ooo" without screaming.Differentiate between continuous reinforcement and intermittent reinforcement. (L) Give an example that addresses their effects on resistance to extinction of a child's behavior.o Continuous Reinforcement: § Is an arrangement or schedule in which each instance of a particular response is reinforced. o Intermittent Reinforcement: § Is an arrangement or schedule in which a response is reinforced only occasionally or intermittently rather than each time it occurs. o Example that addresses Continuous & Intermittent effects on resistance to extinction of a child's behaviour § In general, behaviour that has been intermittently reinforced extinguishes more slowly than behaviour that has been continuously reinforced. Behaviour that extinguishes slowly is said to be resistant to extinction. § For example, if a child consistently cries when they want a snack. It will take longer for operant extinction to eliminate their crying completely if sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn't than if it always paid off before being ignored completely. § Extinction is typically quicker after continuous reinforcement than after intermittent reinforcement.(L) Write out two examples of operant extinction following desirable behaviour that are not in the textbook. For each example, specify the situation, response, immediate consequences, and long-term effects.o Example #1: § Situation: You're in the car on a drive with your boyfriend. § Response: You tell your boyfriend that you're interested in getting married. § Consequence: Your boyfriend turns up the radio and seems very disinterested in the conversation. § Long-Term Effects: You are now less likely to try to have this conversation with your boyfriend, or conversations regarding your future together, in the future. o Example #2: § Situation: You are sitting at the dinner table with your family § Response: You tell your family about how well you did on a presentation in class. § Consequence: Your family looks at one another and start a conversation with one of your siblings, expressing disinterest. § Long-Term Effects: With your family, you are less likely to talk about similar topics in the future.Why is it necessary to consider the setting as a factor influencing your operant extinction program?It is necessary to consider the setting as a factor influencing your operant extinction program to (a) minimize the influence of alternative reinforcers on the undesirable behaviour to be extinguished and (b) maximize the chances of the behaviour modifier persisting with the program.What is an extinction burst? Describe an example.o An extinction burst is a temporary increase in responding during extinction. § Ex., Suppose a child at home constantly yells or claps to gain their Mom's attention. The mother, who keeps track of the frequency of yelling and/or clapping for a while and then ignores the yelling/clapping would probably observe an increase in the behaviour in the first few minutes of extinction before the behaviour gradually begins to taper off. § In other words, an extinction burst demonstrates that when operant extinction is introduced, it is crucial that you stick with it because things usually get worse before they get better (I.e., an extinction burst).What is spontaneous recovery? Describe an example.o Spontaneous recovery is the reappearance of an extinguished behaviour following a break. § Ex., suppose that a mother initiated an operant extinction program for their child who yells and claps to get their attention. The yelling and clapping occur 10 times at dinner but there are no further instances of the behaviour. The Mom thinks that the child has stopped with the clapping and yelling. But the next day, the behaviour occurs 5 times at dinner.In a sentence each, describe 8 general factors influencing the effectiveness of operant extinction.B1 - The control of reinforcers for the behavior that is to be decreased such as reinforcers presented by other people undoing your extinction. 2 - Combining extinction with positive reinforcement for an alternative behavior that is favored. 3 - The setting in which extinction is carried out minimizing the influences of alternative reinforcers on undesirable behaviour and maximizing the chances of the behaviour modifier persisting with the program 4 - instructions or rules may help decrease the time it takes to extinct the behaviour. 5 - The schedule of reinforcement before extinction such as continuous reinforcement and intermittent influence effectiveness. 6 - Extinction urst. Behaviour being extinguished may get worse before it gets better. 7 - Elicited Aggression: Extinction might produce aggression that interferes with the program. 8 - Spontaneous Recovery - reappearance of an extinguished behaviour may occur after a delay.Describe an example of a pitfall of operant extinction. What type of pitfall does your example illustrate?o One example of a pitfall of operant extinction would be the unaware-misapplication pitfall. This happens when individuals are unaware of the natural laws and principles of operant extinction that of which operates whether or not we are aware of it. Those who are unaware of extinction are more inclined to apply it unknowingly to those around them and to their desirable behaviours. § Example · Situation: A man is rushing to catch the elevator up to his office for a meeting. A woman notices him. · Response: The woman holds the elevator door open for him. · Immediate Consequences: The man gets on the elevator and doesn't say a word as they ride the elevator up to his floor, where he exits. · Long-Term Effects: The chances of the woman holding the elevator door open in similar situations are decreased. · This is an example of the unaware-misapplication pitfall. § Example #2 § (ex. A child misbehaving because they want attention: if you yell no and reprimand them , they are still getting that positive reinforcement (attention) and therefore you are accidentally reinforcing their behaviour)Suppose that, immediately after swearing, parents remove a portion of the child's weekly allowance, and the result is that swearing decreases. Is this an example of operant extinction?No... this would not be extinction, as the swearing behavior was not previously reinforced by receiving an allowance. The removal of the allowance contingent upon swearing is called response-cost punishment.Define shaping. What is another name for shaping?o Shaping is the development of a new operant behaviour by the reinforcement of successive approximations of that behaviour and the extinction of earlier approximations of that behaviour until the new behaviour occurs. o Shaping is also known as the method of successive approximations.Explain how shaping involves successive applications of the principles of positive reinforcement and operant extinction.o Shaping involves successive applications of the principles of positive reinforcement and operant extinction that approximate the behaviour more and more. o Example: § A baby who is babbling and then makes an mmm or da sound will be positively reinforced by parents (through praise, smiles etc.) since it is the first part of the word mama/dada. The baby will likely make those sounds more frequently because they got positive reinforcement. After a while, the baby might say 'mama'/'dada' and that behavior will be met with further positive reinforcement. § After the child says mama/dada, just saying mmm or da is no longer worth reinforcing and will be put on extinction by the parents since they won't be excited/give positive reinforcement since now the baby says a more complete version (approximation). § The next step will be when the baby says mommy/daddy and then mama/dada will be put on extinction.Why bother with shaping? Why not just learn about the use of straightforward positive reinforcement to increase behaviour?o Positive reinforcement is used to encourage an occasional behavior to happen more frequently whereas shaping can be used to establish a behavior that the individual never performs. Therefore, one must bother with shaping because you cannot give reinforcement if the behavior never occurs.In terms of the three stages in a shaping procedure, describe how parents might shape their child to say a particular wordo a) Specify the final target - identify what word you want them to be able to say (ex. Mommy) o b) Identify a response that could be used as a starting point in working toward the final target behavior - start out with the first syllable (ex. mmm) o c) Reinforce the starting behavior; then reinforce closer and closer approximations until eventually the final target behavior occurs - provide reinforcement when the baby says the first syllable (mmm), then when they manage to say a version of the word ('mama') reinforce that and then finally, reinforce the final word (mommy)List five dimensions of behaviour that can be shaped. Give two examples of each.i) Topography - Extent of follow through on a golf swing OR extent of follow through when kicking a ball. ii) Frequency/Amount - Number of shoes tied in 10 minutes OR number of high fives given in 30 seconds. iii) Duration/Amount - Length of time running a race OR length of time spinning in circles. iv) Latency - the time between the question "are your shoes tied" and the response of looking at your shoes OR the time between the question "what time is it" and the response of you looking at your watch. v) Intensity (force) - Force of a punch in boxing OR force of a body check in hockey.(L) Describe a behaviour of yours that was shaped by consequences in the natural environment, and state several of the initial approximations.o A behaviour of mine that was shaped by consequences in the natural environment was gradually learning how to ride my bike. The first approximation was to ride the bike with training wheels. The next approximation was to try to ride without training wheels but with my Dad holding the back of my bike seat as I peddled. The approximation following this was my Dad letting go of the seat and me learning how to peddle/ride on my own (the consequence being that I frequently fell off my bike). Finally, I learned how to ride the bike without training wheels and now I don't fall off.Define final target behaviour in a shaping program and give an example. The define starting behaviour in a shaping program and give an example.o Final Target Behaviour in a shaping program refers to what the individual wants the end behaviour to look like. For example, if someone wants to start working out, their final target behaviour might be going to the gym at least 5 days in a week. o Starting Behaviour in a shaping program refers to a "first step" which is a distant approximation of the final target behaviour. For example, if someone wants to start working out, their starting behaviour might be going to the gym at least once.Why is it necessary to avoid under-reinforcement at any shaping step? Also, why is it important to avoid reinforcing too many times at any shaping step?o It is necessary to avoid under-reinforcement at any shaping step because if you try to go to a new step before the previous approximation has been established, you may end up losing the previous approximation through extinction without achieving the next step. o However, it is also necessary to avoid over-reinforcement or reinforcing too many times because if one approximation is reinforced for so long that it becomes extremely strong, new approximations are less likely to appear.Give an example of the Unaware-Misapplication Pitfall in which shaping might be accidentally applied to develop an undesirable behaviour. Describe some of the shaping steps in your example.o Suppose that a child receives little attention from parents but one day realizes if he taps them then they will look at him and ask what he wants. Because of this reinforcement (in the form of gaining the attention he desires), he is likely to repeat this behavior again when he wants attention. However, after doing it a few more times, perhaps the parents will no longer respond to this method and just ignore his tapping, hoping he will stop. When the child realizes that this no longer works, he may start pinching the parent for them to give attention (approximation to the first step but a little more intense). Since this hurts the parent, they are likely to start giving him attention in the form of reprimanding to try and stop the behavior. If the pinching stops getting their attention however, the child may become even more violent and hit his parents to get attention (final behavior). In this example, the final behavior was hitting however it starts with a first approximation of tapping and then a second approximation of pinching before finally escalating to the final stage.Give an example of a pitfall in which the failure to apply shaping might have an undesirable result.An infant who is beginning to babble must be encouraged by parents to help with the shaping and development of their language (i.e., turning 'mm' into 'ma' into 'mama' etc.). If the parents fail to implement shaping procedures in this case, the child may have a harder time learning language and could end up with an intellectually disability due to the delay in learning language.(L) Why do we refer to positive reinforcement and operant extinction as principles but to shaping as a procedure?o We refer to positive reinforcement and operant extinction as principles but to shaping as a procedure because: § principles are procedures that have a consistent effect and are so simple that they cannot be broken down into simpler procedures § whereas procedures are combinations of the principles of behaviour analysis which involve a set of principles.