Teaching Autistic Children

Autistic children show an early lack of social interaction with parents, other family members, and peers. For example, these children often resist being held and may have tantrums if picked up or hugged. When autistic children get older they may be mistaken as deaf because they don't talk or even establish eye contact when talked to. These children often show repeated stereotyped patterns of behavior such as rocking back and forth, spinning a top, wiggling their fingers in front of their eyes,...

Rule Governed and Contingency Shaped Behavior

People are said to solve problems either by discovery or by instruction. From a behavioral perspective, the difference is between the direct effects of contingencies (discovery) and the indirect effects of rules (instruction). When performance is attributed to direct exposure to reinforcement contingencies, behavior is said to be contingency-shaped. As previously noted, performance set up by constructing and following instructions (and other verbal stimuli) is termed rule-governed behavior...

Study Questions

In terms of therapy, what do applied behavior analysts focus on (362) Is there a role for talk therapy in applied behavior analysis (362) How do applied behavior analysts attempt to ensure lasting change or modification of behavior (362) In terms of generality of behavior change, what are the roles of stimulus generalization, response generalization, and behavior maintenance (362) Outline and analyze Don Baer's example of hypertension and how to program for lasting behavior change. (362)...

The Miller Experiments

It is difficult to rule out operant conditioning of other behavior as a mediator of reinforced reflexes. However, Miller and DiCara (1967) conducted a classic experiment in which this explanation was not possible. The researchers reasoned that operant behavior could not mediate conditioning if the subject had its skeletal muscles immobilized. To immobilize their subjects, which were white rats, they used the drug curare. This drug paralyzes the skeletal musculature and interrupts breathing....

On The Applied Side Activity Anorexia And The Interrelations Between Eating And Physical Activity

In 1967, Carl Cheney (who was then at Eastern Washington State University) ran across a paper (Routtenberg & Kuznesof, 1967) that reported self-starvation in laboratory rats. Cheney (author of this textbook) thought this was an unusual effect, since most animals are reluctant to kill themselves for any reason. Because of this, he decided to replicate the experiment, and he recruited Frank Epling (former author of this textbook), an undergraduate student at the time, to help run the research....

On The Applied Side Schedules Of Reinforcement Of Abstinence From Cigarette Smoking

The use of drugs is operant behavior maintained in part by the reinforcing effects of the drug. One implication of this analysis is that reinforcement of an incompatible response i.e., abstinence can reduce the probability of taking drugs. The effectiveness of an abstinence contingency depends on both the magnitude and the schedule of reinforcement for nondrug use e.g., Higgins, Bickel, amp Hughes, 1994 . In an investigation of cigarette smoking, Roll, Higgins, and Badger 1996 assessed the...

Resistance to Extinction

Resistance Extinction

As extinction proceeds, emotional behavior subsides and rate of response declines. When extinction has been in effect long enough, behavior may return to operant level. In practice, however, a return to operant level is rarely accomplished. This is because many extinction sessions are usually required before operant level is attained. Extinction is typically measured as the number of responses emitted in some amount of time. For example, a bird may be reinforced on CRF for 10 consecutive daily...

Focus On Issues Internal And External Validity In Experiments

A common reaction to laboratory experimental findings goes something like, What in the world does that research have to do with anything important Galileo may have been asked a similar question in the 17th century by church officials, when he was rolling balls down inclined planes and discovering the basic principles of physics. Consider an experiment in which rats are placed in a small, sound-proof chamber and are given a 45-mg food pellet after pressing a lever 50 times. The rat rapidly makes...

B F Skinner and the Rise of Behavior Analysis

Skinner Keller

The works of Pavlov, Watson, Thorndike, and many others have influenced contemporary behavior analysis. Although the ideas of many scientists and philosophers have had an impact, Burrhus Fredrick Skinner 1904-1990 is largely responsible for the development of modern behavior analysis. In the Focus on B. F. Skinner section, some details of his life and some of his accomplishments are described, and in the following, his contribution to contemporary behavior analysis is outlined. Skinner was...