Establishing Conditioned Reinforcement

Many experiments have used an extinction procedure to investigate conditioned reinforcement. In most of these experiments, a conspicuous stimulus is presented just before the delivery of food. The new-response method involves pairing a distinctive stimulus such as a click with unconditioned reinforcement. After several pairings, the stimulus is presented without unconditioned reinforcement and is used to shape a new response. Another extinction technique is called the established-response...

Programming for Generality

In terms of direct treatment of problem behavior, applied behavior analysts have been concerned with the generality of behavior change (Baer, 1982 Stokes & Baer, 1977). That is, researchers attempt to ensure that their interventions produce lasting changes in behavior that occur in all relevant settings. As noted in Chapter 7, when organisms are reinforced in the presence of a particular stimulus, they typically produce a gradient of generalization that falls on both sides of the...

Respondent Aggression

When two organisms are placed in the same setting and painful stimuli are delivered, the organisms may attack one another (Ulrich, Wolff, & Azrin, 1964). The fighting generated by this circumstance is called respondent aggression (or pain-elicited aggression) because it follows the presentation of aversive events. Attack occurs even though neither individual is responsible for the delivery of the painful stimuli. Ulrich and Azrin (1962) placed two rats in an operant chamber and noted that...

Adjunctive Behavior

On time-based or interval schedules, organisms may emit behavior patterns that are not required by the contingency of reinforcement (Staddon & Simmelhag, 1971). If you received 5 for pressing a lever once every 10 min, you might start to pace, twiddle your thumbs, have a sip of soda, or scratch your head between payoffs on a regular basis. Staddon (1977) has noted that during the time between food reinforcers, animals engage in three distinct types of behavior. Immediately after food...

The Breland and Breland Demonstration

Marion and Keller Breland worked with B. F. Skinner as students and later established a successful animal training business. They conditioned a variety of animals for circus acts, arcade displays, and movies. In an important paper (Breland & Breland, 1961), they documented occasional instances in which species-specific behavior interfered with operant responses. For example, when training a raccoon to deposit coins in a box, they noted The response concerned the manipulation of money by the...

Successive approximation See shaping

A procedure used to train differential responding. The researcher arranges the presentation of SD and SA so that one follows the other. For example, a multiple schedule is programmed such that a red light signals VI food reinforcement, and this is followed by a green light that indicates that extinction is in effect. Superstitious behavior. Behavior that is accidentally reinforced. For example, a parent may inadvertently strengthen aggressive behavior when a child is...

The Choice Paradigm

Human Coin Despensor

In the laboratory, choice and preference are investigated by arranging concurrent schedules of reinforcement. Figure 9.1 shows a concurrent operant setting. In the laboratory, two or more simple schedules (i.e., FR, VR, FI, or VI) are simultaneously available on different response keys (Ferster & Skinner, 1957). Each key is associated with a separate schedule FIG. 9.1. A two-key operant chamber for birds. Schedules of food reinforcement are arranged simultaneously on each key. Author Photo....

Case Study of Self Control

In applied behavior analysis, self-control techniques may be taught to clients, who are then better able to manage their own behavior. As we have mentioned, one common FIG. 13.7. A changing criterion design used in the modification of excessive smoking as described From The Use of the Changing Criterion Design in Achieving Controlled Smoking in a Heavy Smoker, by D. Belles and A. S. Bradlyn, 1987, Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 18, 77-82, reprinted with permission...

Operant and Generalized Imitation

It is possible to train imitation as an operant in a social contingency of reinforcement. The discriminative stimulus is the behavior of the model (Sj del), the operant is a response that matches the modeled stimulus (Rmatch), and reinforcement is verbal praise (S ocial). Matching the model is reinforced, while noncorrespondent responses are extinguished. These social contingencies are similar to the discrimination experiments involving matching to sample for primary reinforcement (see Chapter...

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

Stanley Milgram

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....

Ratio Schedules

Mechner Notation

A fixed-ratio, or FR, schedule is programmed to deliver reinforcement after a fixed number of responses is made. Continuous reinforcement is FR 1 that is, the ratio is one reinforcer for one response. Figure 5.4 presents a fixed-ratio schedule diagrammed in Mechner notation. The notation is read, In the presence of a discriminative stimulus SD , a fixed number N of responses R produces an unconditioned reinforcer SR . In a simple animal experiment, the SD is sensory stimulation arising from the...

Assessment of Behavior Change

Behaviour Change Graph

Single-subject experiments require a preintervention baseline period of measurement. This baseline serves as a comparison or reference for any subsequent change in behavior produced by the independent variable. This baseline is essential in order to know if your independent variable has any effect. To construct an appropriate baseline, it is necessary to define the response class objectively and clearly. In the animal laboratory, the response class of pressing a lever is most often defined by...

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 Reinforcement And The Premack Principle

As you have seen, there are four basic contingencies of reinforcement. In each case, a stimulus is presented or removed contingent on operant behavior. The contingency is defined as punishment or reinforcement either positive or negative by its effects on behavior. One hundred dollars will probably strengthen operants that produce it e.g., betting 25 cents and pulling the handle on a slot machine . Once a stimulus or event has been shown to increase the rate of operant behavior it may be called...

Focus On B F Skinner

Skinner 1904-1990 was the intellectual force behind behavior analysis. He was born Burrhus Frederic Skinner on March 20,1904, in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. When he was a boy, Skinner spent much ofhis time exploring the countryside with his younger brother. He had a passion for English literature and mechanical inventions. His hobbies included writing stories and designing perpetual-motion machines. He wanted to be a novelist and went to Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where he...

Operant Conditioning

Thorndike Puzzle Box

Operant conditioning refers to either an increase or a decrease in operant behavior as a function of a contingency of reinforcement. In a simple demonstration of operant conditioning, an experimenter may alter the consequences that follow operant behavior. The effects of environmental consequences on behavior were first described in 1911 by the American psychologist E. L. Thorndike, who reported results from a series of animal experiments that eventually formed the basis of operant...

Edward Lee Thorndike 18741949

Watson's behaviorism emphasized the conditioned reflex. This analysis focuses on the events that precede action and is usually called a stimulus-response approach. Edward Lee Thorndike, another American psychologist Fig. 1.7 , was more concerned with how success and failure affect the behavior of organisms. His research emphasized the events and consequences that follow behavior. In other words, Thorndike was the first scientist to systematically study operant behavior, although he called the...

Conditioned Inhibition

Rescorla Wagner Model

The Rescorla-Wagner model can be applied to the phenomenon known as conditioned inhibition. When a CS is repeatedly presented without the US extinction , the conditioned stimulus is said to acquire increasing amounts of inhibition, in the sense that its presentation suppresses the response. Equation 1 may be expressed as Equation 2 and in this alternate form V is included with the VSUM term. Equation 2 predicts that when a CS acquires near maximum associative strength and extinction begins, the...

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...