1 Applied Behavior Analysis Reinforcement Elisabeth (Lisa) Kinney, M.S. September 19, 2007
2 Skinner Box & Reinforcement In operant conditioning, behavior is also affected by its consequences, but the process is not trial-and-error learning A hungry rat placed in a semi-soundproof box For several days bits of food occasionally delivered into a tray by an automatic dispenser Rat soon goes to the tray immediately upon hearing the sound of the dispenser A small horizontal section of a lever protruding from the wall has been resting in its lowest position, but it is now raised slightly so that when the rat touches it, it moves downward In doing so it closes an electric circuit and operates the food dispenser Immediately after eating the delivered food the rat begins to press the lever fairly rapidly The behavior has been strengthened or reinforced by a single consequence The rat was not "trying" to do anything when it first touched the lever and it did not learn from "errors."
3 Operant Conditioning Operant Conditioning Consequence = reinforcer Behavior selected by its consequences Talking, walking, playing the piano, baking a pie, hitting a curveball, laughing at a joke Individuals whose behavior is most sensitive to consequences are more likely to survive and reproduce Cooper, Heron, Heward, 2007
4 Principle of Reinforcement What is reinforcement? A principle Gravity doesn t work
6 Defining Reinforcement Reinforcer - A stimulus or event that will increase the future probability of a behavior when delivered contingent on the occurrence of the behavior. Necessary conditions Response has consequences Response increases Consequence causes the increase
7 Reinforcer Effect What does reinforcement do? Increase behavior
8 Reinforcer Definition What is a reinforcer? (p. 11) 1. it is an item or event that is delivered after a person has engaged in a behavior 2. results in an increase in that occurrence of that behavior
9 Examples of Reinforcement A man waiting for a bus opens his umbrella when it rains. A woman picks up her paycheck at the end of the week. A workshop attendee smiles and nods when the speaker makes a particularly important point.
10 Examples of Reinforcement A child cries at night when put to bed, and her parents come to her room to comfort her. A two-year-old has a tantrum in a grocery store when denied candy. His mother then buys him the candy to quiet him down. A teacher praises her student when he stays in his seat and pays attention.
11 Reinforcement Positive Reinforcement: any event or environmental change that increases the likelihood that an individual will repeat a behavior that occurred just before the event or change was delivered (p. 8). Negative Reinforcement: any event or environmental change that increases the likelihood that an individual will repeat a behavior that occurred just before the event of change was removed (p. 10).
12 Positive & Negative Positive reinforcement: a contingency wherein a particular stimulus is presented following a given target behavior (Behaviorspeak, 2003). no ; time out ; other examples Negative Reinforcement: a CONTINGENCY such that the removal of a stimulus is contingent upon the EMITTING of a particular behavior (Behaviorspeak, 2003). AVOIDANCE; not punishment; examples
13 Positive and Negative Reinforcement Both increase the probability that the behavior will occur in the future. Positive reinforcement is the addition of a stimulus that results in an increase in behavior Negative reinforcement is the removal of a stimulus that results in an increase in behavior Negative reinforcement is not punishment
14 Examples Positive Reinforcement A woman pops the top of a soft drink can and takes a drink Negative Reinforcement A man waiting for a bus opens his umbrella when it rains
15 Examples Positive Reinforcement A woman pops the top of a soft drink can and takes a drink A teacher praises her student when he stays in his seat and pays attention Negative Reinforcement A man waiting for a bus opens his umbrella when it rains A teacher allows her student to take a break once her work is done
16 Examples Positive Reinforcement A woman pops the top of a soft drink can and takes a drink Negative Reinforcement A man waiting for a bus opens his umbrella when it rains A teacher praises her student when he stays in his seat and pays attention A mother gives her child some candy in order to quell his tantrum A teacher allows her student to take a break once the child s work is done A child stops his tantrum when his mother gives him candy
18 Behavior definition Behavior is both what you don t want your student to do, and what you want your student to do Measurable In operant conditioning behavior is selected by its consequences which can be reinforcers
19 Is Behavior Antecedent give me hi Behavior Hands item to you Puts toy in mouth screams Consequence no
20 Is Not Behavior Antecedent Tucked into bed Person goes up to child Parent answered the phone Behavior Stayed up all night wanted a drink, played with toys, went back to bed Doesn t like me Wants attention all the time Consequence
22 How Do We Identify Someone s Reinforcers? Reinforcement varies from person to person No common properties allow us to identify reinforcers, other than their effect on behavior We need to assess reinforcers on an individual basis
23 Identifying Reinforcers I Like That! 1. Watching / observing for preferences 2. Structured Reinforcer or Preference Assessments 3. Teaching new reinforcers via pairing
28 Stimulus Choice Assessment Teachers, family members, therapists identify preferred objects or activities Individual identifies preferred objects or activities Free Access Paired Comparison
29 Preference Assessment Date(s): Items List of items/activities tested Instructions: Randomly select a pair to be tested. Place both items about 2ft apart and equidistant from D. If D approaches one item/activity, allow access for 5sec and remove the other item. Write the number of the selected item in the appropriate box above Block attempts to approach/contact both items simultaneously If no approach is made in 5sec, give each item to D and allow sampling. Then repeat test.
31 Reinforcer Assessment Reinforcer Assessment: one of the hallmarks of INDIVIDUALIZATION in ABA, this is a procedure to identify the stimuli and activities that a student finds reinforcing. This can be accomplished by simple leaving an individual alone with stimuli and activities, and seeing what the student gravitates towards. It can also be accomplished by presenting stimuli in pairs, and constructing a hierarchy based upon which [items] are chosen (Behaviorspeak, 2003). Drawbacks of the assessment: doesn t allow for teaching reinforcers.
32 Reinforcer Assessment Identify high and low preference stimuli Choose a behavior Compare high/low preference stimuli for ability to increase the behavior Use the identified reinforcer to increase the adaptive behavior
34 Conditioned Reinforcers Conditioned reinforcer: a reinforcer that was previously neutral, but has become a reinforcer through PAIRING with a previously-established reinforcer (Behaviorspeak, 2003). practice; examples
35 Types of Reinforcers Unconditioned Reinforcers Food Water Human contact Conditioned Reinforcers Praise Stickers Tokens Money
36 Primary & Secondary Primary reinforcer: a reinforcer that is effective without any prior learning (i.e., is in-born) (Behaviorspeak, 2003). often biologically based; examples Secondary Reinforcer: a consequence that was previously NEUTRAL, but has become a reinforcer through PAIRING with a previously established reinforcer (Behaviorspeak, 2003). conditioned or generalized reinforcer learned; born a clean slate?; token economies; examples
37 Pairing to Teach New Reinforcers Avoiding satiation Helping child mature Avoiding cavities Creating interest in peer activities Getting ready for school reinforcers The bottom line: money Establishing people & praise as reinforcers
38 Autism and Reinforcers What is autism? What are reinforcers for typically developing children? What are reinforcers for children with autism? How do we marry the two? Intrinsic & extrinsic reinforcement
39 Thank you! Elisabeth (Lisa) Kinney, M.S. Behavior Analyst Woodfords Preschool 6 Opportunity Lane Waterville, ME (207)
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