Three-Term Contingency Of The Day: Help Yourself...
Antecedent: Returning from lunch. See napkins on a table in the classroom.
Behaviour: Take a napkin.
Consequence: Keep the napkin to enjoy the look of it (so I was told!)
See a napkin. Take a napkin. How many times have we done this in our lifetime? Napkins set out on a table are free for the taking...usually. In this example however, I had a different purpose for setting out the napkins. I was using them as part of an activity to get participants in my ABA workshop to practice taking data. Since this is not the usual cause for setting up napkins on a table, one participant helped herself to a napkin before we resumed after lunch. Later in the session she confessed that she took one because it looked pretty. She was simply doing what she had been reinforced so many other times before, and I neglected to include additional stimuli that might have indicated to her that the napkins were there for another purpose. In the end, not a big deal and we had a little laugh over it!
Can we blame people for their little blunders or their "mistakes" when it's their environment that sets them up in the first place? Another example and reason not to take mistakes so personally.
My Own Data on Random Behaviours →
My apologies for not posting this week. I am working on my research paper and it would reinforce my procrastination to be writing something other than my paper. First paper, then summertime fun. First paper, then summertime fun. I’m not so convincing, but to make this post short (and if you’re at all interested in some of my other behaviours besides blogging about behaviour),...
Making It Legal: Strap on Urinals →
If guys are going to pee on trees (the discriminative stimulus [SD] to this behaviour), then alter the SD some and now their behaviour is much more acceptable. Sometimes it’s not about stopping the behaviour from happening. People at outdoor festivals have to and will pee. Rather, it’s about changing the circumstances under which they occur. Kudos to the designers and festival...
Four-term Contingency of the Day: For Strong Winds...
Motivating operation: It's bloody hot in our apartment!
Stimulus discriminative (Sd): Fan on the window sill.
Behaviour: I turn the fan on.
Consequence: Feel the cool breeze, escape the heat.
Yes, this is a post about a fan. It's probably pretty simple (read, boring) but it has been a lifesaver for us. As I lay in bed listening to the woosh of the breeze I can't help but think of its contingencies. This also highlights the possibility that a consequence can be interpreted as both positive reinforcement - in this case , the feel of the breeze - or negative reinforcement, as in escaping the heat. Here, the MO provides the clue. Since it's so hot out I'm more likely to want to escape the heat; hence, the turning on of the fan in my case is maintained by negative reinforcement.
Knowing What We Feel
Feelings are the sensations or energy of a stimulus coming into contact with our nervous system. Because these sensations occur within our own bodies, they are considered private events. A feeling may be thought of as one consequence of an act (e.g., one puts a french fry in their mouth and senses the taste of salt). Meanwhile, when we report what we feel (e.g., saying “Mmm, that was salty.”),...
Leading By Example
There is something wrong with getting a parking ticket by a parking officer doing the exact same thing as you in order to write up the ticket. The behaviour by one person is punished. The same behaviour by another is reinforced. I like to say, if you’re going to punish behaviour (not that I’m for or against punishment) at least don’t be modeling the same behaviour yourself.
Three-term Contingency of the Day: Practice Safe...
Antecedent: About to head outside on this gorgeous sunny day; sunscreen on the counter.
Behaviour: Slather sunscreen on myself.
Consequence: Avoid getting a sunburn (negative reinforcement).
The sun, as beautiful and life-giving as it is, can also be an aversive. A fair-skinned girl such as myself has learned from experiencing the punishment of too much sun. Rather than avoid the sun entirely, we have this behaviour of wearing sunscreen in our repertoire. A lot of our behaviors function as a means to avoid aversive stimuli. It's through negative reinforcement that these pain-avoiding and in some cases, life-preserving behaviours persist, contributing to our survival.
What other seemingly every day things do you do to prevent harm?