The Blame Game
How many times have you walked by a homeless person panhandling on the street and thought to yourself: That person must have made bad choices in their life? He/she must have done something wrong to end up on the street? I’m not giving them any money because they just need to clean themselves up and get a job? What if, instead of thinking of what the person did/did not do, or what they...
When locking my car, I always press the keyless entry two times in order to hear...– - Eric (whose behaviour is on a FR-2 schedule of reinforcement) A fixed ratio (FR) schedule of reinforcement is in place when a certain rate or number of behaviour occurrences occur before a reinforcer is delivered. It is the same as being paid piece-work. In this example, Eric’s button...
The conditioning of 'negative reinforcement' in...
The term ‘negative reinforcement’ is present in our everyday vocabulary. Very few people however, use the term correctly. I would love to know when ‘negative reinforcement’ evolved from its true definition and became a label for punishment. They are not the same thing and yet time and time again I am correcting people on their misuse of the words ‘negative...
Four-Term Contingency Of The Day: Cold Remedy
Motivating Operation: Coughing and congested. My head hurts
Discriminative Stimulus: Package of NeoCitran and the kettle
Behaviour: Prepare and drink NeoCitran
Consequence: Headache goes away, less congested, less coughing (negative reinforcement)
I'm sick [insert whine here]. NeoCitran has worked to eliminate my symptoms in the past and so it was highly likely that I would go for the NeoCitran again. Here I am in bed blogging about it. Anytime we take something to remedy what ails us and it works, our remedy of choice is negatively reinforced. This means we are more likely to use the same remedy should we find ourselves under the same circumstances.
Cold medications have one job to do and that is to rid the person of their symptoms. They don't need to taste good, look sexy or have flashy selling features. If they stick to what works and it does, people will use their product again. I wonder how loyal people are to their over-the-counter medicines?
Learning Styles or Similar S(d)s?
There’s been recent talk on Twitter around the debunking of ‘learning styles’. You may have completed a number of checklists that in the end summarize what kind of learner you are - visual, auditory, kinesthetic. Or maybe you are a converger, diverger, assimilator or an accommodator according to Kolb’s model? From a behaviourist perspective however, you are just a...
Four-Term Contingency Of The Day: Laundry
Motivating operation: No clean clothes to wear and the bed sheets are dirty.
Antecedent: Laundry basket full of clothes, washing machine nearby.
Behaviour: I do a couple loads of laundry (a much more complicated behaviour chain than I can describe here).
Consequence: I have clean clothes to wear (positive reinforcement); I have clean sheets to sleep on (negative reinforcement).
Oh laundry...why do I wait until the absolute possible moment to clean you? Each day I see that laundry basket piling up; but until I'm faced with a situation where I need the clean clothes, the laundry does not get done. As long as I have clean clothes in my closet, my motivation for doing laundry will remain low. It is not until I need another batch of clean clothes do I drag my butt off the couch (and down the 68 stairs, I might add) to do the laundry.
I'm certain that only I would find it interesting that meanwhile, the function of my laundering the bed sheets is to escape the dirt found within them. Remember that negative reinforcement occurs when an unwanted stimulus (e.g., dirt) is paused, reduced or eliminated by performing the behaviour. This positive outcome makes future episodes of the behaviour more likely. I only have one set of bed sheets for our guest bed. So instead of going to another set and washing them later, I needed to wash the set that I have in order to have clean sheets on the bed for my next arrivals. My friend Andrea and her new hubby from Australia will be here in a few short days!
And so the laundry is now done and I have just analyzed the act of doing it. What have I become?
Three-term Contingency of the Day: Hot, Hot, Hot!
Antecedent: Boys and girl outside on the patio; chili pepper plant nearby.
Behaviour: Boys each eat a chili pepper.
Consequence: Tastes hot; tongue is burning.
I use this example to highlight how a consequence can either be a reinforcer or a punisher depending on the person. I've been tricked into eating these chili peppers before. I did not enjoy my experience and haven't eaten another one since. Therefore, the hot taste worked as punishment for my eating chili pepper behaviour. The boys on the other hand? Well, they went back for more, suggesting the hot taste likely reinforced their eating chili pepper behaviour.
Same consequence but different outcomes on future behaviour. Go figure boys!
Anonymous asked: where are you doing your graduate work at?
psychology2010 asked: From a behaviorist point of view, how can we get people to click on ads on websites more (such as those on my own tumblr)? I feel like we are conditioned to ignore ads or something.
Can you help a person without controlling the...
When a person asks for help, what they are essentially asking for is a change to their behavioural repertoire so that behaviour(s) can come in contact with reinforcement or avoid being punished. To change a person’s behaviour is to change the environmental conditions the person comes in contact with (Skinner, 1974). In the process of offering help, the helper may change up the cues/materials...