….roll in behaviour analysis!
A colleague of mine posted this on Facebook earlier today. Sure, this is one way to contrive a motivating operation (MO) and set up the environment to directly deliver the conditioned reinforcer (in this case, money) upon completion of the desired behaviour.
Does this mean we should do this for all teens? No
Does this mean behaviour analysts just have to hide money in all sorts of places and tell people to get at it? No
Isn’t this mom manipulating the situation for her own gain? Maybe. Manipulation is a loaded word. Perhaps this mother has asked her child many times to clean their room and has had no response. The reinforcement of her approval cannot complete with whatever else is maintaining a messy room and she’s trying a different approach.
But come on Tricia, this young person should want to clean his room because she/he wants it that way. Doesn’t this ruin the person’s intrinsic motivation? Not sure there is intrinsic motivation to ruin in this situation. There are just some things that people do not like doing (but should get done). Sometimes people make contact with the natural consequence (e.g., my room is clean, feels great to have a clean room) and other times we do things because it gets us access to other tangibles (e.g., money) Nothing wrong with that.
As a teenager, I might have needed this incentive to clean my room. As an adult, I eventually learned the value of having a clean room, but only when the right conditions present themselves - I’m sick of the mess, there are people coming over, or I need clean clothes to wear. These are also sources of MO which make having a clean room (or clean clothes) more valuable.
But really, how socially significant is a clean room anyway?