This article briefly explains the Three-term contingency and the Behavioural Perspective Model (BPM). It further draws upon the BPM to examine the extent to which all of the elements of the BPM could be combined to produce a more effective social marketing initiative to influence students not to smoke in the university cafeteria.
What is Behaviour Perspective Model?
It is an extension of the Three-Term contingency.
The Three-term contingency was devised by Skinner to influence the behaviour of organisms. He defined two types of intervention to shape behaviour. One is by associating the consequences to the behaviour, the other is by using the stimuli which encourage or discourage certain types of behaviour.
The Three-term contingency:
Verbal prompting + Sign
The Three-term contingency uses the following two elements (or a combination of both) to influence behavioural responses: -
Manipulation of the reinforcing consequences (R+/-)
Manipulation of the discriminative stimuli (SD) preceding the behaviour
The Behaviour Perspective Model (BPM):
The BPM extend the three-term contingency with the following two additional elements: -
The reinforcement is divided into two forms, along with their respective negative counterparts: o
Utilitarian reinforcement, Utilitarian punishment
Informational reinforcement, Informational punishment
Accommodation of individual learning histories together with the environment and their outcomes.
The utilitarian reinforcement means there is a direct positive outcome realised by the individual as a result of his action (from now I will use ‘his’ as implying either gender). Its counterpart utilitarian punishment means that there is a direct punishment as a result of the action. Informational reinforcement: There is an indirect positive consequence following a desired behaviour. On the other hand, informational punishment means there is an indirect negative consequence following the act of the unwanted behaviour.
Behaviour setting and learning histories:
Behaviour setting means the environment in which the behaviour is performed. This environment is transformed into the discriminatory stimuli as the individual’s ‘learning history’ when he performs the particular behaviour. Within the BPM framework, the learning history contains the individual’s entire unique past behaviours and their reinforcing consequences. The individual draws upon his learning history to predict the likely available consequences when he enters any situations. The BPM further breakdown the stimuli into the following four categories: Physical stimuli: The physical stimuli include elements which could be physically sensed, such as a poster, the temperature, or the layout of a room. Social stimuli: The social stimuli are the presence, absence, words, actions, and the thoughts of people. Temporal stimuli: The temporal stimuli are the related to time and events. Regulatory stimuli are the rules which constrain or enable behaviours. The following are the important elements of the learning history which impacts behaviour: -
Attitudes. The individual’s feelings and thoughts about an object, person, and situation will be shaped by their past experiences with those. -
Rules. The individual forms the decision ‘short-cut’ based on their past experience. -
Norms. The common perception in a particular circumstance.
To what extent could we apply all of the BPM elements to form a more effective social marketing initiative for the reduction of cigarette smoking in the University Cafeteria? The following illustrates how each of the BPM elements can be combined to influence an individual not to smoke in the university cafeteria.
Utilitarian reinforcement: This category of reinforcement uses direct positive consequences to influence the behaviour. Jessica G and colleagues (2. A Brief Abstinence Test for College Student Smokers) conducted a study to assess the effectiveness of the...
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