Psych Behavior

Topics: Reinforcement, Operant conditioning, Applied behavior analysis Pages: 6 (1095 words) Published: May 26, 2014
April 3rd, 2014

(Chapter 1 & 2)

Behavioral view
-Covering all psychological theories doesn’t allow you to learn enough about any one theory. -There is more scientific data supporting behavioral psychology compared to other views. -With education in behavioral analysis, you can get a job as soon as you graduate using ABA – Applied Behavior Analysis.

Biologically helpful stimuli may NOT be reinforcers.
-ex) Exercise

Biologically harmful stimuli CAN be reinforcers.
-ex) salt, processed sugar, trans fat, cigarettes


Reinforcement Principle – a response will occur more frequently if a reinforcer or an increase in a reinforcer has followed it in the past, in a similar setting.

Reinforcement Contingency – a response contingent presentation of a reinforcer, resulting in an increased frequency of that response.

Environmental Quality General Rule – You can increase the frequency of entering a setting by putting more reinforcers in that setting, but you will have to make some reinforcers contingent on productive behavior if you want that to increase productivity in that setting.

Skinner Box – commonly used test chamber invented by Douglas Ellson. Includes a response device and a source of reinforcers.

The “Don’t Say” Rule – with non-verbal organisms, don’t say………
- Expects- Associates
- Knows- Learns that
- Thinks- Imagines
- Figures out- Understands
- In order to - Don’t say “wants”
- Trying to
- Makes the connection


Aversive stimulus – a stimulus that increases the future frequency of a response that its removal (termination) follows. -the removal or reduction of an aversive stimulus, contingent on a response, reinforces that response….as a result, the frequency of that response increases. -

Escape response – one that removes or reduces an aversive stimulus -Example) Ed receives a shock….so he moves his leg and receives no shock. The removal of the leg is an escape response and aversive stimulus is the electric shock.

Escape contingency – the response contingent removal of an aversive stimulus resulting in an increased frequency of that response. -form of reinforcement by removal of an aversive stimulus

Reinforcer vs Reinforcement by the removal of aversive stimulus -They both produce the same results ---an increased response frequency -

Functional Assessment – an assessment of the contingencies responsible for problem behavior
3 Strategies

Sick Social Cycle (Victim’s escape model) - in escaping, the perpetrator’s aversive behavior, the victim unintentionally reinforces that aversive behavior.

Parsimony – the use of no unnecessary concepts, principles, or assumption.

Toothpaste theory of abnormal behavior - abnormal behavior flows out of sick people like toothpaste squeezed from a tube. The abnormal behavior results from inner pressure.


Punishment contingency – response contingent presentation of an aversive condition (negative reinforcer) resulting in a decreased frequency of that response

Overcorrection – a contingency on inappropriate behavior requiring the person to engage in an effortful response that more than corrects the effects of the inappropriate behavior. Sick-social cycle (victims punishment model) – the perpetrator’s aversive behavior punishes the victim’s appropriate behavior. The victim stopping the appropriate behavior unintentionally reinforces that aversive behavior.

Independent variable – the variable the experimenter systematically manipulates to influence the dependent variable

Dependent variable – a measure of the subject’s behavior

Multiple-baseline design – an experimental design in which the replication involves baselines of differing durations and interventions of differing starting times.

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