This lesson covers:
BCAT B-1: Positive reinforcement
BCAT B-2: Negative reinforcement
BCAT B-7: Conditioned reinforcer
BCAT B-8: Unconditioned reinforcer
BCAT B-10: Deprivation
BCAT B-11: Satiation
BCAT B-16: Consequence
BCAT D-19: Continuous reinforcement
BCAT D-20: Intermittent reinforcement
The consequence is the third and final part of the three-term contingency. It is defined as the outcome that occurs immediately following the patient’s response.
The consequence determines if the behavior will increase or decrease over time. The type of consequence depends on the type of response that occurs.
|Teacher says, "Give me the blue cup."||⇨||Jacob gives the blue cup.||⇨||Jacob gets a chip.|
As previously discussed, reinforcement is a type of consequence that happens after the behavior has occurred. It is defined as an immediate presentation of a desired stimulus or removal of an aversive stimulus that increases the future frequency of a response. It is something that occurs after a behavior that makes that behavior more likely to occur in the future.
It can involve receiving something (positive reinforcement) or having something non-preferred taken away (negative reinforcement).
Reinforcement is used when a patient engages in a correct response, and it should be presented immediately following correct responses. The stimulus presented or removed is called the reinforcer (abbreviated as Sr).
|Teacher says, "Go to the kitchen."||⇨||Jacob goes to the kitchen.||⇨||Jacob gets a chip.|
|Teacher says, "Write your name."||⇨||Child writes his name on paper.||⇨||Teacher says "Way to go!" and gives high five.|
EXAMPLEReceiving a paycheck for coming to work.
All right, you ready?
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Seven. Whoo! Way to go!
What is it?
Pants. Very good. Here you go.
Here you go.
Here you go.
Touch nose. Ohh! Oh my goodness! That as super.
That was a good job.
EXAMPLEThe patient is told that if they complete five of the eight math problems, they do not have to do the remaining three.
Om, nom, nom!
Do you not want it?
Jump around and say, "I don't want banana."
OK. Tell me what you want, then.
|Also called unlearned or unconditioned, primary reinforcers, are things that reinforce our behavior from birth. They are typically the most powerful reinforcers. They do not have to be learned, thus they are considered unconditioned reinforcers.|
|Also called learned or conditioned, secondary reinforcers are things that become reinforcers because they have been paired with other reinforcers. These are things that may function as reinforcers for a patient (preferences are going to differ for every individual).|
Many things influence the effectiveness of a reinforcer including the condition of the patient’s motivation.
Deprivation from a reinforcer can increase reinforcer effectiveness.
|EO||Reinforcer (Sr)||Reinforcer (Sr) Effectiveness|
|Patient hasn't eaten for a while.||Food||Is Increased.|
|Patient hasn't had anything to drink for a while.||Juice||Is Increased.|
|Patient hasn't played with favorite toy for a while||Favorite Toy||Is Increased.|
Satiation of a reinforcer can decrease that reinforcer’s effectiveness.
|AO||Reinforcer (Sr)||Reinforcer (Sr) Effectiveness|
|Child just ate lunch.||Food||Is Decreased.|
|Child just drank a glass of juice.||Juice||Is Decreased.|
|Child just played with a ball.||Favorite Toy||Is Decreased.|
In addition, the patient’s current motivation can influence the effectiveness of a reinforcer.
As a behavior technician, you will need to be sensitive to MOs that may decrease the effectiveness of the reinforcers or consequences you use. Specifically, if you think your patient may be satiated with respect to a particular reinforcer, you will want to use a different reinforcer.
--going to do? Which one are you going to do?
Which one are you going to do? [INAUDIBLE]
Look at, Mommy.
OK listen, she'll be right back, but I got a surprise for you. You want to see it?
OK, come here. I'll show you. I'm going to show you. We've got something cool to play with. Do you know what this is?
Yeah. Do you want to play with it?
Also, consider the difficulty and amount of the task versus the amount of reinforcement.
We're watching. Happy Feet right now. And it has helped us in his feeding as per a suggestion.
We stop it and make it fun for him to take his next bite.
Take a bite.
Take a bite.
Not only did he feed himself his applesauce and laughed the whole time he fed himself six or eight bites of soup, which he's never done. He's done that two meals in a row, so looking forward to today.
Finally, consider how freely the the patient has access to that reinforcement at other times. If the patient has unlimited time with the iPad outside of the session, will this still be motivating for them to “work for”?
OK. Give me the pizza.
Oh my goodness! You did such a good job!
Intermittent reinforcement is used to maintain behaviors previously learned or “mastered” (also known as “on maintenance”) and occurs after every two, three, four, five, etc. correct responses or after an average number of responses
OK, look. Let's look at the cars. What color do you want do you want to play with?
OK. I have a game. You want to play it?
OK, jump down. You want help?
All right, you got it. Come over here. It's a fun game. Watch.
Let's see, can you put the orange under the chair? Ooooh. You got it. Nice job.
I got another one, look. Can you put it on top of the chair?
Yay! Give me five. Give me five. Give me five. Oop, too slow. Give me five. Oop, too slow. Give me five. Oop, too slow. Give me five. Yes! You got it.
OK, can you put it behind the chair?
Yeah. Wyatt, good job!
Where is it?
It's behind. See, behind. You want to give me five again?
You think you're fast enough? Nope, too slow. Give me five. Nope, too slow. Ah! You got it. Good job.
Can you put it in front of-- wait, let's wait. One more. Can you put it in front of the chair?
Front. Let's try it again. Get the car. Can you put it in front of the chair?
Oh, so smart. Here it comes.
[MAKES BUZZING SOUND]
Oh, here you go. Thanks!
Typically, you will move from primary to secondary reinforcers. This means, for instance, moving away from food reinforcers to toy and activity reinforcers. Your BCBAs will tell you what kinds of reinforcers to use with each of your patients.
You will also typically move to natural reinforcers. Outside of the therapy environment, people don’t usually give children candy or crackers or start blowing bubbles when they say "Hi" to another child, answer another child’s questions, or join a conversation.
When we initially teach skills like greeting another child or responding to another child, we might use primary reinforcers such as food, or secondary reinforcers such as a favorite toy. However, our patients will only continue to greet peers or answer peers without behavior technicians present if we are able to transfer to more natural reinforcers.
EXAMPLEAn example of a natural reinforcer for our patient saying "Hi" to a peer would be the peer saying "Hi" back.
And, as we just discussed, we also move from continuous reinforcement, or reinforcement following every attempted or correct response, to intermittent reinforcement.
Mistakes happen and that is ok! We do not always get things right the first or even the second time. However, we want to have a plan in place for how we will respond if and when those errors happen.
Error correction, a procedure following an incorrect or non-response, focuses on decreasing errors in the future. Incorrect responses and no response should be treated the same: they should result in an error correction procedure.
There are two primary choices for error correction procedures, both of which are popular and both of which work well: informational no procedure and head-down procedure.
The procedure is called “informational no” because you are merely trying to make it clear to the patient that they made an incorrect response. It is for feedback, not punishment, so a neutral tone should be used, not a negative or harsh one. The no response should not be aversive or patronizing; it should simply be informative.
EXAMPLEThe behavior technician is working with the patient, Zachariah, to learn to touch his nose.
[CLEARS THROAT] Look. Red.
No. Let's try it. Sit criss-cross. You got to look, OK? Red. There it is. Super job.
EXAMPLEThe behavior technician is teaching the patient, Sasha, to touch the picture of a dog.
Very little research has compared the informational no correction procedure to the head-down procedure. Different individuals and organizations have strongly held beliefs about which is better.
The head-down procedure may make it more difficult for the patients to determine when they have made an error. However, the informational no procedure may evoke more challenging behavior, especially for patients who find the word “no” aversive.
We will discuss additional prompting procedures in future units.