Writing removed after a specific behavior, causing
Writing Assignment #1 Kristy L. Weber PSY 101 06H – Online Instructor Stacey Le Fevre September 30, 2011 WRITING ASSIGNMENT #1 The study of learning has been of interest to psychologists for over 100 years (Ciccarelli & White. pp. 6). Learning is defined as the process leading to any relatively permanent change in behavior (pp. 170).
There are four possible consequences for any behavior: 1. Something good can start or be presented, causing a specific behavior to increase. In Psychology, this is referred to as Positive Reinforcement.
2. Something bad can end or be taken away, causing a specific behavior to increase.This is Negative Reinforcement. 3.
Something good can be ended or taken away, causing a specific behavior to decrease. This is Punishment by Removal, or Negative Punishment. 4. Something bad can start or be presented, causing a specific behavior to decrease. This is referred to as Punishment by Application, or Positive Punishment.
This paper will present specific examples of the above four different learning theories and illustrate how each can be a tool for behavior modification. POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT Positive Reinforcement occurs when something is presented after a specific behavior, and as a result, the behavior increases (pp. 82). I often use positive reinforcement as a behavior modification tool on my husband. The first step to effective positive reinforcement is learning what the subject responds to.
In my case, I have observed that my husband responds positively to physical attention. Hugs, kisses, hand-holding and sex are very pleasing to him. Although I am not naturally a physically attentive person, I know that I can use this type of attention to modify my husband’s behavior. I am extremely allergic to my husband’s dogs. He knows this; I take daily allergy medication and dust and vacuum the house multiple times per week to control the dander.Knowing that I hate to vacuum, early in the marriage my husband offered to take on this responsibility.
Obviously I was extremely appreciative. However, as time passed, I noticed his vacuuming was decreasing. When I brought this to his attention, he acted annoyed by his self-imposed vacuuming chore.
The next day, however, upon returning home from work, I noticed that not only had he vacuumed, but he had bought a cleaning powder that made the entire house smell fresh. He was immediately rewarded with physical attention from me. I put all of my other tasks aside and focused exclusively on him.Knowing that vacuuming will now get him this type of attention, he no longer needs to be reminded and gladly vacuums on his own initiative. NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT Negative Reinforcement occurs when something is removed after a specific behavior, causing the behavior to increase as a result (pp.
183). I also use negative reinforcement to modify my husband’s behavior. My husband is an avid runner, works full-time as a police officer, and plays in a band. Consequently it is not uncommon for him to go through 3 or more changes of clothes per day…and they all end up in the laundry hamper.Although I don’t mind doing laundry, I was annoyed by the fact that every article of clothing was placed into the hamper inside-out. I was spending as much time turning everything right-side in as I was folding. Eventually I began folding and hanging his clean laundry as I had received it: inside-out.
This resulted in some minor public humiliation by him wearing his clothes inside-out. In order to remove this negative stimulus, my husband changed his behavior and increasingly began placing his dirty clothes in the laundry hamper right-side in.Mission accomplished through negative reinforcement. PUNISHMENT BY APPLICATION Punishment by Application, or Positive Punishment, is when a behavior is followed by an adverse stimulus (pp. 188).
One of the biggest controversies of our time is child spanking as a form of punishment by application for disciplinary purposes. I don’t have children, but I was spanked as a child and see it as an appropriate and effective form of punishment when used sparingly and coupled with direction on better behavior. Specifically: My mother coupled her spanking with counting.After repeatedly asking either me or my siblings NOT to engage in certain behavior, and us ignoring her requests, she would begin counting. Because of her consistency we knew that regardless of where we were or who we were with, when mother reached “three”, if our behavior had not changed, we would be spanked. She would also include lessons after the punishment so we would understand why we were being punished and what we could do differently in the future to avoid punishment. This combination was a highly effective behavior modification tool in my household.
We learned quickly, and actual spanking rarely occurred. (This would be an example of Classical Conditioning, with the counting being the Unconditioned Stimulus (pp. 171)). I do not believe that spanking a child with no lesson would be nearly as effective, because the child may simply learn to avoid certain behaviors without learning what should be done instead. Overall, I believe that if parents use spanking as a tool for learning, and take the time to teach the child why they were wrong and what better choices could be made, it can be an appropriate form of punishment.Having said that, I do not believe that spanking a child to humiliate or degrade them is a learning tool at all and should not occur.
PUNISHMENT BY REMOVAL Punishment by Removal, or Negative Punishment, occurs when a previously existing positive stimulus is removed in response to a certain behavior (pp. 188). Removal can mean the loss of privileges or freedom. I believe punishment by removal can be a highly effective behavior modification tool when the punisher learns what truly motivates the one being punished. I do use punishment by removal as a form of discipline with one of our dogs.I know that the absolute most important thing to this dog is our attention.
When he misbehaves, he is immediately put in a cage, alone, in a separate room in the house. By placing him in a situation where it is impossible for him to get what he craves most, our attention, he learns not to repeat the bad behavior. While this works for one of the dogs, it is ineffective for the other two, because they are more aloof and don’t mind being sequestered.
CONCLUSIONS Using the basic four learning theories described above, Positive and Negative Reinforcement and Positive and Negative Punishment, it is possible to effectively modify behavior.It seems that using all four fluidly depending on context and subject, results in better learning that adhering strictly on any one theory. I believe positive reinforcement is the most powerful teaching tool of the four. It allows the focus to be on the good, or positive, aspects of behavior. When applied immediately, punishment can also be an effective form of behavior modification, but it must be applied consistently and may lead to negative feelings such as resentment or anger if used incorrectly or too frequently. REFERENCES Ciccarelli, S.
K. & White, J. N. (2006). Psychology, Third Edition.Prentice Hall Publishing.
pp. 170-196. PLAGIARISM STATEMENT I have read and understand the section on what constitutes plagiarism for this assignment, as listed on the PSY 101 website assignments page. Further, I have read and understand the Indiana University page on plagiarism. I attest that I have listed all sources used for this paper, and that I have attributed all quotations and paraphrases used in this paper. I attest that all work not represented as belonging to someone else is my own.
I understand that any amount of plagiarism on this assignment will lead to a recommended grade of zero for the assignment