Effects of Reinforcement in the Classroom

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Effects of Reinforcement in the Classroom

Effects of Reinforcement in the Classroom

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  • 1. Effects of Reinforcement in the Classroom By: Amanda Maciocia
  • 2. Treating Problematic Behavior • Problematic behavior can have consequences such as effects on a child’s home and school life – Parent’s stress level – Deficits in social and self help skills – Aggression (Bouxsien, Roane, & Harper, 2011) – Teacher refusal for classes (Ingvarsson, Hanley & Welter, 2009)
  • 3. Treating Problematic Behavior • Common ways of treating problematic behavior and promoting compliance – Positive reinforcement • Introducing a positive stimulus to promote a behavior – Negative reinforcement • Taking away an aversive stimulus to promote a behavior
  • 4. In the Classroom • Positive reinforcement usually works better than negative reinforcement – Small rewards (positive reinforcements) are convenient, easily and quickly given and do not disturb the student – Negative reinforcement, such as breaks in school, would only take away from the student doing the desirable (but aversive to the student) behavior, such as homework, studying, or participating in class.
  • 5. In the Classroom • Not only is positive reinforcement more practical, it shows better improvement with students – When children are given the option of food (positive reinforcement) or a break from their task (negative reinforcement), the food led to greater reductions in problem behavior and more compliance (Koadak et al., 2007)
  • 6. In the Classroom • Positive reinforcement can also be put on organized schedules where the reinforcer is delivered after each occurrence, every other occurrence, etc. • Negative reinforcement in the classroom could not be put on an organized schedule without getting in the way of the desired behavior – Such as being rewarded for doing homework with a break, the homework would never be completed.
  • 7. When To Use Negative Reinforcement • While positive reinforcement usually works best in the classroom, there are times that negative reinforcement may be the better option – After few or low stress tasks, positive reinforcement works best – After many or high stress tasks, negative reinforcement works best
  • 8. When To Use Negative Reinforcement • When there are many tasks, tasks that take a long time or high stress tasks, a break afterwards is more beneficial – It does not disturb the task because the break comes after the task or tasks are fully completed – The number of tasks, time it took to complete them, or the stress level all function as establishing operations making the break more rewarding than positive reinforcement
  • 9. When To Use Negative Reinforcement • One study showed that when assigned a few tasks, a child chose a positive reinforcer for completing them. When faced with ten total tasks to complete, the child chose negative reinforcement as a reward.
  • 10. Positive and Negative Reinforcement • When a negative reinforcement is combined with a positive reinforcement, compliance levels and problematic behavior reductions are at it’s highest – When an autistic child was rewarded with just music (positive reinforcement), a break (negative reinforcement) or a break with music (both), the child’s compliance was at it’s highest (86%) when both were used (Bouxsein, Roane,& Harper2011)
  • 11. Problems with Reinforcement • Problem behaviors can be accidentally reinforced – A toddler uses an inappropriate word and the caregivers provide unconditional attention afterwards. This attention serves as a positive reinforcer for the use of the word (Sigler &Aamidor, 2005) • Desirable behaviors are often ignored – Children behaving appropriately are left alone while children behaving inappropriately are showered with attention to “stop” the behavior • The behavior can reinforce itself – “Escape from demands is a common maintaining consequence for varying topographies of problem behavior” (Ingvarsson et al., 2009)
  • 12. Problems with Reinforcement • These problems are easily reversed – Children displaying good behavior should be reinforced – Reinforcements for inappropriate behavior should be removed • If attention was reinforcing the behavior, the behavior should be ignored – Extinction will eventually occur if there is no reinforcement for the problem behavior
  • 13. What Effects How Well Reinforcement Works? • Rewarding desirable behaviors • Removing anything that reinforces undesirable behaviors • Do not give in to extinction bursts • Reinforce as quickly as possible and on as organized of a schedule as possible
  • 14. References • Bouxsein, K., Roane, H., & Harper, T. (2011) Evaluating the separate and combined effects of positive and negative reinforcement on task compliance. 44, (1) 175-179. • Ingvarsson, E., Hanley, G., & Welter, K. (2009). Treatment of escapemaintained behavior with positive reinforcement: The role of reinforcement contingency and density. 32( 3) 371-401 • Kodak, T., Lerman, D. C., Volkert, V. M., &Trosclair, N. (2007). Further examination of factors that influence preference for positive versus negative reinforcement. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 40(1), 25-44. Retrieved fromhttp://search.proquest.com/docview/225038152?accountid=1 2104 • Sigler, E., &Aamidor, S. (2005). From positive reinforcement to positive behaviors: An everyday guide for the practitioner. 32(4) 249-253