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It is a show about an extremely dysfunctional family…Which makes for a great source of various contingencies...That you will see in a second…But first, let’s get to know the Bluth’s a little bit. Let’s see what they have to say…
This is George Bluth Sr., CEO of the Bluth Company. As of recently, George has been imprisoned for toying with the Bluth Company’s assets. He considers jail a vacation from real life.
This is Lucille Bluth. Upon her husband’s recent imprisonment, she has been named CEO of the Bluth company. She is controlling, overbearing, & judgmental.
This is GOB (George Oscar Bluth). He is the oldest Bluth child. He works as a struggling magician who rides around on a segway… enough said.
This is Michael. He is the only responsible and seemingly normal member of the Bluth family. Michael spends most of his time cleaning up his family’s messes.
This is Lindsay. She married her husband simply to spite her mother. She is high maintenance and has no aspirations of ever working or making her own money.
This is Buster, the youngest Bluth and subject of rampant contingency use. Buster is a naïve man-boy who still competes in pageants with Lucille.
This is Buster’s real father, George Sr.’s twin brother, Oscar Bluth. He is an old hippie who has nothing going for him besides a full head of hair.
Lucille hears that Michael is housing all of his siblings except Buster. Buster has been quite annoying to Lucille lately. So she guilts Michael into letting Buster move in with him.
Michael: “Gob, what are you doing here, and why are you in a bathrobe?”Gob: “What’s he doing here, and why is he in his bathing suit?”Buster: “Mom dropped me off to spend time with Michael.”
Gob: “Spend time with Michael? Or to serve her own menopausal needs?”Michael: “She’s always got to wedge herself in the middle of us so that she can control everything.”Buster: “Yeah, Mom’s awesome. Maybe we should call her…”
Before: Behavior: After:Buster does not Buster Buster receives receive dirty says, “Mom’s dirty lookslooks from his awesome.” from his brothers brothers Dirty looks, of course, are aversive stimuli
…it is revealed that George Sr. did not pay much attention or give a lot of support to Buster as a child.You were just a turd.
SD: After: Lucille Little Buster receives praise and Before: Behavior: attention Little Buster Little Buster receives no presents his praise and arts & crafts After: attention project Little Buster receives noBuster’s presenting an SΔ: praise andart project is not in the attentionepisode, but used purely Georgefor this example
…Buster has already began imitating their behavior, specifically the way they speak.Old horny slut!
The stimuli arising from the match between Buster’s behavior and the behavior of his siblings maintains Buster’s behavior of using expletives. His siblings also praised his negative talk about their mother.
Praise is a learned reinforcer. It is established by being paired with other learned and/or unlearned reinforcers. Praise Food, drink, lovi ng touch No Praise No food, drink, lovi
Buster’s comments were already being reinforced by praise when they took a turn down inappropriate street. So his siblings then stopped praising his vulgar comments.
Before: Behavior: After: Buster Buster uses Busterreceives expletives receives praise to describe no Lucille praise
The effects of our actions determine whether we will repeat them. For example, Buster will no longer enter photobooths.
Well, after Lucille heard about Buster’s hurtful comments she came crawling back to him. Naturally, to get him back she taunted him with his own words.
Buster: “Michael! I want to go with Mom.”Michael: “You said that she shoots you down.”Buster: “ I was just trying to fit in.”Michael: “You were flying today, buddy.”Buster: “Yes. I was flying. But a little too close to the sun.”Lucille: “You let him go in the sun?!”
Following this short dialogue, Lucille told Buster to go sit in the car. He then insisted on sitting in the front seat. So maybe that’s not impressive for us all, but it was a big step for Buster. In the end, Buster did go back home with his mother, but through this process he learned to stand up to her. At least a little bit.