Using reinforcement, cont. Immediacy Typically, the sooner you can reinforce, the better. Placeholders to long delays help (these can be small reinforcers) – self statements work here too. Contingent vs. non-contingent Reinforcers that are non-contingent do not affect the behavior in question – we call them rewards. Accidental reinforcement – adventitious leads to superstitious behavior Working toward natural reinforcers Most behaviors do have natural reinforcers – but we need to get the behavior mod program to reach these.
Conditioned Reinforcers Unconditioned reinforcers – primary Food, water, sex, warm Conditioned reinforcers By pairing neutral stimuli with primary reinforcers you can develop conditioned or secondary reinforcers Clickers, photos, money You present the conditioned Sr and then later, on occasion present the backup Sr (the primary or even secondary reinforcer) Tokens Token economies work on this principle – you earn tokens and exchange them for other reinforcers. Immediacy.
Conditioned Reinforcement, Cont. Make sure the backup reinforcer is actually a reinforcer Food is not a reinforcer to a satiated organism Use many backup reinforcers Generalized conditioned reinforcer – connects to MANY backup reinforcers Intermittent reinforcement is still the best (in terms of the backup Sr) Don’t let the conditioned Sr extinguish.
Problems Consistency – make sure that the conditioned Sr actually leads to a backup Sr. Punishment has the same issue. The extinction problem – make sure that you use effective backup Sr.
Intermittent reinforcement Schedules of reinforcement A rule of how frequently a behavior will be reinforced, if at all. The ones that maintain the highest rates are intermittent reinforcement. Ratio schedules Dependent on the number of behaviors performed Interval schedules Dependent on ONE behavior after a given amount of time. Limited hold After an interval – a response will produce a reinforcer only for a given window of time. Duration Schedules Used with continuous behavior Must be performed for a given length of time to receive the reinforcer