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Chapter 16.
Punishment by Prevention
him from injuring others with his violent
aggression. Mae measured his behavior durin...
get that food reinforcer when he asks for
it. So the response of head banging
prevents the presentation of the food
reinfo...
the punishment procedure? It's not the differential reinforcement of alternative behavior,
because Sid is not reinforcing ...
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Chapter 16 AES

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Chapter 16 AES

  1. 1. Chapter 16. Punishment by Prevention him from injuring others with his violent aggression. Mae measured his behavior during a preintervention baseline session. Jimmy was banging his head 95% of the time. Example JIMMY’S HEAD BANGING (I removed this section from POB 5.0 because it was difficult; it involves the removal of a reinforcer which is delivered contingent on another response, not on the mere passage of time, as is more typical of “DRO” or punishment by prevention.) Then Mae set up a performance management contingency for her staff. Though Jimmy had only a few phrases in his repertoire, he was able to ask for food, evidently a powerful reinforcer for him. So whenever Jimmy asked for food, the staff gave it to him, but only if he was not banging at the time. After 45 days of using this contingency, Mae and her staff reduced Jimmy’s head banging from 95% to only 7%. Like many children with autistic behaviors, Jimmy had a bundle of them. He was frequently out of control. The staff often had to restrain him to keep him from seriously injuring himself with his violent fits of head banging and to keep Concept Punishment-By-Prevention-Of-A-Reinforcer Contingency Now the question is, what sort of contingency did Mae use to reduce Jimmy’s head banging? This one is tricky to analyze, so let’s break it down. First of all, whose behavior are we analyzing? People often get confused when more than one person is involved. Usually it’s the person whose behavior we’re trying to change,and not the performance manager. In this case, it’s Jimmmy’s. analyzing-his head banging or his asking for food? Usually it’s the behavior we’re trying to change-Jimmy’s head banging. Punishment by Prevention Before: Jimmy’s asking produces food Here’s where many students have gotten confused about Jimmy’s case: Which of Jimmy’s behaviors are we Behavior: Jimmy bangs his head After: Jimmy’s asking produces no food for 2min So, as long as Jimmy is cool, he will get food (a reinforcer) when he asks for it. But if he’s banging his head, he won’t 1 January 3, 2014
  2. 2. get that food reinforcer when he asks for it. So the response of head banging prevents the presentation of the food reinforcer. And that prevention of a normally occurring reinforcer suppresses or punishes the head banging. In other words, we have a punishment contingency. More specifically, we have punishment by the prevention of the presentation of a reinforcer (the food). Many students though it was an extinction procedure rather than an intricate punishment procedure. Why? Maybe because they were looking at the wrong behavior-asking for food. Extinction Before: Jimmy has no food Punishment-by-prevention-of-areinforcer contingency  response-contingent  prevention of  a reinforcer  resulting in a decreased frequency of that response Behavior: Jimmy asks for food After: Jimmy has no food True, the procedure involved the extinction of asking for food, but that’s not the behavior Mae was trying to control. However, the contingency designed to reduce head banging was a punishment procedure (see the preceding diagram of punishment by prevention). One way you can tell it wasn’t extinction is to note that the before and after conditions aren’t the same. In extinction, they are always the same, because in extinction, the response has no effect. Operating beneath this contingency is the principle of punishment by prevention of a reinforcer: A response occurs less frequently if it has immediately prevented a reinforcer in the past. Compare and Contrast: PUNISHMENT BY THE PREVENTION OF THE PRESENTATION OF A REINFORCER (DRO) VS. THE ALTERNATIVE- BEHAVIOR PROCEDURE Here's a secondary reason for not using the terminology differential reinforcement of other behavior: We may too easily confuse it with the differential reinforcement of alternative behavior. Remember that one? The replacement of a inappropriate response with a specific appropriate response that produces the same reinforcing outcome. rid of that obnoxious behavior. Now let's see how he might use either the differential reinforcement of alternative behavior or punishment by the prevention of the presentation of a reinforcer (often called DRO). Suppose Sid sets up the following contingency: Every 5 minutes that goes by without a swear word (at least from the kids), Sid gives them each a penny (what more do you expect -- after all, Sid's only a poor college teacher). But if a kid swears during that 5-minute interval, that kid doesn't get the penny. In that connection, so you also remember Uncle Sid's visit last summer to the home of his sister and his foul-mouthed niece and nephew? In Chapter 20, we showed how Uncle Sid might have used either an extinction procedure or a response-cost procedure to get What kind of procedure is that -- the differential reinforcement of alternative behavior or 2 January 3, 2014
  3. 3. the punishment procedure? It's not the differential reinforcement of alternative behavior, because Sid is not reinforcing any specific alternative response. Then it must be the punishment procedure. Yes, Sid is punishing swearing; he set up a contingency where swearing prevents his presentation of a penny. 1. For each of the following prevention contingencies, give the following examples. Now suppose, instead, Sid thinks his attention is the reinforcer for their swearing. Then how might he replace that inappropriate swearing by differentially reinforcing a more appropriate response? b. Give an original example of stimulus control for each of the four prevention contingencies. Be sure to point out the reinforcement-based or punishment- Contingency Table for the Prevention of the Basic Contingencies a. Give an original example of extinction or recovery for each of the four prevention contingencies. He might reinforce the appropriate response of their explicitly requesting his attention. At the same time, he would extinguish their swearing. That means, whenever they said, "Uncle Sid, would you play with us?" or, "Uncle Sid, look what I drew," Sid should acknowledge their request. He might not be free to comply with their request right at that moment, but at least he could acknowledge it and say something, like, "Yes, I'll play with you for a few minutes, as soon as I finish reading the paper." (Of course, that'll continue to work, only if Sid reliably fulfills his promises.) At the same time, Sid would extinguish any swearing by ignoring it. Prevent the Prevent the Presentation removal Reinforcer Punishment Avoidance Aversive Condition Punishment Avoidance based Sd or Sdelta in each ecample. c. Give an original example of differential reinforcement or punishment contingency for each of the four prevention contingencies. 2. Does going one step further and talking about prevention of a prevention contingency make any sense? Why? (We’ll admit we’d rather not have to deal with this problem.) So, with this punishment procedure, we decrease the frequency of the inappropriate response, by having it prevent the presentation of a reinforcer. And with the differential reinforcement of alternative behavior, we decrease the frequency of the inappropriate response, by extinguishing it and at the same time reinforcing an appropriate response. 3. QUESTIONS 1. Using examples, compare and contrast punishment by the prevention of the presentation of a reinforcer and differential reinforcement of alternative behavior. Conceptual Questions 3 Which do you prefer-an analysis in terms of punishment by the prevention of the presentation of a reinforcer or an analysis in terms of differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO)? Why?

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