Operant conditioning is one of the most commonly-used behaviorist techniques. Who hasn’t seen a parent give a child a treat after doing a good job? Have you ever noticed how a well-timed frown or raised eyebrow from a parent can stop a child’s misbehavior in its tracks? Employers often give raises with the hope of maintaining good employees. That gold star or “Good work!” from a teacher is often designed to bolster performance. These are all examples of operant conditioning at work!
Since operant conditioning is so prevalent, it is important to be able use it well. Therefore, for this Assignment, you will write a 4-6 page essay that describes how you would apply operant conditioning to a specific case.
Select one of the following behaviors:
Teaching a puppy to stop biting
Getting a teenager to clean his/her room
Working with a child on the autism spectrum to make eye contact with an adult
Working with a client to reduce self-injury behavior
Another behavior of your choosing — check first with your instructor
In your essay, be sure to do the following:
Briefly recap and describe the target behavior you wish to shape.
Break the behavior down into the manageable parts that you will shape (list each part).
Evaluate a minimum of four specific reinforcers that could be used to shape behaviors; select the most appropriate one.
Describe at least two factors that you need to consider when selecting a reinforcer and why you selected the reinforcer you chose.
Using the behavioral parts and the selected reinforcer, describe the process that you will use to shape the target behavior.
Discuss how you will balance eventually removing tangible reinforcement while preventing extinction during shaping.
This paper should be between 4-6 pages in length. A minimum of three resources should be used for the Assignment. The paper should:
Follow Assignment directions (review grading rubric for best results).
Use correct APA formatting per the current edition of the APA Publication Manual.
Demonstrate college-level communication through the composition of original materials in Standard English.
Be written in Standard English and be clear, specific, and error-free
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