Conceptual work sheets for a review of the eight behavioral contingencies by matthew miller



Conceptual Work Sheets forA Review of the Four BehavioralContingenciesBy Matthew MillerThis homework assignment is designed to teach(or build on your knowledge of) the concepts of the 4 direct-acting contingencies, as discussed principles of Behavior. It may be used as an introductory training exercise, or as an exercise to enhance conceptual development.ReinforcementFor the first part of this homework assignment, we’ll review the concept of reinforcement. Just as a reminder, let’s review the definition:Definition: ConceptReinforcement Contingency·The response-contingent,·presentation·of a reinforcer,·resulting in an increased frequency of that response. Let’s take a look at a standard Skinner-box example. Ryan the rat is wandering around the Skinner box and he happens upon an interesting object protruding from the wall. He sniffs it a few times, and the object moves slightly. Immediately he receives a pellet of food from a nearby dispenser. Ryan sniffs and presses the object (a lever) again. Again he receives a pellet of food. Ryan presses the lever more and more frequently as time goes on.1. Please diagram the contingency on lever pressing. Immediately following each lever press, Ryan receives a pellet of food.2. Does the above scenario describe a reinforcement contingency for lever pressing?A? yes. naturally, someone as bright as you had no trouble with that one. The experimenter was reinforcing lever pressing by presenting contingent food. Now, let’s take a look at something slightly more complex. Billy (the human) bought himself a guitar. He had spent some time learning where the chords are (at least some of them) and he wanted to play an actual song. Not being very experienced, he selected a nice simple song from his guitar lesson book – Yankee Doodle. It wasn’t his favorite song, but he had heard it before and could be sure, by sound, if he was playing it correctly. He read the notes from the book, “CCDECED CCDECB CCDEFEDC BBBBCC.”Then, he tried to play. The first time was very slow, but he had it right. The second time it sounded a little better. After a short time, he was playing it at the right speed over and over again. No mistakes. That sounds good.3. Please diagram the contingency described above for playing Yankee Doodle. Each time Billy played Yankee Doodle, he heard what he was playing. Playing produced the sound of the song.4. Does the above scenario involve a reinforcement contingency for playing Yankee Doodle?BeforeBehaviorAfterBeforeBehaviorAfterImage of page 1A. Yes

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