Psychology 164: Assignment 4

Time out as a response to Jack would not work. Instead it would give him an excuse of acting out in future field trips. While time out as an option is hoped to remove a behaviour, it is associated with various errors that make it not to work. One of the errors is the availability of various reinforcers in the time out space. For instance, if Jack is sent to the van he will have access to many reinforcers including cell phones and many others media sources. In such a situation, the time out approach becomes ineffectual and has a higher potential for increasing the behaviour one is attempting to remove. In the case of Jack, time out would increase his behaviour of acting out during field trips. Instead of a time out as a means of addressing the behaviour, a reprimand would be more effective. By talking sense into Jack, his behaviour would be decreased and in future trips he would know the importance of interacting with peers. Reprimand as a positive reinforcement is more effective in decreasing a behaviour compared to time out associated with various errors.

Question 2

Extinction involves withdrawing from reinforcing a behaviour that was formerly reinforced. In order to use extinction effectively, it is important to confirm that one is in a position to carry the plan throughout. This is because, if one starts the extinction plan and then reinforces it during an extinction burst, the behaviour re-emerges with higher levels of intensity.  For effective extinction process, one should ensure that they have full control of the reinforcers, have persistence past extinction bursts, and expect spontaneous behaviour recovery which upon immediate application of extinction disappears. Two reasons why extinction may not be the best option are the potential of the approach to cause harm and limited control over reinforcers. When using extinction to reduce the head-banging behaviour, the child might end up hurting himself. This makes the method ineffective. With other people around the child, it means that control over reinforcers will be limited which makes the method ineffective. For example, if the child’s family or my colleagues find him head-banging his head and asks him to stop, then his behaviour will be reinforced instead of being decreased.

Question 3

Physical punishment scenario

One day we were on the dining table with my family and my younger sister poured juice on my new dress. I was so angry that I took my dad’s juice and poured on her hair. My mum got furious and within seconds she was working on me. I was pinched severally and slapped. I was punished for pouring juice on my sister’s hair which was part of my revenge. Pinching and slapping followed my ill behavior making this kind of punishment a physical positive punishment.

Verbal reprimand scenario

My younger sister has a habit of pissing me off. One day, she saw my academic results and she could not help but laugh at me in front of my family. I was so furious that I pushed her hard to the floor. Luckily enough she wasn’t hurt. However, my mum decided to reprimand me telling me that am since am older I should be taking care of my sister instead of putting her in danger. I was reprimanded for the push and because the punishment came after the behaviour, is qualifies as a verbal positive punishment.

Response cost scenario

My mum bought me smartphone after performing well in class. Well, the phone came with various apps that I spent most of my time on the phone. Come to the final exam I performed worse that I had ever done in my academics. My mum took the phone as a punishment for the worse performance. Since the phone was taken after the behaviour, the punishment was a response cost negative punishment.

Time out scenario

I love football with my peers and my parents allowed me time for the game. However, before leaving the house, there were certain chores that I was supposed to attend to. One day my parents were out and l thought why not go to play then later come to attend to the chores. My plan was to come back earlier before my parents. Unfortunately, by the time I got home mum was already there furious. As a punishment, I prevented from going for the football games for a while. Because the punishment involved removal, it is a time of negative punishment.

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