what is operant learning

Discussion: Developing New Behaviors

  • For the Discussion this week you will apply these concepts to the demonstration of teaching a child or a pet a new behavior.
  • Forward chaining begins by using reinforcement to teach the first step, or “link,” in a chain until it is mastered. Once the first step is mastered, begin the instruction and reinforcement on the second step, and then the third step, etc. An example is teaching a child with autism the steps to clean her teeth. The first step in the chain is for the child to locate her toothbrush, the second step is to locate and apply toothpaste onto the toothbrush, the third step is to brush her teeth, and the fourth step is to rinse off the toothbrush and put it away. The child may be required to perform previously learned steps each time the task is presented, or each step may be taught separately.
  • Backward chaining begins by teaching and reinforcing the last step or component first and then gradually adding another component one at a time. This method is commonly used to treat fears and anxious behavior. An example is fear, or a hate of going to school, which leads to a refusal to go to school. You could start with the child going to school for only an hour or two at the end of the school day. The second step in the chain is the child going to school from the middle to end of the school day, then going to school earlier in the morning until the child eventually spends a full day at school.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • If you have children or have worked with children, you know that they are in a constant process of learning. You may even think back to your own childhood and realize that some areas of learning required more effort than others to master complex skills or new behaviors. Think about an achievable, new behavior that could be taught to a child using both shaping and a chaining procedure (forward or backward).
    Examples: Riding a bicycle, swimming, tying shoelaces, putting together a jigsaw puzzle.
  • Conduct a task analysis to determine the steps (there should be at least 3 steps) involved in completing the behavior chain given the age, physical and intellectual ability of the child.
  • Consider how you would use shaping within each step or “link” in the behavior chain.
  • Consider what type(s) of reinforcer(s) would be most effective in trying to develop the child’s new behavior.

OR

  • If you have a pet, think of an achievable new behavior that you could teach the pet using shaping along with a forward or backward chaining procedure.
    Example: Training a dog to retrieve the morning newspaper from your front lawn.
  • Conduct a task analysis to determine the steps (there should be at least 3 steps) involved in completing the behavior chain given the age, intellectual, and physical ability of the pet.
  • Consider how you would use shaping within each step or “link” in the behavior chain.
  • Consider what type(s) of reinforcer(s) would be most effective in developing the pet’s new behavior.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post

  1. In the subject line of your post add your topic (e.g., Training my Dog to Fetch a Newspaper). In the body of the post, briefly explain the behavior that you could teach to a child or pet using shaping and chaining procedures. Next,
  2. Describe the details of the forward or backward chaining procedure (there should be at least three steps in the chain), and also explain how shaping would take place within the procedure. Identify the reinforcer(s) that would be used, and explain why you believe the selected reinforcer(s) would be effective in developing the new behavior.
  3. Explain the developmental factors (e.g., age, intellectual and physical ability) you took into account when conducting a task analysis and planning the chaining procedure.

Assignment: Operant Applications: Beyond Children and Animals

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Read Chapter 9 of your course text to gain an understanding of the uses of operant applications in a multitude of settings and with various populations.
  • You may wish to review again Chapters 5, 6, and 8, to refresh your understanding of the various operant learning principles covered thus far (positive reinforcement, punishment, differential reinforcement, shaping, chaining, etc.).
  • Find a journal article published within the past ten years that demonstrates a research study application (i.e., a study that collects and analyzes data, provides results, etc.) of an operant procedure applied to a population other than children or animals.
    • Log onto Walden’s library and access PsycINFO using your Walden credentials. Search the available research literature for research on the use of operant procedures with participants, or in settings, other than with children or animals.

Note: Use key words specific to your topic of interest (e.g., “autism,” “brain injury, “dementia,” “substance abuse,” “safety skills,” “sports,” etc.), or your population or setting of interest (e.g., “adults,” “athletes,” “college,” “workplace,” etc.) in conjunction with terms pertinent to operant techniques and procedures (e.g., “behavioral treatment,” “contingency management,” “reinforcement,” “shaping,” etc.).

Example:Entering keywords together such as “diabetes” and “behavior management” led to this interesting Raiff, Jarvis, and Dallery (2016) research study that incorporated the use of a reinforcement procedure: Text-message Reminders Plus Incentives Increase Adherence to Antidiabetic in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes.

  • After selecting and reading an article, review Chapter 2 again and consider some of the possible strengths and limitations of the research study in the article of your choice. Some things to consider are the appropriateness of the research design and data collection method for the topic, or the population, or the setting. Consider possible ways that future relevant studies could improve on this research.
  • Consider the usefulness of the application of the operant concept(s) that you researched and how it could be expanded to other uses within the same context. For example, if the operant application you examined was applied to increase the effectiveness of college students’ study skills in psychology, consider how this procedure could be adapted to benefit college students in another academic subject, or in an employment setting.

The Assignment (1–2 pages):

Complete the following:

  1. Briefly provide a summary of the main points of the journal article you evaluated. Include the type of research design used, the population and setting, how the operant concept(s) was applied, and the results.
  2. Explain one advantage, and one potential limitation, of the study you reviewed
  3. Explain the usefulness of the application of the operant concept(s) that you researched and how it could be expanded to other uses within the same context (see the “To Prepare” area for an example).

 
Do you need a similar assignment done for you from scratch? We have qualified writers to help you. We assure you an A+ quality paper that is free from plagiarism. Order now for an Amazing Discount!
Use Discount Code "Newclient" for a 15% Discount!

NB: We do not resell papers. Upon ordering, we do an original paper exclusively for you.