Shaping Behavior - Essay Example

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It is essentially based on the underlying principle proved by B.F. skinner’s operant conditioning concept to aid in the effective guidance of a number of discipline strategies…
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Shaping Behavior Shaping Behavior Behavior modification has been described as being one of the five main typesof child discipline. It is essentially based on the underlying principle proved by B.F. skinner’s operant conditioning concept to aid in the effective guidance of a number of discipline strategies. Shaping of behavior is considered to be a relatively straight forward process that attempts to use a primarily behaviorist approach to sufficiently explain the science that happens to be behind behavior change. Although experimentations on behavior change are found to have initially been largely based on research with lab rats, the basis of the approach is found to also be applicable to humans (Miltenberger, 2011).
Skinner whose work with behavior modification earned him the moniker of Father of Behaviorism develop the theory of operant conditioning. The theory postulates that all behavior is essentially governed by the constant application of punishing and reinforcing stimuli. Behavior modification is designed to use a scheduled approach that consistently punishes undesirable behavior while rewarding desired behavior (Snowman, McCown & Biehler, 2012).
. This concept as developed by Skinner is seen to be widely used in not only therapy, but also in a number of psychological settings. It can effectively be used in the treatment of a number of disorders including oppositional defiant disorder, autism and attention deficit disorder. In addition to this, the fundamentals of behavior modification can essentially be used to try and increase desired behavior in a given individual regardless of the person’s functional level.
Reinforcement and punishment as based on the operant conditioning theory have been demonstrated to be effective in shaping behavior. In classical conditioning, organisms are trained to learn to associate a given new stimuli with biological and natural responses such as fear or salivation. The organism does not essentially learn something new, but instead is seen to being performing in what is an existing behavior in the presence of a given new signal. Operant conditioning takes a different approach as learning is based on the consequences of behavior and can at times involve the learning of new actions (Miltenberger, 2011).
Punishment can be used to stop negative behavior among children. In operant conditioning, positive is seen to refer to the addition of a consequence that will serve to deter a child from repeating what is deemed to be negative behavior. Although positive punishment is essential in healthy discipline it should nevertheless not be relied upon too heavily as when kids frequently receive positive punishment, they tend to focus their anger on their parents instead of learning from their mistakes and focusing on how to do things differently. Some examples of positive punishment include giving children a number of extra chores when they fail to compete their assigned chores or grounding them when they fail to obey instructions (Browning & Stover, 1973).
Reinforcement is seen to denote the granting of a child something that will serve to greatly reinforce behavior and motivate the child to repeat a given desirable behavior (Miltenberger, 2011). This can entail the use of a reward or praise system. When kids are not given any positive reinforcement, they often tend to be less likely to repeat a given desirable behavior.
Browning, R. M., & Stover, D. O. (1973). Behavior modification in child treatment; an experimental and clinical approach. Chicago: Aldine.
Miltenberger, R. G. (2011). Behavior modification: Principles and procedures. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Snowman, J., McCown, R. R., & Biehler, R. F. (2012). Psychology applied to teaching. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Read More
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