Assignment: Target Behaviour

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Assignment: Target Behaviour

Assignment: Target Behaviour

1. Shaping: Working with a family member, roommate, or friend, use shaping to get them to do these two behaviours. The listed behaviours are the “target behaviours,”…you have to decide which approximation of the behaviour you are going to start reinforcing, then apply extinction to see if the extinction burst brings out a behaviour that is even closer to the target behaviour. Document what happened for each attempt, including behaviours reinforced, the reactions of the other person, whether or not they were successful and how long the process took. In order to shape them, you can use the word “yes” if they are doing the approximation you want, or silence – no additional prompts! It’s harder than it would seem. Instructions to your friend:

I’m going to try to get you to do a certain behaviour, but can’t tell you what it is. If you are doing something that is close to what I’m looking for, I’ll say yes. If you aren’t close, I will be silent. All I ask is that you do a variety of movements with your body so I can find a place to start reinforcing you.

Behaviour 1: placing right hand on forehead Behaviour 2: standing on a chair

2. Print out a T-puzzle, cut it using the guidelines into 4 pieces, and go out and find one person to try it . You can

give the person the following instructions: Use these four pieces to make a capital letter “T”. Make detailed

observations about the following:

a. Describe the first strategy they tried…describe it in as much detail as possible.

b. How many times did they try that strategy, or another strategy, within the first minute of

trying to solve the puzzle?

c. Did the person exhibit any frustration, anger, etc. while solving the puzzle? How can that

emotionality be explained in behavioural terms?

d. Was the person able to solve it? How much time did it take them?

e. Did they do a lot of puzzles in their childhood? Adulthood?

f. Describe the entire event in terms of variation, selection and retention, defining the prepotent


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