Examine the behaviour in bold and answer the 3 questions below

1. You take a group of teens to a zip-line facility. Because you think it’s important for them to be out in nature and to have a bonding experience, all cell phones, and other sources of media are left in the van. There is some grumbling about this, but the students are soon jumping around in the trees and engaged in the experience…except for Jack. Jack refuses to participate, so he’s asked to watch from a close enough distance that he can interact with his peers. Soon, however, he begins throwing pine cones at the zip-liners, which is creating a dangerous situation because his peers are distracted and angry. This isn’t what you had in mind, so you decide on time-out…you tell Jack that if that’s the way he’s going to act, he needs to wait in the van. However, you notice that in future field trips, Jack is even more likely to act out. What is happening here? Time out is normally considered a treatment option to decrease behaviour – why isn’t it working? What would you suggest instead?

2. You are working with a child with Autism. He is engaging in head-banging behaviour. You have, in the past, said

“Ouch, you are hurting your head!” and led him away to another activity. But now you’re considering a procedure to reduce head-banging all together. You decide to employ extinction, by ignoring the behaviour when it happens.

a. Comment on this choice. List two reasons why extinction may not be your best choice.

3. I want you to think about a time in your life when you had an experience that would be representative of:

a. physical punishment

b. verbal reprimand

c. response cost

d. time out

For each scenario, I would like you to write a brief summary of that event, making sure to identify the behaviour being punished, what the stimulus was that was added or subtracted and whether that makes it positive punishment (physical or verbal) or negative punishment (response cost or time out)

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