Operant Conditioning Essay Research Paper Introductory NarrativeSince

Operant Conditioning Essay, Research Paper

Introductory Narrative

Since the arrival of our twins undesirable behavior has manifested in one of our 11 yr. old. While initially very conscienscious in helping attend to the infants & her ordinary duties, she has become accustomed to playing with them mostly now. This play in itself is great, except they no longer get the changing & feeding expected. Furthermore she uses them as an excuse now to put off doing the minimal domestic maintenance formerly performed. She is generally unresponsive to negative reinforcement options. Past experience shows she responds best to tactile & humanistic behaviorist techniques, backed up by specific instruction from our sacred texts observed in our household.

This gestalt prompts the selected behavior to be maintaining the involvement with the infants while reinforcing the responsibilities to their health & hygiene during that time when she has charge of them. Furthermore, if she chooses to continue spending the vast majority of her time with them in a properly responsible fashion the minimum domestic responsibilities of her room, clothing & kitchen, cannot be ignored. Also she makes incredible messes when she indulges in extended play, her creativity will be encouraged without sacrificing a significant portion of the household to her extravagances.

At the operant level change will be effected by restricting activity to appropriate household locals. The necessity of maintaining order & restoring the orderly state of the environment will be reinforced with positive attention. As a stimulus for taking on the additional responsibility of the infants care rewards will be implemented after discussion of goals with the child. Positive progress will be met with more attention & reward. Correction will not take the form of verbal admonishment but isolation, i.e.: sitting in a corner, timeout & or restriction from privileges.

When the defilement of the area is taking place it has been observed that the child is so completely engrossed in play that there is no cognitive realization of the tremendous mess when left unsupervised for extended periods. Tending towards introspection & fantasy in her play, awareness must be developed of the order expected to be maintained . When elaborate play involves significant alteration of the environment, restoring the room to its original state is part of the responsibility of the freedom to alter it in the first place.


The goal of the effort is to instill the proper perspectives toward domestic responsibility w/o thwarting natural & healthy play. The proper recognition of the increased contribution made to the household will be recognized by an increased return in a manner most rewarding to the child (in the past “Barbie” dolls have been enormously successful). The aim is to establish permanent behavior modification with respect to a conscienscious embracing of the increasing responsibilities & rewards from maturing in the familial unit.

Responsible behavior will be reinforced by positive adult attention, while failure will result in negative reinforcement (time out etc.). Successful weekly achievement of the behaviors outlined will result in tangible/tactile rewards. Such rewards will be for example, an exclusive trip to the park or library with a parent/ & or siblings of choice. Basically positive response will beget more explorative type interactions & experiences & negative behavior will result in a loss of the type of activity found desirable.

Behavior management will be accomplished through a variety of means having been proven effective in the past. This will entail autoshaping, primary & secondary reinforcement. This mode of operant conditioning will result in the terminal behavior of responsible domestic participation by the child. The range of conditions mentioned will be employed in measured response to the degree of non-compliance. Neutrality will not be an option, as the status quo will be extinguished through positive & negative reinforcement.

The contingencies will in summary run from casual reinforcement during oversight. Positive behavior will be rewarded by encouragement & access to privileged activity, negative behavior will result in time out & loss of privileges (i.e.: TV, special events etc.). On a weekly basis goals will be assessed & material gain or loss will be established. While normal allowance amounts will not be affected, access to it will be. If behavior is significantly below par bonus awards (Barbie’s etc.) as discussed earlier may be disallowed & that portion normally expendable for incidentals (30%) will be put into the savings fund which may not be accessed by the child for all practical purposes.


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