1. Does all negative reinforcement decrease behavior? Why or why not?
2. After being told repeatedly by her mother not to ski without proper eyewear, Samantha sustains snow blindness and eye burn, ruining the remainder of her ski trip. What effect might this have on her choice to use eyewear in the future? Why might this natural consequence have more of an effect on her behavior than actions taken by her mother’s nagging?
3. When 8-year-old Barry cannot get his way with his mother, she begins to whine. Barry’s mother finds that if she gives Barry a cup of cocoa and talks about what’s bothering him, the whining stops. However, Barry’s mother is puzzled because Barry’s whining is getting more frequent. Why?
4. A local psychologist recommended to Barry’s mother (above scenario) that she ignore the whining. Barry’s mother tried this on two consecutive occasions and the whining got worse! Barry’s mother is about to sue the psychologist for malpractice, but in your wisdom you point out what process the psychologist had in mind and the phenomenon which has occurred. Explain.
5. Twins Jacob and Jeremy are arguing about who gets to use their Nerf gun next. Their mother takes away the gun and says that she will return it when they have played nicely for 10 minutes. What two processes has she used in order to achieve the results she wanted? Why would it be better to use the two contingencies together rather than to use one alone?
6. Mathias, an 11th grader, sassed his mother. As a result, his mother told him he could not drive his car for a week. This is an example of …?
7. Before rolling the dice in Monopoly, Charlie blew on them. He landed on Free Parking and collected a $1,000 bonus. What effect, if any, might this likely to have on his behavior the next time he rolls the dice? If this occurrence had an effect, what process would be operating, and what would be likely to happen to the effect over time?
8. Mr. Jones asked for a volunteer to go to the blackboard to work a math problem. After several seconds of silence, he finally said, “Well, then, I’ll do it myself.” The class was then more likely to respond with silence to requests for volunteers. What process was operating?
9. Andrew is the class clown. The teacher knows that Andew acts silly to get the attention of the other students. The teacher talks to the class one day when Andrew is absent and agrees that in the afternoon, if everyone does not laugh at John’s silliness, they be allowed 15 minutes extra free time. As a result, Andew’s silly behavior has decreased. By what process has John’s silliness decreased (be specific as to the type)?
10. Mrs. Jones, a 7th grade teacher, told another teacher in the lounge that she is “fed up with her class’ misbehavior and disrespect.” “From now on I’m going to start using some negative reinforcement. Students who misbehave in my class will have to copy a page from the dictionary.” What, if anything, is wrong with Mrs. Jones’ statement? What, if you answered that it is incorrect, does she really mean?
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