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a principle of applied behavior analysis (ABA) that is neither reinforcement nor punishment, i.e., extinction. You learned that extinction is a process whereby we extinguish a behavior by withholding the maintaining variable. Identifying the probable function of the behavior – what the individual hopes to gain from expressing a specific behavior – is important to the design of an effective extinction program. You have learned about some of the “side effects” that may be encountered when using extinction procedures, as well as the ethical imperative to always teach and reinforce an appropriate, alternative behavior that can work in much the same way as did the unwanted behavior. Wow! It is hard to believe that you have been working as a behavior technician for a very prestigious behavioral company for almost 6-weeks! You love it! So far, your supervisor has assigned you to work with a child who engaged in attention-seeking behavior; an adult who needed an acquisition program to gain skills in doing laundry and cooking; and teaching a parent of a 3-year-old some key strategies for addressing non-compliance. This promises to be an exciting day! Your supervisor E-mailed you that he has a new client for you and he is going to let you “test your wings” on this one and design the behavior intervention plan (BIP). Your supervisor has already conducted the Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and has determined the probable function of the target behavior to be escape from demand, specifically, the demand to relinquish his mother’s iPad at the end of his iPad session.
Terry is allowed to play his video games for 30-minutes after school and for 60-minutes after he has completed his homework. The discriminative stimulus for the target behavior is his mom or dad gently removing the iPad when his game time is up. The operational definition of Terry’s target behavior is: Terry holds onto the iPad, while screaming, “I want to play some more!” He then runs to his bedroom with the iPad and locks his bedroom door.
You know this will be challenging because there are several approaches that could be used, such as response cost, positive punishment, timeout, and extinction. You know how important it is so exhaust all reinforcement strategies first. You are nervous, but you want to prove yourself!
A week has gone by and you are scheduled to meet with your supervisor to go over the behavior intervention plan you designed for Terry. You are ready for this!
Explain your decision-making process with regard to the different options available to address Terry’s behavior.
Discuss your decision to use a behavior intervention plan (BIP) that includes extinction (Hint: We never implement an extinction program without also teaching an appropriate, alternative behavior and reinforcing it.)
Cover the following in your discussion post for this supervisory meeting (Hint: For your discussion of punishment procedures, refer back to your Unit 5 reading assignments)
Punishment: Discuss the unwanted side effects of punishment, as well as the benefits of punishment. How could positive punishment be used in Terry’s case?
Response Cost: What type of punishment is response cost – negative punishment or positive punishment? What is the procedure for implementing response cost?
Timeout: What type of punishment is timeout? How could timeout be used in Terry’s case?
Extinction: Describe the procedure for implementing extinction. Discuss “extinction bursts” and “spontaneous recovery.”
Summarize the intervention strategies that will be recommended for Terry’s target behavior.