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    1. Bobby's room is in a constant state of disarray. His father, Mr. Kelley, would like to increase his son Bobby's frequency of cleaning his room. A behavior modification program incorporating the concept of operant conditioning will be used to address this problem. Please answer the following questions:
    1. Identify the target behavior and describe that behavior in 1 or 2 sentences.
    2. Define operant conditioning and discuss how this method works to increase desired behavior.
    3. Define positive reinforcement. What issues are involved in the selection of appropriate and effective reinforcement?
    4. Choose two possible schedules of reinforcement discussed in the text and explain how you would implement each schedule as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each schedule selected.

    2. Jackie has been afraid of dogs since she was a toddler. When she was three years old, she was playing in her front yard when a neighbor's dog came up to her and bit her hand. The bite required a trip to the pediatrician and several stitches. Twenty years later, she can remember every detail of the event. Now when she sees dogs or one comes near her, her heart pounds and she feels sick to her stomach. Normally, she could simply avoid dogs, but she is getting married to a dog breeder in six months. Jackie is coming to you for help with her fear of dogs.
    1. Discuss one behavioral theory that could explain why Jackie has remained fearful of dogs.
    2. What kind of behavioral modification program can be designed for Jackie so that she does not experience fear when seeing dogs?
    3. Emma is 4 years old and refuses to clean up her toys after playing. Her parents have tried many different strategies, including rewarding her after cleaning, and giving her a time-out when she doesn't listen. Often what happens is that Emma gets angry when it is clean-up time and throws a tantrum. She yells and screams and sometimes even throws her toys, creating a bigger mess. Her parents feel that the only way to stop the tantrum is to pick her up and then clean up for her 1. Discuss the principles of operant conditioning that are underlying Emma's behavior.
    2. Describe how you could apply operant conditioning theory to create a behavior modification to address Emma's behavior.
    3. Explain how the concept of extinction of behavior could be applied in this case.

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    Bobby's Case

    Bobby Kelly worries his dad as he behaves in a manner that does not take into account the importance of looking after himself and his space. In particular, the boy does not clean his room as he should and when he does, he only does it when he pushed to do so. This is a worry for his father as he believes that this is problematic behavior and could be an indicator of other issues. He thus wants help in increasing the sense of responsibility in the boy, first of all in looking after his room in terms of cleaning it frequently. This appears then to be a case of behavior modification.

    The target behavior in this case seems simple enough - for Bobby to clean his room more frequently in a way that is motivated by a sense of responsibility. Ideally, Bobby should clean his room, on his account, frequently and regularly without being told that he has to, or why he has to. This implies that he has taken responsibility for his own space, for his own room and his things and at a micro level will it should imply a sense of independence - at least when it comes to looking after himself and his things in his own personal space. It will also imply that he has taken the responsibility of cleaning his room and looking after his things from his parents for the purpose of cooperating with them and helping them in maintaining an ordered and healthy home environment not just for Bobby but for all members of the family.

    Operant conditioning is that kind of learning whereby an individual modifies or changes his or her behavior due to the consequences of the actions he takes. It could be negative or positive, either way; the individual calibrates his/her behavior towards that desired outcome. This is entirely voluntary - the person must change his or her behavior pushed by his own interests and purposes. This kind of behavior is pushed by the context of the environment and the person operates in a manner to achieve a certain outcome/consequence. Reinforcement is that positive consequence that leads for that behavior to increase in frequency. Punishment is a consequence that leads for the behavior to occur with less frequency and extinction refers to the decline or negation of a particular behavior has neither positive nor negative effect - it becomes inconsequential.

    As discussed, reinforcement is all about making a certain act much more frequent by way of providing positive ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution provides information,assistance and advise in tackling the cases presented (see above) on behabior modification.

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