Till now we discussed about the causes of behavior and factors affecting them. But in this chapter, we are going to study how to shape a person’s behavior. We have five ways of shaping individual behavior with respect to their original conduct −
Let us try to understand all these unique methods one at a time.
It occurs when a desirable event or stimulus is given as an outcome of a behavior and the behavior improves. A positive reinforcer is a stimulus event for which an individual will work in order to achieve it.
For example − A company announces a rewards program in which employees earn prizes depending on the number of items they sold.
It occurs when an aversive event or when a stimulus is removed or prevented from happening and the rate of a behavior improves. A negative reinforcer is a stimulus event for which an individual will work in order to terminate, to escape from, to postpone its occurrence.
For example − A company has a policy that an employee can have a Saturday off only if he completes the assigned work by Friday.
The creation of some unpleasant conditions to remove an undesirable behavior.
For example − A teenager comes home late and the parents take away the privilege of using the cell phone.
The process of eradicating any type of reinforcement causing any undesirable behavior.
For example − A child who crawls under the table to hide and seek attention, gradually stops doing so when the attention is withdrawn.
The schedules of reinforcement can be of five types − continuous, fixed interval, variable interval, fixed ratio, and variable ratio.
A schedule of reinforcement in which every occurrence of the desired outcome is followed by the one who reinforces. For example − Each time a child puts Rs. 1 in a candy machine and presses the buttons he receives a candy bar.
Conduct of reinforcement with intervals but sufficient enough to make the expected behavior worth repeating. For example − Working of washing machine.
Conduct of reinforcement with an average of n amount of time. For example − Checking e-mail or popping quizzes. Going fishing—we might catch a fish after 20 minutes
Oversight of reinforcement when rewards are spaced at uniform time intervals. For example − Salary.
Oversight of reinforcement when rewards are spaced at unpredictable time intervals. For example − Commission in sales.