Breaking Up (A Habit) is Hard to Do
When I say habit, I use it loosely to describe a behavior or response that has been reinforced in the past. Say a particular behavior (yelling at your spouse) has been previously successful in getting things to go your way (getting him/her stop complaining, or complying to your demands…) When the similar situation comes up again (you didn’t do the dishes, or forgot to fill up the car, or his/her friend is coming to visit and you ABSOLUTELY find this person a major aversive stimulus), you are more likely to just start yelling again, because of the past reinforcement history, none of that explanatory fiction (i.e. IN ORDER TO get him/her do what I want him/her to do).
The First Rule of Extinction…
The sole purpose of extinction is to decrease the occurrence of the target behavior. By not responding to the target behavior, eventually this particular behavior will go down. Yes it might not completely disappear but it is good enough. In the cartoon/card I use, the man is ignoring the target behavior by pretending that he’s reading a newspaper. This is called Planned Ignore.
Going Up Before it Goes Down
One thing we need to be prepared for is the extinction burst, which states that the target behavior will increase (say pressing the vending machine button numerous times, clicking the mouse, or the pigeon pecking…) before it stops.
The Table is Yours…
And yes, I intentionally miss a whole lot of stuff and YOU should tell me what I left off. Go study and then post something here or on my FB page, ya?
And last words
Yes, I play that DNP card too much and it’s bad and I own it… so hey, it’s still Wednesday. I DID IT!
- Weird Wednesday ABA Style III (behaviorjedi.wordpress.com)
- Weird Wednesday ABA Style (behaviorjedi.wordpress.com)
- Would Skinner say Elmo is Vain? (behaviorjedi.wordpress.com)