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To all-
Grades should reflect what a student knows, not what a student does as far as
behavior!  If behavior problems occur, there is a reason.  Try to discover the
reason and the behavior disappears.  For example, I had a student who wanted only
to be called Koolaid or Ms. Phillips.  She was aggresive, verbal and challenging.
B using humor and giving her some praise when deserved, she turned out to be a
terrific student and quite capable.  Try giving students some atention and talk to
the ones who are giving you problems.  That might work.
Helen Sabin

Prof Lorraine Lavorata wrote:

> we know that social learning theory and operant conditioning are quite
> effective with cats and dogs, but people I am not so sure-:) Kidding.
> Seriously, I also feel that it can be effective with people as with animals if
> consistent. The key is consistency, especially with children. As for our
> students in the classroom yes positive reinforcement works but negative does
> nothing. Punishment works well because if students know they are penalised
> with their grade, usually desired behaviour results. France
>
> ===== Original Message From Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
> <[log in to unmask]> =====
> >Greetings LRNASSTers!
> >
> >Taking a guess that Gary Probst was serious and not attmepting satire,
> >I'll try my hand at responding to his questions.  It is obvious though, that
> >several of the questions would require much more than the limited space of
> >an email to answer sufficiently.
> >
> >> Gary Probst is thinking:
> >
> >>   1. Are some people unable to be changed by positive reinforcement?
> >
> >According to Reinforcement THEORY, most people's behaviors can be modified
> >by positively reinforcing a desired behavior.  My personal belief
> >is that if one understands the variables involved in a particular case,
> >and if one understands reinforcement theory, one stands a pretty good
> >chance of modifying another person's behavior -- if the other person sees
> >value in the modification.  High valence is essential to a *sustained*
> >behavior mod, I believe.
> >
> >>   2. For those people who are unable to learn from positive reinforcement
> >>       changed or behavior stopped by negative reinforcement?
> >
> >Eh? What?  If you are asking if one can use EITHER positive or negative
> >reinforcement to modify behavior, the answer is yes and no.  It depends on
> >the variables involved.
> >
> >It is very important to note that NEGATIVE reinforcement and punishment
> >are two very different concepts.  Negative reinforcement is the ABSENCE of
> >reinforcement.  PUNISHMENT is the imposition of an undesirable outcome in
> >response to an undesirable behavior.
> >
> >>   3. Can knowledge of negative reinforcement prevent the need for positive
> >> reinforcement?
> >
> >Do you want a term paper here, or a one-liner? (grin)  This is an
> >excellent question; I would suggest that knowledge and/or expectation of
> >PUNISHMENT (not neg.reinforcement) might mitigate the need for positive
> >reinforcement, but chances are that you will only be able to extinguish
> >OLD behaviors, and not promote NEW, desirable ones. Behavior that isn't
> >rewarded (true negative reinforcement), or is punished, is less likely to
> >be repeated.
> >
> >One uses pos. and neg. reinforcment, and punishment, for different
> >reasons.
> >
> >On the other hand, if you truly mean NEGATIVE reinforcement (ignoring
> >behavior) in your question and not punishment, I would posit that the
> >answer would probably be "no."
> >
> >I have always thought that when using reinforcement theory, one should
> >approach a desired state by considering that there are really TWO
> >behaviors that one needs to contend with: The undesirable behavior (UB)
> >and the desired behavior (DB).  Often people only consider eradicating
> >neg. behaviors and rewarding pos. behaviors; treating those behaviors in
> >isolation.
> >
> >If I want you to close my car door without slamming it, slamming the car
> >door is an UB of yours that I want to modify.  I can approach the problem by
> >focusing ONLY on the UB and attempting to modify it, which would be dealing
> >with the UB in isolation.  If I choose the strategy of negative
> >reinforcement and ignore the behavior, the behavior in this example would
> >probably persist.  If I say "Please don't slam the door," and then throw
> >my arms up in surprise and clap my hands over my ears each time you slam
> >it, I am dealing with the UB by attempting to modify it with punishment.
> >
> >OR
> >
> >I can show you a new behavior (DB) and positively reinforce that
> >(i.e. "I would appreciate it if you wouldn't slam my car door.  Slamming
> >it has a tendency to loosen the hinges and reduce the airtight
> >quality of the cab. Just roll the window down a bit and it will close real
> >easily.  Like this.  Thanks!"); thereby extinguishing the old behavior
> >(UB) WITHOUT punishment, AND simultaeneously establishing a new behavior (DB)
> >and rewarding you when you exhibit it. Ergo, we are treating TWO behaviors
> >instead of just one.  This approach should maximize the potential for
> >reaching the desired outcome.
> >
> >>   4. What should you do with people who cannot learn from either positive
> or
> >> negative reinforcement?<
> >
> >I believe that people DO and CAN learn from appropriate and
> >correct application of reinforcement theory.  Perhaps a more appropriate
> >question might be "Is the behavior change permanent or
> >temporary in relation to the type of reinforcement employed?"
> >
> >>   5.  Which causes learning to take place faster negative or positive
> >> reinforcement?
> >
> >It depends on the circumstances.
> >
> >
> >>   6.  If you do not know what type of reinforcement is a person's
> >> reinforcement style, what type should you use first?<
> >
> >I don't believe that people have a particular "reinforcement style".
> >Which reinforcement approach one would use would depend more on the
> >circumstances than any particular characteristics of the individual.
> >
> >>7. What type of reinforcement is remembered for a longest period of
> >time?<
> >
> >Generally speaking, if a desirable behavior (DB) is positively reinforced
> >using an appropriate schedule of reward, the DB should be repeated.  The
> >frequency with which the DB is exhibited should be in proportion to the
> >level of percieved valence by the participant.
> >
> >Generally speaking, if an undesirable behavior (UB) is negatively
> >reinforced (ignored) the UB MAY be extinguished.  In which case, there is
> >only a temporary need for this memory; although lack of repitition of the
> >UB may persist, the memory may not.
> >
> >Generally speaking, if an UB is punished (P) it may or may not be
> >"remembered" depending upon the relationships between:
> >
> >* the severity of the punishment
> >* the appropriateness of the use of punishment in this case
> >* the need for the punishment to be "remembered"
> >
> >The level of recidivism of a behavior after reinforcement theory and
> >behavior modification have been applied depends upon the appropriateness
> >of the approach and the circumstances surrounding the case (the
> >participant's perceived need to allow his or her behavior to be modified,
> >percieved value of the reward, organizational culture and structure, need
> >for the behavior to be modified as in student violence in the classroom,
> >etc., etc., etc.).
> >
> >DESIRED OUTCOMES as reasons for behavior mod. are also deciding
> >factors. Many folks suggest that reinforcing or treating an UB that
> >produces fear will only last (be "remembered") as long as necessary.
> >However, if you track me down and permanently tie my right arm behind my
> >back as punishment for typing a wrong answer on this test, I will remember
> the
> >reason for only having one remaining arm, forever.  But, did the punishment
> >equate to the UB?  Would the punishment cause me to give correct answers
> >in the future?  Did the relationship between the type of punishment and
> >the UB, and the choice of punishment (P) as a reinforcer equate to the
> >Desired Outcome you hoped to accomplish?
> >
> >Enough already.  I get the distinct impression that you are toying with
> >us, Gary.  If so, then I have just inflicted significant punishment on
> >myself for not seeing the trap and consequently answering the
> >questions (UB) and I will be very reluctant to answer such questions again
> >(modified behavior).  I won't be angry, but I'll be chagrined and may
> >even chuckle about it.  But -- I will have learned not to be so eager to
> answer
> >such questions; an important lesson. (grin)
> >
> >If you were truly curious, Gary, then I hope this is more helpful than it
> >is confusing.
> >
> >Pat Schutz
>
> Je pense, donc, je suis, Rene Descarte
> Chacun ont deux pays et un de ils est France, Benjamin Franklin
> vive la France