Essay on Why Extinction Does Happen It Is Not Indefinite

Essay on Why Extinction Does Happen It Is Not Indefinite

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However, when extinction does happen it is not indefinite. For example, Lattal,Peter,& Escobar(2015) state “That is, even though extinguished, the form of the response may remain stable or intact, at least in the short term but often in the longer term”. What this means is that even when extinction does occur the response that underwent the extinction process can recur/resurface if the reinforcer is reintroduced again.Why this is significant is because it shows how behavior can be learned and relearned all over again which is important if an individual is trying to get rid of a maladaptive behavior. In other words extinction can modify behavior. However, it can do the opposite and introduce a maladaptive behavior. Lattal,Peter,& Escobar(2015) state that “there is no guarantee that an alternative behavior generated by extinction will be more adaptive or socially appropriate than the response being extinguished”.Therefore a more severe dysfunctional behavior can result. For example, a student who is always late to class has been told that if he/she starts coming on time they will be given a dollar every time(positive reinforcer) however over time the reinforcer will be sometimes given and sometimes not(gradual extinction)and then eventually it stops all together. This can result in the student to not go to class at all. This then would become a more dysfunctional attribute because the student stopped going to class. When extinction does occur we can introduce shaping which forms a longer lasting behavior.

Gail B. Peterson (2004) describes the historical process that lead Skinner to discover shaping. In the year 1943 Skinner and his graduate students were working on a “wartime project sponsored by General Mills, INC.”(Peterson 200...


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...nts from the First Historical Force.

American culture is widely known to be a very materialistic culture, along with the idea of living in the future. It is through the idea of rewards and punishments(reinforcements) that these characteristics of american culture have emerged. Specifically using shaping as an example, we have learned to modify our behavior through the rewards we get, usually being a tangible object or most popularly in America, money. We have been trained in our schools systems to work hard for a letter grade, in which we carry with us to our jobs. In our jobs we work hard to get payed and with this pay we reward ourselves even further with material things that can be purchased with the money we received. As a result to the way we centralize our behavior for these materialistic items we live our lives daily not in the present but for the tomorrow.

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