Reinforcement Worksheet

Consider the following scenario:
A mom is trying to increase the amount of peas that her two children eat. She uses a sticker chart to monitor the amount of peas they are consuming and rewards them based on the number of stickers they have at the end of the week. The mom has found that this works for one child, but not the other. (Jennings, 2015)
In this scenario the mother is trying to get her children to eat more of their peas so, she decides to put stickers on a chart (behavior) in order to monitor the amount of peas each child consumes. Therefore, the method of reinforcement being used is considered positive reinforcement because the mother is adding a stimuli (reward) by the appearance of a reinforcer (the children eating more peas). Another example of positive reinforcement would be a teacher giving his/her students a sticker or treat (positive stimulus) for getting an A on their assignments (behavior). However, each person is different so just because something works for one person doesn’t necessarily means it will work for another person. In this situation, self-stimulation, escape/avoidance, and delivery time of the reinforcement are all possible reasons why the method worked for one child and not the other. First, the method probably didn’t work for one child because he/she was more concerned with removing a sensation that was internally displeasing (the nasty taste of peas), rather than focusing on the external pleasure (the reward). Another reason the method probably didn’t work for one child was due to escape/avoidance, much like self-stimulation, the child’s behavior wasn’t dependent on obtaining anything but rather just escaping or avoiding having to eat his/her peas. Last, the delivery time of the reinforcement could’ve also been a reason why the method didn’t work for one child. With the mother waiting all week to reward the children for eating their peas she may have reduced the likelihood of the behavior occurring again. “If the reinforcer is to reinforce a particular response, it must follow the response within about 60 seconds or less” (Malott & Shane, 2014, p. 4). Therefore, one child probably didn’t learn or understand that by eating the peas he/she will receive a reward at the end of the week. Nonetheless, some ideas to get the children to eat their peas include:
1. The mother praising and encouraging (positive reinforcement) her children as soon as they’re done eating their peas (behavior).
2. The mother rewarding her children with their favorite dessert (positive reinforcement) as soon as they’re done eating their peas (behavior).
3. The mother adding a treat with the peas such as, her children’s favorite food (positive reinforcement) in order to make them more interested in eating the peas (behavior).
4. The mother telling her children that they can be excused from the dining table (negative reinforcement) if they eat at least three spoonful of peas (behavior).
Follow APA Guidelines.
175-300 Words per Question.
Worksheet attached.