b) In observing Max playing with his father, the psychologist notices that when Max starts using curse words, Max’s father reacts by laughing. Assume that Max’s cursing is a behavior that occurs often. In a few sentences, please explain the effect of laughing on Max’s behavior (be specific). Predict what will happen to Max’s behavior if his father consistently laughs at him. The act of the father laughing to the child’s cursing is a form of positive reinforcement to the child. The child feels encouraged to curse, or he feels like he’s being appreciated by the laugh of the father. This leads to the child thinking that it is normal to curse, and he might do it more often and even to people other than his parents.
PSYC 221-02 Daniyal A. Khan Prof. Kristina Due Date: 09/13/2017 c) Please brainstorm at least two reinforcers and two punishers that Max’s parents may use to change his negative behaviors. What behaviors do Max’s parents want to reinforce? What behaviors do they want to punish? Reinforcers: 1. The parents could give the child a candy when he doesn’t throw his toys for a certain period of time. The parents could gradually extend the duration after which he gets the candy.
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