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Motivational Systems


Motivational Systems Chap 26 Traditional Views of Motivation Contrary to the behavior analytic view, motivation was traditionally held to be a non-measurable ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Motivational Systems

Motivational Systems
  • Chap 26

Traditional Views of Motivation
  • Contrary to the behavior analytic view,
    motivation was traditionally held to be a
    non-measurable inner state or will that leads
    to desire (or lack of) to engage in a behavior
  • Many educators believe that the motivation to
    learn is naturally present in children
    (intrinsic) and is harmed by using external
    rewards (reinforcement procedures) to increase
    engagement in certain behaviors
  • A very influential book makes just such a claim

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Detrimental Effects of Rewards (Motivational
  • External motivational systems have been claimed
    to cause all sorts of problems
  • reduced creativity
  • reduced self-esteem
  • feelings of being controlled
  • reduced intrinsic motivation
  • dependency on rewards
  • dependency on others for self-concept
  • failure of skills to generalize

Rewarded by Rewards?
  • When properly identified, implemented, and
    monitored, however, external motivational
    systems are the MOST effective means to teaching
    many varied skills to children and
  • Research has shown that, when used skillfully,
    motivational systems do NOT cause any detrimental
    effects (Cameron, Banko, Pierce, 2001 Cameron
    Pierce, 1994, 2002 Eisenberger Cameron,

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Motivation Basics Reinforcement
  • According to the behavior analytic view,
    motivation is simply the likelihood that someone
    will engage in a behavior
  • One of the most powerful ways to increase that
    likelihood (motivation) is through the use of
    reinforcement procedures
  • Reinforcement states that if a particular
    behavior produces a favorable outcome, then that
    behavior is more likely to occur again in the
    future (In other words, the person is more
    motivated to engage in that behavior again)

Reinforcement Basics
  • delivery of the favorable outcome (the
    reinforcer) DEPENDS on the behavior to produce
    it (why buy the cow if you can get the milk for
  • learning occurs best when the reinforcer is
    RELIABLY produced by the behavior
  • the sooner the reinforcer occurs after the
    behavior the better

Natural Reinforcers
  • Our daily lives are filled with reinforcers for
    the behavior we engage in
  • Setting an alarm clock gets us up on time
  • Buying groceries gives us food to eat
  • Laying out our clothes the night before gets us
    to work quicker
  • Approaching our loved ones gives us enjoyment and
  • Watching a comedy makes us laugh
  • Taking aspirin makes us feel better
  • Infant crying produces a loving mom or dad

Teaching With Reinforcement
  • Although many of our behaviors are reinforced
    naturally, it is desirable to use reinforcement
    to teach functional skills that are currently
    very unlikely to occur on their own (but should
    occur much more frequently)
  • These include behaviors related to social
    interactions, communication, and interacting
    appropriately with ones environment

Importance of Reinforcement
  • Contingency management
  • Engagement in productive behavior is rewarded,
    engagement in non-productive behavior is not
  • Management of stereotypy
  • Matching law (see-saw effect)
  • Reinforcing productive behavior will result in a
    decrease of non-productive behavior
  • Increasing reinforcement
  • Communication
  • Frequent feedback gets relayed to the student

Identifying Potential Reinforcers
  • Sampling
  • Think outside the box (go shopping!)
  • Catalogs
  • E.g., highlites
  • Variation on a theme
  • E.g., Bob the Builder
  • Stereotypy
  • E.g., Visual stereotypy, use water toys

Matching Task to Reinforcers
  • Use naturally reinforcing contingencies when
  • E.g., Snacks for eating
  • Important tasks get a specific reinforcer
  • E.g. verbal imitation, toilet training
  • Reserve a favored reinforcer for specific task
  • Maintains potency
  • E.g., MMs for bike riding

  • Choice
  • Multiple reinforcers for multiple tasks
  • Increase reinforcer breadth
  • Prevents satiation
  • Single reinforcer with single response
  • Most powerful reinforcer for most important
  • Potty training, language skills, eating
  • Restricting access increases potency of reward
  • (Supply and demand)

Building Reinforcers
  • Pair Primary Reinforcers with Secondary
  • Secondary reinforcers paired with novel rewards
  • Use Premack Principle to establish new
  • Make engagement with preferred rewards contingent
    on engagement with less preferred rewards
  • E.g., if a child only likes video, must engage in
    other activities before earning access to video
  • Skill teaching
  • Once competent with many activities they
    eventually become reinforcers
  • E.g., puzzles, bike riding

Correct Use of Reinforcement
  • Adventitious Reinforcement Effects
  • Contingent Immediate
  • Correct Response and Attending Skills

  • Pre-requisites
  • Picture/Object Correspondence
  • Observing response

Teaching Choice
  • Select from limited range of objects
  • Select from limited range of pictures
  • Systematically Increase number of pictures
  • Choice board
  • Choice book

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Types of Motivational Systems
  • Direct Reinforcement
  • Token Economy
  • Sticker-Check Board
  • Snacks in a cup
  • Embedded snacks in activity schedule
  • Pennies embedded in activity schedule
  • Contingency Contracting
  • Group Contingencies

Types of Motivational Systems
  • Direct Reinforcement

Token Economy
  • A behavior change system consisting of
  • A specified list of target behaviors
  • Tokens or points that learners receive for
    emitting target behaviors
  • Backup reinforcers obtained by exchanging earned
  • Tokens are arbitrary, neutral stimuli which
    become generalized conditioned reinforcers
  • Use a variety of back up reinforcers to maintain
    potency of rewards

Conditioned reinforcers
  • An event object or stimulus that is not initially
    reinforcing but acquires the properties of a
    reinforcer after frequent pairing or association
    with another reinforcer
  • E.g., ???
  • Limitations
  • Can satiate

Generalized conditioned reinforcer
  • Paired with a variety of backup reinforcers
  • E.g.,
  • No satiation
  • Tokens exchangeable for a wide variety of backup
    reinforcers have considerable utility
  • Must frequently access backup reinforcer

Common Misconceptions about Generalized
Conditioned Reinforcement
  • Reinforcers are generalized because they
    reinforce a wide range of behavior or can be used
    to reinforce behavior in a wide range of settings
  • Why false?
  • Generalized conditioned reinforcers is not
    generalized to behaviors or settings but to many
    backup reinforcers

Why Use a Token System?
  • Saves resources (time, money)
  • Practical we arent always able to deliver the
    SR immediately after the target behavior
  • Change the learners behavior
  • Less satiation
  • Change the teachers behavior
  • Specify what behaviors are important to change
  • Increases likelihood of using positive SR
  • Decreases use of aversive procedures

Guidelines for Using a Token System
  • Collect baseline data on target behaviors
  • Identify Target Behaviors
  • Operationally define
  • Define tokens
  • Easy to administer
  • Portable
  • Durable
  • Safe (nontoxic and cant be swallowed if this is
    an issue with the learner)
  • Cant be accessed any other way

Choosing Tokens
  • They dont have to have innate value
  • Poker chip, sticker, coupon, coin
  • Check mark, hole punch, happy face
  • Penny, piece of colored paper cut in a certain
    shape, rubber stamp, button, bean
  • You can use stimuli that the student is likely to
    attend to (e.g., letters, Thomas characters) but
    not too distracting!

Other Examples
  • Connect the dots that make a picture of the
  • Puzzle pieces that makes a picture
  • Pieces that add to a scene
  • Tokens have the pic of the item being earned
  • Fill in blank spots on a chart

After tokens have been identified
  • Identify backup reinforcers
  • Set up the Exchange
  • Decide on schedule of token delivery
  • Begin with CRF
  • Deliver tokens immediately
  • Deliver praise, smile, eye contact with the token
  • Deliver token when learner is making eye contact
    if target is social
  • Decide who will deliver, when, where tokens will
    be delivered
  • If not on a board, how will tokens be stored?
    Cup, box, jar, necklace
  • Will data be collected?
  • How much do backup reinforcers cost?
  • Begin with small number of tokens
  • Gradually increase the number of tokens, while
    increasing the cost, potency, and variety of the
    backup reinforcers.
  • With whom, when, and where will tokens be

After tokens have been identified
  • Train all users instruction, modeling,
    feedback, demonstration of mastery
  • Make sure system is written down so users can
    refer to it
  • Response Cost? Dont use until tokens are
    established as conditioned reinforcers
  • Field test your system for several days

Using Token Systems with Learners with Limited
  • Begin with 1 token and immediately deliver the
    backup reinforcer when the token is earned
  • Keep the token board in view all the time
  • Place a picture of the item to be earned on the
    token board
  • Gradually increase the number of tokens
  • Look for signs that its time to increase the
    number of tokens take data on this!
  • Good attending to the token board
  • Tokens are functioning as reinforcers
  • Learner initiates sequence
  • Learner tries to steal tokens to put on the
  • Have spaces on the token board that show how many
    tokens need to be earned to exchange for the
    backup reinforcer

Building Initial Token Systems
  • Direct Reinforcement
  • Trading one Token for a Toy
  • Using multiple tokens

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Motivational Systems as Behavior Chains
  • Behavior Chain
  • A specific sequence of responses each associated
    with a particular stimulus condition
  • Involves the performance of a specific series of
    discrete responses
  • Each response is a conditioned SR and an SD
  • The responses must be performed in the correct
    order and in close temporal succession to one

Motivational Systems as Behavior Chains
  • Earn tokens
  • Get picture
  • Put on timer board
  • Play with toy
  • Turn off timer
  • Put toy back
  • Put timer board back
  • Put picture in discard pile
  • Select new choice
  • Earn tokens

Ways to Fade the Token System
  • Plan for this before you begin!
  • Gradually increase the number of responses
    required to earn a token
  • Make the schedule of token delivery intermittent
  • Gradually decrease the time the system is in
  • Make backup reinforcers preferred items that are
    available in the natural environment
  • Gradually increase cost of most preferred items
    and keep low preference items cheap
  • Gradually make the token board smaller
  • To goal of keeping in daily planner, purse,
    wallet or fading out entirely
  • Gradually increase the delay between target
    behavior and token delivery
  • No research on which method is best
  • Build in programming for generalization and
    self-monitoringin the next few weeks well
    discuss this.

Types of Motivational Systems
  • Sticker-Check Board
  • Snacks in a cup
  • Embedded snacks in activity schedule
  • Pennies embedded in activity schedule

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Types of Motivational Systems
  • Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior
  • Differential Reinforcement of Alternative
  • Differential Reinforcement of Incompatible

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Types of Motivational Systems
  • Behavioral Contract
  • Document that specifies a contingent relationship
    between the completion of a specified behavior
    and access to or delivery of a specified reward.
  • School Note

Contingency Contracting
  • Contingency Contract
  • AKA Behavioral contract
  • Document that specifies a contingent relationship
    between the completion of a specified behavior
    and access to, or delivery of, a specified reward

3 Major Components
  • Task
  • Whowill perform the task
  • Whatis the task to be performed
  • Whenmust the task must be completed
  • How wellmust the task be completed
  • Reward why not reinforcer?
  • Whowill deliver the reward
  • Whatis the reward
  • Whenwill the reward be delivered
  • How muchreward will be delivered
  • Task Record include a place for
  • Task completion
  • Task reward

  • Nature of the target behavior
  • Should already be in the learners repertoire
  • Should produce a permanent product or performed
    in the presence of someone else
  • Verbal skills of the learner
  • If learner is a nonreader, he should have good
    verbal skills
  • Can use pictures, symbols, audio or videotape

  • Contracts should be
  • Fair and realistic
  • Clearly written
  • Post contracts in a visible place
  • To evaluate, record occurrence of task completion
    during baseline and during contract
  • Renegotiate contract if necessary
  • Terminate the contract when independent and
    proficient performance is achieve
  • And youre confident it will be maintained

Group Contingency
  • Contingency in which a common consequence is
    delivered contingent upon the behavior of
  • One member of the group
  • Part of the group
  • Everyone in the group

Advantages of Using Group Contingencies
  • Save time
  • Can be used when individual contingencies are
  • e.g., disruptive behaviors of several students
    need to be managed
  • Peer influence can be capitalized on to increase

Types of Group Contingencies
  • Independent
  • Reward is delivered only to group members who
    meet the criteria
  • Dependent
  • Reward for the whole group is dependent on the
    performance of an individual
  • The target student may be known or unknown
  • Potential problems?
  • Interdependent
  • All members of the group must meet the criteria
    for any member to receive the reward
  • Potential problems?

  • Choose rewards that are preferred items for all
    learners in the group how?
  • Be absolutely sure each member of the group is
    capable of performing the target behavior.
  • Make sure some group members do not find it
    reinforcing to sabotage the whole group
  • The system must minimize the possibility of some
    members performing the target behavior for others

Reinforcement Potential Pitfalls
  • Termination
  • Rate of Reinforcement
  • Adjusting rate based on task and skill of
  • Satiation
  • Breadth of Reinforcers
  • Large selection
  • Novelty
  • Choice
  • Sample rewards
  • Rotating rewards
  • Individualization
  • Number of tokens