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August 22, 2019, 05:27:14 am

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A+study

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Operant conditioning question
« on: July 20, 2013, 04:12:45 pm »
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"Alex tries to convince her father to buy her some lollies as they walk around the supermarket, intensifying pleas and the volume of voice which eventually results in a temper tantrum. Rather than give in to her, Alex's father refuses to buy the lollies but he often compensates by giving her a piggy-back ride. Even though Alex is never given lollies, she continues to throw a tantrum whenever she accompanies her father to the supermarket.
What is the most likely reason that this behaviour continues?
A. Alex thinks that if she continues her annoying behaviour long enough, her father will eventually give in and buy her lollies when they are shopping.
B. The fact that her father is not buying lollies for Jordan is acting as a negative reinforcer and hence her behaviour is repeated.
C. The piggy-back rides are acting as a neutral reinforcement.
D. The piggy-back rides are acting as a positive reinforcement.

The answer is supposedly A, but couldn't D be the answer as well? Can anyone explain this please? Thanks!

vox nihili

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Re: Operant conditioning question
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2013, 04:51:41 pm »
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"Alex tries to convince her father to buy her some lollies as they walk around the supermarket, intensifying pleas and the volume of voice which eventually results in a temper tantrum. Rather than give in to her, Alex's father refuses to buy the lollies but he often compensates by giving her a piggy-back ride. Even though Alex is never given lollies, she continues to throw a tantrum whenever she accompanies her father to the supermarket.
What is the most likely reason that this behaviour continues?
A. Alex thinks that if she continues her annoying behaviour long enough, her father will eventually give in and buy her lollies when they are shopping.
B. The fact that her father is not buying lollies for Jordan is acting as a negative reinforcer and hence her behaviour is repeated.
C. The piggy-back rides are acting as a neutral reinforcement.
D. The piggy-back rides are acting as a positive reinforcement.

The answer is supposedly A, but couldn't D be the answer as well? Can anyone explain this please? Thanks!

It's been a couple of years since I've done psych, but to me it seems like D is correct. The idea of operant conditioning is that a particular behaviour leads to a result. If we like the result, we repeat the behaviour. If we don't like it, we stop the behaviour. Given that she has never had lollies bought for her by chucking a tantrum, it seems unreasonable to suggest that she would assume that it is working or would work. It seems more reasonable to go with D, because the piggy-back rides, something she likes, are given to her when she chucks a tantrum. Chucking a tantrum, leads to piggy back rides. Positive reinforcement. Seems odd to me! Though I'd be interested to see what the psych geniuses have to say on this one. Sometimes psych can be a bit odd to interpret, so this may be the case here.
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