Within this unit, you have learned that Functional Behavior Assessment is a process that involves indirect methods, direct descriptive methods, and, at times, functional analysis.

For this discussion, you are going to focus on antecedent conditions that influence behavior. Create a scenario and answer the following questions:

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Describe discriminative stimuli and how this influences the behavior in your hypothetical scenario.
Describe motivating operations and how this influences the behavior in your hypothetical scenario.

Peer Responses: Respond to two classmates’ primary posts by identifying whether the motivating operation in your peers’ hypothetical scenario is unconditioned or conditioned and whether it is having an abolishing or an establishing effect on the target behavior.

Jelynette Benejan posted Jul 23, 2020 10:18 PM
“The stimuli that precede the occurrence of behavior and signal that reinforcement following the behavior is likely to occur are called discriminative stimuli” (Watson, Mark W. Steege; Jamie L. Pratt; Garry Wickerd; Richard Guare; T. S. (2019), p. 34). Simply put, a discriminative stimuli is the object or person who/that is going to reinforce the behavior.

Motivating operations make it so that you behave in a certain way to get something you really want. “MO’s change how much people want something” (Watson, Mark W. Steege; Jamie L. Pratt; Garry Wickerd; Richard Guare; T. S. (2019), p. 37). This can occur through deprivation.

I work as a nanny for two children. Their dad works a lot and is rarely home during the week and the mom works a lot too so they don’t get much attention from their parents during the week. In the summer the little girl tends to get a lot of mosquito bites. She usually scratches them until she bleeds. This is an example of an MO. The scratching becomes of more value because it will relieve the itchiness. Eventually she forgets about it. But when her mom gets home, the little girl will begin to scratch it again because her mom will sit next to her and massage the mosquito bite with anti-itch cream. The Discriminative stimulus is her mother who is giving her the attention she wants and the scratching will only happen again in the presence of her mom.

Katelyn Smiley posted Jul 23, 2020 3:04 PM
Describe discriminative stimuli and how this influences the behavior in your hypothetical scenario.
A discriminative stimulus tells a person that they will get a particular reinforcer for a particular behavior, which they have received in the past. For me, when I think of SD’s in my everyday life, I think of brushing teeth. When I wake up in the morning, and my fiancé says “brush your teeth, you smell” My fiancé’s comment is my SD, and it influences me to go brush my teeth. Also, I know that once I brush my teeth, my fiancé kisses me and says “minty fresh” and that makes me happy! So, because the kiss is reinforcing the brushing teeth behavior, it is likely I will do that same behavior in the future, in search of that same reinforcement.

Describe motivating operations and how this influences the behavior in your hypothetical scenario.
Motivating Operations influence behavior change by momentarily altering the effectiveness of reinforcing consequences. There are two types of motivating operations, unconditioned and conditioned (Spohn, 2020). Unconditioned means that it didn’t have to be taught. This would be like food and water. Conditioned means it was learned. An example of this is money. Ill give a scenario for each. For unconditioned, drinking water after eating salty food. The salty food momentarily increases the reinforcing effectiveness of the water. And then in the future, if I eat something salty I will likely drink water again. An example of conditioned might be that when you just recently spent a lot of money, and someone offers you a job, the job momentarily increases the reinforcing effectiveness of the money, because you know you need/want more and the job will get you that money. This will also likely increase the chances for you to accept work in the future to get more money.

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