Punishment

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Chapter 14:
Punishment by Stimulus
Presentation
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Introduction
• Learning from the consequences that
produce pain or discomfort, or the loss of
reinforcers, has survival value for the
individual and for the species.
• Punishment teaches us not to repeat
responses that cause us harm
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Introduction
• Punishment is:
– Poorly understood
– Frequently misapplied
– Controversial
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Introduction
As a principle of behavior, punishment is
not about punishing the person.
Punishment is a:
response
consequence
contingency that suppresses the future
frequency of similar responses.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Operations & Defining Effect of Punishment
Punishment has occurred when a
response is followed immediately by a
stimulus change that decreases the future
frequency of similar responses
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Operations & Defining Effect of Punishment
Punishment is defined neither by the
actions of the person delivering the
consequences, nor by the nature of those
consequences.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Operations & Defining Effect of Punishment
A decrease in the future frequency of the
occurrence of the behavior must be
observed before a consequence-based
intervention qualifies as punishment.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Positive Punishment & Negative Punishment
Positive Punishment
Presentation of a stimulus (or an increase in
the intensity of an already present stimulus)
immediately following a behavior that results in a
decrease in the frequency of the behavior.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Positive Punishment & Negative Punishment
Negative Punishment
The termination of an already present stimulus
(or a decrease in the intensity of an already
present stimulus) immediately following a
behavior that results in a decrease in the future
frequency of the behavior.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Positive Punishment & Negative Punishment
For a stimulus change to function as negative
punishment, which amounts to the removal of a
positive reinforcer, a “motivating operation for
the reinforcer must be in effect, otherwise
removing it will not constitute punishment.”
(Michael, 2004, p.36)
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Positive Punishment & Negative Punishment
Positive & negative punishment are sometimes
identified as:
Type I Punishment
Type II Punishment
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Positive Punishment & Negative Punishment
Because aversive events are associated with
positive punishment and with negative
reinforcement, the umbrella term aversive
control is often used to describe intervention
involving either or both of these two principles.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Discriminative Effects of Punishment
The 3 term contingency for punishment
(1) In a particular stimulus situation (S), (2) some
kinds of behavior (R), when followed
immediately by (3) certain stimulus changes
(SP), show a decreased future frequency of
occurrence in the same or in similar situations.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Discriminative Effects of Punishment
If punishment occurs only in some stimulus
conditions and not in others, the suppressive
effects of punishment will be most prevalent
under those conditions.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Discriminative Effects of Punishment
The symbol adopted by Cooper, Heron, and
Heward for the discriminative stimulus for
punishment is SDp.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Discriminative Effects of Punishment
SDp
A stimulus condition in the presence of which
a response has a lower probability of
occurrence than it does in its absence as a
result of response-contingent punishment
delivery in the presence of the stimulus.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Dp
S
R
Effect on Future Frequency
of Similar Responses
in Presence of SD
p
S
Grandma in the
kitchen before dinner
Reach into cookie jar
Grandma scolds
Seagulls present at
beach picnic
Leave sandwich
unattended
Seagull flies away
with sandwich
Three-term contingencies illustrating positive and negative punishment of
a discriminated operant: A response (R) emitted in the presence of a
discriminative stimulus (SDp) is followed closely in time by a stimulus
change (SP) and results in a decreased frequency of similar responses in
the future when the SDp is present. A discriminated operant for
punishment is the product of a conditioning history in which responses in
the presence of the SDp have been punished and similar responses in the
absence of the SDp have not been punished.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Recovery from Punishment
When punishment is discontinued, its
suppressive effects on responding are usually
not permanent.
Sometimes the rate of responding after
punishment is discontinued will not only recover
but also briefly exceed the level at which it was
occurring prior to punishment
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Recovery from Punishment
Permanent response suppression may occur
when complete suppression of behavior to a
zero rate of responding has been achieved with
intense punishment.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Unconditioned and Conditioned Punishers
A punisher is a stimulus change that
immediately follows the occurrence of a
behavior and reduces the future frequency of
that type of behavior.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Unconditioned and Conditioned Punishers
An unconditioned punisher is a stimulus whose
presentation functions as punishment without having
been paired with any other punishers.
Product of the evolutionary history of a species
(phylogeny); all biologically intact members of a species
are more or less susceptible to punishment by the same
unconditioned punishers.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Unconditioned and Conditioned Punishers
Unlike unconditioned reinforcers, under most
conditions many unconditioned punishers will
suppress any behavior that precedes their
onset.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Unconditioned and Conditioned Punishers
A conditioned punisher is a stimulus change
that functions as punishment as a result of a
person’s conditioning history.
Acquires the capability to function as a punisher
through stimulus-stimulus pairing with one or
more unconditioned or conditioned punishers.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Unconditioned and Conditioned Punishers
If the conditioned punisher is repeatedly
presented without the punisher(s) with which it
was initially paired, its effectiveness as
punishment will diminish until it is no longer a
punisher.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Unconditioned and Conditioned Punishers
Verbal analog conditioning
Previously neutral stimuli can also become
conditioned punishers for humans without direct
physical pairing with another punisher.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Unconditioned and Conditioned Punishers
A stimulus change that has been paired with numerous
forms of unconditioned and conditioned punishers
becomes a generalized conditioned punisher.
Generalized conditioned punishers are free from the
control of specific motivating conditions and will function
as punishment under most conditions.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Unconditioned and Conditioned Punishers
- IMPORTANT point Punishers, like reinforcers, are not defined by
their physical properties, but by their functions.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Factors That Influence the Effectiveness of Punishment
Immediacy of punishment
Intensity of punishment
Schedule or frequency of punishment
Availability of reinforcement for the target behavior
Availability of reinforcement for an alternative behavior.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Factors That Influence the Effectiveness of Punishment
Immediacy
Maximum suppressive effects are obtained when the
onset of the punisher occurs as soon as possible after
the occurrence of a target response.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Factors That Influence the Effectiveness of Punishment
Intensity
The more intense the punishing stimulus is the greater it
will reduce future responding.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Factors That Influence the Effectiveness of Punishment
Schedule
The greater the proportion of responses that are followed
by the punisher is the greater the response reduction.
Continuous Punishment =
response suppression, but
allows for rapid recovery when the punishment
contingency is removed.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Factors That Influence the Effectiveness of Punishment
Reinforcement for the Target Behavior
The effectiveness of punishment is modulated by the
reinforcement contingencies maintaining the problem
behavior.
To the extent that reinforcement maintaining the
problem behavior can be reduced or eliminated,
punishment will be more apparent.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Factors That Influence the Effectiveness of Punishment
Reinforcement for Alternative Behaviors
Milleson (1967) stated:
If punishment is employed in an attempt to eliminate
certain behavior, then whatever reinforcement the
undesirable behavior had led to must be made available
via a more desirable behavior.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Possible Side Effects and Problems with Punishment
Elicitation of undesirable emotional response and aggression
Escape and Avoidance
Increased rate of the problem behavior under nonpunishment
Modeling undesirable behavior
Not teaching the learner what to do
Overusing punishment because of the negative reinforcement it
provides the punishing agent.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Possible Side Effects and Problems with Punishment
Elicitation of undesirable emotional response and
aggression.
Punishment, especially positive punishment in the form
of aversive stimulation, may evoke aggressive behavior
with respondent and operant components.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Possible Side Effects and Problems with Punishment
Elicitation of undesirable emotional response and
aggression.
Aggressive behavior following punishment that occurs
because it has enable the person to escape the aversive
stimulation in the past is referred to as operant
aggression.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Possible Side Effects and Problems with Punishment
Escape and Avoidance
Natural reactions to aversive stimulation
As the intensity of the punisher increases, so does the
likelihood of escape and avoidance.
Can be minimized by providing alternative responses
that come into contact with reinforcement and avoid the
punisher.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Possible Side Effects and Problems with Punishment
Behavioral Contrast
Change in one component of a multiple schedule that
increases or decreases the rate of responding on that
component is accompanied by a change in the response
rate in the opposite direction on the other, unaltered
component of the schedule.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Possible Side Effects and Problems with Punishment
Punishment may involve undesirable modeling
Punishment tactics may model undesirable behaviors.
2 decades of research have found strong correlation between
young children’s exposure to harsh and excessive punishment and
antisocial behavior and conduct disorders as adolescents and
adults.
(Patterson, 1982; Patterson, Reid, & Dishion, 1992; Sprague &
Walker, 2000).
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Definitions & Nature of Punishment
Possible Side Effects and Problems with Punishment
Negative Reinforcement of the Punishing Agent’s Behavior
Punishment reinforces the punisher.
Punishment tends to terminate the punished behavior
quickly. The punisher’s behavior tends to be negatively
reinforced by the immediate cessation of the punished
behavior.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Examples of Positive Punishment
Interventions
Reprimands
The delivery of verbal reprimands following the
occurrence of misbehavior is an example of attempted
positive punishment.
Reprimands given repeatedly may lead to the subject
habituating to the stimulus
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Examples of Positive Punishment
Interventions
Response Blocking
Physically intervening as soon as the person begins to
emit the problem behavior to prevent or “block” the
completion of the response has been show to be
effective in reducing the frequency of some problem
behaviors.
Suppressive effects of response blocking may be due to
punishment or to extinction.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Examples of Positive Punishment
Interventions
Response Blocking
Response blocking as a treatment intervention must be
approached with great care.
Side effects such as aggression and resistance to the
response blocking procedure have occurred in some
studies.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Examples of Positive Punishment
Interventions
Contingent Exercise
An intervention in which a person is required to perform
a response that is not topographically related to the
problem behavior.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
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Examples of Positive Punishment
Interventions
Overcorrection
A behavior change tactic based on positive punishment
in which, contingent on the problem behavior, the learner
is required to engage in effortful behavior that is directly
or logically related to the problem.
2 Forms: Restitutional and Positive Practice
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
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Examples of Positive Punishment
Interventions
Overcorrection
Restitutional Overcorrection
Contingent on the problem behavior, the learner is
required to repair or return the environment to its original
state and then to engage in additional behavior to bring
the environment to a condition vastly better than it was in
prior to the misbehavior.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Examples of Positive Punishment
Interventions
Overcorrection
Positive Practice Overcorrection
Contingent on an occurrence of the target behavior the
learner is required to repeat a correct form of the
behavior, or a behavior incompatible with the problem, a
specified number of times.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Examples of Positive Punishment
Interventions
Contingent Electric Stimulation
46 studies have demonstrated that contingent electric
stimulation can be a safe and highly effective method for
suppressing chronic and life- threatening self-injurious
behavior (SIB).
Self-Injurious Behavior Inhibiting System (SIBIS)
One of the most rigorously researched and carefully
applied procedures for implementing punishment by
electric stimulation for self-inflicted blows to the head or
face.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Guidelines for Using Punishment Effectively
Select Effective and Appropriate Punishers
Punishment as part of a behavior change program has
nothing to do with retribution.
1. Punishment is not about threats.
2. When punishers are threatened and not delivered, the
child learns that your verbal threats are not associated
with the actual punishing behavior.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Guidelines for Using Punishment Effectively
Select Effective and Appropriate Punishers
Conduct Punisher Assessments
Parallel process to a reinforcer assessment (Ch. 11).
Advantages:
1. The sooner an effective punisher can be identified, the sooner it
can be applied to treat the problem behavior.
2. Data from punisher assessments might reveal the magnitude or
intensity of punisher necessary for behavioral suppression. Allows
practitioner to determine the smallest intensity of punisher that is still
affective.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Guidelines for Using Punishment Effectively
Select Effective and Appropriate Punishers
Consider Using Varied Punishers
Varying the form of the punishing stimulus enhanced the
punishing effect.
It appears that by presenting a varied format of
commonly used punishers, inappropriate behaviors may
further decrease without the use of more intrusive
punishment procedures.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Guidelines for Using Punishment Effectively
Use the Least Intensity of Punishment That is Effective
Ethical guidelines and the doctrine of the least restrictive alternative
demand that the most effective, but least intrusive, form of
punishment be used initially.
Questions to answer when deciding on a form of punishment:
Will this form of punishment suppress the behavior?
Will this form of punishment be controlled from application to
application?
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Guidelines for Using Punishment Effectively
Use the Least Intensity of Punishment That is Effective
Punishment is more effective when the stimulus is
delivered at its optimum level initially than when its
intensity is gradually increased over time.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Guidelines for Using Punishment Effectively
Experience the Punishment Personally
Practitioners should experience any punisher personally
before the treatment begins
Doing to reminds the practitioner that the technique
produces physical discomfort.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Guidelines for Using Punishment Effectively
Deliver the Punishment Immediately
Every instance of the inappropriate behavior should be
punished.
Punishment affects most the behavior that immediately
precedes the onset of punishment.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Guidelines for Using Punishment Effectively
Deliver the Punishment at the Beginning of the Response
Chain
As much as practical, punishment should occur early in
the behavioral sequence rather than later.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Guidelines for Using Punishment Effectively
Deliver the Punishment Unemotionally
Punishment should be delivered in a business-like,
matter-of-fact manner.
Resist statement such as, “I told you so.” “Now, you’ve
gone and done i.” and “What do you have to say for
yourself?”
All you want to do is modify behavior, not make people
atone for their sins.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Guidelines for Using Punishment Effectively
Punish Each Instance of the Behavior
Punishment is most effective when the punisher follows
each instance of the behavior.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Guidelines for Using Punishment Effectively
Provide Response Prompts and Reinforcement for
Alternative Behavior.
Punishment is most effective when the learner can make
other responses for reinforcement.
The more reinforcement the learner obtains by emitting
appropriate behavior, the less motivate he will be to emit
the problem behavior.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Guidelines for Using Punishment Effectively
Watch for Side Effects of Punishment
The suppression of one inappropriate behavior may lead
to the increased expression of another or the complete
suppression of all other behaviors.
Decreasing episodes of self-injurious behavior bay
produce increased levels of verbal noncompliance
Expand observations to include collateral or parallel
behaviors.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Guidelines for Using Punishment Effectively
Record, Graph and Evaluate Data Daily
Data collection in the first session or two of a punishment based
intervention is especially critical.
Graphing the frequency of the target behavior before, during, and
after the presentation of the punisher establishes the effectiveness
of punishment.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Ethical Considerations Regarding the Use of
Punishment
Right to Safe and Humane Treatment
The first ethical canon and responsibility for any human
services program is to do no harm.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Ethical Considerations Regarding the Use of
Punishment
Least Restrictive Alternative
The less intrusive procedures should be tried and found
to be ineffective before more intrusive procedures are
implemented.
Interventions can be viewed as falling along a continuum
of restrictiveness from least to most.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Ethical considerations Regarding the Use of
Punishment
Least Restrictive Alternative
A procedure’s overall level of restrictiveness is a
combined function of its absolute level of restrictiveness,
the amount of time required to produce a clinically
acceptable outcome, and the consequences associated
with delayed intervention.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Ethical considerations Regarding the Use of
Punishment
Right to Effective Treatment
Failing to use a punishment procedure that research has
show to suppress self-destructive behavior similar to the
client’s is unethical because it withholds a potentially
effective treatment and may maintain a dangerous or
uncomfortable state for the person.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Ethical considerations Regarding the Use of
Punishment
Developing and Using a Punishment Policy can Procedural
Safeguards
Follow a written policy statement.
Consult local, state, or professional association policy
statement regarding the use of punishment.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Concluding Perspectives
Recognizing Punishment's Natural and Necessary Role in
Learning
Behavior analysts should not shy away from punishment.
Positive and negative punishment contingencies
naturally as a part of everyday life.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Concluding Perspectives
Punishment is a natural part of life
Punishment happens!
Whether punishment is socially mediated, planned or
unplanned, or conducted by sophisticated practitioners,
Vollmer believed that a science of behavior should study
punishment.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Concluding Perspectives
More Research on Punishment is Needed
Many recommendations for punishment are derived from
basic research conducted more than 40 years ago.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
Concluding Perspectives
Interventions Featuring Positive Punishment Should be
Treated as Default Technologies
Iwata (1988) recommended that punishment-based
intervention involving the contingent application of
aversive stimulation, such as SIBIS, be treated as
default technologies.
A default technology is on the at practitioner turns to
when other methods have failed.
Cooper, Heron, and Heward
Applied Behavior Analysis, Second Edition
Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved
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