Skinner’s theory

According to Skinner’s theory, why did Colleen express so much interest in her heritage and in social events? Because whenever Colleen expressed interest in her heritage she was reinforced by smiles, hugs, kisses and remarks of what a good girl she is. When it came to her ability to organize social events her mother made sure to tell her how proud she was of her to be able to do it so well (praise). 2. What reinforced Colleen’s interest in her heritage and in social events, according to Skinner’s theory? Give specific examples. Are they primary or secondary reinforces?

Explain. Her parents rewarded Colleen with attention, affection and praise. These reinforces could be considered a blend of primary and secondary reinforces. Primary reinforce is somewhat natural and most of the time plays a role in survival. On the other hand, secondary reinforce is a stimulus that has already been associated with primary reinforce. Thus, attention, affection and praise could be considered both as primary and secondary reinforce. 3. Which of Colleen’s behaviors are not rewarded in college anymore? What term in radical behavior could be used to describe this?

Her nice dressing style, wearing make-up on daily basis, gossiping, southern accent, and not showing her intelligence. The concept of free will is showed here, because Colleen is not accepter by her environment for who she is. Therefore, if she wants to “fit in” she will have to change radically to be accepted by her peers. 4. According to radical behaviorism, why would Colleen could be experiencing depression? Because she is not getting positively reinforced by her environment. She learned to be appreciated for those things, but in a different context, now these exact things push people away from her.

She does not understand what is expected from her because behaviors that she was admired for in the South, works the opposite in the North. Colleen does not understand that and feels like her whole identity is rejected and therefore feels depressed. 5. According to Skinner’s theory, why would Colleen transfer out of college? Because what she learned cannot be unlearned. The behaviors for which she got praise and rewards became her identity and it would be way easier for her to transfer, then to trying to build-up a whole new set of behaviors that others consider admirable.


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