Running Head: BEHAVIOR CAN BE MODIFIED BY REWARDS AND REINFORCEMENTS Behavior Modification: Desired Behavior can be Created by Proper Reinforcement Natalie Tamayo CUNY Queens College Abstract This experiment is centered on the notation of Behavior Modification. In this experiment a rat is trained to exhibit a targeted behavior called Roll. The desired goal of the experiment is mold the rat into the behavior of producing rolls whenever the light is turned on.
One rat took part in this experiment. There were two precursor behaviors to the desired Roll behavior. One behavior was genital grooming and the other was head tucking. First the behavior of genital grooming was consistently reinforced when exhibited. This behavior, after sometime, led in to the secondary behavior of head tucking. Once the rat began to consistently exhibit the behavior of head tucking the reinforcement for the genital grooming was eliminated.
Reinforcements were then only provided for the displayed behavior of head tucking thus encouraging this secondary behavior. When the rat begins head tucking on a fairly often basis this behavior leads into the ultimately desired behavior of rolls. Just as was done with the first precursor behavior, reinforcements were then discontinued for this behavior and were only reintroduced for the behavior of roll. Once the rat had proved that she could consistently roll the last step of this experiment was introduced.
This part entailed incorporating the dependant variable of light. Now she would only receive reinforcement when the light was turn on and she rolled. The following hypothesis was supported; desired behaviors can be controlled through proper reinforcement and reward. Method Participants One virtual rat was used in this experiment. She was provided through the Sniffy the virtual rat Pro version 3. 0 CD Rom software. Materials In the virtually simulated world of Sniffy; a cage, a light, a magazine and pellets of food were utilized.