How could you use operant conditioning, with a program of shaping, to get a messy roommate to make his bed? Include and label antecedent stimulus, response and reinforcement of the changing program standards, and a method of self-regulation for the roommate.
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There are a number of antecedent stimuli which may be included in such a conditioning model. To make things easier to read we'll name the clean roommate, Roommate A and the other Roommate B. One stimuli would be for Roommate A to clean his side of the room. If this prompts B to clean, then the stimuli is established. If it does not prompt a cleaning, A will need to continue to find ways to stimulate B into cleaning. However, the best antecedent would be a direct action of A.
The response is simply what B does in response to the stimuli. If A cleans his side of the room and B responds with the same action, it is evident. However, A needs to be aware of less evident responses. A may make his bed, which prompts B to pick up clothes on the floor. This would indicate a response, just not the one A is looking for.
Reinforcements in the scenario would depend on the personality of the roommates. A may pay B for a clean room in an overt reinforcement. A covert reinforcement may be bringing home pizza every time the room is cleaned by B. B will eventually connect the two actions and begin to formulate a response to receive the reward. A might only need to compliment B and feed his ego.
In this scenario, A would be served with a reward versus punishment. Although punishments can work, for example having the roommate pay extra rent for cleaning, the behavior will often return upon completion of the experiment (when A or B moves out).
One form of developing self regulation is getting B to understand the benefit of cleaning even without stimuli from A. This can be in the form of a compliment from outside observers or witnessing A receive some punishment for not cleaning. A stimuli reversal can be a powerful motivator.
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