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Introduction A childs conduct and misbehaviour in public spaces can be worrying for a parent and also cause considerable distress Failure to modify this behaviour can produce young adults who resort to violence when they do not get their own way Markie-Dadds Sanders Turner 1999 Claire demonstrates unacceptable behaviour in the way of temper tantrums while shopping and also exhibits this behaviour at school The solution to this kind of behaviour is a behaviour modification program a treatment that modifies or discontinues undesirable behaviours using principles based on operant conditioning Plotnik 2005 This paper will begin by describing Claires problem in behavioural terms and then describe the operant learning theory developed by BF Skinner that will be used in the behaviour modification program to follow Three empirical journal articles relating to Claires behaviour will be reviewed to demonstrate the success of operant conditioning and reinforcement in various situations A suitable behavioural modification program will then be outlined top successfully modify Claires behaviour The way parents or caregivers respond is critical in tantrum management and will be the primary focus in this behaviour modification program Discussion Operant conditioning developed by BF Skinner in the 1930s is a learning situation in which the organism is reinforced for making a certain response in order to increase the probability of that response on the next trial Plotnik 2005 The principles of operant conditioning involve identifying the target behaviour preparing the subject selecting reinforcers and then shaping the behaviour This technique has proven extremely successful by various researchers in the field of psychology Carlson Arnold Becker Madsen 1968 Wolf Ridley Mees 1964 Burchard Tyker 1965 By progressively reinforcing responses that are in the direction of a desired pattern of responses new or desired behaviours can be learned or dropped In Claires case the goal is to reduce the tantrum behaviour and noncompliance from occurring in the classroom and whilst
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