Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Extinction: Whining -->TV

In chapter 8 of “Introduction to Learning and Behavior,” the authors discuss extinction. Extinction is the decrease or disappearance of a previously reinforced behavior that is no longer reinforced. There is both a procedure and a process of extinction. The procedure of extinction is no longer giving a reinforcement while the process of extinction is the decrease of behavior. I experienced this first hand when dealing with a two-year-old girl I babysit.
The little girl I babysit used to start to whine every time she was offered a snack because she wanted to watch TV while eating. At the beginning, I would give in but then I learned that it was a problem. I started to not reward her with TV when she whined. She was to sit at the table and eat without whining. The procedure of extinction was no TV, and the process was the decline in the behavior (whining). As of right now, the behavior is completely eliminated.

This is the procedure and process of how I extinguished this behavior.
Whining --> TV
      R           S^r
Whining -->No TV
      R              -----

This video gives a definition and an example of extinction.

The next video is a clip from the show, Supernanny, that gives an example of how to extinguish a behavior. In the clip, the behavior is that the child is not sleeping in their own bed.

Powell, R. A., Honey, P. L., & Symbaluk, D. G. (2013). Introduction to Learning and Behavior. 
      Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.


  1. I had to play, read, and re-read a few times. I have a 10 year old that is a whiner. It is so annoying and I try not to demean him but his whining is excessive. It happens when he does not want to do something or when he feels like he unable to do something. The extinguishing process takes a bit of time but seems to be effective. It appears that strong stance will over rule the behavior.

  2. I really like the supernanny clip that you attached to this post because it definitely relates to extinguishing certain behaviors. At first, like you said while you were babysitting, it is easier to give in and allow for the behavior to continue. However, in order to extinguish a certain behavior, the individual needs to be stern and confident enough to not back down. In the video clip, the child was crying because they did not want to sleep in their own bed. Usually the mother would give in because she did not want to hear the crying. However, time passed and eventually the baby was tired of screaming and crying and went to sleep in their own bed because the mother was ignoring them. This was a good example of the learning behavior.

  3. The Supernanny clip was a great addition to your blog post in that it gave the reader/viewer a realistic example of how to extinguish a learned behavior