Begin by describing the three-term contingency, and explain why it is described as the basic unit of analysis for operant behavior. In reviewing the contingencies of reinforcement and punishment, discuss how each set of contingencies has an effect on an individual’s behavior. Choose a behavior from your own experience that has been reinforced, and identify whether that behavior was positively or negatively reinforced, outlining the specific three term contingency of that operant behavior. Next, choose a behavior from your own experience that has been punished and identify whether that behavior was positively or negatively punished; outline the specific three term contingency of that operant behavior. Finally, in either of those behaviors, discuss how matching law or schedules of reinforcement may contribute to the maintenance of the behavior under certain circumstances.

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Baron, A. & Galizio, M. (2005). Positive and negative reinforcement: Should the distinction be preserved? The Behavior Analyst, 28, 85 – 98.

Billington, E. & DiTomasso, N. (2003). Demonstrations and applications of matching law in education. Journal of Behavior Education 12(2), 91-104.

Senuik, H.A., Williams, L.W., Reed, D.D., & Wright, J.W. (2015). An examination of matching with multiple response alternatives in professional hockey. Behavior Analysis: Research and Practice 15 (3-4) , 152-160.

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