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Subject: assignment#1- Operant Conditioning-dnvsanti
Posted by: DAPHNE (NV) SANTIAGO on 01:15:01 2/17/99:

Daphne nv Santiago
Assignment #1
Operant Conditioning


If you have kids or, as in my case, you have friend's who have kids you have probably heard these words: "Kids, put your toys away!" In this assignment I attempted to help my friend get her daughter to put her toys away when she was told to. As a result of the experiment, we found a way to get her to pick up her toys more frequently if not all the time.


The purpose of this experiment was to motivate the subject to pick up her toys when she was told to do so.



Each day the subject was observed playing from 3:30 to 4:30. At 4:30 she was usually asked to pick up her toys for the first time. Unfortunately, she was usually asked several times after that. On day one of the experiment Amber was allowed to play until 4:30 as usual. At 4:30 she was told to pick up her toys. For each toy she put away she would receive a quarter. This same procedure was repeated for a week to see if the amount of toys that were put away would increase or remain the same.


The subject was Amber, my friend's five-year old daughter.


The materials used consist of a bag of quarters and her regular play toys.


During the experiment, I kept notes detailing the information I received from observing Amber. The following graph details the data I compiled:

Day of Number of Toys Number of Toys Put Number of Times
Experiment Played With Away Had to Mention
1 10 7 3
2 10 10 3
3 15 15 2
4 11 11 1
5 15 13 4
6 10 7 3
7 10 6 3

The chart shows how the subject improved during the week.


The experiment seemed to be pretty successful. It was intended to make Amber put her toys away after she played with them. On the first day, Amber went from putting one or two toys away to putting seven toys away. This was a definite increase that continued as she saw the rewards that she received.
For several days it looked as though she was getting better but soon the amount of toys she played with became greater. She seemed to increase the number of toys she played with so that she could receive more money per day. Then the money started becoming less attractive to Amber. Unfortunately for me, Amber seems to be a budding businesswoman. After a little while she wanted more money. At the rate I was going by the time she was in high school I would be paying her a lot of money.
In the future, I think it would be better to use an incentive such as praise to get a task such as this done. It would certainly be cheaper and a little easier to increase when necessary.


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