Unit 8 Essay

8294 Words Mar 7th, 2016 34 Pages

You need to complete the entire workbook in full. Please read the case studies provided and answer the accompanying questions. You can attach extra pages if necessary. Please reference your work appropriately.

Applying Operant Conditioning to Health Care

Amelia is 2 year old and suffers with an allergy that is caused by dust. When Amelia has a reaction, she comes up in a rash and itches her skin until it bleeds. Her parents have been given medicine by the doctor to give to Amelia but she constantly spits it out. She doesn’t take her medicine, the allergy gets worse and Amelia’s skin becomes really sore. Her parents get really frustrated with Amelia and once her mum tried to pin her down and force
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By doing this over time she will learn that medication means a treat and therefore will be more likely to take her medication as it is associated with something good. This is positive reinforcement.

Now think of negative reinforcement. You would need to use positive reinforcement first, but then how can you bring in negative reinforcement?

Every time she takes the medication she should be treated, this is positive reinforcement as the consequence of taking the medication is positive. Over time the treats should be spaced out, for example instead of having a sweet every time she takes the medication it should be every other time she takes the medication, she will still continue to take the medication because she is treated but she is being treated less. Over time the time between treats should be spaced out even further until they are stopped, even after they are stopped she will continue to take the medication as she has learnt to do this now as she has learnt that there are no negative consequences from doing this.

Take it further – how can you bring in Classical Conditioning to work alongside Operant Conditioning? Amelia now has a fear of the medicine. Remember systematic desensitisation and how a conditioned stimulus can lead to a conditioned response?

The behaviour of her taking the medication needs to be strengthened, she needs to learn to associate medication with good things. Therefore she should be treated every

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