Conditioning Activity

 What do parents do, at a fast food restaurant, to encourage desirable behaviors and discourage undesirable behaviors? Are the principles of operant conditioning being used? You are to visit any fast food restaurant (McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, etc) and observe how parents use the principles of operant conditioning, where they misuse them, and where they fail to use them but should. You can observe in the main dining area or the play area, if they have one, or both. You may not include any drive thru observations. Then briefly describe one outstanding example for any three of the following four categories. You can use three different subjects or use one subject for more than one example. You only need one OUTSTANDING (clear, definite) example for each of the three principles you choose.

FORMAT: Standard title page. There will be three paragraphs in your post.

Paragraph 1 – Description of restaurant (including if it has a play area), date and time of observation.

Paragraph 2 – Three observations. Each observation labeled with the observed principle of operant conditioning at the beginning. Description of observed individuals (adults and children) including age, gender, race. What did you observe that demonstrated the principle being discussed? How

effective was the technique?

Paragraph 3 – Comments, including misuse or failure to use, questions that came up, surprises. Do not combine sections into an observation.

PRINCIPLES: Any three of the following four.

1. Positive reinforcement of DESIRED behaviors.

2. Negative reinforcement for failing to show DESIRED behaviors.

3. Punishment for UNDESIRED behaviors.

4. Extinction of UNDESIRED behaviors by withdrawing attention or reinforcing stimuli.