Behavior Management - Building Prosocial Behavior

Building Prosocial Behavior

Over the years, behavioral management principles such as reinforcement, modeling and even the use of punishment have been explored in the building of prosocial behavior. This area is sometimes referred to as "Behavioral Development" or Behavior analysis of child development. Midlarsky and colleagues (1973) used a combination of modeling and reinforcement to build altruistic behavior. Two studies exist in which modeling by itself did not increase prosocial behavior; however, modeling is much more effective than instruction giving (such as "preaching"). The role of rewards has been implicated in the building of self-control and empathy. Cooperation seems particularly susceptible to rewards. Sharing is another prosocial behavior influenced by reinforcement.

Reinforcement is particularly effective at least early in the learning series if context conditions are similar. Evidence exists to show some generalization.

Recent research indicates that behavioral “interventions” produce the most valuable results when “applied” during early childhood and “early adolescence."

More controversial has been the role of punishment in forming prosocial behavior. One study found that donation rates of children could be increased by punishing episodes of failure to donate.

The socialization process continues by peers with reinforcement and punishment playing major roles. Peers are more likely to punish cross-gender play and reinforce play specific to gender.

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Famous quotes containing the words behavior and/or building:

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