On the eve of Thanksgiving at family dinner Billy would not stop burping, making Grandma nervous for dinner the next day.
Disgusting, Billy! Cut that out!
So, that night Grandma sat down and thought up a scheme to reinforce Billy's manners and discourage his burping.
How am I going to prevent Billy's belching tomorrow? Aha!
Grandma cooked a meal she knew Billy wouldn't be able to resist! Her plan seemed bulletproof!
Don't burp today, Billy. If you use your manners I'll give you a reward!
When Billy suppressed his burp and excused himself, Grandma positively reinforced his manners by immediately giving him a piece of food that he wanted,which is a primary reinforcer. She eventually switched from continuous reinforcement to a fixed-interval schedule and gave him a reward in 25 minute intervals, as long as he didn't burp within the time.
Wow, Billy! I'm impressed!
Wow, Grandma! Your operant conditioning scheme worked! Billy hasn't belched all dinner!
I can't believe that immediate, positive reinforcement worked! By giving him a primary reinforcer for using his manners he didn't burp! The fixed-interval schedule worked like a charm too! He suppressed every burp to try to get a reward!
That night, Grandma reflected on what she accomplished.