Psychology

Lenny rarely did the dishes until they had piled up for days. He left dirty clothes lying around his apartment for more than a week until he finally did the laundry. He left his mail sitting on the kitchen counter until he opened it days later. He left books and other things from school lying on the floor and on the kitchen table. Although he lived alone, his messiness was starting to bother him. He wanted to stop making a mess and to put things away immediately, but he just didn’t keep up with it. Lenny watched a lot of TV in the evenings after school. Whenever he wasn’t studying, he was watching TV; sometimes he studied in front of the TV. He watched three or four shows every evening. Lenny decided to use TV watching as a reinforcer for his target behavior of putting things away and cleaning up after himself. He decided that he would put his books on the desk, put his laundry in the hamper, wash dishes after he used them, put food away immediately after he prepared it, and read his mail and put it on his desk right away. He would watch TV only after he had done all of these things, as a reinforcer for these behaviors.

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