Introductory Concepts
Elementary Relationships
Extensions of Verbal Behavior
Multiple Controlling Relationships
Building on the Elementary Relationships

6.7 Aversive Stimulation

Another common establishing operation mentioned by Skinner is aversive stimulation. If someone shines a bright light in your face, that event makes the stimulus change which results in the light no longer shining in your face an effective reinforcement.

A man observing an aversive stimulation device (flashlight clipart).
“Um…please stop. Why are you doing this to me?”

Establishing Operation

An environmental change or event with the following features:

Precedes the response to which it is functionally related

Increases the effectiveness of a particular stimulus change as reinforcement

The type of environmental event

The cause of the environmental event

The type of stimulus that gains reinforcing effectiveness

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