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Why People Often Make Bad Choices and What to Do about It

3 hours, 48 minutes
3.0 BACB

“This will provide a much more complex conceptualization of the discriminated operant that takes into consideration the influences that different motivating operations have on concurrently available discriminated operants as well as the strength of their learning histories to influence the choices that individuals make in any given situation.”

F. Charles “Bud” Mace, PhD, BCBA-D


Why do people make bad choices? The answer can be found within the schedules of reinforcement that are occurring for that person. Bud Mace provides a refreshing review of all the simple and combined schedules of reinforcement. He further explains different features of combined schedules and how those can be understood through analyzing behavioral results. He references several research studies that highlight behavioral contrast, behavioral momentum, matching law, and self-control. The referenced studies primarily utilize pigeons as subjects. However, these data generalize and are related comparatively to human data. Human choice can be analyzed by understanding concurrent discriminated operants in the context of behavioral mass, which is culminated in this CE.

Learning Objectives

What you’ll learn in the course and be able to do afterward

  1. With a detailed review of the simple and combined schedules of reinforcement, you will be able to
    • list and describe the four types of simple schedules and           
      • Identify two types of each of the simple schedules;
    • define behavioral contrast;
    • define behavioral momentum and list six response-reinforcer disruptors;
    • define matching law and explain how matching law relates to human examples, identify the matching law equations, describe how to calculate.
  2. When given situations where contingent reinforcement is used in context, you will be able to
    • define discriminated operant and explain two examples;
    • describe how motivating operations affect the discriminated operant;
    • explain how reinforcer quality affects the discriminated operant;
    • define behavioral mass.


This course is delivered through Florida Tech. Clicking "Enroll Now" will take you to Florida Tech’s website where you can Add to CartCheckout, and complete the course. Come back to our website for podcasts, blogs, courses, and content.


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