Answer to Question #85770 in Psychology for Ana Turbino

Question #85770
Dr. Williams, a school psychologist, was
working with an extremely socially withdrawn
adolescent, Jenny. Dr. Williams decided to use
shaping to help Jenny develop appropriate social
skills. He identified the target behavior as making
eye contact, smiling, standing up straight, talking
at a normal voice volume, and nodding and paraphrasing
when the other person said something.
Dr. Williams was going to reinforce successive
approximations of this target behavior in therapy
sessions, in which he played the role of a classmate
and engaged in conversations with Jenny.
In each session, Dr. Williams and Jenny roleplayed
four or five short conversations. Before
each role-play sessions, Dr. Williams reminded
Jenny which behaviors she should work on. As a
reinforcer for exhibiting the correct behavior in
the role-play sessions, Dr. Williams bought Jenny
an ice cream cone in the school cafeteria once a
week. What is the problem with this application
of shaping?
Expert's answer
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