Penn Foster Psychology Case Study – Answers
CASE STUDY 1
When Cliff Richards took over as the new department manager, he discovered that the existing staff was unusually inefficient and unproductive. Cliff learned that the previous manager often criticized and chided staff members for every little mistake until many of the best people had left, and the rest felt demoralized. Cliff resolved not to criticize or punish staff members unless it was absolutely necessary. Instead, he frequently complimented them whenever they did a good job. He set daily production goals for them, and every Friday afternoon he bought lunch for all staff members who met their goals every day that week. Moreover, Cliff randomly conducted spot checks on what staff members were doing, and if he found them hard at work, he gave them small rewards such as extra break time. Within just three months, productivity in Cliff’s department nearly doubled. It became the most efficient department in the company. Penn Foster Psychology Case Study – Answers
1- how did cliff take advantage of principles of operant conditioning to modify his staff behavior?
2- why did cliffs predecessor stratagey of punishing undesirable behavior not work very well? even if punishment and reinforement strategies were equally effective at controlling behavior, why would reinforcement remain preferable?
3- how could cliff make use of partial reinforcement schedules? what kind of schedules did he use?
4- how could cliff use techinque to train his staff to complete a complex new task that they had never done before?
5- how might cliff make use of principles of cognitive learning theory to improve his staff productivity even further?
CASE Study 2
People often have difficulty believing that Mike and Marty Scanlon are brothers, let alone twins. The two men bear a resemblance, but the similarity ends there. Marty Scanlon was always a quiet, well-behaved child. He excelled in all his academic subjects throughout his school years, although he was shy and had few friends. Marty would always be polite to people, but he generally preferred to keep to himself. After college, Marty became a successful network administrator for a large financial company and married his longtime girlfriend. A dedicated family man, Marty spends most of his free time doing home improvement projects and looking after his two children. Mike Scanlon, on the other hand, could never be described as shy. He was the student that teachers dreaded having in their classroom: boisterous, unruly, and indifferent to authority. Mike had many brushes with the law throughout his high school years, for crimes ranging from vandalism to public drunkenness. Mike dropped out of high school to take a job as an oil-change technician at a local garage; he spends most of free time and money at local bars- at least the ones that haven’t banned him for starting fights. Mike’s current legal trouble surrounds two of his ex-girlfriends, who are independently taking him to court for child support. Mike is unfazed, however; he laughs with his friends that they’ll never get a dime from him.
1- how would freud explain the personality differences between mike and marty scanlon?
2- how would you rate mike and marty scanlon on the big five personality traits?
3- given that mike and marty are twins and share some of their genetic makeup, how would you explain the pronounced differences in their personalitites?
what role if any does temperament seem to be playing?
4- which of the two brothers seems more likely to be achieving self- actualization and why do you think so?
5- do mike and marty appear to have different levels of intelligence or do they show intelligence in different ways, why do you think so?
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