Behavior analysts have increasingly applied economic concepts towards understanding issues of social significance in areas such as consumer choice, gambling, and substance abuse. This presentation will describe a translational progression of studies that applies economic concepts to work with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities, culminating in demonstrations of the implications for the treatment of behavior problems. Initial laboratory investigations revealed that although two stimuli may appear equally valuable when their cost (in terms of response requirements) is low, under certain circumstances differences in value emerge when the response requirements increase. In subsequent clinical studies, this general theme was extended towards examining (a) the utility of various consequences when arranging interventions for behavior disorders, and (b) examining how the analyses required to identify these relations can be made practical and practicable in applied settings.
Review Iser DeLeon’s biographical statement.