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Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis InternationalĀ® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

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Category: Learning Center Videos

Timothy R. Vollmer. The Concept of Automatic Reinforcement: Implications for Assessment and Intervention

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Abstract: A great deal of emphasis has been placed on socially mediated reinforcement contingencies maintaining problem behavior displayed by individuals with autism spectrum disorders and related disabilities. However, there is strong evidence that some problem behavior occurs and maintains in the absence of social reinforcement contingencies. In fact, most repetitive stereotypies appear to be maintained in the absence of social reinforcement. To the extent such behavior is operant, and to the extent it is not socially reinforced, it is maintained by automatic reinforcement. The presenter will review origins and historical usage of the term "automatic reinforcement," scientific implications of the concept, and clinical implications for behavioral assessment and treatment. He will also present research from his applied laboratories, including published studies and work in progress.

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