Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (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.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Invited Tutorial #439
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Behavioral Treatments When Extinction is Not an Option
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Grand Ballroom EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Eric Boelter, Ph.D.
Chair: Eric Boelter (Seattle Children's Hospital)
Presenting Authors: : TIMOTHY R. VOLLMER (University of Florida)

The research on treatment of behavior disorders shows clearly that treatments are more effective when they contain an extinction component. However, clinical situations arise wherein the extinction component is not an option. Some examples of situations in which the extinction component is not an option include but are not limited to: a) the client is too large, fast, or strong to guide through a task in the case of escape behavior, b) the behavior is too dangerous to "ignore" in the case of attention-maintained behavior, and c) the specific source of reinforcement is unknown in the case of some automatically reinforced behavior. In addition, factors such as poor treatment integrity and dangerous extinction bursts at times compromise the extinction component even when it is prescribed as a part of the intervention. The presenter will review some of his own research and other literature on concurrent reinforcement schedules, differential reinforcement, and noncontingent reinforcement in order to suggest partial solutions to the extinction problem.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Behavior Analysts and Behavior Psychologists

Learning Objectives: 1.At the conclusion of the event, the participant will be able to identify at least two situations in which the use of extinction may not be a viable option as a treatment component. 2.At the conclusion of the event, the participant will be able to identify at least two dimensions of reinforcement that can be manipulated during differential reinforcement to partially overcome the absence of an extinction component. 3.At the conclusion of the event, the participant will be able to identify at least two variations of noncontingent reinforcement that may temporarily render the need for an extinction component moot.
TIMOTHY R. VOLLMER (University of Florida)
Timothy R. Vollmer received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1992. From 1992 until 1996 he was on the psychology faculty at Louisiana State University. From 1996 to 1998 he was on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. He returned to the University of Florida in 1998 and is now a Professor of Psychology. His primary area of research is applied behavior analysis, with emphases in autism, intellectual disabilities, reinforcement schedules, and parenting. He has published over 130 articles and book chapters related to behavior analysis. He was the recipient of the 1996 B.F. Skinner New Researcher award from the American Psychological Association (APA). He received another APA award in August, 2004, for significant contributions to applied behavior analysis. He is also currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and is the Principal Investigator for the Behavior Analysis Research Clinic at the University of Florida.
Keyword(s): differential reinforcement, extinction, noncontingent reinforcement



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