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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Symposium #241
CE Offered: BACB
Translational Research on Reinforcement and Related Phenomena
Monday, May 30, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Grand Suite 3, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Anna Garcia (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Anna Garcia, M.A.

The speakers in this symposium have taken translational approaches to answering applied questions regarding reinforcement and related phenomena. Although the populations or target behavior topographies addressed may not include immediate clinical targets in all three papers, all of the topics examined have important clinical applications. The following papers will be presented: Effects of Schedules of Reinforcement on Spontaneous Recovery, Sensitivity to Parameters of Positive Versus Negative Reinforcement, and Further Comparisons of Pairing Procedures Used to Condition Praise as a Reinforcer.

Keyword(s): Pairing Procedures, Praise, Reinforcement parameters, Spontaneous recovery
Effects of Schedules of Reinforcement on Spontaneous Recovery
RYAN KIMBALL (Florida Institute of Technology/The Scott Center for Autism Treatment), Michael E. Kelley (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology), Clare Liddon (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Extinction of operant behavior is frequently accompanied by various unwanted side effects. One example is spontaneous recovery, the re-emergence of a response after having been extinguished. Although spontaneous recovery of responding can be a considerable problem in clinical settings, this relapse phenomenon has rarely been investigated in applied formats. The present study examined the effects of dense and lean variable interval (VI) schedules of reinforcement on the occurrence of spontaneous recovery in a translational format. Results of the current study were consistent with past research on spontaneous recovery. That is, relatively dense schedules of reinforcement produced greater levels of spontaneous recovery.
Human Sensitivity to Parametric Manipulations of Positive and Negative Sound Reinforcement: Revisited
Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University), ANNA GARCIA (University of South Florida), Sarah E. Bloom (University of South Florida), Rachel Mottern (Vanderbilt University), Chelsea Marie Jennings (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that reinforcement parameters (e.g., rate, magnitude, and delay) can interact to influence choice. Furthermore, preliminary evidence exists suggesting that the effect of these interactions can differ across reinforcement processes (i.e., positive or negative) for some individuals. However, this finding has only been shown in one study and more research on the matter is warranted. Thus, the purpose of this investigation was to determine whether identical manipulations of identical parameters of positive and negative reinforcement would influence human response allocation in different ways. In Study 1 we identified preferred and aversive sounds whose contingent presentation (or removal) had similar reinforcing values (as determined via progressive ratio reinforcer assessments). In Study 2, we conducted concurrent operant parameter sensitivity assessments for both positive and negative reinforcers to evaluate whether sensitivity differed across processes. Findings have implications for assessment of positive and negative reinforcement sensitivities.
Praise as a Conditioned Reinforcer: A Comparison of Two Pairing Procedures
JEANINE R TANZ (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment at Florida I), Stephanie Wathen (Florida Institute of Technology/The Scott Center for Autism Treatment), Alison M. Betz (Florida Institute of Technology), Aurelia Ribeiro (Florida Institute of Technology/The Scott Center for Autism Treatment), Christopher A. Podlesnik (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Typical practice includes using praise as a consequence for desirable behavior. An implicit assumption is that social praise and other forms of social interaction function as conditioned reinforcers. If praise actually functions as a reinforcer, the contingent delivery of praise should increase the probability of and maintain consistent responding. However, there are several unknown questions that suggest praise may not function as a reinforcer as reliably and readily as practice might imply. In addition, it is important to identify a procedure that will be effective in establishing praise as a conditioned reinforcer for populations commonly used in applied behavioral research and for individuals for whom additional modes of reinforcement are necessary. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to compare two pairing procedures, stimulus-stimulus and response-stimulus pairing, in establishing praise as a conditioned reinforcer for simple target responses demonstrated by individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The pairing procedure included pairing a neutral stimulus (praise statement) with an unconditioned reinforcer (highly preferred edible) to determine if the neutral stimulus would take on the reinforcing properties of the unconditioned reinforcer, thereby becoming a conditioned reinforcer.



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