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Ninth International Conference; Paris, France; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #27
Experiments on Human-Operant Behavior: Rule-Governed Behavior, Resistance to Change and Relapse
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Loft A, Niveau 3
Area: EAB/VRB
Chair: Jerome Alessandri (University of Lille)
Abstract: Human-operant experiments will be presented in which rule-governed behavior, resistance to change and relapse were assessed. Alessandri and colleagues studied the effects of instructions and reinforcement value on behavior under negative-reinforcement schedules and extinction. Rule following affected responding (i.e., persisting or not under extinction); additionally, rule following was affected by reinforcement value. Abreu-Rodrigues and Pontes assessed the effects of three variables on the relapse of response sequences under a resurgence procedure: the sequence's level of difficulty (easy and difficult), the context of test (extinction and variation) and the number of responses per sequence (three and five). Easy sequences reappeared more often than difficult ones, the reappearance of the target sequence was more frequent under extinction than under variation, and the reappearance of the target sequence varied inversely with the number of responses per sequence. Finally, Baia and colleagues studied resistance to change and relapse under an ABA-renewal procedure and the relations between behavioral and physiological measures under this procedure. Renewal occurred generally, and was a function of reinforcement rates in a training phase. These experiments highlight procedural aspects in the analysis of human-operant behavior and establish a context to assess the generality of findings obtained previously in experiments with nonhumans.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Effects of Reinforcement Value on Instruction Following Under Schedules of Negative Reinforcement
(Basic Research)
JEROME ALESSANDRI (University of Lille), Carlos Renato Xavier Cançado (Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil), Josele Abreu Rodrigues (Universidade de Brasilia)
Abstract: In the laboratory, human behavior can be controlled by contingencies of reinforcement but also by instructions and related social aspects of the experiment. Two experiments were conducted to further investigate the relative effects of these variables on behavior maintained by negative-reinforcement schedules. In each experiment, participants were required to press a force cell with high force (i.e., establishing operation). They could press a key to produce timeouts from this force requirement. In Experiment 1, after reinforcement training, participants in two different groups were exposed to extinction. The groups were exposed to opposite rules regarding the experimenter's eectations about the participants continuing or not to respond during extinction. Rule following was observed for participants in each group. In Experiment 2, we investigated the effects of reinforcement value on instruction following under negative-reinforcement schedules similar to those in Experiment 1. Differential levels of force (high vs. low) were required across conditions in Baseline and Test phases. Before the Test phase, each participant was told that the experimenter expected a �decrease in the number of timeouts�. Results showed a decrease in timeouts for each participant, under each level of force, but this decrease was higher in the low- than in the high-force condition
Effects of Sequence Difficulty, Sequence Length and Testing Context on the Recurrence of Response Sequences
(Basic Research)
JOSELE ABREU RODRIGUES (Universidade de Brasilia), Thaissa Pontes (Universidade de Brasília)
Abstract: This study investigated the effects of three variables upon the reappearance of response sequences: difficulty level of the sequence (easy and difficult), context of test (extinction and variation) and number of responses per sequence (three and five) in two experiments. In the Training Phase, an easy sequence (S1) was reinforced for half of the participants and a difficulty sequence for the other half. In the Elimination Phase, S1 did not produce reinforcers while an alternative sequence (S2) was reinforced. In the Testing Phase, S1 and S2 were under extinction. However, for half of the participants trained with the easy (or difficult) S1, there were no reinforcers for the non-target sequences, and for the other half, non-target sequences produced reinforcers according to a variation contingency. Five- and three-response sequences were investigated in Experiment 1 and 2, respectively. Easy sequences reappeared more often than difficult sequences, the reappearance of the target sequence was more frequent under extinction than under variation, and the reappearance of the target sequence varied inversely with the number of responses per sequence. The reappearance of the target sequence was not conceptualized as resurgence as long as its frequency was lower than that of the control sequences.
CANCELED: Resistance to Change and Relapse With Humans: Relations With Physiological Measurements
(Basic Research)
FABIO HENRIQUE BAIA (Universidade de Rio Verde), Poliana Ferreira da Silva (Universidade de Rio Verde), Carlos Renato Xavier Cançado (Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil)
Abstract: We studied resistance to change and relapse with humans under an ABA-renewal procedure and their relation to physiological measurements. In Phase 1 (Context A), participants in two groups were exposed to a multiple variable-interval (VI) VI schedule (Group 1:4 to a multiple VI 15 s VI 60 s and Group 1:8 to a multiple VI 15 s VI 120 s). In Phase 2 (Context B), extinction was in effect in each schedule component. In Phase 3, extinction still was in effect but participants were exposed to Context A. Physiological responses were recorded in each phase (skin temperature, skin conductance response, respiratory and heart rate) by using a Flexcom ProInfinity interface. Renewal was observed for participants in each group. That is, previously reinforced responses recurred when the context previously correlated with reinforcement was presented under extinction. Additionally, differential resistance to extinction (i.e., responding in each schedule component during Phase 2) was a function of reinforcement rate in each schedule component (i.e., higher in the rich than in the lean component). The relations between behavioral and physiological measures will be discussed to highlight methodological aspects and possible relations between behavioral and physiological measures in studies of resistance to change and relapse.
 

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