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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #73
CE Offered: BACB
From the Laboratory to the Field: Recent Innovations in Incentive Procedures used in Organizational Behavior Management
Saturday, May 27, 2017
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Hyatt Regency, Granite
Area: OBM/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Adam S. Warman (The Faison Center)
CE Instructor: Byron J. Wine, Ph.D.

This symposium presents three studies that examine aspects of delivering incentives as a behavior-change intervention. The components of incentive delivery evaluated and discussed in the presentations include: feedback, probability of delivery, magnitude of reward, and the interplay of social influences. Taken together, these presentations will provide practitioners and researchers with the latest information on what variables are likely to influence incentive systems.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
The Effects of Individual and Social Comparison Graphic Feedback on Incented Performance
YNGVI F. EINARSSON (Western Michigan University), Alyce M. Dickinson (Western Michigan University), Bradley E. Huitema (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: This study examined whether graphic displays of individual performance and graphic displays of the individual performance of each group member would increase performance when individuals were paid monetary incentives. All participants were paid piece-rate pay and there were three conditions: (a) no feedback, (b) graphic display of individual performance, and (c) graphic display of the performance of each group member. Participants were 80 undergraduate students who performed a computerized data entry task. The main dependent variable was the number of correctly completed entries. A monotone ANCOVA was used to detect performance differences, using data from the first session as a covariate to control for keyboard proficiency. As hypothesized, the group that received graphic displays of the performance of each group member performed the highest, followed by the group that received graphic displays of individual performance, and then by the group that did not receive feedback. The results indicate that both types of graphic feedback can enhance incented performance. The findings extend VanStelle (2012), who found that those who received graphic displays of the performance of each group member performed significantly better than those who received graphic displays of only their own performance when they were paid hourly.

The Effects of Incentive Magnitude on the Efficacy of Probabilistic Schedules of Monetary Incentives

JASON M. HIRST (Southern Illinois University), Conor M. Smith (The University of Kansas), Scott Michael Curry (University of Kansas), Denys Brand (The University of Kansas), Amy J. Henley (The University of Kansas), Matthew Novak (University of Kansas), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (University of Kansas)

In practice, the delivery of consequencesincluding incentivesdoes not always correspond with the ideal conditions for effective reinforcement). The present study was conducted as an extension to previous research focusing on the effects of uncertainty for incentive delivery. Using a simulated work task in an analogue setting, an incentive was arranged for meeting a performance criterion during each trial with varying degrees of probability applied to the criterion. Specifically, participants were told at the beginning of each trial that the probability of the incentive criterion being applied to their performance was either 5%, 10%, 25%, or 90%. If the criterion was not applied, no incentive was delivered regardless of performance during that trial. In a reversal design, two magnitudes of incentives ($0.75 and $1.50) were compared. During the small incentive condition, the probabilistic schedules of incentives failed to sustain responding on the work task for under at least the lower probabilities. For those three participants, increasing the magnitude of the incentive shifted responding with lower probabilities of earning an incentive were more effective maintaining responding than under the small incentive. This effect of magnitude may have implications for the implementation of incentive systems under less than ideal conditions.


The Effects of Public Versus Private Drawings in a Lottery Reinforcement System

ADAM S. WARMAN (The Faison Center), Byron J. Wine (Florida Institute of Technology), Eli T. Newcomb (The Faison Center), Ting Chen (The Faison Center)

Lotteries have proven to be an effective procedure in changing employee behavior. However, lotteries contain multiple components (e.g., drawing locations, odds of winning, delivery of tickets after performance). The degree to which the components influence the effectiveness of the intervention is largely unknown. Recent research has examined probabilities that a lottery will payout to entrants, but no research has yet to evaluate aspects of the lottery drawing. This investigation extends previous research by examining the social aspects of lotteries by comparing private versus public drawings of lottery winners. Participants were direct care employees in three separate classrooms in a school for children diagnosed with autism. The dependent variable was the number of FAST assessments completed by the employees. A multiple baseline with a multielement component was used to evaluate no lottery, lottery with a winner drawn and informed in private, and a lottery where the winner was drawn and announced in the classroom.




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