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.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Paper Session #453
Review of Token Economy, Contingency Contracts, and DRO
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
213AB (CC)
Area: PRA
Keyword(s): DRO, Economy
Chair: Jonathan W. Ivy (Mercyhurst University)
Token Economy: An Empirical Review of Applied Practice
Domain: Applied Research
JONATHAN W. IVY (Mercyhurst University), James Nicholson Meindl (The University of Memphis), Eric Overley (University of Memphis), Kristen Robson (Mercyhurst University)
Abstract: A token economy is a complex system of reinforcement in which some medium of exchange (i.e., a token) is used to purchase various goods or services. A token economy derives its complexity from three interconnected schedules of reinforcement that govern when tokens will be delivered, when tokens will be exchanged, and the cost in tokens of the various goods or services (Hackenberg, 2009). The effectiveness of the token economy is well-documented. The token economy has been identified as an evidenced based practice by Simonsen, Fairbanks, Briesch, Myers, and Sugai (2008) and is considered a well-established psychological procedure by the American Psychological Association Task Force on Promotion and Dissemination (1993). Despite the success of this operant technology, there are a number of gaps in our understanding of the token economy (Hackenberg, 2009). This presentation will review the results of an empirical review of token economies and token reinforcement systems. Current practices, technological limitations, trends, and recommendations for future token economy research and application will be presented.
Contingency Contracts: An Empirical Review of Practice and Extensions
Domain: Applied Research
KRISTEN ROBSON (Mercyhurst University), Jonathan W. Ivy (Mercyhurst University), Sara Kitchen (Mercyhurst University)
Abstract: A contingency contract is a document that describes the relationship between a target behavior and some consequence arrangement (i.e., reinforcement or punishment). Most contingency contracts contain additional components; however, the arrangement of some consequence contingent on behavior appears to be minimally necessary. Contingency contracts were first described as an operant technology by Homme (1969), and later refined by Stuart (1971) and Weathers and Liberman (1975). Since the conception of this operant technology, the contingency contract has been shown to be effective across a wide range of target behaviors (Allen & Kramer, 1990; Aragona, Cassady, & Drabman, 1975; Polakow, & Doctor, 1973) and populations (Mruzek, Cohen, & Smith, 2007; Mann, 1972; Hayes, Efron, Richman, Harrison, & Aguilera, 2000). Although there is substantial evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of contingency contracts, there has been little research to evaluate the behavioral mechanism or the necessity of the contract. Furthermore, despite ample empirical evidence, there has been a dearth of research related to contingency contracts. The purpose of this presentation is to explore the literature on contingency contracts as it pertains to applied applications, technological trends and limitations, and a need for further research.
DRO: A Review of the Literature
Domain: Applied Research
CATALINA REY (Florida Institute of Technology), Alison M. Betz (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: The differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) schedule is a popular procedure commonly used to decrease problem behavior. This presentation will cover a review of the literature in an attempt to identify best practices and directions for future research. The studies that met inclusion criteria were those that were peer-reviewed, used single-subject designs, used human subjects, and were published after 1980. Studies that used DRO as part of a treatment package were not included unless a component analysis was conducted. Some areas that are covered include comparisons between whole-interval and momentary DRO variations, resetting versus non-resetting DRO variations, DRO procedures with and without the use of extinction, potential side effects of the DRO, methods for improving the overall efficacy, and a comparison of DRO with other decelerative procedures. A conceptual analysis on the underlying mechanisms that result in the decelerative effects of the target behavior will also be discussed in this presentation.
Keyword(s): DRO, Economy



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