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Association for Behavior Analysis International

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44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #505
CE Offered: BACB
Translational and Applied Studies on Schedules and Parameters of Reinforcement
Monday, May 28, 2018
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Ballroom AB
Area: DDA/EAB
CE Instructor: Iser Guillermo DeLeon, Ph.D.
Chair: Laura L. Grow (Garden Academy)
Discussant: Iser Guillermo DeLeon (University of Florida)
Abstract: In the current symposium, the authors will present a series translational and applied studies related to reinforcement schedules and reinforcement parameters. In the first presentation, Harman and colleagues will present two studies that demonstrate the interaction between delays to reinforcement and different parameters of reinforcement with typically developing adults. In the second presentation, Falligant and colleagues will present a three-part study evaluating the relationship between response force and conjugate schedules of reinforcement with typically developing adults. In the third presentation, Donovan and colleagues will present a study evaluating the effectiveness, efficiency, and preference for different magnitudes of reinforcement for teaching an arbitrary and novel skill. In the fourth presentation, Frewing and colleagues will present a study evaluating the effectiveness, efficiency, and preference for different reinforcement schedules during skill acquisition programs for children with autism spectrum disorder. Finally, DeLeon will discuss the four studies in terms of future research directions and possible clinical implications.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): reinforcement parameters, reinforcement schedule, response magnitude
Target Audience: Researchers and practitioners
 
Effects of the Parameter of Reinforcement on Two Measures of Delay Discounting: A Comparison Between Hypothetical and Response-Based Procedures
(Basic Research)
MIKE HARMAN (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Tiffany Kodak (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Todd L. McKerchar (Jacksonville State University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which common parameters of reinforcement (quantity, quality, magnitude, and duration of reinforcement) interact with delays to reinforcement in hypothetical and response-based measures of delay discounting. In Experiment 1, 42 participants responded to a series of hypothetical scenarios in four different conditions involving different sums of money and delays to reinforcement. Each condition manipulated the sum of money across one of the four parameters of reinforcement. Area under curve measurements (AUC) demonstrated idiosyncratic differences in discounting patterns across conditions. Participants with similar discounting patterns were grouped for further comparisons. In Experiment 2, participants responded in a progressive-ratio procedure in which the completion of each successive step resulted in a successive increase in an actual sum of money available to the participant. The sum of money was manipulated according to the reinforcement parameters in the four conditions. Data from two participants showed that the condition that yielded the highest AUC measure in the hypothetical delay discounting procedure also yielded the highest break point in the progressive-ratio procedure. The findings from this study may inform basic and applied scientists seeking to manipulate a parameter of reinforcement during assessments.
 
An Analysis of Conjugate Schedules of Reinforcement and Response Force
(Basic Research)
JOHN FALLIGANT (Auburn University), John T. Rapp (Auburn University), Kristen Brogan (Auburn University), Jonathan W. Pinkston (Western New England University)
Abstract: In conjugate schedules of reinforcement, the amplitude or intensity of a reinforcing event is proportional to an aspect of the target behavior or response (e.g., MacAleese, Ghezzi, & Rapp, 2015; Rapp, 2008). In a novel series of experiments, MacAleese et al. demonstrated that changes in clarity of a visual stimulus conjugately reinforced an arbitrary target response in a sample of undergraduates. In Experiment 1, we extended the results from MacAleese et al. (2015) by evaluating whether different parameters of response-contingent volume change in audiovisual stimuli conjugately reinforced responses on a force transducer in a sample of undergraduates. In Experiment 2, we evaluated the degree to which responding was maintained when conjugate changes in the volume of audiovisual stimuli (either high-preferred or low-preferred) were provided as a consequence for exerting force on the manipulandum, in addition to assessing the degree to which responding maintained when it did not produce changes in auditory stimuli (i.e., extinction). In Experiment 3, we evaluated the degree to which responding was maintained across multiple extinction components. Results from these experiments indicate response force covaries with changes to the amount of force required to produce conjugate changes in audiovisual stimulation. Furthermore, results suggest force may be an important index of response effort and preference across low-and-high preferred stimuli within this conjugate schedule framework.
 
Evaluating the Effects of Reinforcement Magnitude Using a Token Economy
(Applied Research)
KAITLYN DONOVAN (Caldwell University), Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University), Karen A. Toussaint (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Although a number of studies have examined the effects of reinforcement magnitude (e.g., the quality, intensity, or duration of the reinforcer) on skill acquisition, none have evaluated the effects of reinforcement magnitude within a token economy. The purpose of this study was to extend previous research by evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of different magnitudes of reinforcement (large, small, and a control condition) delivered via a token economy on responding with an arbitrary task and on a novel skill. Participant preference for a specific magnitude was assessed prior to and following skill acquisition. Participants demonstrated a preference for the large magnitude condition with both an arbitrary task and a novel skill. Contrary to previous research, participants acquired the novel skill in fewer sessions and less total training time during the large magnitude condition as compared to the small magnitude and control condition. Social validity of the procedures and outcomes was also assessed.
 
A Comparison of Differential Reinforcement, Nondifferential Reinforcement, and Extinction During Skill Acquisition
(Applied Research)
TYLA M. FREWING (University of British Columbia), Laura L. Grow (Garden Academy), Jennifer Vellenoweth (Semiahmoo Behaviour Analysts Inc.; St. Cloud State University), Maria Turner (Private Practice)
Abstract: Previous comparisons of differential reinforcement and nondifferential reinforcement in skill acquisition programs have often produced participant-specific results. Further investigation of factors that influence the effectiveness and efficiency of differential reinforcement and nondifferential reinforcement may help practitioners arrange reinforcement contingencies that maximize instructional efficiency. Specifically, given the variability in results of comparisons of differential and nondifferential reinforcement across participants, it may be valuable to conduct within-participant replications of comparisons of differential and nondifferential reinforcement. In the present study, we used an adapted alternating treatments design embedded within a concurrent multiple-probe design to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of differential reinforcement, nondifferential reinforcement, and extinction when teaching language skills to two children with autism spectrum disorder. We conducted three evaluations, across a minimum of two different skills for each participant (i.e., tacts, intraverbals). We used a concurrent chains arrangement to evaluate learner preference for differential reinforcement, nondifferential reinforcement, and extinction when teaching language skills to two children with autism spectrum disorder. We will discuss the results in terms of clinical implications and directions for future research.
 

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