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.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Event Details

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Symposium #169
CE Offered: BACB
Factors That Influence the Relative Efficacy of and Preference for Behavior Change Procedures
Sunday, May 27, 2012
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
616/617 (Convention Center)
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Nicole Heal (Melmark New England)
CE Instructor: Nicole Heal, Ph.D.

To ensure that a treatment program will result in socially significant changes in behavior, the specific variables that influence the efficacy of the behavior change procedure must be identified and subsequently included in the treatment program. In this symposium the presenters will discuss how the level of treatment integrity, methodological differences in punishment procedures, level of task difficulty, and number of options presented in a choice situation can affect the efficacy of and/or preference for behavior change procedures. The effect of differential reinforcement implemented with varying levels of treatment integrity on compliance levels of young children was assessed in the first study. In the second study, the effect of response interruption and redirection (RIRD) and response blocking on stereotypic responding in three children diagnosed with autism was compared. In addition, child preference for the two treatments was assessed. In the third investigation, the influence of task difficulty on child preference for fluent and disfluent work schedules was assessed with young children. To extend the literature on preference for situations in which choice is available, child preference for quantitatively differing options from which to choose was assessed with young children in the final study.

Keyword(s): Choice, Concurrent-chains Arrangement, Punishment, Treatment Integrity
The Effects of Varying Levels of Integrity of Differential Reinforcement for Compliance Following No Treatment and Treatment at Full Integrity
Yanerys Leon-Enriquez (Florida Institute of Technology), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology), KRISTIN K. MYERS (Florida Institute of Technology), Anthony T. Fischetti (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: We evaluated two levels of integrity of differential reinforcement (20% and 60%) for child compliance following no treatment (baseline) versus treatment at full (i.e., 100%) integrity. Results indicated that compliance varied according to the level of integrity in place. In addition, compliance during the 60% integrity condition, but not the 20% condition, was affected by the immediately preceding condition. That is, compliance in the 60% integrity condition was high and stable when it followed baseline, but was lower and more variable when it followed the full integrity condition.

Methodological Considerations in Evaluating Preference for Punishment

AIMEE GILES (West Virginia University), Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University), Sacha T. Pence (West Virginia University), Alexandra Gibson (West Virginia University), Lisa Kemmerer (West Virginia University)

Both response interruption and redirection (RIRD) and response blocking have been demonstrated to effectively reduce stereotypy maintained by automatic reinforcement. When presented with multiple treatment alternatives, it may be beneficial for clinicians to identify the client's preference for treatment. This may be difficult for clients who cannot accurately describe their preference. In these circumstances, concurrent chain procedures may be used to evaluate participant preference. The current study evaluated the effects of RIRD and response blocking on the stereotypic responding of three elementary-age children diagnosed with autism. During the treatment evaluation, RIRD and response blocking were evaluated using an alternating treatment and reversal design. Following treatment evaluation, a concurrent chain preference assessment was conducted to evaluate participant preference for RIRD or response blocking. Both RIRD and response blocking resulted in comparably low levels of motor stereotypy and all three participants preferred RIRD. The implications of these findings for treating behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement will be discussed.


The Effect of Task Difficulty on Child Preference for Fluent and Disfluent Work Schedules

JODI ELIZABETH NUERNBERGER (Southern Illinois University - Carbondale), Nicole Heal (Melmark New England), Kristina Vargo (Southern Illinois University - Carbondale), Stephanie Hood (Southern Illinois University)

A concurrent-chains arrangement was used to identify child preference for the temporal distribution of work and reward delivery within fluent and disfluent work schedule arrangements with four typically developing preschool children. The effects of task difficulty on preference for the work schedule arrangement was assessed by alternating two task assessments (i.e., easy and difficult) in a reversal design. Although the effects of task difficulty were unclear, differentiated choice responding was evident between work schedule arrangements. Two participants showed exclusive preference for the fluent work schedule arrangement; one participant showed a preference for the disfluent work schedule arrangement; and one participants preference was unclear.


An Evaluation of Preschoolers Preference for Quantitatively Differing Options

JONATHAN R. MILLER (University of Kansas), Derek D. Reed (University of Kansas), Laura Dyan White (University of Kansas)

Studies on choice have shown that both human and nonhumans prefer situations in which they can choose over those in which they cannot. However, the extent to which the number of available options influences preference for choice has not been thoroughly addressed in the behavioral literature. The current study assessed preschool childrens preference for differing numbers of options. A concurrent-chains arrangement was used to assess preference for three bin options: 0 toys (A), 6 toys (B), and 30 toys (C; five identical sets of Bin B toys). Initial-link selections resulted in 2-min access to the contents of the bin in the terminal link. Participants were first exposed to forced-choice trials with each of the three bins. Next, participants were allowed to select a bin during free-choice trials. Data were collected on initial-link selection, as well as latency to select toys, frequency of switching toys, and duration with first selected toy. Current results indicate preference for fewer options. Implications are discussed in terms of a behavioral economics model for the social psychology concepts of choice overload and buyers remorse, as well as a framework for whychosen architecture can serve as an antecedent intervention for problem behavior.




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