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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #150
CE Offered: BACB
Further Evaluation of Interventions Using Response-Independent/Noncontingent Schedules of Reinforcement
Sunday, May 25, 2008
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Boulevard B
Area: CBM/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Mark P. Groskreutz (Utah State University)
CE Instructor: Thomas S. Higbee, Ph.D.

The current collection of research papers is composed of studies investigating response-independent/noncontingent schedules of reinforcement. Studies investigating the utility of these schedules with both clinical and nonclinical populations will be presented.

Using Non-Contingent Reinforcement (NCR) to Decrease Inappropriate Classroom Behavior in Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders.
THOMAS S. HIGBEE (Utah State University), Rachael D. Waller (Utah State University)
Abstract: Non-contingent reinforcement (NCR) has been shown to be an effective intervention for decreasing the severe problem behavior of individuals with severe developmental disabilities. Less is known, however, about the effectiveness of this intervention for decreasing the problem behavior of individuals with less severe disabilities and less severe forms of problem behavior. Thus the purpose of the present study was to investigate the effectiveness of NCR in reducing the inappropriate classroom behavior of students with emotional/behavioral disorders in a classroom setting. Following a functional analysis, the functional reinforcer maintaining the problem behavior of each participant was delivered on an NCR schedule and the effects on both problem behavior and compliance with instructions was evaluated using a withdrawal design.
Programming Nonreinforcement Periods: Do Children Prefer Multiple or Noncontingent Schedules?
KEVIN C. LUCZYNSKI (The New England Center for Children), Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England College)
Abstract: Two evidence-based methods for delivering intermittent reinforcement for appropriate social responses maintained by social-positive reinforcement include a multiple schedule and a noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) schedule. The present study assessed the efficacy of and preference for obtaining social interaction with five typically developing children under conditions in which the availability and unavailability of reinforcement was continuously signaled or when a similar amount was provided on a time-based schedule. This study systematically extends previous research on preference for contingencies by evaluating whether preference for contingencies would persist when periods of nonreinforcement were introduced. Efficacy and preference were assessed using a concurrent-chains arrangement within a multielement design. The frequency and temporal characteristics of reinforcer deliveries and nonreinforcement periods were equal across the schedules. Interobserver agreement was collected on 60% of sessions and averaged above 95%. Three of the five children preferred to obtain reinforcement via a multiple schedule to NCR, with one child preferring the NCR schedule, and the other child demonstrating indifference. The results extend the conditions under which preference for contingencies has been observed and provides support for the selection of schedules that introduce nonreinforcement periods with a response-dependent mechanism for obtaining reinforcement.
Effects of Treatment Integrity Failures on Time-Based Treatment Schedules: A Laboratory Study.
CLAIRE C ST. PETER (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Time-based treatment schedules, otherwise known as noncontingent reinforcement schedules, are commonly used as a treatment for problem behavior. Although procedures for time-based schedules are typically straightforward, they may not be consistently implemented as designed. We assessed the effects of failures to deliver earned reinforcers (omission errors), inappropriate reinforcer delivery (commission errors), and blended omission and commission errors on FT and VT schedules, using a controlled laboratory preparation with non-clinical participants. Treatment integrity levels varied from 100% to 20% integrity. Results showed that omission errors did not result in increases in analog “problem behavior,” while commission errors and blended errors decreased treatment efficacy. These outcomes demonstrate that certain types or levels of integrity failure are more detrimental than others.
Immediate and Subsequent Effects of Response-Independent Food Delivery on Problem Behavior Maintained by Food.
LAUREN A. CHERRYHOLMES (University of North Texas), Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas), Joseph D. Dracobly (University of North Texas), Stephen F. Walker (University of North Texas)
Abstract: The immediate and subsequent effects of response-independent food delivery on problem behavior maintained by food were investigated. Each occurrence of problem behavior produced a bite of wafer in the first and third components of mixed and multiple schedules, while either response-independent delivery of food or extinction was presented in the second component. Dense and lean schedules of food delivery were assessed. Results indicated that a very dense schedule of food nearly eliminated problem behavior, a very lean schedule of food and extinction produced substantial decreases in problem behavior, but intermediate schedules did not decrease problem behavior. Response patterns were differentiated across mixed and multiple schedule arrangements, with signaled changes in the schedules (multiple schedule) generally showing more immediate and sustained effects throughout the intervention component. Implications for interpretations of the effects of the intervention will be discussed.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh