The effects of variable-time versus contingent reinforcement delivery on problem behavior maintained by escape

Joanna E.Lomas Mevers, Wayne W. Fisher, Michael E. Kelley, Laura D. Fredrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Results of previous research indicate that the delivery of positive reinforcement (e.g., food) for an appropriate, alternative target response (e.g., compliance) or delivery of food on a time-based schedule can decrease problem behavior reinforced by escape, even when problem behavior continues to produce negative reinforcement (e.g., Lalli et al.,; Lomas, Fisher, & Kelley,). In this study, we compared the levels of both compliance and problem behavior when food and praise were delivered either contingent on compliance or on a time-based schedule. Results for 3 of the 4 participants showed that contingent delivery of preferred edible items and praise was more effective in both reducing problem behavior and increasing compliance compared to variable-time delivery of these same items. These findings are discussed in the context of motivating operations and competition between positive and negative reinforcement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-292
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • functional analysis
  • negative reinforcement
  • noncontingent reinforcement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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