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.


Fourth International Conference; Australia, 2007

Event Details

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Paper Session #81
International Paper Session - Punishment and Discriminative Control
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
L2 Room 2
Area: EAB
Chair: Celia Lie (University of Otago)
Signal Detection and Punishment for Errors.
Domain: Experimental Analysis
CELIA LIE (University of Otago), Brent L. Alsop (University of Otago)
Abstract: Signal-detection research has primarily focused on the effects of positive consequences for correct responses, such as the effects of reinforcer frequency and magnitude, and stimulus factors, such as varying the disparity of the sample stimuli or the stimulus presentation probability. In contrast, the effects of negative consequences for incorrect responses have received little attention. In this paper, I will present research examining the effects of punishers on human detection performance, showing that punishers have similar but opposite effects to reinforcers in signal-detection procedures.
Discriminative Control of Punished Responding: Implications of Multiple Sources of Confounds for Theory and Application.
Domain: Experimental Analysis
DEAN C. WILLIAMS (University of Kansas), Kathryn Saunders (University of Kansas)
Abstract: The study of discriminative stimulus control of responding maintained by positive reinforcement has a long-standing and dominant role in the behavioral literature. In contrast, the literature on discriminative stimulus control of response suppression by punishment is small and moribund. Recent studies with human subjects have shown difficulties in obtaining antecedent control by multiple schedule stimuli that apparently are not seen in animal studies. In preparations wherein stimulus control can develop (e.g., multiple schedules), at least two stimuli can come to exert discriminative control over response suppression: an antecedent discriminative stimulus (e.g., multiple-schedule stimulus) and the punisher delivery itself. We reviewed the literature, however, and found only 8% of the reports of stimulus control showed unambiguous demonstrations of operant stimulus control by an antecedent stimulus. We highlight, limitations in method, as well as in data analysis necessary for unambiguous conclusions of stimulus control over punished responding. Results from a recent study of punishment of self-stimulatory behaviors demonstrate the necessity for additional measures to determine the nature of control. A consideration of these limitations is important because they bear on both basic and applied issues in behavior analysis and many of the misconceptualizations of punishment.



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