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.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #245
CE Offered: BACB

How Does Stimulus Control Develop with Automatic Reinforcement?

Sunday, May 29, 2005
3:30 PM–4:20 PM
Stevens 3 (Lower Level)
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: Mark L. Sundberg, Ph.D.
Chair: Robert G. Vreeland (Behavior Analysis & Intervention Services)
MARK L. SUNDBERG (Behavior Analysts, Inc.)
Mark L. Sundberg received his doctorate degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University (1980), under the direction of Dr. Jack Michael. Dr. Sundberg is a Licensed Psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst who has been conducting language research with children with autism for over 30 years. He is the founder and past editor of the journal The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, and is the co-author (with James W. Partington) of the books Teaching Language to Children with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities, The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills: The ABLLS, and (with Jack Michael) A Collection of Reprints on Verbal Behavior. He has published over 40 professional papers, given over 350 conference presentations and workshops, and taught over 70 college courses on behavior analysis, verbal behavior, sign language, and child development. Dr. Sundberg received the 2001 “Distinguished Psychology Department Alumnus Award” from Western Michigan University.

Behavior that is automatically reinforced must come under some type of stimulus control. However, the development of stimulus control is not discussed much by Skinner (1957), or by others who have since written about automatic reinforcement. The current presentation will briefly describe the concept of automatic reinforcement, its applications, and then suggest how stimulus control develops when behavior is automatically reinforced. The analysis may help to explain behavior such as delayed echolalia, self-stimulation, and verbal perseverations. In addition, techniques to evoke desirable behavior (e.g., infant babbling) related to a history of automatic reinforcement will be presented.




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