|Translational Research on Reinforcement Effects
|Sunday, May 30, 2010
|9:00 AM–10:20 AM
|Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
|Chair: Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida)
|CE Instructor: R.J. Lamb, Ph.D.none
|Abstract: Solutions to problems that arise in the course of application sometimes require parametric manipulation before determining how to best produce desired clinical effects. Each of the studies in this symposium poses a question directly relevant to application but attempts to answer it with a simpler (and more controlled) preparation than would be possible under typical clinical conditions. The first presentation (Erin Camp) arises from our experience that vicarious reinforcement, a seemingly efficient procedure, produces unpredictable effects, which served as the basis for a series of studies to identify the determinants of those effects. The second presentation (Sarah Bloom) extends research on the training of socially appropriate communicative behavior (manding) as a replacement for problem behavior. Sarah poses the question of whether mands acquired under appetitive control might come to serve other functions such as escape. The third presentation (Javier Virues-Ortega) examines the mechanism(s) by which noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) decreases the frequency of a target behavior. Satiation and extinction both have been proposed, but a third and potentially simpler explanation may be response competition. The fourth presentation (Gracie Beavers) extends previous research on response-class formation by examining the influence of several reinforcement parameters. Each of the presentations involves multi-experiment procedures that successively refine the analysis of reinforcement effects across a range of potential applications.
|Some Determinants of Vicarious Reinforcement Effects
|ERIN CAMP (Autism Concepts, Inc.), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida), Jill M. Harper (University of Florida), Tara A. Fahmie (University of Florida)
|Abstract: Although vicarious reinforcement effects (increases in one’s behavior as a result of observing another’s behavior being reinforced) have been demonstrated under a variety of experimental arrangements, little research has examined the determinants of those effects from the standpoint of basic learning principles or the conditions under which they are more or less likely to be observed. The first part of this study examines some antecedent influences on the occurrence of vicarious reinforcement, specifically, stimulus control and establishing operations. The second part of this study examines the nature of the consequences provided to the model. Maintenance and generalization of vicarious reinforcement are also discussed.
|Cross-Function Transfer of Mand Forms
|SARAH E. BLOOM (Utah State University), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida), Jennifer N. Fritz (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Jennifer Lynn Hammond (Stanford University), Joy S. Pollard (Utah State University)
|Abstract: Individuals who engage in severe problem behavior may continue to injure themselves or others during functional communication training (FCT) if mands are taught in typical high-risk contexts. We examined whether mands taught in low-risk (functionally unrelated to problem behavior) contexts would transfer to high-risk (clinically-relevant) contexts. In Experiment 1, we examined the acquisition rate of mands for positive versus negative reinforcement and found no difference for any of three subjects. In Experiment 2, we examined the conditions under which training a mand for positive reinforcement transferred to negative reinforcement in children without problem behavior and observed transfer for two of three subjects. In Experiment 3, we conducted clinical mand training based on procedures used in Experiment 2 with children with escape-maintained problem behavior. Transfer of mand functions without explicit training was observed for one of three subjects. The remaining two subjects required explicit training of mands for negative reinforcement. These results have implications for the use of functional-communication training (FCT) with escape-maintained problem behavior as well as for the development of verbal behavior in general.
|Effects of Noncontingent Reinforcement on Target and Alternative Responses
|JAVIER VIRUES-ORTEGA (CIBERNED, Carlos III Institute of Health), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida), Tara A. Fahmie (University of Florida), Jill M. Harper (University of Florida)
|Abstract: It has been suggested that noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) decreases the frequency of behavior by either eliminating its establishing operation or terminating the contingency that maintained responding. Another possibility is that the target behavior is simply replaced by other behaviors maintained by pre-existing contingencies. To explore this possibility, we conducted a series of studies in which a target response and several alternatives were available. NCR (preceded by contingent reinforcement [CR] for the target) produced a reduction in the target and an increase in the alternatives. Subsequent manipulations showed that reductions in the target were more a function of the availability of alternatives rather than the result of NCR per se.
|Parameters of Reinforcement and Response-Class Hierarchies
|GRACIE A. BEAVERS (University of Florida), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida), Meagan Gregory (University of Florida)
|Abstract: Shabani, Carr, and Petursdottir (2009) developed a laboratory model of a response-class hierarchy and examined the influence of response effort. Other parameters of reinforcement (i.e., rate, quality, magnitude, and immediacy) may influence the development of response-class hierarchies in a similar way. This study extended the research of Shabani et al. (2009) by examining the expression of a response-class hierarchy in a series of experiments in which quality of reinforcement, rate of reinforcement, magnitude of reinforcement, and immediacy of reinforcement were manipulated.