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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Symposium #77
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Variables Affecting Response Allocation in Concurrent Schedules of Reinforcement Arrangements
Saturday, May 29, 2010
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
213B (CC)
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: David P. Wacker (University of Iowa)
CE Instructor: Julie Knapp, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium will consist of three presentations that describe research on the evaluation of various parameters of reinforcement on the choice responding of participants. First, Joel Ringdahl will present a study entitled, “An evaluation of variables affecting compliance and task-related response allocation,” in which the response requirement, magnitude of reinforcement, task preference, and task difficulty were manipulated to observe the effect on task compliance. Next, Jessica Frieder will present a study entitled, “Effects of quality and magnitude of reinforcement on choice responding for individuals with escape motivated problem behavior,” in which the independent effects of duration of reinforcement, presence of preferred stimuli during task breaks, presence of adult attention during task breaks, and response requirement were evaluated on problem behavior and task completion. Finally, Allen Karsina will present a study entitled, “Assessing the illusion of control within a computer-based game of chance: illusion or preference?” This study evaluated the effects of schedules of reinforcement and whether participants were informed about the schedule on choices during a computer-based game. David Wacker will summarize and synthesize these studies while pointing out implications for behavior analysts and directions for future research.
An Evaluation of Variables Affecting Compliance and Task-Related Response Allocation
JOEL ERIC RINGDAHL (University of Iowa), Wendy K. Berg (University of Iowa), Anuradha Salil Kumar Dutt (University of Iowa)
Abstract: Noncompliance is one of the most frequently endorsed concerns for children receiving behavioral services. One avenue of research in this area is to identify, isolate, and apply variables that can be empirically demonstrated to affect compliance. In the current study, we evaluated the effect of reinforcement schedule, magnitude of reinforcement, and task preference on the compliance and response allocation among tasks for two individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities referred for evaluation of severe noncompliance. The evaluation was conducted using a concurrent schedule arrangement and varying schedule parameters (response requirement and reinforcer magnitude), task parameters (preference or difficulty), or both. Results of the evaluation indicated that, while individual differences were observed, these variables interacted to influence compliance and response allocation. Results will be discussed relevant to strategies for increasing compliance with academic tasks. Interobserver agreement was collected for at least 25% of all sessions and averaged above 90% for all target responses.
Effects of Quality and Magnitude of Reinforcement on Choice Responding for Individuals with Escape Motivated Problem Behavior
JESSICA E. FRIEDER (Armstrong Atlantic State University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University), Elizabeth Dayton (Utah State University), Shawn Patrick Quigley (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Recently, researchers (Peterson et al., 2009) have investigated the effects of a concurrent schedules of reinforcement arrangement for individuals with escape-motivated problem behavior in which three response options are available: compliance, mands, and problem behavior. Results of this research have suggested that choice responding can be biased in favor of adaptive responses as a function of reinforcement contingencies. While results are promising for interventions (e.g., stimulus fading), different reinforcement dimensions for each response co-varied across the response options: duration of break time, attention available during the break, and access to preferred items. Thus it is unclear which reinforcement dimension(s) maintained response allocation. This current study evaluated the effects of the three dimensions of reinforcement independently (duration, attention, and stimuli) on choice responding for children with disabilities who had escape-maintained problem behavior. Results from three separate experiments will be presented. Discussion will focus on how quality variables that may or may not be related to the function of problem behavior can impact choice responding. Implications for the effective treatment for children who display escape-motivated problem behavior will also be discussed.
Assessing the Illusion of Control Within a Computer-Based Game of Chance: Illusion or Preference?
ALLEN J. KARSINA (The New England Center for Children), Rachel H. Thompson (Western New England College)
Abstract: This study investigated several variables associated with the illusion of control using a computer-based game of chance with adult participants. During the game, participants were asked to choose between selecting their own numbers and having the numbers generated by the computer. Schedules of reinforcement for each of these options were systematically manipulated using a reversal design. During sessions, participants were informed when they earned points, and in some sessions participants were also told the schedule of reinforcement by trial type and the cumulative number of points won per trial type. After each session, participants completed a questionnaire regarding the schedules of reinforcement. Preliminary results indicate that when participants demonstrated a preference for selecting their own numbers, they also over-estimated their odds of winning points, consistent with the illusion of control. However, at least one participant accurately estimated her odds of winning when she was provided with the schedule of reinforcement for each trial type and the number of points won per trial type. Implications of the current findings are discussed.



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