Document Detail

Further examination of factors that influence preference for positive versus negative reinforcement.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17471792     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Factors that influence choice between qualitatively different reinforcers (e.g., a food item or a break from work) are important to consider when arranging treatments for problem behavior. Previous findings indicate that children who engage in problem behavior maintained by escape from demands may choose a food item over the functional reinforcer during treatment (DeLeon, Neidert, Anders, & Rodriguez-Catter, 2001; Lalli et al., 1999). However, a number of variables may influence choice between concurrently available forms of reinforcement. An analogue for treatment situations in which positive reinforcement for compliance is in direct competition with negative reinforcement for problem behavior was used in the current study to evaluate several variables that may influence choice. Participants were 5 children who had been diagnosed with developmental disabilities and who engaged in problem behavior maintained by escape from demands. In the first phase, the effects of task preference and schedule of reinforcement on choice between a 30-s break and a high-preference food item were evaluated. The food item was preferred over the break, regardless of the preference level of the task or the reinforcement schedule, for all but 1 participant. In the second phase, the quality of the break was manipulated by combining escape with toys, attention, or both. Only 1 participant showed preference for the enriched break. In the third phase, choice of a medium- or low-preference food item versus the enriched break was evaluated. Three of 4 participants showed preference for the break over the less preferred food item. Results extend previous research by identifying some of the conditions under which individuals who engage in escape-maintained behavior will prefer a food reinforcer over the functional one.
Tiffany Kodak; Dorothea C Lerman; Valerie M Volkert; Nicole Trosclair
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of applied behavior analysis     Volume:  40     ISSN:  0021-8855     ISO Abbreviation:  J Appl Behav Anal     Publication Date:  2007  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-05-02     Completed Date:  2007-06-29     Revised Date:  2010-09-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0174763     Medline TA:  J Appl Behav Anal     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  25-44     Citation Subset:  IM    
Louisiana State University, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aggression / psychology
Autistic Disorder / psychology,  therapy*
Behavior Therapy / methods*
Child Behavior Disorders / psychology,  therapy*
Child, Preschool
Choice Behavior*
Developmental Disabilities / psychology,  therapy*
Escape Reaction
Food Preferences
Mental Retardation / psychology,  therapy*
Reinforcement (Psychology)*
Reinforcement Schedule
Self-Injurious Behavior / prevention & control,  psychology
Token Economy

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