Comparisons of standardized and interview-informed synthesized reinforcement contingencies relative to functional analysis

Brian D. Greer, Daniel R. Mitteer, Adam M. Briggs, Wayne W. Fisher, Andrew J. Sodawasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


We compared the functions of problem behavior identified by (a) a functional analysis (FA), (b) an interview-informed synthesized contingency analysis (IISCA) that was informed by the results of an open-ended interview and a structured observation, and (c) a standardized-synthesized contingency analysis (SSCA) in which we synthesized three common functions of problem behavior across 12 individuals in a controlled consecutive case series. We then compared outcomes across assessments. The FA was sufficient in identifying the variables maintaining problem behavior for 11 of the 12 participants, replicating the findings of Fisher, Greer, Romani, Zangrillo, and Owen (2016). Error type (i.e., false positives, false negatives) and error prevalence were similar across functions identified by the IISCA and the SSCA, calling into question the utility of the open-ended interview and the structured observation that informed the IISCA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-101
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020



  • false negative
  • false positive
  • functional analysis
  • independent effects
  • synthesized contingency analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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