Evaluation of Competing Stimuli within a DRO Contingency

Henry S. Roane, Wayne W. Fisher, Gina M. Sgro, Erin M. McDonough

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Abstract

Recent research has shown that preference assessments effectively identify stimuli that produce high levels of interaction relative to low levels of destructive behavior. In general, these stimuli identified through these means have been shown to reduce automatically-reinforced and socially-mediated destructive behavior when incorporated into noncontingent reinforcement treatment programs. However, the effects of high preference stimuli in other reinforcement-based procedures remain unclear. In this preliminary investigation, we evaluated a high preference stimulus in a DRO contingency without an extinction component. The stimulus reduced destructive behavior even when reinforcement was delayed for 60 s in the DRO. Results are discussed in terms of using alternative stimuli to reduce socially-mediated destructive behavior.

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