Increasing variety of foods consumed by blending nonpreferred foods into preferred foods

Michael M. Mueller, Cathleen C. Piazza, Meeta R. Patel, Michael E. Kelley, Angela Pruett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

A treatment with differential or noncontingent reinforcement and nonremoval of the spoon increased the acceptance of one or two of 16 foods for 2 participants with severe food refusal. These differential levels of acceptance were demonstrated empirically in an ABAB design in which A was the presentation of the accepted (preferred) foods and B was the presentation of foods the participants refused (nonpreferred foods), Subsequently, we implemented a blending treatment that consisted of mixing (blending) nonpreferred foods into preferred foods in various ratios (e.g., 10% nonpreferred/90% preferred, 20% nonpreferred/80% preferred). We then presented nonpreferred foods that had been exposed to blending to determine if consumption of nonpreferred foods would increase following the blending treatment. We also conducted periodic reversals in which we presented nonpreferred foods that had not been exposed to the blending treatment. Following initial implementation of the blending treatment, consumption was high for nonpreferred foods that had been blended and low for nonpreferred foods that had not been blended. Consumption increased for all foods (i.e., foods that had been exposed to blending and foods that had not been exposed to blending) after seven or eight foods had been exposed to the blending treatment. Thus, the variety of foods consumed by the participants increased from one or two to 16. These results are discussed in terms of stimulus fading, conditioned food preferences, and escape extinction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-170
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

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Keywords

  • Conditioned food preferences
  • Food refusal
  • Negative reinforcement
  • Stimulus fading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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