Date of Award

5-1-2015

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Ringdahl, Joel

Abstract

The present study used a Microsoft Visual Basic computer program to examine the effects of changing reinforcement schedule components on response allocation following previously extinguished responding. In Experiment 1, participants allocated responses to three different colored buttons that moved around the screen after each successive click. Components were arranged such that clicking on one button resulted in reinforcer delivery on a programmed variable-interval (VI) 10 s schedule while clicking either of the other two buttons did not result in programmed reinforcer deliveries. Results of Experiment 1 may have been confounded by an unintended signaling of component changes, so an identical experiment was repeated without a point counter visible to the participants. The results of Experiment 2 indicated an induced responding on the button most recently associated with reinforcement when the reinforcement schedule changed. This induction effect is discussed in relation to current conceptions of relapse effects in the scientific literature and implications for treatment of challenging behavior.

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