An evaluation of preference of delays to reinforcement on choice responding : a translational study




Shpall, Cayenne Sarah

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Delays to reinforcement are often a necessary component during treatments of challenging behavior (e.g., Functional Communication Training; FCT). In the absence of programmed delay training, the utility and generality of FCT may be limited. Despite the importance of delays to reinforcement during FCT, few studies have empirically isolated and investigated the parameters pertaining to the implementation of delays to reinforcement. Results from basic empirical studies have shown that variable delays, or bi-valued mixed delays to reinforcement, are preferred in humans and nonhuman studies. The current research examined response allocation between fixed and mixed delays to reinforcement using a concurrent schedule of reinforcement. Results showed preference for mixed delays to reinforcement with 4 out of 4 participants. Potential avenues of future research on the use of mixed delays to reinforcement, such as the application within FCT and maintenance of socially appropriate behaviors, are discussed.


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