DIFFERENTIAL RESPONSE PATTERNS TO THE CONTROL CONDITION BETWEEN TWO PROCEDURES TO ASSESS SOCIAL REINFORCERS FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM

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Abstract

Historically, reinforcer assessment procedures focus primarily on identifying nonsocial reinforcers (e.g., tangibles and edibles). Far less empirical attention has been allocated to the systematic identification of social consequences that function as reinforcers. This discrepancy is problematic given that social consequences are commonly incorporated into behavioral treatment programs without systematic evaluation of their efficacy. In this study, two methodologies (a single operant and a concurrent choice) were used to assess social reinforcers for children with autism. Results highlighted differences in response allocation to the control condition between procedures. Specifically, responding occurred in the control condition of the single-operant procedure but not in the concurrent-operant procedure. These differences highlight the need for further evaluation of procedures to assess social reinforcers. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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