Parameters of reinforcement and response-class hierarchies


  • We thank Tara Fahmie and Amanda Rone for their assistance.


Shabani, Carr, and Petursdottir (2009) examined the effects of a response–response relation (effort) on the development of a response-class hierarchy using a laboratory model. Response–reinforcer relations may have similar influences. Using a similar translational approach, we examined the effects of reinforcer rate, quality, delay, and magnitude in a series of separate experiments conducted with 8 individuals with intellectual disabilities. Response-class hierarchies emerged along the dimension of rate for 3 of 6 subjects, quality for 5 of 5 subjects, delay for 2 of 8 subjects, and magnitude for 5 of 6 subjects.