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EFFECTS OF FIXED VERSUS RANDOM CONDITION SEQUENCING DURING MULTIELEMENT FUNCTIONAL ANALYSES

Authors


  • This research was supported in part by a grant from the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities. We thank Tara Fahmie, Jill Harper, and Angie Querim for assisting in various aspects of this research.

Address correspondence to Jennifer L. Hammond, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, 401 Quarry Road, Stanford, California 94305 (e-mail: hammond1@stanford.edu).

Abstract

It has been suggested that a fixed condition sequence might facilitate differential responding during multielement functional analyses (FAs) by capitalizing on or limiting sequence effects (Iwata, Pace, et al., 1994); however, the effects of condition sequence have not been examined empirically. We conducted fixed- and random-sequence FAs for 7 individuals with developmental disabilities to determine the relative effects that sequence may have on assessment outcomes. Experimental conditions during the fixed sequence were conducted in the following order: ignore, attention, play, and demand; condition order during the random sequence was determined randomly. Results showed that sequence had no influence on the FA outcomes for 3 subjects, whereas differential responding emerged either faster (1 subject) or only (3 subjects) under the fixed sequence for the remaining subjects. These results suggest that the fixed sequence, a simple modification, should be used when conducting multielement FAs to accommodate the influence of establishing operations across assessment conditions.

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