EFFECTS OF EQUAL AND UNEQUAL REINFORCER DURATION DURING FUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS

Authors


Neurobehavioral Unit, The Kennedy Krieger Institute, 707 N. Broadway, Baltimore, Maryland 21205.

Abstract

In the functional analysis described by Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, and Richman (1982/1994), reinforcer duration varied across conditions (e.g., brief attention vs. 30 s of escape); this may result in unequal exposure to the establishing operations for aberrant behavior. In this study, we compared the effects of unequal and equal reinforcer duration during a functional analysis. The results showed that reinforcer duration affects the rate of aberrant behavior and may potentially alter functional analysis interpretation.

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