THE EFFECTS OF EXTINCTION, NONCONTINGENT REINFORCEMENT, AND DIFFERENTIAL REINFORCEMENT OF OTHER BEHAVIOR AS CONTROL PROCEDURES

Authors


Department of Human Development, University of Kansas, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, Kansas 66045.

Abstract

Several techniques have been used in applied research as controls for the introduction of a reinforcement contingency, including extinction, noncontingent reinforcement (NCR), and differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO). Little research, however, has examined the relative strengths and limitations of these “reversal” controls. We compared the effects of extinction with those of NCR and DRO in both multielement and reversal designs, with respect to (a) rate and amount of response decrement, (b) rate of response recovery following reintroduction of reinforcement, and (c) any positive or negative side effects associated with transitions. Results indicated that extinction generally produced the most consistent and rapid reversal effects, with few observed negative side effects.

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