ASSESSING POTENCY OF HIGH- AND LOW-PREFERENCE REINFORCERS WITH RESPECT TO RESPONSE RATE AND RESPONSE PATTERNS

Authors


California State University, Los Angeles, Charter College of Education, Division of Special Education and Counseling, KH C1064, Los Angeles, California 90032 (e-mail: mdenicew@yahoo.com).

Abstract

Previous research has suggested that the availability of high-preference stimuli may override the reinforcing efficacy of concurrently available low-preference stimuli under relatively low schedule requirements (e.g., fixed-ratio 1 schedule). It is unknown if similar effects would be obtained under higher schedule requirements. Thus, the current study compared high-preference and low-preference reinforcers under progressively increasing schedule requirements. Results for 3 of the 4 participants indicated that high-preference stimuli maintained responding under higher schedule requirements relative to low-preference stimuli. For 1 participant, high-preference and low-preference stimuli were demonstrated to be equally effective reinforcers under increasing schedule requirements. Implications with respect to rate of performance and response patterns are discussed.

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