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Keywords:

  • fixed-time reinforcement;
  • noncontingent reinforcement;
  • positive reinforcement;
  • response class;
  • response covariation;
  • translational research

Research on functional response classes has applied significance because less severe forms of problem behavior have been found to co-occur with more severe forms. In addition, the most severe forms of problem behavior are sometimes targeted for intervention without monitoring other less severe forms. In such cases, it is unknown whether and how untreated forms of problem behavior covary with the targeted behaviors. The present study employed a translational procedure (with button presses as the target behavior) to investigate response covariation under noncontingent reinforcement with typically developing preschoolers. The results indicated that noncontingent reinforcement was generally effective in decreasing all response class members when only one member was targeted.