ArticleLiterature Review

Positive reinforcement as treatment for problem behavior maintained by negative reinforcement

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Abstract

Functional analyses (Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, & Richman, 1982/1994) have been useful in determining function-based treatments for problem behavior. Recently, however, researchers have evaluated the use of arbitrary reinforcers (e.g., positive reinforcers) to decrease problem behavior maintained by negative reinforcement, particularly in the absence of extinction. We provide a brief review of recent research on this topic and discuss implications regarding mechanisms, practice, and future research directions.

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... Differential reinforcement of compliance (DRC) is a common intervention for individuals exhibiting problem behavior maintained by negative reinforcement (Lalli et al., 1999;Payne & Dozier, 2013Piazza et al., 1997Piazza, Moes, & Fisher, 1996). DRC typically involves arranging extinction, such that problem behavior no longer results in the termination of nonpreferred tasks, and instead arranging reinforcement of task completion with the delivery of both positive and negative reinforcers. ...
... At its onset, DRC involves arranging brief reinforcement periods (most commonly 30 s) on a dense schedule (most commonly a fixedratio [FR] 1 schedule) for compliance (Payne & Dozier, 2013). The FR-1 schedule allows for frequent contact between compliance and reinforcement delivery, which should facilitate acquisition or strengthening of the compliance response. ...
... The inconsistent treatment effects observed under distributed reinforcement conditions by Hugh and Kevin are in contrast with several studies demonstrating the efficacy of DRC (Lalli et al., 1999;Payne & Dozier, 2013;Piazza et al., 1997;Piazza et al., 1996) using similar reinforcer durations. The critical magnitude of reinforcement likely is an interaction between the effort required by the target response, individual stimulus preferences, and unique stimulus features (e.g., 1 g of flavorful food may be a more effective reinforcer than 5 g of bland food, and 30-s access to a video game may serve as a reinforcer if a game can be paused but not if the game cannot be paused). ...
Article
Differential reinforcement is a common treatment for escape‐maintained problem behavior in which compliance is reinforced on a fixed‐ratio (FR) 1 schedule with brief access to positive and/or negative reinforcement. Recent research suggests some individuals prefer to complete longer work requirements culminating in prolonged (i.e. accumulated) reinforcement periods relative to brief (i.e. distributed) periods, but prolonged work exposure may evoke problem behavior and prevent compliance from contacting reinforcement when treating escape‐maintained problem behavior. We exposed 3 children with escape‐maintained problem behavior to both distributed (FR 1 resulting in 30 s of reinforcement) and accumulated (FR 15 resulting in 7.5 min of reinforcement) arrangements to compare their efficacy in maintaining low levels of problem behavior. We then assessed participants' preferences for these conditions in a concurrent‐chains arrangement. Accumulated‐reinforcement arrangements did not occasion additional problem behavior, but rather resulted in consistently lower levels of problem behavior for 2 of 3 participants. Participants demonstrated idiosyncratic preferences.
... Reliance on one type of design might compromise data interpretation (e.g., carryover effects might not occur as readily in alternative designs ;Payne & Dozier, 2013). For example, for Jay (Lalli et al.), negative reinforcement contingencies were effective for treating problem behavior only when the positive reinforcement condition preceded the negative reinforcement condition. ...
... The use of positive reinforcement to treat problem behavior maintained by escape offers potential benefits (Payne & Dozier, 2013). The delivery of positive reinforcers for appropriate behavior might be less disruptive to classroom or daily routines compared to providing escape for appropriate behavior. ...
... Despite recent empirical attention to the role of positive reinforcement for treating behavior maintained by negative reinforcement, the mechanism by which positive reinforcers decrease problem behavior remains largely unknown (Payne & Dozier, 2013). It is possible that the delivery of edible items functions as an abolishing operation and reduces the aversive quality of the demand context and the evocative effect of the instructions. ...
Article
Previous research has shown that problem behavior maintained by escape can be treated using positive reinforcement. In the current study, we directly compared functional (escape) and nonfunctional (edible) reinforcers in the treatment of escape-maintained problem behavior for 5 subjects. In the first treatment, compliance produced a break from instructions. In the second treatment, compliance produced a small edible item. Neither treatment included escape extinction. Results suggested that the delivery of a positive reinforcer for compliance was effective for treating escape-maintained problem behavior for all 5 subjects, and the delivery of escape for compliance was ineffective for 3 of the 5 subjects. Implications and future directions related to the use of positive reinforcers in the treatment of escape behavior are discussed. © Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.
... Although findings from studies have continued to demonstrate success in treating escape-maintained behaviors without the use of extinction, they have not been conducted in typical settings (Payne & Dozier, 2013). Thus, further research is needed to examine issues that may affect implementation in everyday environments. ...
... Thus, further research is needed to examine issues that may affect implementation in everyday environments. In particular, parents or teachers may object to the exclusive use of food as positive reinforcement (as used in Payne & Dozier, 2013;Piazza et al., 1997;and Slocum & Vollmer, 2015 studies). In addition, immediate access to the reinforcer (e.g., Athens & Vollmer, 2010;Carter, 2010;Hoch et al., 2002;Payne & Dozier, 2013;Slocum & Vollmer, 2015) may be either undesirable (e.g., to the extent that reinforcer consumption or engagement disrupts task performance) or impractical in typical environments where teachers, clinicians, and parents often have other competing responsibilities. ...
... In particular, parents or teachers may object to the exclusive use of food as positive reinforcement (as used in Payne & Dozier, 2013;Piazza et al., 1997;and Slocum & Vollmer, 2015 studies). In addition, immediate access to the reinforcer (e.g., Athens & Vollmer, 2010;Carter, 2010;Hoch et al., 2002;Payne & Dozier, 2013;Slocum & Vollmer, 2015) may be either undesirable (e.g., to the extent that reinforcer consumption or engagement disrupts task performance) or impractical in typical environments where teachers, clinicians, and parents often have other competing responsibilities. Satiation may be a problem (e.g., Athens & Vollmer), and the rich to lean transition resulting from removal of a preferred item following the allotted time with the reinforcer (e.g., 10 s with a toy) may evoke misbehavior. ...
Article
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The use of extinction procedures when treating escape-maintained problem behavior can be undesirable and impractical for practitioners to use. To mitigate the risks associated with escape extinction, we explored the effectiveness of a delayed reinforcement token system without the use of extinction in school and home settings to treat escape-maintained problem behavior of students with autism spectrum disorder. In lieu of escape extinction (e.g., blocking), the researchers implemented a 30 s break contingent on problem behaviors and a token (to be exchanged at the end of the session) contingent on compliance. The results of a multiple probe design indicated substantial increases in compliance and reductions in problem behavior for all four participants. These findings suggest that extinction is not necessary to eliminate escape-maintained problem behavior in children with autism.
... Given the challenges associated with EXTbased treatments, researchers have begun investigating DRA treatments that do not arrange for implementation of EXT, yet still produce clinically significant reductions in destructive behavior. These treatments are often termed as DRA without EXT (Athens & Vollmer, 2010;Lalli & Casey, 1996;Lalli et al., 1999;Parrish et al., 1986;Russo et al., 1981; for a related review, see MacNaul &Neely, 2018 andPayne &Dozier, 2013) and are conceptualized as a concurrent choice arrangement in which the individual chooses between two concurrently available responses (i.e., destructive and alternative behavior; Athens & Vollmer, 2010;Borrero et al., 2010). This conceptualization is consistent with the matching law, a quantitative description of response allocation (Herrnstein, 1961), which suggests an organism's responding across two alternatives should match the relative rates of reinforcement for those alternatives (Baum, 1974;Crowley & Donahoe, 2004;Fisher & Mazur, 1997). ...
... Given the challenges associated with EXTbased treatments, researchers have begun investigating DRA treatments that do not arrange for implementation of EXT, yet still produce clinically significant reductions in destructive behavior. These treatments are often termed as DRA without EXT (Athens & Vollmer, 2010;Lalli & Casey, 1996;Lalli et al., 1999;Parrish et al., 1986;Russo et al., 1981; for a related review, see MacNaul &Neely, 2018 andPayne &Dozier, 2013) and are conceptualized as a concurrent choice arrangement in which the individual chooses between two concurrently available responses (i.e., destructive and alternative behavior; Athens & Vollmer, 2010;Borrero et al., 2010). This conceptualization is consistent with the matching law, a quantitative description of response allocation (Herrnstein, 1961), which suggests an organism's responding across two alternatives should match the relative rates of reinforcement for those alternatives (Baum, 1974;Crowley & Donahoe, 2004;Fisher & Mazur, 1997). ...
Article
Differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA), which often arranges extinction (EXT) for destructive behavior, is an effective treatment to reduce destructive behavior. However, the use of EXT has several limitations resulting in practitioners implementing DRA without EXT. During these treatments, practitioners often manipulate reinforcer dimensions to favor appropriate behavior. The pre-identification of reinforcer dimensions to which an individual’s behavior is sensitive may be important to inform efficacious DRA without EXT treatments. In Study 1, we developed a systematic methodology to assess individual sensitivity to reinforcer dimensions. In Study 2, we implemented two DRA without EXT procedures to assess if individuals allocated responding towards the response that produced baseline reinforcer parameters relative to the response that produced the parametrically changed reinforcer to which the individuals demonstrated sensitivity during Study 1.
... In many cases though, antecedent approaches alone are not effective at treating noncompliance; successful treatment may require direct manipulation of the consequences associated with compliance and noncompliance (e.g., Cote et al., 2005;Stephenson & Hanley, 2010;Zarcone et al., 1994). These include differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) specifically targeting compliance (i.e., delivering positive and/or negative reinforcement following compliance; Bouxsein, Roane, & Harper, 2011;Kodak, Miltenberger, & Romaniuk, 2003;Lalli et al., 1999;Payne & Dozier, 2013;Piazza, Moes, & Fisher, 1996;Russo, Cataldo, & Cushing, 1981;Tarbox, Wallace, Penrod, & Tarbox, 2007;Whitman, Zakaras, & Chardos, 1971) and extinction of noncompliance (i.e., ensuring noncompliance does not result in the termination of demands; e.g., Iwata, Pace, Kalsher, Cowdery, & Cataldo, 1990;McKerchar & Abby, 2012;Stephenson & Hanley, 2010). The combined use of DRA and extinction has been particularly effective in treating noncompliance (Payne & Dozier, 2013). ...
... These include differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) specifically targeting compliance (i.e., delivering positive and/or negative reinforcement following compliance; Bouxsein, Roane, & Harper, 2011;Kodak, Miltenberger, & Romaniuk, 2003;Lalli et al., 1999;Payne & Dozier, 2013;Piazza, Moes, & Fisher, 1996;Russo, Cataldo, & Cushing, 1981;Tarbox, Wallace, Penrod, & Tarbox, 2007;Whitman, Zakaras, & Chardos, 1971) and extinction of noncompliance (i.e., ensuring noncompliance does not result in the termination of demands; e.g., Iwata, Pace, Kalsher, Cowdery, & Cataldo, 1990;McKerchar & Abby, 2012;Stephenson & Hanley, 2010). The combined use of DRA and extinction has been particularly effective in treating noncompliance (Payne & Dozier, 2013). ...
Article
Noncompliance is a common childhood behavior problem that has been treated effectively using three-step prompting and differential reinforcement of compliance. Researchers have successfully taught parents to implement this intervention package using behavioral skills training (BST). Although effective, BST is an intensive teaching strategy and the generality of the effects of training on parent and child behavior have not been assessed. The current study conducted a component analysis of the elements of BST (written instructions, modeling, and rehearsal with performance feedback) to determine the sufficient and necessary elements of training needed to teach parents to implement three-step prompting and DRA. Further, we assessed generalization of parents’ skills across multiple instructional contexts with their children. The results indicated that the full BST package was necessary for parents to reach mastery levels of correct implementation, but training generalized across untargeted tasks.
... Aligned with that, time-out and delayed playtime were used as punishment during the treatment process to reduce the problem behavior of children with ASD. On the other hand, reinforcements such as star and token system were applied in the treatment process to increase their motivation and appropriate behavior (Athens & Vollmer, 2010;Payne & Dozier, 2013;Querim et al., 2013). This helped indirectly to reduce the problem behaviors (Van Camp et al., 2000). ...
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We are very happy to publish this issue of the International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research. The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research is a peer-reviewed open-access journal committed to publishing high-quality articles in the field of education. Submissions may include full-length articles, case studies and innovative solutions to problems faced by students, educators and directors of educational organisations. To learn more about this journal, please visit the website http://www.ijlter.org. We are grateful to the editor-in-chief, members of the Editorial Board and the reviewers for accepting only high quality articles in this issue. We seize this opportunity to thank them for their great collaboration. The Editorial Board is composed of renowned people from across the world. Each paper is reviewed by at least two blind reviewers. We will endeavour to ensure the reputation and quality of this journal with this issue.
... For å redusere sannsynligheten for aggressiv atferd under treningen ble det benyttet positiv forsterkning presentert i et tegnøkonomi system. I en studie gjennomført av Payne og Dozier (2013) ble det vist at presentasjon av positiv forsterkning kontingent på gjennomførte oppgaver, reduserte problematferd opprettholdt av unngåelse fra krav. I denne studien ble det kun observert aggressiv atferd i forbindelse med VOT en gang, og denne økten ble da avbrutt. ...
Article
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Frequent inappropriate vocalizations are stigmatizing and limit possibilities of daily living activities. We investigated if inappropriate vocalizations could be reduced by first identifying their function and then teaching appropriate verbal behavior with the same function. The participant was a male in his thirties with a diagnosis of autism, moderate intellectual disability and bipolar disorder. The function of the inappropriate vocalizations was identified through an interview-informed synthesized contingency analysis (IISCA). This involves an indirect and a descriptive functional assessment that is followed by a tailored functional analysis. The analysis suggested that the inappropriate vocalizations were under control of attention. The intervention therefore consisted of teaching verbal operants with the same function along with differential reinforcement of appropriate vocalizations. We evaluated the effects through in a multiple probe design. Treatment resulted in significant reduction in inappropriate vocalizations, and an increase in appropriate vocalizations across two settings. The study was conducted in a community residential facility and can be an example of a pragmatic and socially valid behavior analytic intervention.
... When the problem behavior includes aggression or self-injury, procedures that might produce a side effect such as an extinction burst may be inappropriate. However, research has shown also that positive reinforcement in the form of access to preferred items or activities, can be effective for improving problem behavior that is maintained by negative reinforcement or multiple functions (i.e., positive and negative reinforcement) (Payne & Dozier, 2013). Importantly, the effectiveness of positive reinforcement for reducing negatively reinforced and increasing appropriate behavior has been demonstrated even in the absence of extinction (Lalli et al., 1999). ...
Article
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Functional analysis (Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, & Richman, 1982/1994) is a robust approach to identifying function-based interventions for problem behavior, including self-injury, aggression, and destruction. Such interventions, however, may be difficult for untrained caregivers to implement with fidelity in natural environments. Further research is needed to identify simple antecedent strategies for promoting appropriate behavior among children with significant problem behavior. The purpose of the current study was to utilize a concurrent schedules arrangement to identify conditions under which two children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and developmental delays who engaged in problem behaviors would choose to complete academic tasks to earn access to preferred items. In both cases, problem behaviors were shown to be sensitive to reinforcement in the forms of escape from task demands and access to preferred items. A concurrent operant arrangement in which the participants could choose to complete work tasks to earn access to preferred activities, or to take a break without demands or preferred items, was implemented. The schedule requirements in the demand component were systematically increased across opportunities, while the amount and type of reinforcement was kept constant. The results show, at the lowest levels of task demands, both participants allocated more opportunities to the work option. At higher levels, however, both participants allocated a majority of their choices to the break option. Despite the absence of preferred items in the break component, no instances of problem behavior were observed following selection of the break option. This indicates that this type of analysis could be used to identify conditions for compliance among individuals who engage in escape- or multiply-maintained problem behaviors, without the need to provoke or reinforce problem behavior. Limitations of the current study and recommendations for future research are discussed.
... Positive reinforcement has been shown to be a powerful motivating factor in continuing with alternative behavior, Table 4 Intercorrelations, in the form of Spearman's rho, between client behaviors and mean markings per client (M) and standard deviation (SD). and to reduce negative reinforcement in one's surroundings (Payne and Dozier, 2013). The opposite might also be true. ...
Article
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The relationship between what a client writes when communicating with an online therapist and treatment outcome in internet-based cognitive behavior therapy (ICBT) is largely unknown. The aim of this study was to addresses if written correspondence from the client to the therapist correlate with outcome and treatment completion. A total of 29 participants with mild to moderate depression were included from an ongoing randomized controlled trial targeting depression. Content analysis involving ten categories was performed on all emails and module responses sent by the participants to their internet therapist. A total of 3,756 meaning units were identified and coded. Significant positive correlations were found between change in depression and statements in the two categories “observing positive consequences” (r= .49) and “alliance” (r= .42). Treatment module completion correlated with seven categories. The result suggests that text dealing with alliance and observing positive consequences can be used as indicators of how the treatment is progressing. . This study suggests that written correspondence from an online client can be divided into ten categories and the frequency of those can be used by internet therapists to individualize treatment and perhaps make ICBT more effective.
... Treating negatively reinforced problem behavior with positive reinforcement has several advantages (see Payne & Dozier, 2013), but few studies have examined this approach with problem behavior that is evoked by auditory stimuli. The purpose of this study was to extend the work of Ingvarsson et al. (2008) and Keeney et al. (2000) to treat the aggression of a boy with autism that was evoked by certain sounds. ...
Article
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Some individuals with developmental disabilities engage in problem behavior to escape or avoid auditory stimuli. In this study, a 6-year-old boy with autism engaged in severe aggression in the presence of specific sounds. Following an assessment based on the procedures described by McCord, Iwata, Galensky, Ellingson, and Thomson (2001), we treated negatively reinforced behavior using noncontingent reinforcement and time-out from positive reinforcement in the absence of extinction. Treatment was effective in reducing aggression across multiple sounds. © Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.
... Through their research in applied behavioral science, Payne and Dozier (2013) suggested that when there is positive reinforcement, the outcomes tend to be more constructive than when negative reinforcement methods are used. Therefore, coaching, like any other professional development activity, should be considered a positive, proactive activity for faculty members to enhance current skills and develop new approaches. ...
Article
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Coaching in higher education is a relatively new field; although, it has been taking place in educational institutions for some time, even if it was not labeled as such. This paper describes the faculty development filosophies of a US-based higher education institution with a strong culture of supporting faculty and promoting social change. A coaching model was implemented as a means for professional development. It was designed to be facilitated through a peer relationship and it offers problem-focused, contextualized opportunities for faculty to collaborate, thus making the experience and outcome more meaningful. The coaching model is individualized, confidential, non-evaluative, and incorporates three pathways to support the professional development needs of faculty: self-assigned, a request from college leadership as a means to support faculty in an identified area of need, or the New Faculty Orientation (NFO) instructor may recommend a faculty member for coaching as a way to further engage in topics not discussed in-depth in NFO. DOI: 10.18870/hlrc.v4i4.221
... Indeed, positive reinforcement produces higher levels of compliance and lower levels of problem behavior than negative reinforcement (Carter, 2010;Payne & Dozier, 2013). Extinction is also effective in reducing problem behavior in individuals that have been subjected to negative reinforcement (Kuhn, DeLeon, Fisher, & Wilke, 1999). ...
Article
Information asymmetry in an employment relationship is much researched in the organization studies literature because of its consequences for employment contracts, compensation, and rent appropriation by the involved parties. However, its psychological antecedents have not been adequately addressed so far. We conceptually investigate the psychological drivers of supervisor–subordinate information asymmetry by primarily invoking social exchange theory. Whereas agency theory examines how information distribution is driven by self-interest seeking, social exchange theory emphasizes how individuals may be motivated to fulfill social obligations and not by exclusive self-interest seeking. This paper advances several propositions regarding the influence of a subordinate’s and supervisor’s psychological variables, such as relational identification, disposition for relational trust, assumed similarity, and the shaping techniques used by a supervisor on information asymmetry. In doing so, it highlights the underlying social exchange (social attraction and reciprocity), and the cognitive, affective, and behavioral processes. The influence of the psychological variables on information asymmetry may be moderated by contextual factors, such as interactional justice climate in teams, agency costs, and the type of employment relationship.
... In applied behavior analysis, the clinical significance of understanding the competition between appetitive and aversive contingencies in escape-maintained problem behavior is a primary focus of concern (Bouxsein, Roane & Harper, 2011;Kodak, Lerman, Volkert & Trosclair, 2007;Payne & Dozier, 2013). In such cases, clinicians determine problem behavior has an escape function, such as aggressive responding to demands, maintained by negative reinforcement. ...
Article
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Approach–avoidance paradigms create a competition between appetitive and aversive contingencies and are widely used in nonhuman research on anxiety. Here, we examined how instructions about threat and avoidance impact control by competing contingencies over human approach–avoidance behavior. Additionally, Experiment 1 examined the effects of threat magnitude (money loss amount) and avoidance cost (fixed ratio requirements), whereas Experiment 2 examined the effects of threat information (available, unavailable and inaccurate) on approach–avoidance. During the task, approach responding was modeled by reinforcing responding with money on a FR schedule. By performing an observing response, participants produced an escalating " threat meter ". Instructions stated that the threat meter levels displayed the current probability of losing money, when in fact loss only occurred when the level reached the maximum. Instructions also stated pressing an avoidance button lowered the threat level. Overall, instructions produced cycles of approach and avoidance responding with transitions from approach to avoidance when threat was high and transitions back to approach after avoidance reduced threat. Experiment 1 revealed increasing avoidance cost, but not threat magnitude, shifted approach–avoidance transitions to higher threat levels and increased anxiety ratings, but did not influence the frequency of approach–avoidance cycles. Experiment 2 revealed when threat level information was available or absent earnings were high, but earnings decreased when inaccurate threat information was incompatible with contingencies. Our findings build on prior nonhuman and human approach–avoidance research by highlighting how instructed threat and avoidance can impact human AA behavior and self-reported anxiety.
... The selection of potent reinforcers is a crucial step in the development of behavioracquisition across all age-populations (e.g., child, adolescent, adult, elderly). The identification of reinforcers can be undertaken in numerous modalities; however, the use of a reward survey is a well-established, convenient method used by behavior therapists, teachers, and caregivers (Cautela & Brion-Meisels, 1979;Houlihan, Jesse, Levine, & Sombke, 1991;Payne & Dozier, 2013;Phillips, Fischer, & Singh, 1977). A reward survey is essentially a self-reported measure comprised of items or activities that a certain population has demonstrated preference for (e.g., pizza, sporting event, going to movies). ...
Article
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Extant reward surveys and item preferences assessments have shown to be a reliable mode of ascertaining potential reinforcers for various populations; however, many are outdated and may comprise of items or rewards that contemporary populations may not value. The purpose of this research is to extend upon the Houlihan, Jesse, Levine, and Sombke (1991) Survey of Rewards for Teens (SORT) and assess whether there is evidence of a potential, generational shift in reward preferences in high school students from 1991 to 2016. This inquiry is of particular importance to behavior analysts due to the idiosyncratic nature of reward preference, a tendency for rewards to shift over time, and the salient role played by rewards in behavior therapy programs. Results suggest that the reward preferences of contemporary high school students differ when compared to the sample of adolescents in Houlihan et al. (1991) study. In addition, a proposed revision of the SORT is provided, whose development was derived based on the resulting component structure from a principal components analysis (PCA) and inspection of component psychometric properties.
... Overall, the results of the current investigation suggest that durable treatment effects can be developed in the absence of extinction by manipulating a combination of magnitude and quality of reinforcement for compliance, which can be maintained at relatively lean schedules of reinforcement. These results contribute to the growing body of literature on the use of positive reinforcement in the treatment of escape-maintained destructive behavior (Payne & Dozier, 2013). Furthermore, these results have important clinical implications because they provide further evidence of the efficacy of alternative strategies for treating severe destructive behavior when extinction might not be an option. ...
Article
Previous research indicates that manipulating dimensions of reinforcement during differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) for situations in which extinction cannot be implemented is a potential approach for treating destructive behavior. Therefore, we replicated and extended previous research by determining (a) the conditions under which DRA without extinction decreased and maintained low levels of destructive behavior and (b) whether intervention effects maintained during reinforcement schedule thinning for the alternative response (i.e., compliance). Results showed that effective treatments were developed in the absence of extinction by manipulating the quality of reinforcement for compliance for 2 participants and by combining manipulations of the magnitude and quality of reinforcement for compliance for the other 2 participants. However, maintaining treatment effects during reinforcement schedule thinning required combining the magnitude and quality of reinforcement for 3 of the 4 participants. We discuss the clinical utility of this approach, review limitations of the study, and suggest directions for future research.
... Likewise, extinction may be impractical if it requires physically guiding an individual of a large physical stature (Athens & Vollmer, 2010) or if destructive behavior (e.g., aggression) is sensitive to small changes in the therapist's behavior (Fisher, Ninness et al., 1996;Kodak et al., 2007;Piazza et al., 1999). For these reasons, applied researchers have investigated DRA treatments that do not rely on extinction, yet still produce clinically significant reductions in destructive behavior (Athens & Vollmer, 2010;Lalli & Casey, 1996;Lalli et al., 1999;Parrish et al., 1986;Piazza, Fisher et al., 1997;Russo et al., 1981; for a related review, see Payne & Dozier, 2013). ...
Article
In the clinic, differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) often involves programming extinction for destructive behavior while reinforcing an alternative form of communication (e.g., a functional communication response); however, implementing extinction can be unsafe or impractical under some circumstances. Quantitative theories of resurgence (i.e., Behavioral Momentum Theory and Resurgence as Choice) predict differences in the efficacy of treatments that do and do not involve extinction of target responding when reinforcement conditions maintaining alternative responding worsen. We tested these predictions by examining resurgence following two DRA conditions in which we equated rates of reinforcement. In DRA without extinction, target and alternative behavior produced reinforcement. In DRA with extinction plus noncontingent reinforcement, only alternative behavior produced reinforcement. We conducted this study in a reverse-translation sequence, first with participants who engaged in destructive behavior (Experiment 1) and then in a laboratory setting with rats (Experiment 2). Across both experiments, we observed proportionally lower levels of target responding during and following the DRA condition that arranged extinction for the target response. However, levels of resurgence were similar following both arrangements.
... Ideally, this skill would assist with creating learning opportunities throughout the day as the parent deems feasible. Second, growing evidence supports delivering positive reinforcers either contingent on compliance or noncontingently to reduce escape-maintained problem behavior (Payne & Dozier, 2013). Including positive reinforcers might reduce the aversiveness of the learning context while providing children with more opportunities to learn new skills. ...
Article
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The outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in decision-making related to in-person versus remote behavior-analytic service delivery. For those service providers who shifted from delivering in-person therapy to remote consultation, parents have presumably, at least at times, assumed a role similar to a registered behavior technician (RBT). We suggest that behavior analysts recommend two empirically based strategies to parents that they could incorporate into their daily lives during service disruptions: environmental enrichment and differential reinforcement of alternative behavior. We provide examples of naturally occurring contexts during which parents could integrate these procedures: (1) self-care or daily living activities, (2) physical activity, and (3) preferred learning activities. We support selecting these strategies and their application during exemplar contexts under the premise that they do not result in additional time expenditure, afford parents opportunities to complete essential (household, work-related, or personal) tasks, and still result in therapeutic gains.
... Aligned with that, time-out and delayed playtime were used as punishment during the treatment process to reduce the problem behavior of children with ASD. On the other hand, reinforcements such as star and token system were applied in the treatment process to increase their motivation and appropriate behavior (Athens & Vollmer, 2010;Payne & Dozier, 2013;Querim et al., 2013). This helped indirectly to reduce the problem behaviors (Van Camp et al., 2000). ...
... For example, Lalli et al. (1999) showed that reinforcement of compliance with a preferred food increased compliance and decreased negatively reinforced problem behavior even though problem behavior continued to produce escape. Several investigators have replicated this finding (e.g., DeLeon, Neidert, Anders, & Rodriguez-Catter, 2001;Kodak, Lerman, Volkert, & Trosclair, 2007;Slocum & Vollmer, 2015) and Payne and Dozier (2013). discussed these findings in a recent brief review. ...
... Clear examples of this can be found throughout the ABA literature when researchers conceptualize the efficacy of treatments for problem behavior that are based on differential reinforcement of alternative behavior that do not arrange extinction for problem behavior. As just one example, Piazza et al. (1997) showed that the problem behavior of two participants remained low and compliance elevated when compliance resulted in positive reinforcement even though problem behavior continued to produce escape (see Payne & Dozier, 2013, for a review of such treatments, and Vollmer et al., 2020, for related commentary). The authors stated, "One potential explanation of these findings is that the relative rates of compliance and destructive behavior were a function of the relative value of the reinforcement produced by each response" (p. ...
Article
Science evolves from prior approximations of its current form. Interest in changes in species over time was not a new concept when Darwin made his famous voyage to the Galapagos Islands; concern with speciation stretches back throughout the history of modern thought. Behavioral science also does and must evolve. Such change can be difficult, but it can also yield great dividends. The focus of the current special section is on a common mutation that appears to have emerged across these areas and the critical features that define an emerging research area—applied quantitative analysis of behavior (AQAB). In this introduction to the “Special Issue on Applications of Quantitative Methods,” we will outline some of the common characteristics of research in this area, an exercise that will surely be outdated as the research area continues to progress. In doing so, we also describe how AQAB is relevant to theory, behavioral pharmacology, applied behavior analysis, and health behaviors. Finally, we provide a summary for the articles that appear in this special issue. The authors of these papers are all thinking outside the Skinner box, creating new tools and approaches, and testing them against relevant data. If we can keep up this evolution of methods and ideas, behavior analysis will regain its place at the head of the table!
... Researchers have suggested that without credibility, journalism cannot exist (Kohring & Matthes, 2007). Although scholars and journalists disagree about what constitutes credibility, they however agree that it relates primarily to the truthfulness and accuracy of the facts that journalists report (Payne and Dozier, 2013;Tsfati, 2008). One of the key functions of media in society is to survey and report events happening in the society, therefore, news report is expected to present facts and analysis that allow citizens to make informed decision in a complex, information-saturated society (Barnett, 2008). ...
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Attaining credibility in news has been a huge discourse among scholars, journalists and media audience. This study sought to find out audience perception of credible means of reporting news between pictures and news stories. To achieve the objectives of this study, purposive sampling method was employed to gather data from respondents using a structured questionnaire. Findings from the study indicated that majority of the respondents agreed that pictures and news are both good means of reporting credible news, however, majority of respondents agreed that the use of pictures to complement news reports, authenticates a story more compared to when a story appears alone. The paper concluded that when media organizations embrace the practice of accompanying news stories with pictures, they have a better chance of improving organizational credibility, source credibility and message credibility which in turn endears the news organization to media audiences. The paper therefore recommended that pictures should accompany news reports as this strengthens the credibility of news stories. Also, it is important to indicate 'archive' on pictures and news video that are not recent but are used to accompany news stories.
... Borrero and Vollmer published their analysis in 2002, considerable research has emerged extending the work of Lalli et al. (1999) on the use of positive reinforcement (both contingent and noncontingent) to treat escape behavior (e.g., Lomas et al., 2010;Payne & Dozier, 2013;Slocum & Vollmer, 2015). In addition, Liam's treatment at the clinic involved the use of positive reinforcement during instructional activity. ...
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... However, a limitation of the treatment evaluation was the use of a multielement design to compare the effects of the treatments. That is, the rapid alternation of synthesized contingencies, particularly those that involve access to preferred items and activities during an escape interval, with those that are not synthesized (e.g., escape only) may have influenced the efficacy of treatments that did not involve access to those additional reinforcers (Payne & Dozier, 2013). ...
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Results of prior studies (e.g. [J. Appl. Behav. Anal. 32 (1999) 285]) showing that participants chose alternative behavior (compliance) over escape-reinforced destructive behavior when this latter response produced escape and the former response produced positive reinforcement may have been due to (a) the value of the positive reinforcer overriding the value of the negative reinforcer or (b) the presence of the positive reinforcer altering the value of the negative reinforcer (i.e., lessening the aversiveness of the demands). In this investigation we evaluated the relative contributions of these alternative mechanisms with two girls with autism. We compared the relative effects of positive and negative reinforcement using equivalent communication responses under both a restricted-choice condition (in which participants could choose positive or negative reinforcement, but not both) and an unrestricted-choice condition (in which participants could choose one or both reinforcers). Both participants often chose positive over negative reinforcement in the restricted-choice condition. However, in the unrestricted-choice condition (in which participants could choose one or both reinforcers), one participant consistently chose both reinforcers by the end of the analysis whereas the other primarily chose only positive reinforcement. Results suggested that for one participant the value of the positive reinforcer overrode the value of the negative reinforcer, whereas for the other participant, the presence of the positive reinforcer in the demand context lessened the aversiveness of the demands.
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Factors that influence choice between qualitatively different reinforcers (e.g., a food item or a break from work) are important to consider when arranging treatments for problem behavior. Previous findings indicate that children who engage in problem behavior maintained by escape from demands may choose a food item over the functional reinforcer during treatment (DeLeon, Neidert, Anders, & Rodriguez-Catter, 2001; Lalli et al., 1999). However, a number of variables may influence choice between concurrently available forms of reinforcement. An analogue for treatment situations in which positive reinforcement for compliance is in direct competition with negative reinforcement for problem behavior was used in the current study to evaluate several variables that may influence choice. Participants were 5 children who had been diagnosed with developmental disabilities and who engaged in problem behavior maintained by escape from demands. In the first phase, the effects of task preference and schedule of reinforcement on choice between a 30-s break and a high-preference food item were evaluated. The food item was preferred over the break, regardless of the preference level of the task or the reinforcement schedule, for all but 1 participant. In the second phase, the quality of the break was manipulated by combining escape with toys, attention, or both. Only 1 participant showed preference for the enriched break. In the third phase, choice of a medium- or low-preference food item versus the enriched break was evaluated. Three of 4 participants showed preference for the break over the less preferred food item. Results extend previous research by identifying some of the conditions under which individuals who engage in escape-maintained behavior will prefer a food reinforcer over the functional one.
The effects of variable-time delivery of food items and praise on problem behavior reinforced by escape
  • Steven W Payne
  • Claudia L Dozier Lomas
  • J E Fisher
  • W W Kelley
STEVEN W. PAYNE and CLAUDIA L. DOZIER Lomas, J. E., Fisher, W. W., & Kelley, M. E. (2010). The effects of variable-time delivery of food items and praise on problem behavior reinforced by escape. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 23, 425–435. doi: 10.1901/ jaba.2010.43-425