Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

The Effects of Item Type and Duration of Access on Preference and Reinforcer Efficacy

Class

Article

Department

Special Education and Rehabilitation

Faculty Mentor

Tyra Sellers

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Reinforcer magnitude and stimulus type are dimensions of reinforcement that influence behavior. Although basic and applied studies have examined their effects separately, few have examined their interaction. One category of stimuli has received little attention: high-tech stimuli. This study examined the interactions of stimulus type (high- vs. no-tech) and reinforcer magnitude (i.e. duration of access) on preference and reinforcer efficacy. Participants included four adults with disabilities. Two preference assessments were conducted to identify highly preferred high- and no-tech items for each participant. A second preference assessment then examined preference for those items when provided at different durations. We then evaluated reinforcer efficacy for those items when provided for a range of durations using progressive ratio (PR) schedules. Results suggested an interaction between stimulus type and duration of access: participants preferred high-tech items at longer durations of access and engaged in more responding when the high-tech item was provided for long durations and the no-tech item was provided for short durations. Conversely, participants engaged in less responding when the high-tech item was provided for short durations and when the no-tech item was provided for long durations. Results showed that reinforcer magnitude and item type interact to influence preference and reinforcer efficacy.

Start Date

4-9-2015 9:00 AM

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Apr 9th, 9:00 AM

The Effects of Item Type and Duration of Access on Preference and Reinforcer Efficacy

Reinforcer magnitude and stimulus type are dimensions of reinforcement that influence behavior. Although basic and applied studies have examined their effects separately, few have examined their interaction. One category of stimuli has received little attention: high-tech stimuli. This study examined the interactions of stimulus type (high- vs. no-tech) and reinforcer magnitude (i.e. duration of access) on preference and reinforcer efficacy. Participants included four adults with disabilities. Two preference assessments were conducted to identify highly preferred high- and no-tech items for each participant. A second preference assessment then examined preference for those items when provided at different durations. We then evaluated reinforcer efficacy for those items when provided for a range of durations using progressive ratio (PR) schedules. Results suggested an interaction between stimulus type and duration of access: participants preferred high-tech items at longer durations of access and engaged in more responding when the high-tech item was provided for long durations and the no-tech item was provided for short durations. Conversely, participants engaged in less responding when the high-tech item was provided for short durations and when the no-tech item was provided for long durations. Results showed that reinforcer magnitude and item type interact to influence preference and reinforcer efficacy.