Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Behaviors that are appropriate, inappropriate, or a combination of both can be linked together in a behavior chain. When the contingencies for one response change (e.g., reinforcement is withheld for the last response in the chain; the last response is reinforced even if it occurs without the other responses in the chain) or the environmental conditions change (e.g., access to the reinforcer is available independent of responding), the other responses in the chain may be affected. Little is known about these types of effects on behavior chains. Several operant processes may disrupt behavior chains. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of three relevant procedures (i.e., extinction, noncontingent access to reinforcement, and unchaining) on behaviors that occur as part of a behavior chain. Results indicated that all three procedures resulted in a change in responding from baseline. Overall, extinction and satiation resulted in a decrease in both responses in the chain, although this effect was less clear with satiation. In addition, during the unchaining procedure, decreases were observed in the first response in the chain but not in the second response.
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Kuhn, Stephanie Ann Contrucci, "Analysis of factors that affect responding in a two-response chain in children with developmental disabilities" (2004). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 3243.
Dorothea C. Lerman