Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/16460
Differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) involves placing problem behavior under extinction and simultaneously reinforcing a desirable behavior. Recent research revealed that, as predicted by Behavioral Momentum Theory, DRA may also increase the persistence of the problem behavior. This research has also shown that a different approach to DRA, in which an alternative behavior is trained in a separate context from the target behavior, produces less persistence than the standard procedure. The research on this phenomenon, so far, assessed persistence using extinction as the disruptor. DRA, however, is often implemented under conditions in which extinction of the problem behavior is not feasible. This study evaluated persistence of problem behavior following same- and separate- context DRA training using an alternative disruptor, an additional source of reinforcement. Following a successful reproduction of a previous study of extinction as a disruptor but with domestic hens, this study produced similar findings using an additional source of reinforcement as the disruptor. These findings add to the evidence that alternative DRA arrangements may avoid the response-strengthening effects found with traditional DRA procedures. The findings also demonstrate that disruptors other than extinction can be used to investigate response persistence following DRA and other procedures.
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