William H. Ahearn
Jason C. Bourret, Diana Parry-Cruwys
Date of Award
Master of Science
Department or Academic Unit
Bouvé College of Health Sciences. Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology.
Behavior analysts, Stereotypy, Momentum, Motivating
Behavior modification, Stereotyped behavior (Psychiatry)
Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms
The predictions of the behavioral momentum metaphor and the proposed abolishing function of matched stimulation suggested by Rapp (2006, 2007) are contradictory. According to the metaphor stereotypy becomes more persistent when preferred items are used to compete with stereotypic responding (Ahearn et al., 2003). According to Rapp, if a participant engages with a matched stimulus the consequences of that engagement will abolish the reinforcement produced by stereotypy. As a result, stereotypy should subsequently decrease below baseline rates when that stimulus is removed. The experiment conducted in this study involves arranging multiple schedules with two participants to measure the persistence of stereotypy following exposure to variable-time (VT) schedules of matched and unmatched highly preferred and highly competing stimuli. The stimuli used during the disruption components for both participants did not effectively compete with the stereotypy and an effective comparison of the hypotheses could not be made. An effective disruptor was later identified for one of the participants (Lars) and was used for all disruption components of a subsequent series of persistence tests. In these tests the disrupting stimulus was less effective after exposure to VT-access periods in three out of the four sequences, showing the effects of momentum, but not of motivating operations. A within component analysis of the data was then made to assess whether the effects of matched and unmatched stimuli could be seen under a more molecular analysis. Results are discussed and further investigation is warranted.
Joseph Michael Lambert
Lambert, Joseph Michael, "The effects of matched and unmatched stimulation on the behavioral persistence of stereotypy" (2009). Applied Behavioral Analysis Master's Theses. Paper 10. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d10019388
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