William H. Ahearn
Richard B. Graff, Jason C. Bourret
Date of Award
Master of Science
Department or Academic Unit
Bouvé College of Health Sciences. Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology.
Behavior analysts, Autism, Delayed reinforcement, Skill acquisition
Behavior modification, Autistic children, Reinforcement (Psychology)
Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Child Psychology
Basic research on delayed reinforcement indicates that reinforcement delays degrade the effectiveness of reinforcers. Therefore, in practice there is an emphasis on delivery of the reinforcer immediately following a target response. Research has shown that, in non-humans, reinforcement delays of up to 16 s can enhance performance but the effectiveness of a reinforcer is decreased relative to when it is presented immediately following responding. However, there is little research studying the effects of delayed reinforcement with humans. In this study, the effects of delayed reinforcement are examined with 4 participants diagnosed with autism. In an alternating treatments design, relations between arbitrarily matched novel stimuli were taught using 3 conditions: immediate reinforcement, 30 s delayed reinforcement, and no consequence. Results showed that skill acquisition occurred for 2 participants only in the immediate reinforcement condition. With the 3rd participant, skill acquisition occurred in both immediate reinforcement and delayed reinforcement conditions.
Heather Lynn Amtmann
Amtmann, Heather Lynn, "An examination of the effects of delayed reinforcement on skill acquisition" (2009). Applied Behavioral Analysis Master's Theses. Paper 2. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d10019509
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