William H. Ahearn, Paula Braga-Kenyon
Date of Award
Master of Applied Behavior Analysis
Department or Academic Unit
Bouvé College of Health Sciences. Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology.
psychology, behavioral, special education, delay, magnitude, reinforcement, self-control
Self-control in children, Choice (Psychology) in children, Children with autism spectrum disorders
Child Psychology | Developmental Psychology
Impulsive choice, or the choice to obtain a smaller reward that can be obtained sooner (SS) over a larger reward that can be obtained later (LL), may be related to problem behavior that can interfere with social, academic, and independent living skills. Self-control choice is defined as the choice to receive a larger reward after a longer period of time over a smaller but more immediate reward. Few strategies have been reported to increase self-control choice. One of the strategies for increasing self-control responding is systematically increasing the delay to the SS reward until response allocation shifts to the LL reward. This effect was demonstrated with adolescents with developmental disabilities (Ragotzy, Blakely, & Poling, 1988). The purpose of this study was to systematically replicate the study conducted by Ragotzy et al, with a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder as a participant, and using edible items identified as highly preferred using a forced-choice preference assessment (Fisher, Piazza, Bowman, Hagopian, Owens, & Slevin, 1992) as rewards instead of the arbitrary edible stimuli chosen by Ragotzy et al. In addition, self-control responding was evaluated using adjusting and fixed intertrial intervals (ITI) to determine whether or not ITI type affected responding. Results indicated that the participant demonstrated self-control responding when the SS reward was delayed, and response patterns did not differ in regards to the ITI type used.
Erin J. Locke
Locke, Erin J., "Self-control in a child with an autism spectrum disorder: effects of delay and magnitude of reinforcement" (2011). Applied Behavioral Analysis Master's Theses. Paper 78. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20001202
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