Karen E. Gould, Chata Dickson, Meca Andrade
Date of Award
Master of Applied Behavior Analysis
Department or Academic Unit
Bouvé College of Health Sciences. Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology.
autism, delay, human participants, reinforcement, visual matching
Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms
A reinforcer is a stimulus presented closely following a response which results in a future increase in frequency of that response. In an ideal applied setting, a stimulus should be presented immediately. But, it may not always be possible to present stimuli immediately in the applied setting. The current study compares the effects of consequence delivery delivered immediately to consequences delayed by five seconds. Three typically developing males, ages 25-30 participated in visual-visual matching tasks using arbitrary stimuli. Half of the stimuli were always presented with immediate consequences, while the other half was only followed by delayed consequences. Participants quickly achieved mastery of the matching tasks when consequences were immediate, but did not achieve quick mastery (within five sessions) when consequences were delayed by five seconds. These results support the accepted wisdom that immediate consequences are always best for skill acquisition and that high treatment integrity is crucial. Additionally, it provides an example of adapting basic research practices for use in applied contexts.
Moore, Casey, "Delayed consequence delivery in applied settings: examining unsignaled feedback delay in visual-visual matching tasks" (2010). Applied Behavioral Analysis Master's Theses. Paper 90. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20002814
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