Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area
Wayne W. Fisher
Brian D. Greer
Keith D. Allen
Mark D. Shriver
Multiple schedules are schedules of reinforcement that are often used to facilitate more manageable rates of a replacement behavior such as a communication response following functional communication training as an intervention for destructive behavior. Commonly, reinforcement schedule thinning involves multiple fading steps that can take more than 100 sessions to achieve therapeutic goals. The purpose of this experiment was to evaluate a method for rapidly achieving fading steps in a multiple schedule by including competing items during the extinction interval. Four children diagnosed with autism successfully reached the terminal extinction interval with a ≥80% reduction in problem behavior. Two of the four participants reached the terminal extinction interval during a systematic assessment to identify an appropriate initial extinction interval. This study produced two important findings. First, the inclusion of competing items successfully and rapidly achieved the terminal extinction interval in a multiple schedule. Second, a novel use of a systematic assessment procedure identified participants for whom the competing items were unnecessary to rapidly achieve the terminal extinction interval.
Miller, Scott A., "Evaluating the Use of Competing Items in a Multiple Schedule During Reinforcement Schedule Thinning" (2019). Theses & Dissertations. 423.