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Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

Allen Neuringer, Walter Englert
This paper examines similarities in the works of Epicurus, an ancient Greek philosopher, and B. F. Skinner, a behavioral psychologist. They both were empiricists who argued in favor of the lawfulness of behavior while maintaining that random events were included within those laws. They both devoted much effort to describing how individuals could live effective, rewarding and pleasurable lives. They both emphasized simple and natural pleasures (or reinforcers) and the importance of combining personal pleasures with actions that benefit friends and community...
November 25, 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Adam E Fox, Elizabeth G E Kyonka
Behavior and events distributed in time can serve as markers that signal delays to future events. The majority of timing research has focused on how behavior changes as the time to some event, usually food availability, decreases. The primary objective of the two experiments presented here was to assess how behavior changes as time passes between two time markers when the first time marker was manipulated but the second, food delivery, was held constant. Pigeons were exposed to fixed-interval, response-initiated fixed-interval, and signaled response-initiated fixed-interval 15- and 30-s schedules of reinforcement...
November 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
John Y H Bai, C K Jonas Chan, Douglas Elliffe, Christopher A Podlesnik
The baseline rate of a reinforced target response decreases with the availability of response-independent sources of alternative reinforcement; however, resistance to disruption and relapse increases. Because many behavioral treatments for problem behavior include response-dependent reinforcement of alternative behavior, the present study assessed whether response-dependent alternative reinforcement also decreases baseline response rates but increases resistance to extinction and relapse. We reinforced target responding at equal rates across two components of a multiple schedule with pigeons...
November 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Tingting Zhao, Xianghua Luo, Haitao Chu, Chap T Le, Leonard H Epstein, Janet L Thomas
The Cigarette Purchase Task is a behavioral economic assessment tool designed to measure the relative reinforcing efficacy of cigarette smoking across different prices. An exponential demand equation has become a standard model for analyzing purchase task data, but its utility is compromised by its inability to accommodate values of zero consumption. We propose a two-part mixed effects model that keeps the same exponential demand equation for modeling nonzero consumption values, while providing a logistic regression for the binary outcome of zero versus nonzero consumption...
November 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Valdeep Saini, Wayne W Fisher
With four children with autism we evaluated a refinement to time-based reinforcement designed to reduce response persistence when we simultaneously introduced time-based reinforcement and extinction. We further evaluated whether this refinement mitigated response recurrence when all reinforcer deliveries ceased during an extinction-only disruptor phase. The refinement involved increasing the saliency of the contingency change from contingent reinforcement (during baseline) to time-based reinforcement by delivering different colored reinforcers during time-based reinforcement...
November 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Mark Galizio, Brooke April, Melissa Deal, Andrew Hawkey, Danielle Panoz-Brown, Ashley Prichard, Katherine Bruce
The Odor Span Task is an incrementing non-matching-to-sample procedure that permits the study of behavior under the control of multiple stimuli. Rats are exposed to a series of odor stimuli and selection of new stimuli is reinforced. Successful performance thus requires remembering which stimuli have previously been presented during a given session. This procedure has been frequently used in neurobiological studies as a rodent model of working memory; however, only a few studies have examined the effects of drugs on performance in this task...
November 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Joshua C Gray, Michael T Amlung, Abraham A Palmer, James MacKillop
The 27-item Monetary Choice Questionnaire (MCQ; Kirby, Petry, & Bickel, 1999) and 30-item Probability Discounting Questionnaire (PDQ; Madden, Petry, & Johnson, 2009) are widely used, validated measures of preferences for immediate versus delayed rewards and guaranteed versus risky rewards, respectively. The MCQ measures delayed discounting by asking individuals to choose between rewards available immediately and larger rewards available after a delay. The PDQ measures probability discounting by asking individuals to choose between guaranteed rewards and a chance at winning larger rewards...
September 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Katherine M Serafine, Kenner C Rice, Charles P France
Lorcaserin is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating obesity and is under consideration for treating substance use disorders; it has agonist properties at serotonin (5-HT)2C receptors and might also have agonist properties at other 5-HT receptor subtypes. This study used drug discrimination to investigate the mechanism(s) of action of lorcaserin. Male Sprague-Dawley rats discriminated 0.56 mg/kg i.p. lorcaserin from saline while responding under a fixed-ratio 5 schedule for food. Lorcaserin (0...
September 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Allison M Borges, Jinyi Kuang, Hannah Milhorn, Richard Yi
Applied to delay discounting data, Area-Under-the-Curve (AUC) provides an atheoretical index of the rate of delay discounting. The conventional method of calculating AUC, by summing the areas of the trapezoids formed by successive delay-indifference point pairings, does not account for the fact that most delay discounting tasks scale delay pseudoexponentially, that is, time intervals between delays typically get larger as delays get longer. This results in a disproportionate contribution of indifference points at long delays to the total AUC, with minimal contribution from indifference points at short delays...
September 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Amy J Henley, Florence D DiGennaro Reed, Derek D Reed, Brent A Kaplan
Incentives are a popular method to achieve desired employee performance; however, research on optimal incentive magnitude is lacking. Behavioral economic demand curves model persistence of responding in the face of increasing cost and may be suitable to examine the reinforcing value of incentives on work performance. The present use-inspired basic study integrated an experiential human operant task within a crowdsourcing platform to evaluate the applicability of behavioral economics for quantifying changes in workforce attrition...
September 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Hugo E Reyes-Huerta, Cristiano V Dos Santos
Human delay discounting is usually studied with experimental protocols that use symbols to express delay and amount. In order to further understand discounting, we evaluated whether the absence of numbers to represent reward amounts affects discount rate in general, and whether the magnitude effect is generalized to nonsymbolic situations in particular. In Experiment 1, human participants were exposed to a delay-discounting task in which rewards were presented using dots to represent monetary rewards (nonsymbolic); under this condition the magnitude effect did not occur...
September 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Richard A Meisch, Thomas H Gomez
Choice behavior was studied under concurrent nonindependent fixed-ratio fixed-ratio (nFR) schedules of reinforcement, as these schedules result in frequent changeover responses. With these schedules, responses on either operandum count toward the completion of the ratio requirements of both schedules. Five monkeys were subjects, and two pairs of liquid reinforcers were concurrently available: 16% (w/v) and 0% ethanol or 16% and 8% ethanol. For each pair of reinforcers, the nFR sizes were systematically altered across sessions while keeping the schedule size equal for both liquids...
July 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Derek D Reed, Brent A Kaplan, Amel Becirevic, Peter G Roma, Steven R Hursh
Many adults engage in ultraviolet indoor tanning despite evidence of its association with skin cancer. The constellation of behaviors associated with ultraviolet indoor tanning is analogous to that in other behavioral addictions. Despite a growing literature on ultraviolet indoor tanning as an addiction, there remains no consensus on how to identify ultraviolet indoor tanning addictive tendencies. The purpose of the present study was to translate a behavioral economic task more commonly used in substance abuse to quantify the "abuse liability" of ultraviolet indoor tanning, establish construct validity, and determine convergent validity with the most commonly used diagnostic tools for ultraviolet indoor tanning addiction (i...
July 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Todd L McKerchar, James E Mazur
Prior research has shown that nonhumans show an extreme preference for variable- over fixed-delays to reinforcement. This well-established preference for variability occurs because a reinforcer's strength or "value" decreases according to a curvilinear function as its delay increases. The purpose of the present experiments was to investigate whether this preference for variability occurs with human participants making hypothetical choices. In three experiments, participants recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk made choices between variable and fixed monetary rewards...
July 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
John A Nevin, F Charles Mace, Iser G DeLeon, Timothy A Shahan, Kenneth D Shamlian, Keith Lit, Tara Sheehan, Michelle A Frank-Crawford, Stephanie L Trauschke, Mary M Sweeney, Danielle R Tarver, Andrew R Craig
Three experiments explored the impact of different reinforcer rates for alternative behavior (DRA) on the suppression and post-DRA relapse of target behavior, and the persistence of alternative behavior. All experiments arranged baseline, intervention with extinction of target behavior concurrently with DRA, and post-treatment tests of resurgence or reinstatement, in two- or three-component multiple schedules. Experiment 1, with pigeons, arranged high or low baseline reinforcer rates; both rich and lean DRA schedules reduced target behavior to low levels...
July 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Vikki J Bland, John Y H Bai, Jane A Fullerton, Christopher A Podlesnik
Differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) is a treatment designed to eliminate problem behavior by reinforcing an alternative behavior at a higher rate. Availability of alternative reinforcement may be signaled, as with Functional Communication Training, or unsignaled. Whether or not alternative reinforcement is signaled could influence both the rate and persistence of problem behavior. The present study investigated whether signaling the availability of alternative reinforcement affects the rate and persistence of a concurrently available target response with pigeons...
July 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
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May 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
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May 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
J J McDowell, Olivia L Calvin, Bryan Klapes
A survey of residual analysis in behavior-analytic research reveals that existing methods are problematic in one way or another. A new test for residual trends is proposed that avoids the problematic features of the existing methods. It entails fitting cubic polynomials to sets of residuals and comparing their effect sizes to those that would be expected if the sets of residuals were random. To this end, sampling distributions of effect sizes for fits of a cubic polynomial to random data were obtained by generating sets of random standardized residuals of various sizes, n...
May 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Christopher A Podlesnik, John Y H Bai, Katherine A Skinner
Studies of behavioral momentum reveal that reinforcing an alternative response in the presence of a target response reduces the rate of target responding but increases its persistence, relative to training the target response on its own. Because of the parallels between these studies and differential-reinforcement techniques to reduce problem behavior in clinical settings, alternative techniques to reduce problem behavior without enhancing its persistence are being explored. One potential solution is to train an alternative response in a separate stimulus context from problem behavior before combining the alternative stimulus with the target stimulus...
May 2016: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
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