The Use of Conjugate Reinforcement in Autism Treatment Programs: a Demonstration and Discussion

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The effect of a reinforcer on behavior is largely determined by the schedule in which it is implemented. One type of reinforcement schedule that has not been explored extensively is conjugate reinforcement. Previous researchers have used conjugate schedules to evaluate a reinforcer's effects on behavior and as an assessment tool. However, none have explored how to effectively engineer conjugate schedules in applied settings. The current study explores the effectiveness of conjugate reinforcement implemented by several interventionists across a variety of responses, reinforcers, and in a wide range of participants with autism. The results indicated that delivering social, audio/visual, and tangible ... continued below

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Reetz, Stephany Kristina December 2012.

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  • Reetz, Stephany Kristina

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The effect of a reinforcer on behavior is largely determined by the schedule in which it is implemented. One type of reinforcement schedule that has not been explored extensively is conjugate reinforcement. Previous researchers have used conjugate schedules to evaluate a reinforcer's effects on behavior and as an assessment tool. However, none have explored how to effectively engineer conjugate schedules in applied settings. The current study explores the effectiveness of conjugate reinforcement implemented by several interventionists across a variety of responses, reinforcers, and in a wide range of participants with autism. The results indicated that delivering social, audio/visual, and tangible stimuli in a conjugate schedule resulted in increased durations of various target responses (e.g. social skills, motor skills) and non-targeted measures (e.g., approach, social bids, speed) across participants. Considerations regarding reinforcer and response selection in implementing conjugate schedules in applied settings are provided.

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  • December 2012

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  • Aug. 13, 2013, 2:47 p.m.

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  • June 23, 2017, 10:16 a.m.

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Reetz, Stephany Kristina. The Use of Conjugate Reinforcement in Autism Treatment Programs: a Demonstration and Discussion, thesis, December 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177243/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .