Stimulus Variation as a Means of Enhancing Punishment Effects

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Psychology (CMC)

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We compared the effects of varied punishers (presentation of one of three available punishers) with the single presentation of one of the punishers on the occurrence of inappropriate behaviors with three developmentally delayed children. Two children were presented with varied-punisher conditions in which either overcorrection, time-out, or a verbal "no" was presented contingent upon inappropiate behavior. A loud noise was substituted for overcorrection for a third child. Results of the multielement with reversal design indicated that both punishment formats produced a decrease in the target behaviors with the varied-punisher format slightly more effective than the single presentations of the punishers. The results suggest the use of varied punishers as a means of enhancing the effects of less intrusive procedures to effectively reduce inappropriate behaviors.

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© 1988 Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

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