Effects of Stimulus Magnitude and Schedule Density on the Success of Noncontingent Reinforcement
Wilkinson, Anna L.
The effects of stimulus magnitude and schedule density on the reduction success of noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) was evaluated. Three adults with mild to severe mental retardation were taught to perform an arbitrary manual response. In the first part of the experiment, the participants experienced NCR procedures with dense versus thin schedules and NCR procedures with small versus large magnitude reinforcers to determine which of each achieved the greatest success in decreasing the frequency of the target response. This part of the experiment was a systematic replication of a previous study completed by Carr, Bailey, Ecott, et al. (1998) on stimulus magnitude and another study completed by Hagopian, Fisher, and Legacy (1994) on schedule density. Because their results were inconsistent, further supporting or refuting results were needed concerning schedule density and stimulus magnitude. In the second part of the experiment, which has not yet been conducted, the participants will experience an NCR procedure with a dense reinforcement schedule and low magnitude reinforcers. They will also experiene an NCR procedure with a thin reinforcement schedule and high magnitude reinforcers to determine which combination is the most effective and the most efficient. No previous research has been conducted on these combinations of stimulus magnitude and schedule density. Therefore, the results will serve as preliminary discoveries for future research.
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