Title

Reinforcer rate effects and behavioral momentum in individuals with developmental disabilities

UMMS Affiliation

Shriver Center

Date

2-5-2003

Document Type

Article

Medical Subject Headings

Adolescent; Adult; Behavior Therapy; Child; Female; Humans; Male; Mental Disorders; Mental Retardation; *Reinforcement (Psychology)

Disciplines

Mental and Social Health | Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Psychiatry and Psychology

Abstract

Behavioral momentum theory states that behavioral resistance to change is positively related to reinforcer rate and independent of response rate under most circumstances. We examined behavioral momentum in humans with developmental disabilities. The experimental procedures were implemented as a computer game. Different rates of positive reinforcement were programmed in two alternating components signaled by distinctive cues. For 10 participants who successfully completed testing, resistance to disruption by an alternate source of reinforcement was greater in the component with the higher reinforcer rate, although the magnitude of the difference varied among individuals. These results confirm reinforcer rate effects consistent with behavioral momentum under laboratory conditions and with the largest number of human beings with developmental disabilities studied to date.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Am J Ment Retard. 2003 Mar;108(2):134-43. Link to article on publisher's website

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID

12564945