The Effect of Varying Durations of Noncontingent Access to a Preferred Item on Compliance
Shuler, Ashley Patricia
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The high-probability (high-p) sequence is frequently used to increase compliance. It involves presentation of a series of instructions with which a participant has historically complied immediately before the presentation of an instruction that has a lower probability of compliance (i.e., a low-p instruction). To date, the high-p sequence has received mixed support in the literature. Thus, researchers have begun to investigate alternatives to the sequence, one of which involves omission of the high-p instructions and noncontingent access to preferred items immediately before the delivery of the low-p instruction. In the current study, the effect of varying durations of noncontingent access to a preferred item prior to the delivery of a low-probability instruction was evaluated with three children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A multielement design was used with three different durations: zero s, 30 s, and 3 min. The study ended on a choice phase. The results show a larger increase in compliance during the 3 min of noncontingent access to items for two participants and an increase in compliance during both the 30 s and 3 min for one participant. These results may suggest an alternative method for increasing compliance in children with ASD.