The Effects of Reinforcement Magnitude on Unprompted Intraverbal Responses to Mands for Personal Information in Adolescents with Disabilities
Thomas, Rachel Ruthann
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The purpose of the current study was to compare the effects of reinforcement magnitude plus praise on correct, unprompted responding during Discrete Trial Training (DTT) among adolescents with an intellectual disability. Participants were teenaged individuals with an intellectual disability who are able to engage in vocal-verbal responding and can read independently. An alternating treatments design with generalization probes to novel environments and people (using confederates within the research lab) was used to evaluate intervention effects. During baseline, participants were asked each intraverbal question but were not given any prompting or feedback. During treatment, edible items were delivered contingent upon correct, unprompted responses to mands for personal information. In the high-magnitude condition, a double portion of a large-sized preferred edible was delivered. In the low-magnitude condition, a single portion of a miniature-sized preferred edible item was delivered. A praise only condition was also utilized to compare the efficacy of social praise against edible reinforcers plus praise. Results showed that two out of three participants acquired the targets most quickly in the high-magnitude condition.