Behavioral Momentum in the Treatment of Noncompliance
Behavioral Momentum; Compliance Latency; Excessive Task Duration; Noncompliance; High-Probability Command Sequence
Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Behavioral momentum refers to the tendency for behavior to persist following a change in environmental conditions. The greater the rate of reinforcement, the greater the behavioral momentum. The intervention for noncompliance consisted of issuing a sequence of commands with which the subject was very likely to comply (i.e., high-probability commands) immediately prior to issuing a low-probability command. In each of five experiments, the high-probability command sequence resulted in a "momentum" of compliant responding that persisted when a low-probability request was issued. Results showed the antecedent high-probability command sequence increased compliance and decreased compliance latency and task duration. "Momentum-like" effects were shown to be distinct from experimenter attention and to depend on the contiguity between the high-probability command sequence and the low-probability command.
Mace, F. C.,
Hock, M. L.,
Lalli, J. S.,
West, B. J.,
(1988). Behavioral Momentum in the Treatment of Noncompliance. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 21(2), 123-141.
Available at: http://nsuworks.nova.edu/cps_facarticles/366