College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Identification and Modification of a Response Class Hierarchy

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Winter 1995

Keywords

Response-Class Hierarchy; Response Covariation

Publication Title

Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis

ISSN

0021-8855

Volume

28

Issue/No.

4

Abstract

We evaluated the effects of extinction and negative reinforcement on the latency of response-class members following requests made to a 15-year-old female with moderate mental retardation and autism. A functional analysis showed that the class members (screams, aggression, and self-injury) were escape maintained. Informal observations suggested that these topographies generally occurred in the sequence listed above and therefore may have been hierarchically related. A therapist provided escape from demands contingent on a specific member of the class to determine the effects on the latency of the members' occurrence. Results showed that the latencies occurred in a predictable order. In addition, we expanded the response class to include a vocal response that was functionally equivalent to other members. Findings are discussed regarding the covariation and sequence of response-class members and treatment development.

DOI

10.1901/jaba.1995.28-551

Peer Reviewed

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