Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 1977

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Tore Lyderson


Three procedures designed to eliminate a response were compared in 4 groups of 5 introductory psychology students. The procedures were: 1) differential reinforcement-of-other-behavior, where reinforcement occurred when the response was not emitted, 2) reinforcement of an alternative response while the target response was on extinction, and 3) extinction, which was in effect for all conditions. A control group was included, in which reinforcement continued for making a response. Each group was run on 4 experimental phases: 1) baseline training, where the lever - pressing target response was reinforced, 2) target response elimination, 3) a durability test, where any response could produce reinforcement, and 4) another durability test, where extinction was in effect for all responses. Reinforcement of an alternative response was the only effective procedure. On the durability tests, the alternative reinforced response group maintained low target response rates. Results corresponded with previous investigations which found that the alternative reinforced response procedure was effective, but differed from other studies which found that the differential-reinforcement-of-other-behavior procedure was effective.


Copyright 1977 Robert L. Morgan


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