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Parametric Analysis of Fixed Lag Schedule Performance in Humans
AdvisorGhezzi, Patrick M.
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Response variability is an operant dimension of behavior and may be controlled by contingent reinforcement. It has been demonstrated that variable responding may be modified through reinforcement contingent on variability. An emerging body of literature shows that a lag schedule is effective in increasing variable responding with human participants. However, results of some studies suggest that higher-order repetition may develop with lag schedules of reinforcement. The present study parametrically examined response variability with human subjects under fixed lag (FL) schedules of reinforcement. Additionally, response repetition under FL schedules of reinforcement was analyzed. Results demonstrated that 1) response variability is high with a FL 4 schedule of reinforcement compared with lower parameters of a FL schedule 2) responding on a FL 4 schedule of reinforcement does not demonstrate higher-order repetition which may be demonstrated with lower parameters of a FL schedule and 3) considerable variability in responding may be obtained without repetition at relatively low FL values. Contributions to the basic behavior analytic research are discussed. Applications for applied behavior analysis are also discussed in relation to a therapeutic tool for teaching and modifying variable responding along with suggestions for future research in operant variability.