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A Parametric Examination of Stimulus Condition Durations on Resurgence
AuthorKing, James Edward
AdvisorHayes, Linda J.
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Resurgence is one of several laboratory models of treatment relapse that describes the recurrence of a previously decremented behavior when a more recently acquired alternative behavior undergoes a worsening of conditions. The present study comprised two experimental sections that examined the relative resurgence across various contextual dimensions and histories. The first section was a direct replication of King & Hayes (2016) that involved a four-phases resurgence procedure in which undergraduate students sequentially acquired three instrumental responses. In the Test Phase, the training context extant during the initial response acquisition was systematically re-presented under extinction. The results are consistent with the prior study and join the growing observations of enhanced magnitude of resurgence in the presence of the training context. The second section was a parametric analysis of the context durations on resurgence. Various exposure lengths of the training contexts were arranged through multiple schedules (MULT) under extinction. The results indicate a hyperbolic decline of response distribution and stimulus control of resurgence over increasing exposures to the training context. The highest proportion of resurgence relative to its response rate during acquisition was observed the 16-s exposure. These experiments provide evidence that highlights the role of contextual changes and exposure durations as modulators of resurgence performance.