Is Contingent Reinforcement Really Preferred? Session 201 with Holly Gover


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Would you rather earn preferred items or get them for free? More technically stated, would you prefer response-contingent reinforcers over response-independent ones (and to further split hairs, if the preferred items are provided response-independently, are they really reinforcers?)?

It turns out that there has been some basic and applied research in this area, and some studies demonstrated participants' general preference for earning reinforcers as opposed to simply getting them for "free."

My guest for Session 201, Dr. Holly Gover, published a review and meta-analysis on this topic in a recent issue of The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, called, "On the generality of preference for contingent reinforcement."

In this episode, we discuss how she became interested in this topic, what motivated her to review this literature, what she learned from this process, and perhaps of most interest to you, what implications these findings have for practice.

Towards the end of the conversation, we changed gears a bit and discussed Holly's work in the area of feeding challenges. She quickly reviewed what is currently known about the assessment and treatment of these problems, as well as the unique approach to resolving feeding issues that she has outlined.

Holly will be presenting on this topic at the upcoming Stone Soup Conference on October 21st (disclosure: the Lake Ridge Community Support Services, host of the conference, is a BOP sponsor, and they are providing listeners with discounted registration when using the promo code, PODCAST).

Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't ask - no, I mean beg you to to listen to Holly's advice for newly-minted BCBAs. I'm not kidding you that this has to be one of the best pieces of advice offered on this podcast. Please do yourself a favor and check it out and let me know if you agree.

OK, here are some links:

In addition to the Stone Soup Conference, if you're interested in learning more about addressing feeding challenges, my colleague, Jen Farris, is putting together a 10-week mentoring cohort on this topic called Happy, Relaxed, and Eating. This is for a 10-week cohort consisting of 6, 2-hour LIVE virtual meetings and includes 12 CEs. There is also an option for no CEs at a discounted rate. And she is giving podcast listeners a 10% discount. So use the code BOP at checkout, or just tell Jen you heard about it on the podcast.

If you're looking for continuing education on a wide variety of topics, don't forget that many of your favorite Behavioral Observations shows are available for approved continuing education.

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