The effect of rules on differential reinforcement of other behavior

Amanda C. Watts, David A. Wilder, Meagan K. Gregory, Yanerys Leon, Kyle Ditzian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Previous research on the treatment of problem behavior has shown differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) to be an effective behavior-reduction procedure. However, the extent to which presession descriptions of the DRO contingency enhance intervention effects has not been examined. In the current study, we compared a condition in which a presession rule that described the DRO contingency was given to a condition in which no rule was given for 4 participants. The target behavior was toy play, which served as an analogue to problem behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement. Results showed that DRO was more efficient for 1 participant and more effective for 2 participants when a rule was given.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-684
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • autism
  • automatic reinforcement
  • differential reinforcement of other behavior
  • rule-governed behavior
  • rules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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