Kind Extinction: A Procedural Variation on Traditional Extinction
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Behavior analysts have an ethical obligation to treat others with compassion, dignity, and respect (BACB, 2020). Considering this ethical obligation, questions have been raised regarding the usage of operant extinction. Operant extinction has extensive evidence basis to its use (e.g., Lerman & Iwata, 1996). Nevertheless, there are possible side effects, including the distress associated with extinction bursts, that lend clinicians to be wary of its usage in practice (Lerman & Iwata, 1995). In addition, there are critical social validity considerations of how our practices appear to consumers (Hanley, 2020). Rather than avoiding the application of a primary behavioral principle, it is critical that our field investigates methods to address these concerns. The current article by Tarbox and colleagues (2023) evaluated the effectiveness of a modified extinction procedure where functionally arbitrary reinforcers (e.g., comfort and validation) were provided to children contingent upon tangible and escape maintained interfering behaviors. The current learning event will review this article and discuss clinical implications as it relates to our daily practice.
1. Discuss the pros and cons of traditional extinction compared to the proposed modified extinction procedures.
2. Discuss the use of social validity measures embedded into the experiment and how similar procedures could be used within our current practice.
3. Discuss the limitations of the current experiment and how this influences your likelihood to use the current procedures.
Before the course, please read the Kind Extinction Article located in the Handouts section above.