The authors evaluated the responsiveness of 4 preschool-aged children to positive reinforcers within a concurrent operants paradigm during mealtimes. The children were presented with two identical, concurrently available sets of food. Each set differed in quantity and quality of positive reinforcement paired with acceptance of each bite of food or in the number of bites of food required to obtain positive reinforcement. Experiment 1 evaluated 1 child's responsiveness to positive reinforcement while permitting escape from bite offers. Experiment 2 evaluated 2 children's responsiveness to positive reinforcement when escape extinction occurred. Results from these experiments suggested that the children were responsive to positive reinforcers and chose more often the bites paired with the greater quantity and/or quality of reinforcement. Experiment 3 evaluated 1 child's responsiveness to positive reinforcement both without and with escape extinction. Results suggested that positive reinforcement affected choice behavior and that escape extinction affected amount of food consumed.
Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.