Abolishing operations (AO): a general term to describe antecedent events which momentarily decrease the reinforcing or punishing effectiveness of a consequence and therefore alter the future frequency of behavior related to that consequence. AOs, in conjunction with establishing operations (EO; see establishing operation), fall under the greater omnibus term, motivating operation (MO; see motivating operations). AOs involve events which result in a decrease in the effectiveness of a reinforcer or punisher when delivered contingent on a behavior. There are many unconditioned abolishing operations identified in humans. Satiation of food, water, sleep, activity, oxygen, and warmth or cold all function as abolishing operations for related behavior and reinforcement (Cooper et al. 2007). For example, having just eaten lunch functions as an AO for food as a reinforcer which momentarily decreases any behavior reinforced by food.
Skinner (1938) discussed...
References and Reading
- Carroll, R. A., Rapp, J. T., Rieck, T. M., & Siewer, B. N. (2011). The effects of noncontingent reinforcement with alternative oral stimulation in the treatment of rumination. Journal on Developmental Disabilities, 17, 72–76.Google Scholar
- Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2007). Applied behavior analysis (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson.Google Scholar
- Laprime, A. P., & Dittrich, G. A. (2014). An evaluation of a treatment package consisting of discrimination training and differential reinforcement with response cost and a social story on vocal stereotypy for a preschooler with autism in a preschool classroom. Education and Treatment of Children, 37(3), 407–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Roxburgh, C., & Carbone, V. J. (2012). The effects of varying teacher presentation rates on responding during discrete trial training for two children with autism. Behavior Modification, 37, 1–26.Google Scholar
- Skinner, B. F. (1938). The behavior of organisms. Acton: Copley.Google Scholar