Analysis of behavioral indicators as a measure of satiation.
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Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the scientific study of behavior that utilizes procedures aimed at improving socially significant behavior, relying heavily on the use of reinforcement, which increases the future frequency of a behavior. Practitioners employ procedures that include extensive use of reinforcement in a variety of ways. Motivating operations is an area of research within ABA that focuses on the momentary effectiveness of a reinforcer, altering both its value and associated behaviors. One way in which to manipulate motivating operation effects is through the use of the behavioral indicators of satiation procedure. A discrepancy was noted in the literature regarding the parameter needed to determine when there is an abative effect, which led to the development of this study. After conducting a paired stimulus preference assessment, a functional behavior assessment was completed with four males diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder indicating challenging behavior was maintained by access to a tangible. To verify the identified behavioral indicators, an item rejection analysis was then completed. Three distinct presession conditions were then manipulated including restricted access to the tangible stimulus for 30 min, access to the tangible stimulus until the display of one behavioral indicator, and access to the tangible stimulus until the display of three behavioral indicators. Each condition was followed by a tangible condition of the functional analysis to measure challenging behavior. Results indicated that presession access to a tangible stimulus until the display of three behavioral indicators is a better measure of an abative effect than one behavioral indicator. Furthermore, a social validity survey was administered to the participants' ABA therapists to gain valuable input regarding the behavioral indicators procedure. This is the first attempt to ascertain the perceived effectiveness or appropriateness of the intervention from stakeholders and it appeared the behavioral indicators procedure was valued to some extent.