Autism Spectrum Disorder is diagnosed when individuals demonstrate repetitive behaviours and restricted interests, especially in relation to social stimuli, that make it difficult for them to access socially reinforcing environments. Consequently, in most cases, behaviour analytic interventions initially have to focus on the establishment/conditioning of effective reinforcers. A systematic review was conducted of the literature on conditioned reinforcement that identified 33 relevant articles (published between 2002 and 2017). This article reports on the content analysis and quality of evidence and offers a summary of the findings reported in these papers. Four lines of research were identified: classical conditioning, operant conditioning, observational learning, and comparison studies. Differences and similarities are reported concerning procedures, type of stimuli to be conditioned, responses measured, reported effectiveness, and quality of evidence. Recommendations for future research and clinical practice are provided.
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- School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work - Senior Lecturer
- Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation