The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 101–104 | Cite as

The Abative Effect: A New Term to Describe the Action of Antecedents that Reduce Operant Responding

  • Sean Laraway
  • Susan Snycerski
  • Jack Michael
  • Alan Poling


Behavior-analytic terminology concerning the so-called inhibitory effect of operant antecedents lacks precision. The present paper describes the problem with current nomenclature concerning the effects of antecedent events that reduce operant responding and offers a solution to this problem. The solution consists of adopting a new term, abative, for the effect in question. This paper suggests that the new term has several advantages over terms currently used and that adopting this term will yield a variety of practical and theoretical benefits, including, but not limited to, a more consistent vocabulary to describe antecedent—behavior relations.


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sean Laraway
    • 1
  • Susan Snycerski
    • 1
  • Jack Michael
    • 1
  • Alan Poling
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWestern Michigan UniversityKalamazooUSA

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