The Psychological Record

, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 209–216 | Cite as

Preliminary Effects of Conditioned Establishing Operations on Stereotypy

  • Marc J. Lanovaz
  • John T. Rapp
  • Ethan S. Long
  • Sarah M. Richling
  • Regina A. Carroll
Original Article


We repeatedly paired preferred stimuli with known establishing properties and poster boards (i.e., neutral stimuli) to examine whether these poster boards would acquire the effects of a conditioned establishing operation in five children with autism. Following pairing, the poster boards, which had been previously shown to be neutral, increased immediate or subsequent engagement in stereotypy for three of five participants. The results suggest that it is possible to condition establishing operations for stereotypy and that this process may occur inadvertently. We discuss the potential clinical implications of the results, as well as the need for future research to replicate our findings.


Autism Automatic reinforcement Establishing operation Conditioned motivating operation Stereotypy 


Author Note

Portions of this project were supported by a grant provided to the second and third authors by Autism Speaks #2852.


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc J. Lanovaz
    • 1
  • John T. Rapp
    • 2
  • Ethan S. Long
    • 3
  • Sarah M. Richling
    • 4
  • Regina A. Carroll
    • 5
  1. 1.Université de MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.St. Cloud State UniversitySt. CloudUSA
  3. 3.The Virginia Institute of AutismCharlottesvilleUSA
  4. 4.University of Nevada-RenoRenoUSA
  5. 5.West Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA

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