A Review of Resurgence Literature With Human Participants

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Abstract

Resurgence is the reemergence of a previously reinforced behavior when an alternative source of reinforcement is discontinued or decreased (Lattal & St. Peter Pipkin, 2009). Lattal and St. Peter Pipkin (2009) published a review in which they discussed the applied relevance of the resurgence literature, which was largely composed of investigations studying nonhuman subjects at the time. There has since been an increase in resurgence research with human participants. The purpose of the current paper is to review published investigations of resurgence with humans since Lattal and St. Peter Pipkin. The current review includes summaries of 5 human operant studies and 8 studies involving clinically relevant responding. A discussion provides implications as they relate to clinical practice and suggestions for future research. Overall, investigations related to resurgence seem to be a fruitful and socially significant focus for behavioral researchers.

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