Resurgence, the recurrence of responding due to a worsening of reinforcement conditions for current behavior, is a prevalent form of treatment relapse. Resurgence as Choice in Context predicts that increasing the duration of exposure to reinforcement for target responding during Phase 1 will increase resurgence magnitude, whereas increasing the duration of exposure to reinforcement for alternative responding and extinction for target responding during Phase 2 will decrease resurgence magnitude. We conducted an experiment evaluating these predictions with human participants recruited through Amazon's Mechanical Turk platform. We varied Phase 1 and Phase 2 durations across 4 experimental groups. Resurgence as Choice in Context successfully predicted the differences in resurgence magnitude across these groups, and fitting the quantitative model to the obtained data yielded an exceptional coefficient of determination. We discuss the implications of these results for using Resurgence as Choice in Context to inform experiments with human participants and the feasibility of using human-operant preparations to evaluate resurgence.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience