Publications & Presentations

Snycerski, Susan

Publications & Presentations

  • Laraway, S., Snycerski, S., Olson, R., Becker, B., & Poling, A.. "The Motivating Operations Concept: Current status and critical response" Theoretical article. Vol. 64. (2014). pp.601-623.

    Abstract: This paper review the current status of the Motivating Operation Concept (MOC), followed by a critical response to Whelan and D. Barnes-Holmes (2010), who argued against the MOC and proposed an alternative analysis of motivation, the Consequence-Baluing Operation (CVO). In this paper, we: (a) review the MOC and discuss its conceptual and empirical status, (b) clarify certain aspects of MOC, (c) correct Whelan and D. Barnes-Holmes's inaccurate descriptions of the MOC, and (d) critique the CVO and related concepts. We demonstrate that the MOC is a high-impact innovation in behavior analysis that provides a useful theoretical framework for analyses of operant (instrumental) behavior. In contrast, the case made by Whelan and D. Barnes Holmes for the competing CVO concept suffers from a range of problems. We, therefore, conclude the the MOC provides a superior and more useful behavioral analysis of motivation.

  • Callaghan, G. M., Laraway, S., Snycerski, S., & McGee, S. . "Antidepressant advertising effects on drug knowledge and drug seeking." Empirical article. Vol. 30. (2013). pp.267-272.

    Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to determine the extent to which exposure to a television commercial for an antidepressant drug (Cymbalta®) compared to another commercial (Weight Watchers®) influenced participants' knowledge of the drug (including side effects and indications) and self-reported likelihood of seeking an antidepressant medication. Design/methodology/approach: A randomized-group design with two conditions was used with a sample of an ethnically diverse group of college students (n=498). Scores assessing drug knowledge and self-reported likelihood of drug seeking and scores from the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) were analyzed. Findings: The Cymbalta® group had higher drug-knowledge scores than did the control group. Differences in drug-seeking scores across conditions were not significant; however, drug-knowledge scores and drug-seeking scores were negatively related. Across groups, BDI-II scores were positively related to drug seeking. Research limitations/implications: These results suggest that direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising may educate consumers regarding medications, at least in the short term. Self-reported intention to seek an antidepressant medication was significantly higher in participants who met the BDI-II threshold for major depressive disorder, regardless of experimental condition. Practical implications: A decreased desire to seek antidepressants, possibly due to increased familiarity with drug side-effects, suggests that advertising may be educating viewers about important concerns about medication and that may impact their desire to seek those drugs. Originality/value: Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of pharmaceuticals remains controversial, yet few experimental studies have examined the effects of DTCA on drug knowledge and drug-seeking behavior of potential consumers.

  • Eggers, F., Kraus, S., Laraway, S., & Snycerski, S. . "Implications of customer and entrepreneurial orientations for SME growth." Empirical article. Vol. 51. (2011). pp.524-546.

    Abstract: Purpose: The aim of this paper is to empirically investigate how the business orientations of customer orientation (CO) (represented by responsiveness to customers) and entrepreneurial orientation (EO) (represented by proactiveness, innovativeness and risk-taking) impact the growth of SMEs. Design/methodology/approach: This study uses a quantitative empirical approach, using structural equation modeling with the software package AMOS to analyze the results of 660 surveyed SMEs from Austria. Findings: This analysis reveals that EO is positively related to SME growth but CO shows a negative association with growth. Moreover, this analysis suggests that SMEs grow the most if they exhibit high EO and low CO. Research limitations/implications: This analysis shows that CO, interpreted as a purely responsive and reactive construct, cannot be considered a strategy that leads to sustainable SME growth. If an SME desires growth, EO is needed to fuel these growth aspirations. In spite of these findings however, this study shows that SMEs tend to respond to a scarcity of financial resources with more CO and less EO, which then leads to less or even negative growth. Practical implications: Sustainable firm growth seems impossible without an EO. However, this does not mean that CO is not of any value for SMEs. Being non-entrepreneurially oriented does not mean that a firm is automatically customer oriented. So, it is not only about implementing CO or EO since there is still the third option: implementing neither. Originality/value: This paper contributes to the ongoing scholarly conversation on the value of different orientations to firms and takes the view that the conversation on CO and EO has mis-specified business performance in seeking to understand their performance consequences. By looking at firm growth, relevant to the longer-term performance of a firm, EO might drive growth because of its emphasis on innovation to renew the firm’s growth trajectory whereas CO might stifle growth owing to its myopic focus. Thus, this study addresses calls in the business and entrepreneurship literatures to more fully understand how SMEs can capture value from their customer and entrepreneurial orientations.

  • Laraway, S., Snycerski, S., Baker, L. E., & Poling, A.. "Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) reduces operant behavior without impairing working memory in rats responding under fixed-consecutive-number schedules. " Empirical article. Vol. 88. (2008). pp.205-212.

    Abstract: The use of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), a therapeutic agent and recreational drug, has increased since the late 1990s. Researchers have primarily studied GHB's neurochemical, discriminative, and reinforcing effects, but little is known about the drug's effects on learning, memory, or other complex behavioral processes. This study examined the acute and chronic effects of GHB in rats responding under fixed-consecutive-number (FCN) schedules, which assess working memory. Additionally, we examined stimulus control and response effort as modulators of GHB's effects. GHB dose-dependently reduced operant activity and response rates, but tolerance developed to these effects. GHB had no effect on accuracy or efficiency (i.e., working memory). Stimulus control and response effort did not modulate GHB's effects. These results suggest that GHB produced non-selective behavioral disruption but not working memory impairment.

  • Snycerski, S., Laraway, S., & Poling, A. . "Response acquisition with immediate and delayed conditioned reinforcement." Empirical article. Vol. 68. (2005). pp.1-11.

    Abstract: Groups comprising eight rats initially were exposed to response-independent water deliveries, then to conditions under which a lever-press response raised an empty dipper immediately or after a resetting delay of 15, 30, or 45 s. When their performance was compared to that of control animals using a 90% confidence level, six rats in the immediate-reinforcement group met the primary criterion for response acquisition during a single 6-h session; 4, 4, and 3 did so in the 15, 30, and 45 s delay groups, respectively. Similar evidence of acquisition was obtained when a 95% confidence level was used. With a 99% confidence level, however, evidence of acquisition was not compelling. Although these data appear to provide the first demonstration of response acquisition in the absence of handshaping or autoshaping under conditions where the putative reinforcer is both conditioned and delayed, they also demonstrate that whether response acquisition occurs depends, in part, on how it is defined.

  • . Snycerski, S., Laraway, S., Huitema, B., & Poling, A. . "The effects of behavioral history on response acquisition with immediate and delayed reinforcement. " Empirical article. Vol. 81. (2004). pp.51-64.

    Abstract: Effects of prior exposure to the experimental chamber with levers present or absent and variable-time (VT) 60-s water deliveries arranged during one, five, or no 1-hr sessions were examined in rats during a 6-hr response-acquisition session in which presses on one lever produced water delivery immediately or after a 15-s resetting delay, and presses on the other lever canceled scheduled water deliveries. Response acquisition was (a) slower to occur when water deliveries were delayed, (b) most consistent in groups that had received five VT sessions, and (c) impaired by the presence of levers only when there had been five VT sessions and water deliveries were delayed during the acquisition session.

  • Laraway, S., Snycerski, S., & Poling, A. . "MDMA and responding under a progressive-ratio schedule of water delivery. " Empirical article. Vol. 11. (2003). pp.309-316.

    Abstract: This study investigated the possible motivational effects of (±)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) in water-deprived rats responding under a progressive-ratio 2 schedule of water delivery. Lower doses (1.0 and 1.8 mg/kg ip) had inconsistent effects on breakpoints and response rates, whereas higher doses (3.2 and 5.6 mg/kg ip) significantly decreased both response measures relative to vehicle control levels. Increasing the level of water restriction significantly increased both response measures, and decreasing restriction significantly decreased both response measures. This study found no evidence that MDMA increased the reinforcing efficacy of water, although prior findings have suggested that the drug might have such an effect. MDMA-induced changes in motor activity may account for the present results.

  • Laraway, S., Snycerski, S., Michael, J., & Poling, A. . "Motivating variables and terms to describe them: Some further refinements." Theoretical article. Vol. 36. (2003). pp.407-414.

    Abstract: ver the past decade, behavior analysts have increasingly used the term establishing operation (EO) to refer to environmental events that influence the behavioral effects of operant consequences. Nonetheless, some elements of current terminology regarding EOs may interfere with applied behavior analysts' efforts to predict, control, describe, and understand behavior. The present paper (a) describes how the current conceptualization of the EO is in need of revision, (b) suggests alternative terms, including the generic term motivating operation (MO), and (c) provides examples of MOs and their behavioral effects using articles from the applied behavior analysis literature.

  • Laraway, S., Snycerski, S., Michael, J., & Poling. A. (2001). . "The abative effect: A new term to describe the action of antecedents that reduce operant responding. " Theoretical article. Vol. 18. (2001). pp.101-104.

    Abstract: 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.

  • Snycerski, S., Laraway, S., Byrne, T., & Poling, A. . "Acquisition of lever-press responding with delayed consequences in rats: Is a minute too long? " Empirical article. Vol. 25. (1999). pp.341-350.

    Abstract: 16 water-deprived rats were exposed to 30 4-hr sessions in which responses on 1 lever produced water under a resetting delay of 60 sec and responses on a second lever canceled any scheduled water deliveries. Previous studies have demonstrated response acquisition within 1 session under similar procedures with shorter (e.g., 30 sec) delays, but there was no evidence of consistent responses on the lever that produced water than on the lever that canceled water deliveries on the first day, and received more than 10 water deliveries, this pattern only persisted for 2 rats. None of the rats that failed to acquire the response during the initial session acquired response over subsequent sessions. These findings suggest that responding is not necessarily strengthened by protracted exposure to resetting delay arrangements and that patterns of responding observed on initial exposure to such arrangements may differ substantially from those observed subsequently.

  • Christian, L. Snycerski, S., & Poling, A. . "Direct service staff perceptions of the use of psychotropic medications in residential and vocational settings for individuals with developmental disabilities." Empirical article. Vol. 43. (1999). pp.88-93.

    Abstract: The present study surveyed direct service staff to determine their perceptions, knowledge and opinions with regard to the use of psychotropic medication in non-institutional settings for individuals with developmental disabilities. Consistent with the findings of previous studies, a majority of the 334 respondents in the present study reported that they had not received adequate training in the area of drug treatment. The knowledge and skills deficits of direct service staff appear to represent a significant barrier to the appropriate monitoring and management of pharmacotherapy for individuals with intellectual disability. Therefore, a systematic training program to educate direct service staff about psychotropic medication needs to be designed, implemented and disseminated on a broad scale.

  • Jarema, K., Snycerski, S., Bagge, S., Austin, J., & Poling, A. . "Participation of women as authors and subjects in articles published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management. " Review article. Vol. 19. (1999). pp.85-94.

    Abstract: Every article published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, since its inception, was evaluated to determine trends in gender representation for authors and participants. Data were recorded for first authors and total authors. The number of articles describing study participants' gender also was tabulated, as was the number of females on the editorial board each year. From 1977–1997, the percentage of articles with a female first author increased from 7 to 43, and the percentage of total authors who were women increased from 10 to 33%. For editors, the percentage of females increased from 7 in 1977 to 11 in 1997. The increasing participation of women evident in the present data parallels findings in other areas of behavior analysis, although women continue to be under represented in those areas, as well as in organizational behavior management research. Across years, the percentage of articles that provided information about the gender of study participants varied widely, from 0 to 100%. On whole, roughly 50% of all articles provided this information. If gender is not reported, one cannot ascertain the population to which results generalize, or the relative representation of women as participants in research.

  • Poling, A., & Snycerski, S. . "Schedules of reinforcement" Book chapter. (2005).
  • Laraway, S., Snycerski, S., & Poling, A. . "Motivating operations." Book chapter. (2004).
  • Poling, A., Austin, J., Snycerski, S., & Laraway, S.. "Negative punishment." Book chapter. (2002).
  • Snycerski, S., Laraway, S., & Poling, A. . "Basic research with humans. " Book chapter. (2000).
  • Laraway, S., Snycerski, S., Byrne, T., & Poling, A. . "Drug abuse." Book chapter. (2000).
  • Snycerski, S., Laraway, S., Byrne, T., & Poling, A. . "Drug effects on response acquisition with immediate and delayed reinforcement: Initial results with a new assay. " Review article. (1998).
  • Chhay, N., Laraway, S., Snycerski, S., & Freedman, M. . "Using point-of- choice prompts to increase stair climbing in parking garages: A role for parking professionals. " Trade publication. (2014).