University of Florida
Bethany Raiff’s research has focused on conditioned reinforcement. In collaboration with Dr. Timothy Hackenberg, Bethany has used tokens, exchangeable for grain, with pigeons. She found that response-dependent removal of tokens suppresses responding, suggesting that token loss is an aversive consequence. This finding provides a framework for using tokens to arrange response-cost with nonhumans, opening up many avenues for future research. Bethany has also conducted research on conditioned reinforcement in animal and human behavioral pharmacology laboratories, in collaboration with Dr. Jesse Dallery. Her master’s degree project demonstrated that nicotine exposure increases responses maintained by conditioned reinforcers in rats, and this work might provide important information regarding the variables that maintain smoking. The study was published in Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. Bethany also developed a laboratory model of voucher-based abstinence reinforcement therapy with smokers. She is interested in using the model to test a range of variables that may improve cessation techniques.
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