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 Department: Department of Behavior Analysis
 Degree Level: Master's
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Assessing Optimal Sibling Training Conditions: An Empirical Approach.

Assessing Optimal Sibling Training Conditions: An Empirical Approach.

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Date: August 2005
Creator: Merker, Stephanie K.
Description: The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of play materials on the interactions between a child with autism and her sibling. Three conditions were assessed: open choice, materials chosen by the child with autism, and materials chosen by the typically developing sibling. Within each activity, measures of social interactions were assessed. Results of the assessment showed that more interactions occurred with a material chosen by the child with autism. After sibling training (targeting specific teaching skills), social interactions remained highest in the condition with materials chosen by the child with autism. The results are discussed in terms of a material assessment to optimize sibling training conditions and the importance of sibling relationships.
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The Effects of a Conflicting Instruction on a Fr 5 Performance

The Effects of a Conflicting Instruction on a Fr 5 Performance

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Date: May 2001
Creator: Koremura, Yuka
Description: The purpose of this experiment was to evaluate the effects of a conflicting instruction on FR-5 performances by an ABABC design. After all four college students were consistently pressing 1-5-3 followed by sound-clips, the schedule value changed to FR-5 (A). Then they were presented with the written instruction "Press 426" (B) in addition to the previous condition. In the last condition (C), 1-5-3 responses were then scheduled for extinction in three participants and the reinforcer was changed from sound-clips to points for one participant. The results showed that unlike previous experiments, instructions did not override the scheduled contingencies. Instruction-following occurred only when there were no other contingencies (i.e., extinction of 1-5-3) or the scheduled reinforcer for FR-5 performances was weak.
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The Effects of Alternative Contingencies on Instruction Following.

The Effects of Alternative Contingencies on Instruction Following.

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Date: May 2003
Creator: Patti, Nicole
Description: The purpose of this experiment was to evaluate the effects of alternative contingencies on instruction following by an ABA design. Three college students consistently pressed keys 1-5-3 and 4-8-6 in the presence of the written instruction "Press 153" or "Press 486." During condition A, the contingencies for following and not following the instruction were the same: CON FR5 FR5 and CON FR20 FR20. During condition B, the contingencies for following and not following the instruction were different: CON FR20 FR5. For one participant, the schedule of reinforcement was then changed to FR30. The results showed that subjects followed instructions when the schedule of reinforcement was the same for instruction following and not following.
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The Effects of Parent Training on the Amount and Variety of Food Consumed By a Child with Autism.

The Effects of Parent Training on the Amount and Variety of Food Consumed By a Child with Autism.

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Date: May 2004
Creator: VanKirk, Tessa Schreiber
Description: The current study assessed the effectiveness of a training package, delivered in the form of a manual, to teach a parent to increase the variety and amount of food consumed by her son. The participant was a 5-year-old boy with Pervasive Developmental Disorder and limited food consumption. A changing criterion design across two variables, variety of food and quantity of food, was used. Results were that the parent who used the manual, with limited assistance from the experimenter, did succeed in increasing food variety and quantity of target foods.
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Effects of Reinforcement History on Stimulus Control Relations

Effects of Reinforcement History on Stimulus Control Relations

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Date: December 2000
Creator: Reyes, Fredy
Description: Ray (1969) conducted an experiment on multiple stimulus-response relations and selective attention. Ray's (1969) results suggested that stimulus-response relations function as behavioral units. McIlvane and Dube (1996) indicated that if stimulus-response relations are behavioral units the effects of environmental variables on stimulus-response relations should be similar to the effects of environmental variables on single response topographies. This experiment analyzed the effects of reinforcement history on the probability of stimulus-response relations with differing reinforcement histories. In separate conditions random-ratio schedules of reinforcement were contingent on each of four discriminated responses. To assess the effects of reinforcement, during test conditions stimuli controlling different topographies were present concurrently in composite form. Results show that reinforcement history affects the probability of each response topography and that the association between response topographies and their controlling stimuli tends to remain constant throughout variations in reinforcement probability.
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The Effects of Reinforcing Operant Variability on Task Acquisition

The Effects of Reinforcing Operant Variability on Task Acquisition

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Date: December 2002
Creator: Seymour, Kail H.
Description: Neuringer, Deiss, and Olson (2000) was replicated and extended to determine the effect of variability contingencies on task acquisition for twelve 7-9 year old children. Subjects first learned to press a computer's shift keys with increasing response variation. Each subject was then exposed to one of three experimental conditions during which they received a point for target responses. Variability condition subjects received additional points on a variable interval schedule for nontarget responses occurring less than 3% of the time. The any condition subjects received additional points on a variable interval schedule for any nontarget response. Control subjects received points only for target responses. All variability condition and two control subjects learned the target response. All any condition subjects and two control subjects did not.
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The Effects of Response Restriction on Non-Socially Maintained Self-Injury

The Effects of Response Restriction on Non-Socially Maintained Self-Injury

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Date: May 2003
Creator: Blevins, Travis
Description: This study examined the effects of response restriction (blocking and protective equipment) on subsequent durations of self-injury with two female participants with developmental disabilities. First, a functional analysis was conducted with each participant to identify potential maintaining variables of the self-injury. Second, access to the response was systematically restricted in a multiple schedule restriction paradigm. A baseline extended alone was conducted without the restriction component in place as a control condition. For one participant the results suggested that response restriction may have increased subsequent durations of responding once the restriction element was removed. For a second participant responding did not appear to be affected by the restriction component.
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The Effects of Self-evaluation and Response Restriction on Letter and Number Reversal in Young Children.

The Effects of Self-evaluation and Response Restriction on Letter and Number Reversal in Young Children.

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Date: August 2004
Creator: Strickland, Monica Kathleen
Description: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a training package consisting of response restriction and the reinforcement of self-evaluation on letter reversal errors. Participants were 3 typically developing boys between the age of 5 and 7. The results indicated that the training package was successful in correcting reversals in the absence of a model during training and on application tests. These improvements maintained during subsequent follow-up sessions and generalized across trainers. Fading was not always necessary in correcting reversals, but was effective in correcting reversals that persisted during the overlay training procedures. The advantages to implementing a systematic intervention for reducing letter reversal errors in the classroom, as well as directions for future research, are discussed.
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The Effects of Timed Readings on Recall and Comprehension in a Child with Asperger's Syndrome.

The Effects of Timed Readings on Recall and Comprehension in a Child with Asperger's Syndrome.

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Date: December 2005
Creator: Young, Christina A.
Description: The effects of timed readings on recall and comprehension in a child with Asperger's syndrome were examined by employing a multiple-baseline design across two books with reversals. Recall timings consisted of the student's free-say compilation of what she just read. Comprehension tests consisted of the participant's answers to predetermined questions after her recall period. No consequences or feedback was given during any of the conditions. Results indicate that, initially, as the time required to read decreased, the number of unrelated words during the recall period for the two books also decreased. Related words were not as affected. Scores on comprehension tests were high. There was, however, little correspondence between the participant's recall words and the main ideas answered correctly in the comprehension test.
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Functional analysis and elimination of SIB in an olive baboon (Papio hamadryas anubis).

Functional analysis and elimination of SIB in an olive baboon (Papio hamadryas anubis).

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Date: August 2004
Creator: Dorey, Nicole R.
Description: Self injurious behavior (SIB), such as self-biting and head-banging, has been reported to occur in approximately 10% of captive, individually housed primates (Novak, Kinsely, Jorgensen, and Hazen, 1998). Accounts of the causes of SIB range from environmental to physiological. However, to date, no researchers have investigated the possible influence of social consequences, delivered by handlers and keepers, in the maintenance of SIB. There is only one research report showing that self-injury can be shaped in primates by the manipulation of food as a reinforcing consequence for the animal's behavior. The current study investigated the effects of social contact as potentially reinforcing consequences for the SIB displayed by an olive baboon (Papio hamadryas anubis). Results indicated that the behavior was maintained by attention from humans. As treatment, reinforcement was arranged for an appropriate alternative attention-getting behavior, resulting in increases in the appropriate alternative behavior and decreases in SIB.
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Generalized identity matching in the pigeon: Effects of extended observing- and choice-response requirements.

Generalized identity matching in the pigeon: Effects of extended observing- and choice-response requirements.

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Date: August 2005
Creator: Hayashi, Yusuke
Description: Four experimentally naïve white Carneau pigeons learned to match three colors to each other in a variant of an Identity matching-to-sample procedure with an FR20 on samples and a response-initiated FI8-s on comparisons. In Experiment 1, the extent to which subjects were matching on the basis of identity was assessed by presenting, in extinction, test trials comprising novel stimuli serving as the sample (and matching comparison) or as the nonmatching comparison. The results from Experiment 1 suggested intermediate or little to no transfer on the basis of identity. Experiment 2 reassessed transfer on the basis of identity with differential reinforcement on the test trials. Under these conditions, two of the four birds demonstrated substantially better than chance levels of performance. These data imply that while the extended response requirements may be necessary, other procedural aspects may be responsible for generalized identity matching in the pigeon.
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Immediate and subsequent effects of fixed-time food presentations on automatically maintained mouthing.

Immediate and subsequent effects of fixed-time food presentations on automatically maintained mouthing.

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Date: December 2001
Creator: Simmons, Jason N.
Description: Several studies have demonstrated that fixed-time (FT) schedules of stimulus delivery can function to reduce a variety of behaviors. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the immediate and subsequent effects of FT food deliveries on mouthing. In Phase 1, a preference assessment showed that caramel popcorn, chocolate cookies and pretzels were highly preferred food items. Thus, providing the basis for use of food items during treatment. In Phase 2, a functional analysis showed that mouthing was a nonsocially maintained problem behavior. Phase 3 demonstrated the use of FT schedules of food deliveries as treatment for nonsocially maintained mouthing. Results indicated that FT schedules of food significantly reduced mouthing. In addition, levels of mouthing observed during post-FT observations were reliably lower than pre-FT observations. Treatment effects, operative mechanisms responsible for the treatment effects and the experimental arrangement used to investigate varying FT schedules are discussed.
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Improving Appointment Keeping at an Eye Care Clinic Using a Revised Process Package

Improving Appointment Keeping at an Eye Care Clinic Using a Revised Process Package

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Date: May 2001
Creator: Hodge, Victoria L.
Description: Missed appointments by patients are a major problem for health care professionals. To combat this issue, some optometrists use a pre-appointing system in which patients are scheduled for an annual exam a year after their initial visit. Prior to that subsequent appointment, clinic staff often try to contact the patient to confirm the appointment. This study examined baseline levels of appointment keeping, analyzed existing processes for pre-appointing patients, and introduced a revised process package to improve appointment keeping at an eye care clinic. This package included training, mailed postcard reminders and two phone call reminders. Results indicate appointment keeping by pre-appointed patients increased over baseline. The intervention was also shown to be cost-beneficial.
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Interactions of equivalence and other behavioral relations: Simple successive discrimination training.

Interactions of equivalence and other behavioral relations: Simple successive discrimination training.

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Date: December 2009
Creator: Brackney, Ryan
Description: The experimenter asked if documented equivalence class membership would influence the development of shared discriminative stimulus function established through simple successive discrimination training. In Experiment 1, equivalence classes were established with two sets of 9 stimuli. Common stimulus functions were then trained within or across the equivalence classes. Greater acquisition rates of the simple discriminations with stimuli drawn from within the equivalence classes were observed. In Experiment 2, a third stimulus set was added with which no equivalence relations were explicitly trained. The findings of Experiment 1 were replicated, but the Set 3 results were inconsistent across subjects. The outcomes of the two experiments demonstrate that equivalence classes have an effect on other behavioral relations which requires further investigation.
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Loading the Problem Loader: The Effects of Target Training and Shaping on Trailer Loading Behavior of Horses in a Natural Setting

Loading the Problem Loader: The Effects of Target Training and Shaping on Trailer Loading Behavior of Horses in a Natural Setting

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Date: August 2000
Creator: Ferguson, Dawnery
Description: The purpose of this study was to develop an effective method for trailer loading horses based on the principles of positive reinforcement. Target training and shaping were used to teach trailer loading behavior in a natural setting. Five AQHA mares were selected for this program. All five had been loaded before through the use of punishment. A two-horse trailer was used. Approximations to loading and inappropriate behaviors were the dependent variables. When intervention started the target was moved to various locations inside the trailer. Subjects started training on the left side of the trailer. After a subject was loading in the left side they were moved to the right side, then to loading half on the right and half on the left, then they were loaded by a different trainer, and into a different trailer. For one subject a limited hold was utilized, as well as a companion horse.
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Maintaining behavior in a child with autism using a previously neutral stimulus, a remote control tactile stimulus, as the consequence

Maintaining behavior in a child with autism using a previously neutral stimulus, a remote control tactile stimulus, as the consequence

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Date: August 2000
Creator: Wheat, Leigh Ann Stiles
Description: Few studies have investigated methods for establishing neutral stimuli as conditioned reinforcers in human subjects. Conditioned reinforcers, however, can alleviate some of the problems encountered in applied behavior analytic (ABA) therapy for children with autism, such as satiation and suitability of reinforcers for specific environments. A series of reversals evaluated the effects of a conditioning procedure involving pairing a neutral stimulus, the remote control stimulus (RCT), with an identified reinforcer. Phase 1 demonstrated that the RCT was neutral. In Phase 2, alternating pairing and testing conditions were run. During testing the effects of pairing were evaluated by the effectiveness of the RCT in maintaining a response in the absence of a previously available reinforcer (extinction test) and in increasing a new response over a baseline level (learning test). Results from the extinction test suggest that under some pairing conditions the RCT can acquire properties of a reinforcer.
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On the Relation between Stimulus Equivalence and Extension of Stimulus Function

On the Relation between Stimulus Equivalence and Extension of Stimulus Function

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Date: May 2004
Creator: Hartman, Carrie
Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the relation between stimulus equivalence (briefly, networks of relations among stimuli) and the extension of stimulus function (briefly, spread of effect across network) more closely than has been possible before. The traditional view of this relation suggests that equivalence classes mediate the extension of stimulus function and are, therefore, necessary for any extension to occur. This study used a preparation in which the conditional discriminations required for the development of equivalence classes and the simple discriminations required for the extension of function were trained or tested simultaneously. Results suggest that equivalence are not necessary for the extension of stimulus function though they may be sufficient.
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A parametric analysis of the immediate and subsequent effects of response restriction on hand mouthing.

A parametric analysis of the immediate and subsequent effects of response restriction on hand mouthing.

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Date: May 2003
Creator: Soderlund, Michael J.
Description: The immediate and subsequent effects of different durations of response restriction were evaluated in a multiple schedule design. Response restriction components of 15, 30, and 60 minutes were conducted between 15 minute alone components. Levels of responding subsequent to the termination of response restriction procedures were compared to free operant levels prior to the implementation of response restriction. Responding during response restriction components reduced to near zero levels. Subsequent levels of responding were similar to or exceeded free operant baseline levels. Results are discussed in terms of potential operant mechanisms responsible for levels of responding subsequent to response restriction.
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Shaping: From art to science.

Shaping: From art to science.

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Date: August 2005
Creator: Schooley, Kathryne Balch
Description: This study evaluated the effectiveness of a procedure for teaching a caregiver to shape vocal language in a young child with autism. A multiple baseline design was employed to assess caregiver use of shaping procedures, child vocal language progress, and the social validity of the procedures. Following baseline and introductory sessions, the coach and caregiver reviewed video from the previous session and the coach gave descriptive feedback to the caregiver about her performance. Following the review of the videotaped segment, procedures to increase skills were selected and practiced. Rates of responsive opportunity arrangement, model presentation, responsive model delivery, and responsive event delivery, as well as the child's rate of requests, vocalizations, diversity of vocalizations, and social validity were measured. Data suggested that the procedures effectively taught the skill of shaping to a caregiver, which in turn seemed to produce increases in the child's vocal responding.
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Suppressive effects of a stimulus correlated with reprimands for automatically-maintained eye poking.

Suppressive effects of a stimulus correlated with reprimands for automatically-maintained eye poking.

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Date: May 2003
Creator: McKenzie, Scott Daniel
Description: A functional analysis, conducted to assess the variables maintaining the chronic eye poking of a female diagnosed with profound mental retardation, indicated that the behavior persisted in the absence of social contingencies. A procedure was initiated in a training environment in which a punisher (mild reprimand) was delivered contingent on eye poking in the presence, but not in the absence, of a neutral stimulus (wristbands). Using a combination of multiple baseline and multielement experimental designs, it was determined that that eye poking was suppressed in the presence of the previously neutral stimulus, even in environments in which the reprimand contingency was inoperative.
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Use of Fading Procedures and Positive Reinforcement to Increase Consumption of Non-Preferred Food in a Child with Autism

Use of Fading Procedures and Positive Reinforcement to Increase Consumption of Non-Preferred Food in a Child with Autism

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Date: May 2004
Creator: Vorpahl, Cresse Merchant
Description: Traditionally children with developmental disabilities who develop feeding issues can be at great risk for malnutrition. Failure to eat adequate amounts of food and/or insistence on eating a limited range of foods can be detrimental to a child's health and can lead to other behavioral difficulties. Feeding problems are difficult to treat because high levels of physical prompting can quickly create an aversion to eating as well as cause stress for both parents and children. Behavioral problems that range from moderate to extremely maladaptive can ensue. The question the present study addressed was whether or not a treatment package including only positive reinforcement and fading for a non-preferred food would result in independent eating of the targeted non-preferred food.
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