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 Degree Discipline: Behavior Analysis
Investigating the effects on parallel play between siblings: Teaching children with autism to emit social phrases to their typically developing sibling.

Investigating the effects on parallel play between siblings: Teaching children with autism to emit social phrases to their typically developing sibling.

Date: December 2008
Creator: Hille, Katrina J.
Description: The focus of this study was three fold. First, modeling and feedback were investigated as a training package for social interactions between siblings. Second, the effects of social phrases taught to the sibling with autism were investigated. Third, the magnitude of these social phrases was measured by timing duration of parallel play. The experimental design is an A-B-A1-A2 design conducted in a clinic, with a probe for generalization in the home environment. This intervention was replicated across an additional sibling dyad to indicate its effectiveness. This study ascertained that the sibling with autism was a viable participant in learning new social skills that could function as a behavioral cusp and increase sibling interactions.
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Is video modeling enough to teach parent-child interactions? Toward a systematic evaluation of the key components of video modeling.

Is video modeling enough to teach parent-child interactions? Toward a systematic evaluation of the key components of video modeling.

Date: May 2008
Creator: Whaley-Carr, Anna Marie
Description: Parent-child interactions help set the foundation for a child's development. It is therefore important to investigate the relative efficiency and efficacy of procedures used to train them. One procedure that researchers continue to explore is video modeling. The current study evaluated the effect of a video model that displayed favorable parent-child interactions and a modified model with embedded instructions to determine if the introduction of either of these models would alter parent-child interactions. Both models were presented alone without supplemental guidance. Three families were involved in the study. The results showed no systematic change across families or conditions as a result of video viewing and are discussed within context of the needs of the parent, adequate stimulus control, community to support behavior change, measurement sensitivity, and influence of methodology. This study provided a great baseline for future studies to explore the necessary components to create an effective video model.
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Knowledge-of-Correct-Response vs. Copying-of-Correct-Response: a Study of Discrimination Learning

Knowledge-of-Correct-Response vs. Copying-of-Correct-Response: a Study of Discrimination Learning

Date: August 1996
Creator: Geller, David, 1952-
Description: Copying prompts with subsequent unprompted practice produced better learning of simple discriminations than feedback only of a correct response without subsequent practice. The Copy condition promoted faster acquisition of accurate performance for all subjects, and shorter response latencies and durations for 3 of 4 subjects. The data support the findings of Barbetta, Heron, and Heward, 1993 as well as Drevno, Kimball, Possi, Heward, Garner III, and Barbetta, 1994. The author proposes that response repertoires are most valuable if easily reacquired at times after original learning. Thus, reacquisition performance data are emphasized. The data suggest that discriminations acquired by copying prompts may result in useful repertoires if a practice procedure is used which facilitates transfer of stimulus control from a formal prompt to a naturally occurring stimulus.
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A Laboratory Human Operant Examination of Extinction Bursts

A Laboratory Human Operant Examination of Extinction Bursts

Date: 2016-5
Creator: Lilly, Bryanna R
Description: The present study examined operant extinction in a controlled setting using a human operant paradigm. Participants watched a preferred video. During the video, either the video or audio portion of the video was selectively removed, on average every 15 s. Participants could restore the video by pressing a force transducer. In one group, relatively low forces were required (250 g) and in the other relatively high forces were required (750 g). At the 20th and 30th minute during the session, the video or audio was removed but the participants could not restore the component for 30 s. The results showed that responding during the probe increased relative to 30-s periods prior and following the probe, characteristic of an extinction burst. The results also showed that overall we saw increases in force under high force conditions during extinction when presses no longer produced sound or video, and force changed little during the low force conditions. We conclude that extinction bursts are a robust phenomenon that can be demonstrated in humans. Additionally, the topographies, i.e. force, established during baseline and the modality of the consequence appear to be two variables determining the short-term course of extinction.
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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

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
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

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
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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The Measurement and Enhancement of Rapport Between Behavioral Therapists and Children with Autism

The Measurement and Enhancement of Rapport Between Behavioral Therapists and Children with Autism

Date: December 2014
Creator: Lapin, Carly I
Description: Rapport has been acknowledged as an important variable in therapeutic contexts. The current evaluation defined and assessed rapport quality between children with autism and behavioral therapists based on behavioral correlates. In addition, the author evaluated the effects of an operant discrimination training procedure to enhance rapport levels for therapists with low levels of rapport. More specifically, the current study evaluated: (a) if the discrimination training procedure would establish therapists’ social interactions as a discriminative stimulus and (b) if social interaction would function as a conditioned reinforcer for novel responses. Results suggest that the discrimination training procedure was successful in conditioning social interaction as a reinforcer for all child participants, and as a result, rapport increased.
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A Measurement System for Monitoring Play in Typically Developing Children and Children with Autism

A Measurement System for Monitoring Play in Typically Developing Children and Children with Autism

Date: May 2002
Creator: Gudmundsdottir, Kristin
Description: A comprehensive measurement system was developed to monitor play in children with autism and typically developing children. The study was conducted in a preschool operated in conjunction with a center-based program for children with autism. The development of the measurement system was based on observations of four children with autism and three typically developing children during social and play activites. Data were collected on material use and several dimensions of play: Simple Manipulation, Functional Manipulation, Symbolic Toy Play, Symbolic Role Play and Play Themes. The results indicated that the measurement system consistently measured a wide range of play behaviors across children and materials. Significance of the information gathered from the measurement system in assessing play and designing interventions is discussed.
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Measures of reading comprehension: The effects of text type and time limits on students' performance.

Measures of reading comprehension: The effects of text type and time limits on students' performance.

Date: December 2008
Creator: Falke, Lisa G.
Description: Although the importance of reading comprehension is generally recognized, a better understanding of the factors influencing measurement of reading comprehension may impact the ability to assess strengths and deficits. The current study examined the effects of text type and time limits on the rate of students' performance across four common assessments of reading comprehension. Results showed similarities between performance with narrative and expository texts and across time limit conditions for all of the assessments. In terms of comparing across reading comprehension assessments, the findings are limited by the differences in the response channels and stimulus conditions of each assessment. The results have implications for the development of measurement systems and the assessment of reading comprehension.
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Measuring indices of happiness in a parent-training program.

Measuring indices of happiness in a parent-training program.

Date: May 2008
Creator: Ewing, Sarah A.
Description: Behavior analysts have long recognized the need for direct and reliable measurement of complex behaviors that are important to society. Recently investigators have approached one of the singular most complex behaviors: happiness. Limited research, however, has explored happiness in parent-training programs with children with autism and their families. The current study applied the definitions and data systems used in Broome's 2007 study to obtain indices of happiness within a parent training program for parents of toddlers with autism. Direct measures of smiles and laughs were collected from videotaped assessments. Results suggest that the program increased behaviors associated with happiness. Results are discussed in terms of program development and future research.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries