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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: Behavior Analysis
Topographical analysis of reinforcement produced variability: Generalizations across settings and contingencies.

Topographical analysis of reinforcement produced variability: Generalizations across settings and contingencies.

Date: August 2007
Creator: Gomez, Francisco
Description: This study evaluated the effects of programming a variability contingency on one object and the generalization of variability across other objects and contingencies when the defining features of the variable responses were topographical differences. A dog's interactions with five different objects were measured under both ANY (where any physical contact with the object would be reinforced on a fixed ratio schedule) and the VAR contingencies (where only the novel responses per trial would be reinforced). The ANY contingency produced stereotyped responding of behavior with all objects. When one of the dog-object interactions was changed to the VAR contingency, a marked decrease in stereotypic behavior and an increase in novel responses in the form of topographical combinations were observed across both contingencies.
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Toward a functional approach to goal setting

Toward a functional approach to goal setting

Date: December 2007
Creator: Isley, Shane D.
Description: A variable that may be associated with performance improvements is goal setting (within and across days). Easy-to-achieve goals will likely produce gradual trends in improvement and difficult-to-achieve goals steeper trends. The purpose of the current experiments was to study the effects of setting easy-to-achieve and difficult-to-achieve goals on the level, trend, and variability of correct, incorrect, and skip responses for math tasks when reinforcement contingencies and numbers of practices were held constant. Five undergraduate students answered math problems on flash cards in 30s timings. Single case design elements were used to evaluate the effects of different types of goals on the speed and accuracy of performance. The results revealed that goal setting primarily increased the frequency of incorrect responses and both the level and trend of skip responses. The implications of these findings and other important variables that influence the effectiveness of goal setting are discussed. In addition, the authors suggest guidelines to follow when implementing goals to improve performance.
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Toward a systematic evaluation of evaluating favorable conditions in a parent training program: The pursuit of happiness.

Toward a systematic evaluation of evaluating favorable conditions in a parent training program: The pursuit of happiness.

Date: August 2007
Creator: Broome, Jessica L.
Description: Research has shown that parents of children with disabilities, such as autism, experience significantly higher stress levels than parents of typically developing children. It has been suggested that parent education programs, in particular naturalistic communication training, will reduce parental stress. Most of the literature in this area has relied on parental reports and has only focused on decreasing stress and has not directly addressed increasing alternate feelings, such as happiness. In different but related areas of behavior analysis, an emphasis has been placed on the importance of happiness as a quality of life indicator and that the development of multileveled assessment is sorely needed. This study was designed to analyze one set of measures within a data-based intervention program for parents of toddlers with autism. The Family Connections Project (FCP) is a parent training project designed to enhance the quality of relationships for families who have toddlers with autism. Within this project parents are taught to identify and arrange opportunities to interact with their children in ways that will increase motivation and social responsivity. This study looked at the collateral effects of this training program and investigated if FCP affected the relationship between parents and their toddlers; of particular interest ...
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Toward a systems analysis of treatment integrity.

Toward a systems analysis of treatment integrity.

Date: December 2007
Creator: Jamai, Nadia
Description: This case study is a performance improvement project focusing on the organizational system and management practices in a center for children with autism. Staff interviews and a process improvement map were used to assess the organization and assist in identifying potential solutions. The analysis led to treatment integrity as the key outcome measure. The center's administrative team decided to implement treatment delivery process changes to impact treatment integrity measures. This study measured data sheet changes and treatment implementation to determine the impact of process changes on treatment integrity. High levels of variability in treatment integrity across all teams were observed, and results suggest that a process change was not enough to increase treatment integrity. Further study is necessary to investigate measurement and impact of treatment integrity on desired outcomes for children with autism.
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Tracking to Pliance: Effects of Punishment on Non-Compliance

Tracking to Pliance: Effects of Punishment on Non-Compliance

Date: August 2005
Creator: Harmon, D. Austin
Description: Inaccurate instructions have been shown to interfere with or override the effects of otherwise effective behavioral contingencies. This effect may be mediated by such factors as the discriminability of current contingencies, histories with accurate and inaccurate instructions, and consequences associated with following instructions. The current experiment investigated the effects of instructions (both accurate and inaccurate) on response patterns when paired with feedback regarding correspondence between responding and instructions, feedback indicating potential point loss for non-correspondence, and point loss for non-correspondence. Inaccurate instructions produced only small and temporary disruptions in response patterns, as did the addition of feedback alone and feedback indicating potential point loss. The introduction of escalating point losses contingent on non-correspondence, ranging from 20%-50% of points earned, produced changes in response patterns that corresponded to the inaccurate instructions. These outcomes indicate that the imposition of direct consequences for noncompliance may alter the effects of other contingencies. Depending on the point at which point losses disrupt responding, such effects may be interpreted in terms of point loss avoidance or, alternatively, maximizing point gains.
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Training a non-match response: Toward a technology for determining controlling stimulus dimensions for two children with autism.

Training a non-match response: Toward a technology for determining controlling stimulus dimensions for two children with autism.

Date: December 2007
Creator: Baynham, Tanya Yvonne
Description: The research investigated the impact of sexual harassment on withdrawal behaviors and attitudes toward harassment by examining the gender composition of the harassment dyad and the organizational status of the perpetrator in relation to the victim. Archival data from the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan was used to obtain surveys in which participants rated their attitudes and experiences related to sexual harassment. Only individuals who reported experiencing sexual harassment within the 24 months prior to data collection are included in the current research. A MANOVA was conducted to determine if withdrawal behaviors and attitudes of victims varied by the gender dyad and/or the organizational status of the perpetrator. Results indicated that individuals harassed by people with higher organizational status displayed more withdrawal behaviors in the form of decreased productivity and increased use of sick, annual, and unpaid leave. Individuals harassed by a member of the same gender also used more unpaid leave. Interestingly, individuals harassed by members of the opposite gender, tended to disagree more strongly with the attitude index measuring cautious awareness of sexual harassment.
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A Training Program to Facilitate Caregiver Involvement in School Meetings

A Training Program to Facilitate Caregiver Involvement in School Meetings

Date: August 2010
Creator: Barahona, Heather
Description: Caregivers of children with autism will likely meet with many school professionals once their children become school-aged. These meetings can be intimidating for caregivers who are unfamiliar with special education terminology and protocol, and caregivers may feel ineffective when communicating with school personnel. The purpose of this study is to describe a training curriculum to teach caregivers ways in which to communicate during meetings with school professionals, including the kinds of questions to ask/statements to make and when to ask or make them. A detailed overview of the training procedures, the participants, and the outcomes are described here. Preliminary data suggest the training produced increases in communication skills and that caregivers found the training effective and useful.
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Training Siblings of Children with Autism to Instruct Play: Acquisition, Generalization, and Indirect Effects

Training Siblings of Children with Autism to Instruct Play: Acquisition, Generalization, and Indirect Effects

Date: May 2000
Creator: Randall, Domonique Y.
Description: A multiple baseline design was employed to evaluate the effectiveness of a sibling training package including modeling, role-play, and feedback on play and engagement between children with autism and their siblings. The results of two experiments suggest that, following training, siblings of children with autism correctly implemented all trained interaction components. Additionally, Experiment II assessed and programmed generalization to other materials and a non-training setting. The results showed that some unprogrammed generalization to non-trained toys occurred. Conversely, siblings engaged in trained skills in a non-training setting (home) only following the experimenter's instructions to generalize. In both experiments, the siblings' overall engagement and physical proximity of play in training sessions increased significantly above baseline. This study extends previous research in that it includes additional stimulus and response generalization measures.
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Transfer of "good" and "bad" functions within stimulus equivalence classes.

Transfer of "good" and "bad" functions within stimulus equivalence classes.

Date: May 2008
Creator: Madrigal-Bauguss, Jessica
Description: This study compared results of two experiments that tested transfer of function in stimulus equivalence classes in a task dissimilar to (in Experiment I) and similar to (in Experiment II) the task that trained functional responding. Eleven students from UNT participated in return for monetary compensation. Phase 1 and 2 were identical in the two experiments, in which they established stimulus equivalence classes and functional responding, respectively. Each experiment then used different tasks in the third phase to test differential responding. Only participants in Experiment II demonstrated consistent transfer of function. Results are discussed in terms of how task similarity may function as a type of contextual control when there is limited experience with the task.
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Transfer of Mand-to-Tact and Tact-to-Mand Topographies in Two Vocal-Verbal Children with Autism: A Replication and Extension Study

Transfer of Mand-to-Tact and Tact-to-Mand Topographies in Two Vocal-Verbal Children with Autism: A Replication and Extension Study

Date: May 2009
Creator: Ruiz, Julio
Description: Skinner (1957) suggested that different verbal operants are acquired independently of each other and establishing a verbal operant as a mand will not necessarily result in the appearance of a tact having the same response form and vice versa. Recent empirical research has found that newly acquired mands and tacts can be transferred to different relations without direct training. The present study investigated 1) how verbal responses taught as pure mands affect untrained tact relations; 2) how verbal responses taught as pure tacts affect untrained mand relations; 3) how the size of mand and tact repertoires relate to speed of acquisition of new mands and tacts; and 4) how size of entering repertoires affect the transfer of mand topographies to tacts and vice versa. Two vocal-verbal children with autism were taught three novel responses as mands and three other responses as tacts. Mand topographies transferred to tact relations and tact topographies transferred to mand relations for both participants. Overall acquisition as well as transfer of mands and tacts was faster for the participant with a higher entering repertoire.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries