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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: May 2016
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.
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Measuring the Effect of Alternating In-class with Online Lecture on Student Learning in College Classrooms

Measuring the Effect of Alternating In-class with Online Lecture on Student Learning in College Classrooms

Date: August 2013
Creator: Kellerstedt, Brett G.
Description: Personalized instruction has long been a goal of behavior analysis in the education of typically developing populations, one important element of which is the delivery of lectures in new formats. This study tested feasibility of online lecture delivery by comparing online and in-class delivery of lectures using an adapted alternating treatments design. Each week, the lecture component of a unit of an introductory behavior analysis course was presented either online or in-class, alternating week to week. The alternation was counterbalanced between two sections, where one section saw the lecture for a given unit -online while the other did it in-class, allowing for comparison between lectures of a given unit as well as across units within a section. First attempt quiz scores were measured. No significant difference in the trend of quiz scores between conditions was detected, averaging 73.1% (range, 50.4% to 83.4%) for online and 72.8% (range, 54.8 to 84%) for in-class conditions. This suggests that online lectures are a feasible alternative lecture delivery in this introductory behavior analysis course. This experimental methodology may also be used to test other instructional techniques as well. The ability to place lectures online, opens the door to further, more refined, experimentation with modern ...
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Mediated Generalization of the Effect of Reprimands Across Two Topographies of Self-Injury

Mediated Generalization of the Effect of Reprimands Across Two Topographies of Self-Injury

Date: May 2004
Creator: Kliethermes, Lana L.
Description: This study sought to assess the effects of pairing a neutral stimulus with a reprimand contingent on occurrences of two topographies of problem behavior. Using a multiple baseline withdrawal with a nested multi-element design, contingencies were first applied to eye poking and, subsequently, to a second behavior, skin picking. In each case, the participant wore wristbands (a previously neutral stimulus) during treatment sessions. Results indicated that the reprimands were effective in decreasing both behaviors. In addition, when skin picking resulted in reprimands, eye poking also decreased. However, when reprimands were contingent on eye-poking, the effects did not appear to generalize to skin-picking. Some possible accounts for this asymmetrical pattern of generalization are discussed.
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Misinformation About the Misinformation Effect

Misinformation About the Misinformation Effect

Date: August 2012
Creator: Halvorsen, Lars I.
Description: This study partially replicated the research of Cook, Kwak, Hoffman, & Loftus where they examined post-event activities that induces subjects to pick a wrong person in a forced choice identification procedure. The goal was to investigate if providing a neither option to a match to sample task increases the accuracy of responding. Subjects were asked to study three faces for 10 seconds, after which they were asked to pick out the faces in a forced choice setting where two other faces were presented. Later the subjects were asked to pick out faces in a setting in which they could use a neither option. Results indicated that a generalization effect occurs when identifying faces and the effect is seen as subjects choosing the wrong face. This suggests that when using faces with some similar features in a lineup setting the procedure may cause the subject to pick the wrong person.
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Monitoring and Increasing Goal Related Instruction and Engagement in Groups of Children with Autism

Monitoring and Increasing Goal Related Instruction and Engagement in Groups of Children with Autism

Date: May 2012
Creator: Rossi, Kathleen Anne
Description: A high rate of instructional engagement is important to maximize progress in early intensive behavioral interventions (EIBI). Teachers responsible for eliciting instructional engagement may need additional support to maintain high rates of engagement. Literature suggests that goal setting and feedback is effective in increasing performance. the purpose of this study was to evaluate whether goal setting and group feedback would increase engagement in instructional activities related to the children’s goals. Results indicate that goal setting and group feedback was successful in increasing engagement in instructional activities. the results are discussed in the context of engagement, staff performance, group contingencies and performance feedback.
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A Multimodal Investigation of Renewal of Human Avoidance, Perceived Threat, and Emotion

A Multimodal Investigation of Renewal of Human Avoidance, Perceived Threat, and Emotion

Date: May 2015
Creator: Ludlum, Madonna L.
Description: Many people who receive exposure-based treatments for anxiety disorders exhibit a return of fear and avoidance which is often referred to as renewal or relapse. Human and nonhuman research on fear conditioning and renewal has been instrumental in helping understand relapse in anxiety disorders. The purpose of this investigation was to examine renewal of human avoidance and assess whether avoidance may aid in sustaining renewal of fear responses. We adopted a multimodal measurement approach consisting of an approach-avoidance task along with ratings of perceived threat and fear and measures of skin-conductance, a widely used physiological measure of fear. A traditional, single-subject research design was used with six healthy adults. All tasks employed a discrete trial procedure. Experimental conditions included Pavlovian fear conditioning in which increased probability of money loss was paired with a “threat” meter in Context A and later followed extinction in Context B. Fear and avoidance increased to higher threat levels in Context A but not Context B. Renewal testing involved presenting the threat meter on a return to Context A to determine if it evoked fear and avoidance (i.e., relapse). As predicted, renewal testing in Context A showed that increased threat was associated with increased avoidance, ratings ...
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Multiple-respondent anecdotal assessments for behavior disorders: An analysis of interrater agreement and correspondence with a functional analysis and treatment outcomes.

Multiple-respondent anecdotal assessments for behavior disorders: An analysis of interrater agreement and correspondence with a functional analysis and treatment outcomes.

Date: December 2007
Creator: Moore, Heather
Description: An analysis of interrater agreement across multiple respondents on two anecdotal assessments, the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS) and the Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST), was completed for an individual who displayed aggressive behavior. The results of the assessments indicated high agreement across assessments and respondents that the problem behavior was maintained by social positive reinforcement in the form of contingent delivery of tangible items. By contrast, a subsequent experimental analysis indicated that the behavior was maintained by escape from demands. A treatment was implemented based on the functional analysis outcomes to determine if the functional analysis had correctly identified the maintaining variable of the aberrant behavior. Results of the treatment analysis showed significant reductions in the occurrence of aberrant behavior suggesting that the MAS and FAST may not have accurately identified the maintaining variable of the aberrant behavior.
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Multiple-Respondent Anecdotal Assessments for Behavior Disorders: An Analysis of Interrater Agreement and Correspondence With Functional Analysis Outcomes

Multiple-Respondent Anecdotal Assessments for Behavior Disorders: An Analysis of Interrater Agreement and Correspondence With Functional Analysis Outcomes

Date: August 2004
Creator: Fahrenholz, Anney Renee
Description: An analysis of interrater agreement across multiple respondents on anecdotal assessments and correspondence between functional analysis outcomes was completed. Experiment I evaluated overall agreement among multiple respondents (direct-care staff) on the hypothesized function of each residents (28 adults with mental retardation) problematic behavior using the Motivational Assessment Scale (MAS) and the Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST). Results of the questionnaires indicated that respondents agreed on the function of the problematic behavior for 10 of the 28 residents. Experiment II examined whether, for selected cases in which 4 out of 5 respondents agreed on the function of the problematic behavior, correspondence occurred between functional analyses and anecdotal assessments outcomes. Two of the 6 functional analyses did not evoke the problematic behavior. However, 4 functional analyses did produce corresponding outcomes suggesting that, when the functional analyses produced interpretable data, the results of the functional analyses corresponded with those of the anecdotal assessments.
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Multiple-respondent anecdotal assessments for behavior disorders; An analysis of interrater agreement and correspondence with treatment outcomes.

Multiple-respondent anecdotal assessments for behavior disorders; An analysis of interrater agreement and correspondence with treatment outcomes.

Date: May 2007
Creator: Wolf, Roxanne
Description: The current study was designed to further evaluate the usefulness of anecdotal assessments. The goal of this study was to evaluate the overall agreement between multiple respondents on the primary function of aberrant behavior using the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS) and the Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST) and, if agreement was obtained, to assess the effectiveness of treatment based on the outcome of the assessments. Results showed that anecdotal assessments were able to identify the general type of contingency maintaining two participants' problem behavior. However, for one participant the assessments did not correctly identify the specific form of reinforcement (attention or tangible items) that maintained the aberrant behavior.
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Natural concepts in the domestic dog.

Natural concepts in the domestic dog.

Date: December 2009
Creator: Feuerbacher, Erica Nan
Description: The current study investigated concept formation in domestic dogs, specifically that of a toy concept. The dog's differential responding (retrieval vs. non-retrieval) to two sets of stimuli suggested a toy concept. Differential responding occurred from the very first trial, indicating that the concept had been formed in the natural environment, not during the experiment. It was hypothesized that a common response may be responsible for the emergence of the class in the natural environment. The results demonstrated that it was possible to expand the class by adding previously non-retrieved objects to the toy class through a common response. It was also shown that the toy concept passed the more stringent criterion (transfer of function test) required validating it as a concept.
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Naturalistic Study of College Drinking

Naturalistic Study of College Drinking

Date: May 2016
Creator: Rueb, Skyler Nicole
Description: The prevalence of Alcohol Use Disorders is rapidly increasing among college students. The use of real time monitoring in conjunction with contingency management procedures to reduce alcohol consumption has only recently been developed. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to learn more about natural patterns of alcohol consumption in college-aged adults. A second goal was to evaluate a novel, handheld technology for obtaining reliable samples over extended time periods. College students were given a SoberLinkTM SL2 breathalyzer for eight weeks to monitor their drinking behaviors and asked to self-report the number of drinks consumed each day. Participants received one to three text messages per day to provide breath samples and earned monetary rewards for submitting samples within the allotted time. The results of this study showed that college students tend to consume alcohol during the evening hours and mostly on the weekends. There was a weak to medium correlation between average breath alcohol concentration and conditional average drinks. Compliance with prompts ranged between 77 and 84 percent and monetary earnings ranged between $152 and $160. Naturalistic observations of college drinking may aid in the development of interventions to prevent excessive drinking and the SL2 breathalyzer may have great potential ...
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An Observation of Early Parent-Infant Social Interactions in Relation to the Emergence of Joint Attention in the Natural Environment

An Observation of Early Parent-Infant Social Interactions in Relation to the Emergence of Joint Attention in the Natural Environment

Date: May 2010
Creator: Pinsky, Karen
Description: Early interactions between parents and infants are thought to be critical of later development. In particular joint attention has been an area of research and investigations. This study sought to measure joint attention behaviors in infants from 5 to 33 weeks of age under naturalistic conditions: in the home with the mother as the interaction partner given no instructions. Videotapes of the infant-parent interactions were observed and data were collected on behaviors related to joint attention. Given observations occur at younger ages than other studies considered, engagement data results indicate increasing trends for 3 of the 5 infants observed while the direction of infant gaze results indicate patterns consistent with descriptions currently in the literature. Parent behavior data indicate high levels of support in engaging infant attention. Furthering an understanding of joint attention by observing at earlier ages in infant development may be useful in informing teaching programs for infants who have not developed joint attention skills.
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An Observation System to Aid in the Evaluation and Implementation of Early Intervention Programs for Children with Autism

An Observation System to Aid in the Evaluation and Implementation of Early Intervention Programs for Children with Autism

Date: May 2009
Creator: Geving, Megan McGee
Description: Early and intensive behavioral intervention outcome research includes descriptions of intervention variables that may increase treatment success. This study was designed to develop an observation system that incorporates and expands on some of these variables. Measures include the number of interventionist teaching units, types of skills addressed during instruction, consequences programmed by interventionists, and engagement with teaching materials. This system allowed for a view of the differences in teaching behaviors among the participants. It is proposed that this observation system is a start toward standardized intervention measures that can be applied to evaluate varied treatment models. Such standardization can help in ensuring that all children have access to evidence-based services.
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Observing and Attending in a Delayed Matching-to-Sample Preparation in Pigeons

Observing and Attending in a Delayed Matching-to-Sample Preparation in Pigeons

Date: December 2008
Creator: Lovelace, Bryan S.
Description: Pigeons worked in a titrating delay match-to-sample (TDMTS) procedure in which selecting the correct comparison stimulus increased the delay between sample offset and comparison-array onset and incorrect comparison selections decreased that delay. Prior research in our lab has shown that the stable adjusted value of the retention interval is a curvilinear function of the observing response requirement. The current study examined the effect of the distribution and predictability of observing response requirements on adjusted retention interval values. The data show that unpredictable observing response requirements were more effective in attenuating the deleterious effects of delay on matching accuracy. The data have implications for our understanding of attending and encoding in performances involving remembering over short temporal durations.
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On the effects of extended sample-observing response requirements on adjusted delay in a titrating delay matching-to-sample procedure with pigeons.

On the effects of extended sample-observing response requirements on adjusted delay in a titrating delay matching-to-sample procedure with pigeons.

Date: August 2005
Creator: Kangas, Brian D.
Description: A common procedural variation that facilitates the acquisition of conditional discriminations is to increase the time an organism spends in the presence of the sample stimulus by programming extended sample-observing response requirements. Despite their common use, there has been little empirical investigation of the effects of extended sample-observing response requirements. In the current study, four pigeons worked on a titrating delay matching-to-sample procedure in which the delay between sample offset and comparison onset was adjusted as a function of the pigeons' accuracy. The number of responses required to produce the comparison array was manipulated across conditions. Results show that all subjects were able to withstand longer delays between sample offset and comparison onset as sample-observing response requirements increased. These data show that the extent of the response requirement in the presence of the sample has systematic effects on conditional discrimination performances and should be considered in the design of experiments.
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