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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Behavior Analysis
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Year: 2011
Assessment and Treatment of Multiple Topographies of Self-injury Maintained by Separate Reinforcement Contingencies

Assessment and Treatment of Multiple Topographies of Self-injury Maintained by Separate Reinforcement Contingencies

Date: August 2011
Creator: Pace, Amy
Description: Functional analysis procedures were used to assess and treat multiple topographies of self-injurious behavior exhibited by an individual. An experimental functional analysis indicated that one topography, hand biting, appeared to be maintained by social positive reinforcement in the form of delivery of tangible items. The analysis also provided evidence that a second form of self-injury, skin picking, was automatically reinforced. To treat positively reinforced hand biting, access to a preferred tangible was arranged contingent on the omission of biting for a prespecified time interval. Hand biting was nearly eliminated, and low rates were maintained as the schedule of reinforcement was thinned to 10 min. Competing stimulus assessments identified that magazines effectively suppressed all occurrences of skin picking; therefore, noncontingent access to magazines was implemented. Using a combination of multielement and multiple baseline designs, we were able to demonstrate that the two topographies of self-injury were maintained by independent reinforcement contingencies and that interventions corresponding to each topography and function effectively treated both behaviors.
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Can Positive Reinforcement Overcome Fear? An Investigation of Competing Contingencies

Can Positive Reinforcement Overcome Fear? An Investigation of Competing Contingencies

Date: August 2011
Creator: Kunkel, Rebecca Ann
Description: Escape maintained behavior in dogs is generally displayed by one of two behaviors-fleeing or aggression. Once aggression is negatively reinforced by the removal of the aversive stimulus, it is very difficult to eliminate from the organism's repertoire. Counterconditioning is the process of pairing a positive reinforcer with an aversive stimulus in the attempts that an organism will no longer exhibit fear responses in its presence. This process must be done gradually with small approximations. Many organisms have been trained to tolerate the presence of aversive stimuli via counterconditioning. However, this process can be time consuming and has inconsistent results. The purpose of this experiment was to monitor the effects of counter conditioning around an aversive stimulus while simultaneously training an identical behavior in the presence of a neutral stimulus. The results demonstrated that even though counterconditioning produced approach to the aversive stimulus the subject still exhibited numerous fear responses when results were compared to the control condition.
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The Effects of a Programmed Teaching Sequence and Response Card Use with Systematic Feedback on the Acquisition of Time Telling Behavior of 3 Students with Intellectual Disability

The Effects of a Programmed Teaching Sequence and Response Card Use with Systematic Feedback on the Acquisition of Time Telling Behavior of 3 Students with Intellectual Disability

Date: May 2011
Creator: Weatherford, Matthew
Description: Few studies have proposed or evaluated methods to teach telling time. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of differential reinforcement of student responding in the form of response cards to teach three middle school students with intellectual disability to tell time. Participants worked through six training phases. Results showed that correct responding increased from pre-assessment (range of 5.71-14.29% correct) to post-assessment (range of 85-100% correct). Preliminary evidence shows promise in the application of these procedures to teach telling time to middle school students with intellectual disability.
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The Effects of Capturing and Searching on the Acquisition of a Simple Arm Position

The Effects of Capturing and Searching on the Acquisition of a Simple Arm Position

Date: August 2011
Creator: Heth, Travis R.
Description: The present experiment compared two methods of training a simple arm position using auditory feedback: capture and search. The participants were four right-handed female college students. During capture, auditory feedback was delivered by the experimenter after the participant moved along a single axis into the target position. During search, auditory feedback was produced by the computer after the participant left clicked a mouse inside the target location. The results of a multi-element design showed that participants performed more accurately during capture training than search training. Pre-training and post-training probes, during which no auditory feedback was provided, showed similar fluctuations in accuracy across probe types. A retention check, performed seven days after the final training session, showed higher accuracy scores for search than capture, across all four participants. These findings suggest that TAGteach should incorporate an approach similar to search training to improve training outcomes.
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Effects of Conditional Discrimination Training on Symmetry and Semantic Priming

Effects of Conditional Discrimination Training on Symmetry and Semantic Priming

Date: August 2011
Creator: Hudgins, Caleb D.
Description: Psychologists interested in the study of language find that people are faster at making decisions about words that are related than they are at making decisions about words that are not related – an effect called semantic priming. This phenomenon has largely only been document in laboratory settings using natural languages as contest and real words as stimuli. The current study explores the relation between the semantic priming effect and a laboratory procedure designed to give rise to performances that can be described as linguistic. Six adult participants learned to partition a collection of eight stimuli into two sets of four stimuli. Following this, the subjects showed the semantic priming effect within a set of stimuli but not across sets. These data suggest that it may be possible to study linguistic phenomenon in laboratory-based procedures allowing better control and the ability to ask very precise questions about linguistic functioning.
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The Effects of Fines on Cooperation in a Four-Person Prisoner’s Dilemma Game

The Effects of Fines on Cooperation in a Four-Person Prisoner’s Dilemma Game

Date: August 2011
Creator: Morford, Zachary H.
Description: Cooperation is an important area of investigation for behavior analysis. The prisoner’s dilemma game (PDG) provides a useful scenario for studying cooperation in a behavior analytic paradigm. The PDG can be coupled with the concept of the metacontingency to investigate how various contingency arrangements support and promote cooperation in a group. Players in this experiment participated in a PDG and, in some conditions, were given the ability to fine other players but could not talk. The goal of this experiment was to investigate how players’ ability to fine one another affected the players’ patterns of cooperation, and whether fining itself was affected by the addition of a shared group consequence. The data show that participants cooperated in some conditions, but the fines did not seem to affect players’ rates of cooperation.
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Evaluating the Effects of Public Postings on Energy Conservation Behavior at a Public University

Evaluating the Effects of Public Postings on Energy Conservation Behavior at a Public University

Date: August 2011
Creator: Canisz, Eleni
Description: This study evaluated the effects of public postings on energy conservation behavior at a public university, using a multiple baseline design across three settings; bathrooms break rooms, and conference rooms. The behavior of building occupants was recorded to assess the frequency at which those individuals would turn lights off upon exiting an unoccupied room. The independent variables implemented by experimenters (light-switch plate stickers and laminated signs) had little to no effects on cumulative instances of lights turned off however, the installation of motion sensor lights produced better results. Across all conditions, lights were turned off most frequently in conference rooms (65% of observations) followed by break rooms (9% of observations), and bathrooms (3% of observations).
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An Exploration of the Titrating-Delay Match-to-Sample Procedure with Pigeons

An Exploration of the Titrating-Delay Match-to-Sample Procedure with Pigeons

Date: December 2011
Creator: Friedel, Jonathan E.
Description: The delayed matching‐to‐sample (DMTS) procedure involves the insertion of a delay between the offset of a sample stimulus and the onset of an array of comparison stimuli; one of which is designated as the “correct” match for the sample on each trial. The procedure has served as the base preparation in which the effects of environmental variables on short‐term remembering and is, in many ways, responsible for a refined understanding of the phenomenon. Despite its utility, however, there are a few problems with the DMTS procedure – first, the procedure doesn’t adjust for individual differences and second, the conventional dependent measure, percent of correct trials, is not as sensitive as one might like. The titrating-delay matching to sample (TDMTS) procedure is a variant of the DMTS procedure in which the delays between sample and comparison are adjusted as a function of the subject’s performance. Stable measures of adjusted delay are not only sensitive measures of the performance of interest but they are also automatically tuned to differences across individuals. The study reported here continues our efforts to understand the dynamics of the TDMTS procedure so that it can be used to ask important questions related to short‐term remembering.
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Induced “motivation”

Induced “motivation”

Date: August 2011
Creator: Becker, April Melissa
Description: In the avian training community, a procedure has been utilized to maintain food reinforcer efficacy at high body weights. Elements of this procedure include limited holds and closed economies. To test this procedure, a baseline performance of keypecking on an FR 15 schedule at 80% ad lib weight for two pigeons was established. By imposing limited holds and a closed economy, rates of responding were increased compared to baseline, even while the pigeons were over 90% of their ad-lib body weights.
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Parent-Toddler Training:  The Merits of Further Analysis

Parent-Toddler Training: The Merits of Further Analysis

Date: May 2011
Creator: Cermak, Samantha Marie
Description: Earlier identification of autism allows for interventions to begin during toddlerhood. Literature suggests that parents are an important part of very early intervention and specific goals have indicated that they are important to progress. The use of telemedicine may increase access to interventions. The purpose of the study was to evaluate a parent-toddler training program that targeted social-communication skills and incorporated a telemedicine component. Measures included parent teaching targets, child attending, vocal requesting, and coordinated joint attention and the parent's response to coordinated joint attention. Results indicate that parent teaching increased, child attending and vocalizations increased, child coordinated joint attention increased, and the parent's response to coordinated joint attention was primarily social in nature. Analysis of the home observations indicates that direct in home observations or teleconference observations neither under or overestimated behaviors. The results are discussed in the context of teaching and feedback delivery and selection of teaching targets.
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A Preliminary Analysis of Interactions Between Sibling training and Toy Preferences

A Preliminary Analysis of Interactions Between Sibling training and Toy Preferences

Date: May 2011
Creator: Greer, Julie Winn
Description: Siblings of children who have been diagnosed with autism can play important roles in the lives of their brothers or sisters. Previous literature shows that siblings can effectively change behavior and can increase play interactions. Furthermore, the use of preferred materials may enhance social interactions between the siblings. The purpose of this study was to determine, the effects that material preferences and choices have on sibling social bids and cooperative play during a sibling training program. There were two main objectives. The first objective was to evaluate the effects of teaching with the high preference toy of the neuro-typical sibling during sibling training. The second objective was to determine if the training would produce different effects across four different toy conditions. Measures included social bids made by each of the siblings and cooperative play. Results indicate that teaching with the neuro-typical siblings' high preference toy during sibling training can be an effective method to increase social bids and cooperative play. The results of this study are discussed in the contexts of preference and choice selections, physical environments, motor skills, carry over effects, and participations based on gender.
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Replication and Extension of a Comprehensive Staff Training Program for an Autism Treatment Program

Replication and Extension of a Comprehensive Staff Training Program for an Autism Treatment Program

Date: May 2011
Creator: Johnson, Kellyn Joi
Description: Previous research has shown that early and intensive behavioral interventions are an effective treatment for young children with autism resulting meaningful gains that can maintain over time. For behavioral treatments to be effective, service providers need to be competently trained in behavioral interventions through staff training. The purpose of the current study was to replicate and extend previous research by employing a more rigorous research design, and including measures of teaching units, and staff and child affect measures. The trainee was taught 150 skills. Training methods included descriptions, modeling, practice, and feedback. Results showed that the trainee acquired all skills while maintaining an increasing number of teaching units. Child and staff also maintained favorable affect as training progressed. In addition, staff reported the training as very effective and highly satisfactory. This shows that comprehensive training packages that comprise a large set of skills in real life treatment settings can result in benefits for the staff and children.
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A Stimulus Control Analysis of Imprinting in a Human-Reared Pigeon

A Stimulus Control Analysis of Imprinting in a Human-Reared Pigeon

Date: August 2011
Creator: Varnon, Christopher A.
Description: Events that occur early in the life of birds greatly influence social and sexual preferences throughout the course of life. Traditionally, this is explained by a learning process known as imprinting. Young birds are thought to imprint to early stimuli, causing the development of permanent preferences for those stimuli. In the present study, imprinting is examined with respect to behaviors of an adult human-reared pigeon in several conditions. The subject was either presented with no stimulus, a conspecific stimulus, a novel stimulus, a human stimulus, or the human and novel stimuli simultaneously. Several phases within these conditions were employed to pinpoint the variables that produced the most social and sexual behavior. The results showed that while some conditions produced unclear behavior, other conditions produced very clear indications of sexual preference for humans and fear of conspecifics. The results suggest that the concept of imprinting may not be needed to explain the sexual preference of the subject, and that operant contingencies may play a large role in sexual behavior.
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