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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Behavior Analysis
The Effects of Model Prompts on Joint Attention Initiations in Children with Autism
The general purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of minimally intrusive prompting procedures and preferred stimuli on protodeclarative joint attention initiations in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Two boys and one girl diagnosed with ASD participated. The experimenter provided attention and social interaction following protodeclarative initiations throughout all phases of the study. During intervention, a model prompt was delivered every 30 s if the participant failed to initiate a bid for joint attention. Results for the first participant show that a model prompt was sufficient to increase the rate of protodeclarative initiations across stimulus sets. Generalization was seen across sets, but not across environments. Subsequently, the model prompt was sufficient to increase the rate of protodeclarative initiations across sets in a second setting (classroom). Results for the second participant are inconclusive. Data collected during the initial baseline condition show that she engaged in an incompatible verbal response across sets. When pictorial stimuli depicting highinterest items and activities were introduced, the rate of protodeclarative initiations increased over time. We then returned to original baseline condition and saw an initial decrease, followed by a steady increase in the rate of protodeclarative initiations. The third participant withdrew prematurely due to medical reasons. The findings of the current study show that minimally intrusive prompts and natural consequences may be sufficient to establish protodeclarative initiations in children. However, this finding may be limited to only those children for whom social interactions already function as reinforcers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc699952/
The Behavioral Economics of Effort
Although response effort is considered a dimension of the cost to obtain reinforcement, little research has examined the economic impact of effort on demand for food. The goal of the present study was to explore the relationship between effort and demand. Three Sprague Dawley rats were trained to press a force transducer under a series of fixed-ratio schedules (1, 10, 18, 32, 56, 100, 180, 320, and 560) under different force requirements (5.6 g and 56 g). Thus, nominal unit price (responses / food) remained constant while minimal response force requirements varied. Using a force transducer allowed the measurement of responses failing to meet the minimal force requirement (i.e. “subcriterion responses”), an advantage over prior approaches using weighted levers to manipulate effort. Consistent with prior research, increasing the unit price decreased food consumption, and raising minimum force requirements further reduced demand for food. Additionally, increasing the force requirement produced subcriterion responses. Analysis indicated that subcriterion responses did not create incidental changes in unit price. Obtained force data revealed that including obtained forces in unit price calculations provided better predictions of consumption when compared to using criterion force requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc699857/
The Measurement and Enhancement of Rapport Between Behavioral Therapists and Children with Autism
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc699911/
A Stimulus Control Analysis of the Misinformation Effect
This paper explores research on the misinformation effect and hypothesizes a new explanation for the occurrence misinformation effect. Current psychological theories states the misinformation effect occurs when memories are skewed by the presentation of new information after an initial event. This effect has been tested in a multitude of ways, including testing words lists, pictures, colors, and change blindness. Socially, the misinformation effect has been used to explain the inaccuracies of eyewitness testimony. The current judicial system relies on the fallible memory of people and has wrongfully imprisoned numerous innocents. The purpose of this research is to show the misinformation effect is not a problem with memory storage and retrieval, but rather a product of selective stimulus control. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700022/
Development and Evaluation of a Large-scale Pyramidal Staff Training Program for Behavior Management
Training and empirically evaluating caregivers’ implementation of behavior management skills is a particularly challenging task in large residential contexts. A pyramidal training approach provides an efficient and effective way to conduct large-scale competency-based behavior skills training. The purpose of this project was to develop and evaluate a large-scale pyramidal staff training program for behavior management skills. One hundred nine caregivers and 11 behavior service professionals at a large, residential care facility participated in this project. Interobserver agreement was utilized to develop and refine measurements systems to detect caregiver acquisition of skills, behavior service professionals’ ability to score caregiver performance and behavior service professionals’ ability to deliver a specified portion of the curriculum. Pre- and post-test probes were conducted utilizing standard role play scenarios and checklists to evaluate caregiver acquisition of three specific behavior management skills. The results supported the following conclusions: first, interobserver agreement measures were useful to develop a reliable measurement system, to refine some curriculum elements, and to evaluate measurement conducted by behavior service professionals. Second, behavior skills training (BST) resulted in caregiver acquisition of all three behavior management techniques. Third, the pyramidal training approach was effective to teach behavior service professionals to deliver BST and accurately measure the performances of trainees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700014/
An Evaluation of Negative Reinforcement During Error Correction Procedures
This study evaluated the effects of error correction procedures on sight word acquisition. Participants were four typically developing children in kindergarten and first grade. We used an adapted alternating treatment design embedded within a multiple baseline design to evaluate instructional efficacy of two error correction procedures; one with preferred items plus error correction and one with error correction only, and a concurrent chain schedule to evaluate participant preference for instructional procedure. The results show that there was no difference in acquisition rates between the procedures. The evaluation also showed children prefer procedures that include a positive reinforcement component. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700064/
Evaluation of Ethanol’s Effects on the Biophysical Characteristics of Licking
Alcohol use disorders are a public health issue related to adverse effects for individuals and society. A low level of response, or decreased sensitivity, to alcohol has been identified as a heritable risk factor for development of alcohol use disorders. One method for researching level of response to alcohol is through the use of rodent models, which are developed to mimic human conditions while eliminating barriers to conducting research with people. Current rodent models used to evaluate effects of ethanol on motor performance have been criticized for not being well matched to human tasks that measure level of change in body sway after alcohol consumption. This study looks at oromotor behavior as a potential alternative to gross motor performance in hopes of increasing correspondence between human and rodent measures of intoxication. To evaluate rodent oromotor performance a force transducer lickometer is used to measure several dimensions of licking behavior after administration of different concentrations of ethanol solution via gavage. Results show that force of licking is not sensitive to dose of ethanol. The total number of licks per session show dose related decreases and licking rhythm, evaluated by the length and distribution of interlick intervals, either increased or decreased for three of the four subjects. Recommendations are made for procedural modifications in order to reduce variability in data and further investigate oromotor performance and level of response to alcohol. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700108/
The Evaluation of Task Preference on Reinforcer Efficacy
Stimulus preference assessments have determined high and low preferred items that increase the rate of frequency of responding for various skills. Within applied settings, high preferred items may not attain the same reinforcing value across tasks which might decrease responding. The preference of the task might have an effect on reinforcer efficacy that is being presented. The purpose of the current study is to evaluate changes in reinforcer efficacy as a function of preference for the task. Three children diagnosed with ASD participated in the study. HP/LP items and HP/LP tasks were identified through paired-choice assessments, and each item was presented as a consequence for each task in a counterbalanced multi-element format. Results indicated that preference for the task had little effect of the rate of responding across items. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700091/
Shall We Dance? Teaching Parents the Communication Dance to Enhance Generalized Communication in Their Children
Children diagnosed with autism exhibit deficits in communication that impact their ability to control their immediate environment. Recent research on mand training has been criticized for producing a limited number of mand topographies over a long span of time with limited generalization to novel environments. There is a body of research, however, that successfully establishes larger repertoires. Training parents as change agents may mediate generalization by teaching under naturally maintaining contingencies. Additional effects of parent training may reduce parent reports of stress, increase favorable quality of parent-child interactions, and increase reports of parental self-efficacy. The current study evaluated the effects of a generalized training framework to teach parents how to target generalized mands and expand their child’s communicative topographies. The effects of the training were evaluated using a non-concurrent multiple baseline across participants and skills. Results indicated that parents were able to effectively teach their child to mand for a variety of items and events and to substantially increase the number of different mand topographies and expand the topographies the child emitted. Parents were observed to have higher overall confidence and lower overall stress following intervention. The current study builds on previous research on generalized teaching strategies for parents that are effective in teaching a variety of responses to the child. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500157/
The Effects of Sucrose on Ethanol Consumption in Ethanol Naïve and Non-naïve Rats
Sucrose fading and intermittent access are two common procedures that induce alcohol consumption in rodents. Sucrose fading procedures involve exposing ethanol naïve rats to a mixture of ethanol and sucrose and gradually reducing the concentration of sugar. Intermittent access procedures involve providing rats with access to ethanol on alternating days. Given that rats will consume ethanol without sucrose, the role of sugar in the sucrose fading procedure is unclear. Rats must be ethanol naïve when they are exposed to treatment with sucrose fading, so there is no point of comparison to show that exposure to sugar in sucrose fading produces higher levels of drinking. There has yet to be any work that isolates the effects of sugar on the consumption of alcohol. The purpose of the present experiment was to examine the effects of sucrose on ethanol consumption in rats with different alcohol histories. Two groups of six rats were exposed to two successive sucrose fading procedures, 30 days apart and their drinking was measured 30 days after each one. One group was exposed to an intermittent access procedure to establish drinking prior to treatment with sucrose fading, the other was ethanol naïve. Following sucrose fading, all rats drank pharmacologically active doses of ethanol. For both groups consumption correlated with the concentration of sucrose and decreased in a step-wise manner as it was faded. For the ethanol experienced rats, consumption dropped below baseline levels as sucrose was faded and decreased further with the second exposure. In contrast, the ethanol-naïve rats did not decrease consumption from the first sucrose fading procedure to the second. Slight differences in peak force of responses were also observed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500220/
Dance: a Training Package Utilizing Videotaped Self-observation to Teach Parents to Enhance Social Interactions with Children At-risk for a Developmental Delay
Previous research has demonstrated the effectiveness of programs that include a videotaped self-observation component. The self-observation protocols, however, have not been clearly specified within programs that teach and report parents’ use of general teaching strategies. The current study investigates the effects of a training package with a self-observation component to teach parents to improve teaching interactions with their children at-risk for a developmental delay using an AB design replicated across participants. Data were collected across play interactions to assess the number of parent teaching episodes, child target responses, and various parent and child relationship qualities. Relationship quality measures included parent and child affect and engagement, parent directives, parent confidence and stress, and parent and child interest. The results of this study suggest that the training package was effective in that parents engaged in higher rates of teaching, their children engaged in more desired responding, and certain aspects of the parent-child interaction were enhanced. These results are discussed in terms of the effects on the parent-child teaching interaction and implications for future use of parent self-observation techniques. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500215/
Measuring the Effect of Alternating In-class with Online Lecture on Student Learning in College Classrooms
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 instructional methods such as the “flipped classroom.” digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500139/
The Effects of Training History on Retention and Reacquisition of Stimulus Control
The purpose of this experiment was to study the effects of training history on retention and re-acquisition of stimulus control of previously learned behaviors. In Phase I, two pairs of behaviors were alternately trained. Circle and touch behaviors were trained concurrently until two consecutive errorless sessions were run. Spin and down behaviors were trained together in the same manner. Probe sessions, in which all four cues were presented, were conducted each time a pair of behaviors reached this criterion. Training of one pair did not occur until the other pair had reached criterion and probe sessions were run. Despite achieving the designated criterion during training, stimulus control changed during probes. During probe sessions, errors increased under the cues that were not currently being trained. In most cases, the type of errors emitted for each cue was the same as the behavior that was trained concurrently. The number of training sessions required to reach criterion accuracy was high during the first set of sessions and decreased over the course of the experiment. In Phase II, spin and circle behaviors were trained concurrently. The number of sessions required to reach stimulus control criteria remained low, and the number of errors emitted under the spin and circle cues during probe sessions decreased. However, the number of errors increased under the touch cue. In Phase III, a reinforce-all procedure was used instead of extinction to test stimulus control. The highest frequency of errors occurred under the touch cue, but the down error was almost exclusively emitted under every cue during the last several sessions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc499982/
An Analysis of the Value-altering Effect of Motivating Operations
Motivating operations (MOs) may affect behavior in two ways; A) an MO momentarily alters the frequency of behavior for which a particular consequence has served as reinforcement (evocative-effect) and B) an MO momentarily alters the behavioral effects of the relevant consequence (value-altering effect). Many studies have empirically demonstrated the evocative function of MOs, however, few if any studies have attempted to systematically manipulate and measure the value-altering effect. The focus of this study was to investigate the value-altering effect by measuring choice and response allocation across two alternative tasks. Participants were two female girls diagnosed with autism. During conditioning sessions, experimenters created a history for the children in which clicking on a moving square on a computer monitor produced a small piece of edible. Prior to some conditions, the participants were allowed 5 min of free-access to the edibles, and in other sessions, access to edibles prior to session was restricted. During these sessions, the square was either red or blue depending on the condition type (pre-access or restricted-access). During probe sessions, both colored squares were concurrently available and participants were allowed to allocate their responding to whichever square they chose. One participant preferred the square associated with restricted-access, which may support the notion of the value-altering effect. Difficulties during conditioning sessions interfered with the ability to run sufficient probes with the other participant to evaluate a value-altering effect. Results suggest that the use of these procedures may be useful to differentiate evocative and function-altering effects of MOs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500100/
The Power of One Reinforcer
Animal trainers use shaping to teach many behaviors. However, during shaping, the organism may engage in behaviors other than the target behavior or approximations to the target behavior. If the animal is engaged in other behaviors, the rate of reinforcement may decrease and the trainer may resort to what is sometimes referred to as a “desperation click.” That is, the trainer delivers one reinforcer for a behavior that is not a successive approximation to the target response. Anecdotal reports from trainers suggest that sometimes the animal continues to repeat this other behavior that received only one reinforcer, even in the absence of further reinforcement for that behavior. This study compared whether, during a one minute extinction period, participants spent more time engaged in a behavior that had been reinforced only once after a brief period of no reinforcement or in a behavior that had been reinforced multiple times. Participants, who were university students, played a tabletop game that involved touching and manipulating small objects. Five conditions were repeated twice for each participant: reinforcement for interacting with a training object alone, reinforcement for interacting with a training object with other objects present, reinforcement for interacting with a target object, one reinforcer for interacting with a third object immediately following a brief period of no reinforcement, and reinforcement for interacting with any object. Results from this study show that a desperation click situation can be reliably produced in a controlled setting. When participants received one reinforcer for interacting with a new object following a period of no reinforcement, they interacted with the new object for a longer or equal amount of time as compared to an object that had a history of reinforcement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500047/
Further Evaluation of Blocked Trials to Teach Intraverbal Conditional Discriminations: Effects of Criterion-level Probes
Individuals with autism often have deficient intraverbal repertoires. Previous research has found success in using a blocked trials procedure to facilitate discrimination training. A previous study (unpublished) from our laboratory extended this procedure to intraverbal training. The current study continued this line of research by exploring the outcomes of probing the criterion performance more frequently. Three children with autism, ages 7-13, participated. Eight question pairs were taught. One question was presented repeatedly until a specified number of consecutive correct responses occurred, then the other question was presented. Contingent on specific mastery criteria, the trial blocks were faded into smaller blocks until the questions were presented in quasi-random order. Between each step, a criterion probe was conducted to determine if further steps were necessary. The procedure has been successful for two of the three participants. Criterion probe performance showed that not all teaching steps were needed every time. The procedure may have facilitated acquisition over time, because the number of trials to mastery generally decreased over successive targets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500030/
Exploring Fundamental Principles in the Study of Derived Relational Responding in Pigeons
A persistent challenge for behaviorally-based accounts of learning has been providing an account of learning that occurs in the absence of systematically programmed contingencies of reinforcement. Symmetry, one type of emergent behavior, has been repeatedly demonstrated with humans, but has been considerably more difficult to demonstrate with non-humans. In this study, pigeons were exposed to a go/no-go procedure in which hue stimuli were presented full screen on a touchscreen monitor. Pigeons learned 12 baseline relations in less than 30 days. Traditional measures used to evaluate symmetry indicated that, during tests, three of the four birds responded more to the reverse of relations that were reinforced in training than to the reverse of relations that were not reinforced in training. However, additional analyses of these data suggests that these differences were driven by one of two trial types and that symmetry was only observed for one of the two predicted relations. These data systematically replicate and extend work by Urcuioli and colleagues and point to areas where further research is needed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500069/
The Effects of a Human Trafficking Prevention Workshop Package on Participant Written and Simulation Responses
This study evaluated the effects of a community workshop designed to teach community members about human trafficking prevention. Participants were trained to identify the critical and non-critical features of human trafficking and safe ways to respond to identified trafficking situations. A pre-post treatment design was used to assess the effects of a community workshop across written and verbal target behaviors. This included written responses as well as simulation assessments across five different trafficking scenarios. Results indicate that all participants engaged in more correct responding within the written assessment and asked specific relevant questions with greater confidence within the simulation assessment following training. However, social media and empathy responses following the workshop did not differ from baseline. This study is one of the first empirical studies aimed at formally evaluating the effects of human trafficking prevention workshops. Results are discussed in the context of instructional design, measurement of outcomes, and interdisciplinary collaboration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407816/
A Comparison of Picture to Word Training and Word to Word Training on Native English Speaking College Students’ Acquisition of Italian Vocabulary
The current study assessed the effects of two teaching stimulus presentations, i.e. picture to word and word to word, used to teach second language vocabulary to college students. It also evaluated the emergence of untaught relations when picture to word and word to word were used separately as a teaching strategy. The findings showed picture to word training resulted in more untaught relations. Several aspects such time allotted for online quizzes, experimental and teaching arrangements and vocabulary complexity were suggested for future research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407810/
The Role of a Point Loss Contingency on the Emergence of Derived Relations in the Absence of Original Relations
The role of point loss for symmetrical relations introduced simultaneously with probe trials in the absence of original relations on all probe trial performances was evaluated. Training was completed after six conditional discriminations were established in two contexts. Point loss was introduced simultaneously with probe trials in the absence of original relations in the first context. Probe trials with no point loss in the absence of original relations were introduced in the second context. The simultaneous introduction of probe trials and the point loss contingency may in some cases prevent the emergence of an equivalence class in the context that contained the point loss as well as in the context where no point loss occurred. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279016/
Examining the Relationship between Variability in Acquisition and Variability in Extinction
Using the "revealed operant" technique, variability during acquisition and extinction was examined with measures of response rate and a detailed analysis of response topography. During acquisition, subjects learned to emit four response patterns. A continuous schedule of reinforcement (CRF) for 100 repetitions was used for each pattern and a 30 min extinction phase immediately followed. One group of subjects learned the response patterns via a "trial-and-error" method. This resulted in a wide range of variability during acquisition and extinction. Only one subject emitted a substantial amount of resurgent behavior. A second group of subjects was given instructions on what keys to press to earn reinforcers. This group had less variability in acquisition and extinction and resurgent responding was prevalent. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279279/
Control over Therapist Interactions as a Reinforcer for a Child with Autism
This study evaluated whether therapist terminations of social interactions would decrease social terminations and increase social initiations during play activities with a child with autism. The assessment took place in two conditions. The first condition, instructed involved social interactions with instructions delivered, and the second, uninstructed, involved social interactions without instructions delivered. These conditions were analyzed with a multiple baseline across-conditions design. Interaction duration, initiations, instructions, and child terminations were recorded. This study showed that the therapist-removal procedure resulted in a complete decrease in child terminations, and an increase in the number of initiations and the duration of the child-therapist interactions during the uninstructed condition. Similar effects were seen in the instructed condition, but to a lesser degree. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278765/
Experimental Analysis of Self-injury With and Without Protective Equipment
Outcomes of experimental analyses during which protective equipment (PE) was placed on three participants were compared to those during which PE was not provided to them. Experimental analysis conditions were presented using a multielement format, and the effects of PE were evaluated using a withdrawal design. Results of experimental analysis without PE suggested that self-injurious behavior (SIB) was maintained by negative reinforcement for two participants and nonsocial mechanisms for the third participant. However, SIB was eliminated either immediately or eventually for all participants when PE was provided during experimental analysis. Thus, outcomes of assessments with PE did not match those without PE, and no conclusion about variables associated with SIB could be drawn from experimental analyses with PE alone. Therefore, the present findings do not support the use of PE as an alternative to standard methods for conducting experimental analysis (i.e., without PE). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279366/
The Effects of Modeling, Roleplaying and Feedback on the Performance of Teachers of Children with Autism
Teachers providing treatment to children with autism are responsible for implementing numerous procedures. Teacher training has not been addressed extensively in the literature. This study employed a multiple baseline design to evaluate the effects of a training package incorporating modeling, roleplaying and feedback on teacher performance. Results indicated that the teacher implemented correct teaching episodes following training. Changes in teacher performance were only observed when the training package was applied to each setting and skill area. As a result of changes in teacher behavior, the child demonstrated an increase in the number of desired responses. Results are discussed in the context of generalization, training package components, cost-benefit of single-subject designs, and limitations of the study. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279282/
Extinction Effects During Assessment and Treatment of Behavior Disorders in Applied Settings
The main and side effects of extinction were evaluated in a multiple baseline design across the problem behaviors of two elementary school boys. For each subject, functional analysis procedures resulted in the occurrence and assessment of only one of several problem behaviors reported by teachers. Extinction treatment based on functional analysis outcomes was then applied to the assessed topography and resulted in the emergence of other inappropriate response forms. Each successive behavior was exposed to extinction and changes in previous and subsequent response forms were observed. Both main effects and indirect effects of extinction were examined. Findings are discussed regarding the covariation of responses and implications for the treatment of behavior disorders in applied settings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279085/
Assessment and Treatment of Multiple Topographies and Functions of Self-injury
Results of a functional analysis indicated that the self-injurious behavior (SIB) of an adult female with profound mental retardation occurred primarily in the alone and demand conditions. Graphs of the separate topographies (head slaps and head bangs) showed that head banging occurred in the alone condition and that both head banging and head slapping occurred in the demand condition. A data analysis procedure to identify within-session trends across sessions and fluctuations in rates of SIB by topography revealed that most of the demands escaped were escaped by head slaps and that over 80% of all head slaps were associated with escape, compared to less than 1%of all head bangs, indicating that head banging and head slapping were members of separate functional response classes. Treatment consisted of noncontingent availability of preferred leisure materials, and produced substantial decreases of both head banging and head slapping. Interpretation of the results are discussed, as well as some implications and limitations of the study. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278916/
A Comparison of Points versus Sounds as Reinforces in Human Operant Research
Research shows that human operant behavior typically differs from non-human operant behavior on schedules of reinforcement. These differences in performance may be related to differences between the experimental preparations used to study human and non-human operant behavior. One such difference is the type of reinforcer used. This experiment analyzed the differential effects of points alone, points backed up by money, and sounds on schedule performance of human subjects. Results show that sounds generated moderate rates of responding, capable of change in either direction. When points backed up with money were the reinforcers, however, high rates of behavior were generated, disrupting the previously established baseline performance. This suggests that while points may be effective in generating high rates of behavior, they may be ineffective in producing sensitive baselines needed to study human operant behavior on schedules of reinforcement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278951/
Programming Common Stimuli to Promote Generalized Question-Asking in a Child with Autism
A 5-year-old child with autism was taught to: (a) ask "What is that?" in the presence of unknown objects and (b) name the objects he did know. Generalization in the presence of the experimenter was probed across four new tasks. The child's performance generalized to the first 3 tasks without additional training. The fourth task required programming of common stimuli before generalization occurred. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278184/
The Role of Fluency in the Emergence of the Derived Relations of Stimulus Equivalence
Fluent component performances may be more readily available for recombination into more complex repertoires. This experiment considered the stimulus equivalence preparation as a laboratory analog for the co-adduction said to occur in generative instruction. Seven adults received minimum training on 18 conditional discriminations, components of 9 potential stimulus equivalence classes. Training was interrupted periodically with tests to determine whether fluency of original relations predicted emergence of derived relations. Fluency predicted emergence in 2 of 17 instances of emergent derived relations for 4 subjects. One subject demonstrated fluency without derived relations. Training accuracies as low as 58% preceded emergence for 3 subjects. Fluency appears to be neither necessary nor sufficient for derived relations. Fluency's role may be in retention and complex application tasks rather than acquisition of behavioral relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278100/
The Use of an Applied Task as a Test of Stimulus Equivalence
Four college student subjects were trained to match graphic figures (A stimuli) to other figures (B stimuli), and then to match the B figures to numerals (C stimuli). Then in a test of application subjects answered simple math problems, presented as novel sample stimuli, by selecting one of the A figures, presented as comparisons. The application test was an analog for the academic task of answering math problems with newly learned Spanish number names. Three subjects performed accurately in the application test, which required the emergence of CA equivalence. All subjects demonstrated equivalence in test sessions after the application test. The study examined whether accuracy, fluency (rate of correct responding), practice, or stability of original relations performance corresponded to test accuracy. Accuracy, fluency, practice and stability corresponded to test accuracy for two subjects. Fluency corresponded to test accuracy for one subject, and stability corresponded to test accuracy for another subject. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278640/
Second-Order Conditional Control of Members of an Equivalence Class
The conditional control of equivalence has received much attention in the analysis of verbal behavior. While previous research identified conditional control of relational responding and conditional control of equivalence class formation, this study investigated the possibility of conditional control of members of an equivalence class. Following baseline conditional discrimination training and equivalence testing, subjects were taught to select a particular member in the presence of a Green background screen and another member in the presence of a Red background screen. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278035/
Assessment and Treatment of Object Mouthing in the Classroom
The object mouthing of a developmentally delayed 8-year-old girl was assessed and treated in a classroom setting. Two pretreatment assessments were conducted: A functional analysis indicated that object mouthing occurred across test conditions and persisted in the absence of social contingencies, and assessment of stimulus preference identified reinforcers to be used during treatments. Based on assessment outcomes, two treatments were implemented. Noncontingent sensory reinforcement was implemented during free-time and group activities, resulting in a 74.3% decrease in object mouthing across three settings. During one-on-one educational activities, presentation of academic task-trials at a high rate decreased object mouthing by 85.7%, relative to a condition in which tasks were presented at a slower rate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278502/
Should Corrective Feedback Come Before or After Responding to Establish a "New" Behavior?
The purpose of this study was to determine the optimal form and timing of feedback to establish a "new" behavior. It examined the relative effectiveness of delivering a corrective feedback immediately before the learner responds to a previously incorrect trial as compared to delivering a corrective feedback immediately after the incorrect response is made. Corrective feedback delivered immediately before the next opportunity to respond produced better learning than corrective feedback delivered immediately after a response. The Feedback Before condition decreased errors during training and increased acquisition rates. Results also indicated an interaction between time of feedback delivery and the complexity of the task. As the task complexity increased, the results were more dramatic in favor of the Feedback Before condition. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278439/
Knowledge-of-Correct-Response vs. Copying-of-Correct-Response: a Study of Discrimination Learning
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278437/
Effects of a Remote-Controlled Tactile Prompt on the Initiation Skills of a Child with Autism
A 4-year old child with autism was taught to make a social initiation statement following a remote-controlled tactile prompt (RCT). The RCT prompt was taught by using a time-delay procedure with written script cards containing initiation statements. Training trials occurred in 6 different play locations in the child's room. Restricted Trial training consisted of allowing the child to play independently, activating the RCT prompt and playing with the child based on any initiation until a warning to end was given. In Free Play training, the warning to end the activity was removed. The child's initiation statements increased from 0 in baseline, to spontaneous initiations in 100% of the trials in all training and generalization phases. The number of words in an initiation statement increased from 3 to 25 per trial. Spontaneous initiations in the No RCT phase generalized to the child's mother without training. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278319/
The Effects of Forms, Reports, and Consequences on Homework Completion
The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of (1) training the accurate completion of an assignment form, (2) providing feedback on accurate reporting of homework completion, and (3) consequences for completion or non-completion of homework. All students exhibited highly accurate recording of information on assignment forms and reports of what homework had been completed or not completed. Delivering consequences for completion or non-completion of assignments had a modest effect on homework completion. This package increased the proportion of homework assignments completed on time for all students in at least one, or as many as three, academic subjects. This package can be an efficient tool for teachers to monitor homework completion. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278593/
The Effect of Decreasing Defect Probabilities on Quality Control Inspection
This study was a follow up to P. C. Dams' (1996) unpublished University of North Texas masters thesis, The effect of defect probability during training on inspection accuracy in a quality control simulation. Graphics of computer circuit boards were presented in dyads with an error free sample on the left and a comparison on the right. Comparisons had either a rotation or transposition defect, or were error free. Subjects had 10-s to accept or reject the comparison as identical to the sample. They were trained using two different stimulus fading procedures (using descending defect probabilities) and immediate feedback. Defect probabilities for the Tens were 0.60, 0.50, 0.40, and 0.30 and for the Twenties were 1.00, 0.80, 0.60, and 0.40. The last 4 pretraining and posttraining sessions were compared and the posttraining performance of the Twenties, as compared to the Tens, demonstrated greater improvement over pretraining performance. No firm conclusions could be drawn as to the effectiveness of either training procedure. The significance of the current investigation and suggestions for future research are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278158/
Physiological Effects of Monetary Consequences
Electrodermal responding (EDR) and heart rate (HR) were assessed for seven subjects participating in a reaction time task consequated with monetary bonuses (250, 100, and 10), monetary penalties (250,100, and 10), and a monetary neutral value (00). Unlike previous research employing group designs and a tonic measure (i.e., mean over long periods of time), this study utilized a single-subject design and a phasic measure (i.e., mean over 2-s intervals). Heart rate data was too variable for meaningful analysis. EDR data showed that the peak levels of EDR were higher for penalties than for the corresponding values of bonuses (e.g., -250 vs. +250) for most subjects. Similarly, peak levels of EDR were generally higher during sessions in which consequences were presented than in sessions during which consequences were absent. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278141/
Using Progressive Ratio Schedules to Evaluate Edible, Leisure, and Token Reinforcement
The general purpose of the current study was to evaluate the potency of different categories of reinforcers with young children diagnosed with developmental delays. The participants were two boys and one girl who were between the ages of seven and eight. In Phase 1, we evaluated the reinforcing potency of tokens, edible items, and leisure items by using a progressive ratio (PR) schedule. For two participants, we found that tokens resulted in the highest PR break points. For one participant, edibles resulted in the highest break points (tokens were found to have the lowest break points). In Phase 2, we evaluated the effects of presession access on the break points of edibles and tokens. This manipulation served as a preliminary analysis of the extent to which tokens might function as generalized conditioned reinforcers. During Phase 2, presession access altered the break points of edibles, but not tokens. The findings of the current study suggest that PR schedules may be useful as a means to better assess certain dimensions of tasks and how they affect reinforcer effectiveness (e.g., amount of effort the client is willing to exert, the duration at which the client willing to work, how many responses the client will emit, etc.), and to evaluate to what extent tokens actually function as generalized conditioned reinforcers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271888/
A Descriptive Analysis of the Use and Effect of a Self-management Project in an Undergraduate Course in Behavior Analysis
Undergraduate male and female students enrolled in an introductory behavior analysis course with minimal instruction on self-management were given modified exploratory logs to use in a self-management project. Students self-monitored behavior via the log, constructed their own interventions, and reported changes in behavior and extent of success in a write up at course end. Changes in self-reported descriptions in the logs as well as the written results of a pre and post survey of emotional responses were counted. Successful self-management project interventions were reported by most students. Correspondence between planned and actual events increased. Negative reinforcement procedures characterized most students' intervention. Correspondence between events at pre and post and actual log reports was highest at post. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271850/
Oral Syringe Training Animals: Indiscriminable and Discriminable Punishment Contingencies
Animals are commonly trained to perform behaviors during routine husbandry procedures. However, some husbandry procedures have aversive consequences when the real procedure is performed. This commonly results in loss of the trained behavior. The present study assessed whether maintaining the antecedent environmental stimulus conditions between appetitive and aversive outcomes would prevent this effect and, conversely, whether adding a stimulus discrepancy would facilitate this effect. Three domestic rats served as participants in a multiple baseline across participants design with multi-element components. All three rats stopped performing a trained behavior when a discrepant stimulus reliably predicted an aversive outcome. In addition, all three rats continued to perform the same behavior when antecedent environmental stimulus conditions were consistent between aversive and appetitive outcomes. Results are discussed in terms of practical implications for behavior change agents and conceptual implications for learning theory. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271810/
The Effects of Homework Sessions on Undergraduate Students' Homework Performance
Experimenters evaluated the effects of a homework session on undergraduate students' homework performance through an adapted alternating treatments design in two introduction to behavior analysis courses. Several participants attended homework sessions; however, homework submission and homework mastery did not vary as a function of homework session attendance or availability. Homework submission remained high throughout the experiment regardless of attendance at or availability of a homework session. Many participants responded that they were not interested in or did not need homework sessions. Participants who attended homework sessions rated them as neutral or helpful overall, with longer time and different time as the most common suggestions for improvement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271826/
Online Lecture As an Alternative Method of Instruction in College Classrooms: Measuring the Effects of Alternating In-class with Online Lectures in Two Sections of an Undergraduate Introduction to Behavior Analysis Course
Online instruction is becoming increasingly common at universities; however, there is little single subject research concerning the effectiveness of the online lecture format. We investigated whether online lecture could replace in-class lecture in two sections of an undergraduate Introduction to Behavior Analysis course without detrimentally affecting student learning. Using an adapted alternating treatments design, online and in-class lecture formats were counterbalanced across the two course sections. Experimenters collected data on lecture attendance/access, percent correct on the weekly quiz, and student report on lecture format preference. The data show that, within the context of this class, students performed equally in the weekly quiz regardless of lecture format; further, that this is consistent when looking at individual student data and mean data. However, although students stated a preference for online lecture in the questionnaire, a greater percentage of students attended in-class lecture than accessed online lecture. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271907/
A Schoolwide Tiered Intervention for Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
Childhood obesity rates in the U.S. are increasing. Increasing intake of fruits and vegetables is one method to combat obesity. The purpose of this study was to examine a tiered approach to fruit and vegetable consumption with 26 children in an inclusive preschool. The first tier included ongoing availability and opportunity to eat fruits and vegetables (exposure). The second tier included programmed consequences (a reward system). A multiple baseline across children and classrooms was used to evaluate the effect of the interventions. The tier one intervention was effective for nine children and tier two was effective for six children. Eleven children, however, did not respond to either condition. Results are discussed in the context of previous research and tertiary interventions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177230/
Does Family Quality of Life Change? Evaluation of a Group Parent-coaching Package
Improving family quality of life is an important goal when working with families of children with autism. Researchers have attempted to measure changes by developing indices of quality such as affect, stress, and confidence. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a group parent-coaching program on measures aimed at addressing quality: a) parent confidence, stress and affect ratings; b) child affect ratings; c) the frequency of coordinated joint attention (CJA); and d) parent report of satisfaction and efficacy. Over the course of four weeks, the coaching program involved group presentations, discussions, video sharing, and problem solving, and individual in-vivo coaching sessions regarding specific child skill development. Results from the five parent-child dyads suggested increases in areas associated with quality of life. Results are discussed in the context of quality themes and mixed methods research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177263/
The Use of Conjugate Reinforcement in Autism Treatment Programs: a Demonstration and Discussion
The effect of a reinforcer on behavior is largely determined by the schedule in which it is implemented. One type of reinforcement schedule that has not been explored extensively is conjugate reinforcement. Previous researchers have used conjugate schedules to evaluate a reinforcer's effects on behavior and as an assessment tool. However, none have explored how to effectively engineer conjugate schedules in applied settings. The current study explores the effectiveness of conjugate reinforcement implemented by several interventionists across a variety of responses, reinforcers, and in a wide range of participants with autism. The results indicated that delivering social, audio/visual, and tangible stimuli in a conjugate schedule resulted in increased durations of various target responses (e.g. social skills, motor skills) and non-targeted measures (e.g., approach, social bids, speed) across participants. Considerations regarding reinforcer and response selection in implementing conjugate schedules in applied settings are provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177243/
Evaluating the Effects of Video Modeling on the Frequency of Staff Use of Socially Embedded Consequences
Previous research reports that individuals working with children with autism can positively affect social behavior through the use of socially embedded consequences. There is no research on training teachers to use socially embedded consequences. The current study had three purposes: to evaluate the effects of video modeling on teachers' embedded consequences, to evaluate the addition of feedback to increase effectiveness, and to evaluate the effects of the teacher's use of socially embedded consequences on other teacher behaviors. Results indicate that video modeling alone was not sufficient in changing teacher behavior and that the addition of feedback was necessary for meaningful teacher behavior change. Additionally, the increased used of socially embedded consequences had positive effects on teacher social engagement and indices of interest. A discussion of the results and suggestions for future research is also provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177267/
The Effects of a Group Parent-coaching Package on the Behavior of Children with Autism and Their Parents
Support for parents is an important part of treatment programs for children diagnosed with autism. Parent training programs have generally focused on prescribed goals in one-on-one training settings with measures directly related to the goals. Of interest here are the few studies that included collaborative goals, expanded measures, and group training. Benefits of such approaches include the establishment of natural communities of reinforcement and better understanding of the breadth of effects. The purpose of this study was to determine if a group coaching approach would be effective in changing a large range of parent and child skills. This experiment involved group sessions (presentations, discussion, video sharing, and problem solving) and three individual in-vivo coaching sessions. The intervention took place over the course of four weeks. Direct measures included a parent skills checklist and child target behaviors. Results indicated an overall improvement on most measures that maintained or improved at follow-up. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177261/
Untangling the Effects of Scheduled Exercise on Child Engagement, Stereotypy, and Challenging Behavior
There is limited research pertaining to the effects of exercise on the behavior of children with autism. Previous researchers focused on exploring the dimensions of the exercise itself, leaving a functional account of the effects of exercise undetermined. There is recent evidence that exercise suppresses responses maintained by automatic reinforcement. The purpose of the present study was to better identify the relevant independent variable in such research and to assess if there were differential effects of exercise across functional response classes. The experimenter conducted a trial-based functional analysis and then implemented a sedentary or vigorous activity on alternating days to determine the impact of exercise on engagement, stereotypy, and challenging behavior. Results across functional response classes were variable as were data across individual sessions. There was a mean suppression of behavior maintained by nonsocial reinforcement during post-sedentary (4.3%) and post-exercise sessions (2.3%). A discussion of the role of matched stimulation and heart rate as a pertinent variable follows. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149578/
The Effects of Price and Durability on Individual Discounting Functions When Purchasing Hypothetical Goods in a Simulated Internet Store
Online shopping has rapidly expanded in the last decade. Online shopping necessarily imposes delays on all transactions. Behavior analysis has long studied the effects of delay on choice. Additionally, a number of researchers are beginning to study consumer behavior using a behavior-analytic approach. The current study attempted to extend research focusing on consumer behavior in online contexts. The experimenters attempted to evaluate whether goods acquire functional properties and whether these properties influence consumer choice. The researchers were specifically interested in studying acquisition costs and durability and in simulating a natural online shopping environment. Results from the current study extend the findings showing that delay and price influence choice. The data from the current study provide mixed evidence for control by item durability. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149593/
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