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 Degree Discipline: Behavior Analysis
The Effects of Shaping and Instruction-based Procedures on Behavioral Variability during Acquisition and Extinction

The Effects of Shaping and Instruction-based Procedures on Behavioral Variability during Acquisition and Extinction

Date: December 1999
Creator: McCary, Donald
Description: This study examined effects of two response acquisition procedures on topography of responding using the revealed operant technique and compared results to previous experiments on this topic. Subjects emitted 100 repetitions each of 4 response patterns on a continuous schedule of reinforcement. A 30-min extinction condition followed acquisition. One group of subjects learned the first response through a series of shaping steps designed to reduce acquisition variability. Another group of subjects was instructed in the correct response topography and was told there was no penalty for attempting other sequences. The first group of subjects produced high variability during extinction despite reduced variability in acquisition. The second group of subjects responded with moderate to high variability during extinction and little variability during acquisition. Most extinction responses for the first group were variations of the last pattern reinforced. Most extinction responses for the second group were repetitions of the last pattern reinforced.
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Elasticity of money as a reinforcer: Assessing multiple compositions of unit price

Elasticity of money as a reinforcer: Assessing multiple compositions of unit price

Date: December 1999
Creator: Viken, Kjetil
Description: Behavioral economics is the integration of concepts from micro-economics into behavior analysis. Most of the research in behavioral economics has been done with non-human subjects and with drugs as reinforcers. This study represents an extension of previous research to assess money as a reinforcer with humans as subjects. The participants in this study solved math problems to earn money at various unit prices. Results indicate that demand of money adhered to the law of demand in that consumption decreased as unit prices increased. An underlying assumption is that consumption should be equivalent at different compositions of unit price. Replications of either the same or different compositions of unit price indicated that there were some discrepancies in consumption in this study.
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Adolescent goals and their reports of what they do to achieve those Goals

Adolescent goals and their reports of what they do to achieve those Goals

Date: May 2000
Creator: Lucky, Derek
Description: Twenty-five adolescents' ranking of a set of equally highly valued goals on a Paired-comparisons Survey was compared with what adolescents say they are doing to achieve those goals. Results of the Paired-comparisons Survey showed that adolescents ranked career, interpersonal, and educational goals rather high and reputation and self-presentation goals rather low. Results analyzed with a contingency coefficient and biserial correlation indicated that not all number one ranked goals had the same value for a particular adolescent, and that number one ranked goals were correlated with verbal reports of concrete actions directed at achieving those goals.
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The Effects of Extinction on Human Performance Following Exposure to Fixed Ratio Schedules of Reinforcement

The Effects of Extinction on Human Performance Following Exposure to Fixed Ratio Schedules of Reinforcement

Date: May 2000
Creator: Anderson, Richard L.
Description: This experiment examined the effects of extinction on rate of responding and several topographical and temporal measures in adult humans. Three college students were trained to type the sequence 1•5•3 on a numeric keypad on a computer. The subjects were exposed to different fixed-ratio schedules of reinforcement (FR1, FR 5, and FR10 respectively) and extinction. Subjects displayed typical schedule performances during the maintenance phase of the experiment. During extinction the performances were disrupted, they showed a "break and run" pattern and a general decrease in responding. Also, new topographical and temporal patterns emerged. These data are consistent with those reported for non-human species and special human populations.
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The Effects of Interspersed Trials and Density of Reinforcement on Accuracy, Looking Away, and Self-injurious Behavior of a Child with Autism

The Effects of Interspersed Trials and Density of Reinforcement on Accuracy, Looking Away, and Self-injurious Behavior of a Child with Autism

Date: May 2000
Creator: Ybarra, Rita
Description: This research examines the effects of task interspersal and density of reinforcement on several behaviors of an autistic 6-year-old boy during the performance of a visual matching task and two auditory matching tasks. Experiment 1 investigated the effects of interspersing high and low accuracy tasks on correct matching responses, positions of matching responses, looking away, and self-injurious behavior (SIB). The effects of interspersed trials were evaluated using an ABAB multiple treatments design. Results indicated that interspersed trials produced slightly more correct responses during the visual matching task; however, correct responses decreased during the other two tasks. The use of interspersed trials also decreased looking away from the stimuli and SIB. Experiment 2 evaluated the effects of reinforcement density apart from task interspersal. Two conditions, reinforce-corrects-only and reinforce-all-responses, were compared in Experiment 2. Correct responses increased slightly for all three tasks during the reinforce-all-responses condition. Looking away and SIB were very infrequent throughout Experiment 2.
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Training Siblings of Children with Autism to Instruct Play: Acquisition, Generalization, and Indirect Effects

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

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

The effects of a feedback package on the facial orientation of a young girl with autism during restricted and free operant conditions

Date: August 2000
Creator: Jacobs, Wendy Lynn
Description: A multiple baseline design across activities and people was used to assess the effectiveness of a feedback package on the facial orientation of a young girl with autism. During baseline, observations indicated low rates of facial orientation and high rates of gaze avoidance during conversation (restricted operant) and play (free operant) conditions. After treatment, facial orientation rates increased and gaze avoidance rates decreased to levels similar to typically-developing peers and maintained at one month follow up. These results suggest that the feedback package was effective in producing durable facial orientation across different environments and people. Possible interpretations, strengths, and limitations are discussed.
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Effects of goal setting, e-mail feedback and graphic feedback on the productivity of public school attendance clerks

Effects of goal setting, e-mail feedback and graphic feedback on the productivity of public school attendance clerks

Date: August 2000
Creator: Rexroat, Robin D.
Description: A package intervention, consisting of daily-adjusted goal setting, e-mail feedback, and graphic feedback, was used in a public school attendance office to increase the efficiency with which 3 attendance clerks documented student attendance. During the intervention phase, the attendance secretary set a daily goal for each attendance clerk. This goal was a percentage of student absences to be coded and entered in the school computer program. After establishing a daily goal, the attendance secretary provided daily feedback, in the form of a written e-mail response and graphed feedback to each clerk. If the subjects had attained their daily goal, the attendance secretary also delivered a praise statement along with the e-mail feedback. Results indicated that the intervention package was ineffective in producing change in the attendance clerks' absence coding behavior.
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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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