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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Behavior Analysis
 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Assessing play interests in toddlers.

Assessing play interests in toddlers.

Date: December 2009
Creator: Kodaka, Mitsuru
Description: Play is a significant part of childhood. Typically developing children exhibit a wide range of interests within their play behavior, but children with autism do not. The purpose of this study was to design and implement an assessment tool that will capture the constellation of behaviors indicating play interests in young children. The Early Play Interests Assessment (EPIA) includes categories of play behavior and their components behaviors. Additionally, measures of child affect were built into the EPIA. All behaviors were observed under various environmental conditions. The results show that the EPIA was useful in observing toddlers' play behavior within behavioral categories and components and in assessing the interactions among these measures of play interests. The results are discussed in relation to the importance of creating observational systems to quantify play interests in typical and atypical children and for establishing a link between the information gathered in assessment and the planning and implementation of autism interventions.
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Assessing the stimulus control of observers.

Assessing the stimulus control of observers.

Date: December 2009
Creator: Kuhn, Robin Merritt
Description: The science of behavior analysis relies heavily on direct observation. Human observers are typically used to measure behavior in applied settings. Although the use of human observers is beneficial in many regards, it also presents challenges. Of primary concern is the extent to which the data generated by observers actually corresponds to the behavioral events of interest, and the implications this may have in terms of replication. This study assessed the effects that labels, definitions, and examples and non-examples of two different modalities had on observer accuracy, consistency, and agreement. Results showed that current practices in observer training may require refinement to ensure high observer accuracy, consistency, and agreement. Suggestions for how to improve the desired stimulus control of observers are provided.
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The captive animal activity tracking system: A systematic method for the continuous evaluation of captive animal welfare.

The captive animal activity tracking system: A systematic method for the continuous evaluation of captive animal welfare.

Date: December 2009
Creator: Kalafut, Kathryn Lynn
Description: Optimal animal welfare has been a long-term goal for captive animal institutions. To measure welfare a definition and identification of elements that make up welfare need to be established. Further, a method to measure welfare's elements that can be implemented into staff's daily routine is necessary to establish baseline levels and track changes in welfare. The goal of the proposed captive animal activity tracking system is to allow for the measurement of each element of welfare quickly, while providing information regarding the animal's current state of welfare and how changes to the animal's environment affect welfare. The data show that this system is effective in revealing behavioral patterns and changes in behavior that occurred in response to environmental changes.
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Comparing a discriminative stimulus procedure to a pairing procedure: Conditioning neutral social stimuli to function as conditioned reinforcers.

Comparing a discriminative stimulus procedure to a pairing procedure: Conditioning neutral social stimuli to function as conditioned reinforcers.

Date: December 2009
Creator: Koelker, Rachel Lee
Description: Social stimuli that function as reinforcers for most children generally do not function as reinforcers for children diagnosed with autism. These important social stimuli include smiles, head nods, thumb-ups, and okay signs. It should be an important goal of therapy for children with autism to condition these neutral social stimuli to function as reinforcers for children diagnosed with autism. There is empirical evidence to support both a pairing procedure (classical conditioning) and a discriminative stimulus procedure to condition neutral stimuli to function as reinforcers. However, there is no clear evidence as to the superiority of effectiveness for either procedure. Despite this most textbooks and curriculum guides for children with autism state only the pairing procedure to condition neutral stimuli to function as reinforcers. Recent studies suggest that the discriminative stimulus procedure may in fact be more effective in conditioning neutral stimuli to function as reinforcers for children diagnosed with autism. The present research is a further comparison of these two procedures. Results from one participant support recent findings that suggest the discriminative stimulus procedure is more effective in conditioning neutral stimuli to function as reinforcers. But the results from the other participant show no effects from either procedure, suggesting future ...
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Does stimulus complexity affect acquisition of conditional discriminations and the emergence of derived relations?

Does stimulus complexity affect acquisition of conditional discriminations and the emergence of derived relations?

Date: December 2009
Creator: Martin, Tiffani L.
Description: Despite the central importance of conditional discriminations to the derivation of equivalence relations, there is little research relating the dynamics of conditional discrimination learning to the derivation of equivalence relations. Prior research has shown that conditional discriminations with simple sample and comparison stimuli are acquired faster than conditional discriminations with complex sample and comparison stimuli. This study attempted to replicate these earlier results and extend them by attempting to relate conditional discrimination learning to equivalence relations. Each of four adult humans learned four, four-choice conditional discriminations (simple-simple, simple-complex, complex-simple, and complex-complex) and were tested to see if equivalence relations had developed. The results confirm earlier findings showing acquisition to be facilitated with simple stimuli and retarded with complex stimuli. There was no difference in outcomes on equivalence tests, however. The results are in implicit agreement with Sidman's theory of stimulus equivalence.
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An Evaluation of the Effects of Two Different Role Play Formats on the Outcomes of a Parent Training Curriculum

An Evaluation of the Effects of Two Different Role Play Formats on the Outcomes of a Parent Training Curriculum

Date: December 2009
Creator: Carlson Litscher, Barbara J.
Description: The current study was designed to replicate and extend previous research on the effectiveness of behavioral parent training. Specifically, the effectiveness of the Behavior Management and Parenting Services (BMAPS) curriculum in teaching parents to exhibit a set of parenting skills and respond accurately to a multiple choice examination about positive parenting techniques was evaluated. In addition, the curriculum was revised so that the relative effectiveness and acceptability of two role play formats could be assessed. The outcomes of the study showed an improvement in the participants' ability to identify correct answers on a multiple choice examination and apply the parenting skills taught in class within a role play format; results pertaining to the efficacy of each role play format were less conclusive.
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Interactions of equivalence and other behavioral relations: Simple successive discrimination training.

Interactions of equivalence and other behavioral relations: Simple successive discrimination training.

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Brackney, Ryan
Description: The experimenter asked if documented equivalence class membership would influence the development of shared discriminative stimulus function established through simple successive discrimination training. In Experiment 1, equivalence classes were established with two sets of 9 stimuli. Common stimulus functions were then trained within or across the equivalence classes. Greater acquisition rates of the simple discriminations with stimuli drawn from within the equivalence classes were observed. In Experiment 2, a third stimulus set was added with which no equivalence relations were explicitly trained. The findings of Experiment 1 were replicated, but the Set 3 results were inconsistent across subjects. The outcomes of the two experiments demonstrate that equivalence classes have an effect on other behavioral relations which requires further investigation.
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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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Progressing from identification and functional analysis of precursor behavior to treatment of self-injury.

Progressing from identification and functional analysis of precursor behavior to treatment of self-injury.

Date: December 2009
Creator: Dracobly, Joseph Daniel
Description: An evaluation of the utility of assessing and treating severe problem behavior through precursor functional analysis was completed. Ongoing measurement of problem behavior in two settings in the participant's natural environment was conducted for the duration of the study. A precursor to self-injurious behavior was identified using descriptive assessment and conditional probability analyses. A precursor functional analysis was then conducted. Subsequently, a treatment, in which precursor behavior produced the maintaining variable identified in the precursor functional analysis, was implemented in the natural environment. Treatment resulted in increases in the precursor behavior and decreases in self-injury in both the treatment setting and the second setting in which observations occurred. Implications of the assessment and treatment procedures are discussed.
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Effect of a stimulus shaping procedure on fluent letter sound acquisition.

Effect of a stimulus shaping procedure on fluent letter sound acquisition.

Date: August 2009
Creator: Maxwell, Larisa Ann
Description: Numerous studies have evaluated and confirmed many benefits of errorless learning and fluency-based procedures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the benefits of combining an errorless learning procedure, stimulus shaping, and fluency-based procedures to teach see/say letter sound discriminations to three preschool children. Participants were taught 6 letter sounds using a hear/point stimulus shaping procedure followed by a see/say fluency-based procedure. A second letter set was taught using only the fluency-based procedure. Results showed that combining the procedures reduced the amount of teaching time by up to 40% and the percent of errors by up to 50%. This preliminary evidence shows exceptional promise in application of this combination of procedures to teach letter sounds to preschool children.
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