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- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The effects of non-differential reinforcement and differential reinforcement on problem behaviors and accuracy of responding of autistic children.
- The effects of non-differential reinforcement and differential reinforcement on problem behaviors and accuracy of responding of autistic children was examined. In experiment 1, one child with autism participated, and in experiment 2, two children with autism participated. In the non-differential reinforcement condition both prompted and unprompted responses were reinforced. In the differential reinforcement condition only unprompted responses were reinforced. Overall, problem behaviors were more frequent in the non-differential reinforcement condition. In experiment 1, accuracy was higher in the differential reinforcement condition, while experiment 2 showed inconclusive results with regards to accuracy. It is concluded that non-differential reinforcement can decrease problem behaviors in teaching situations, but may not be sufficient to ensure acquisition of target tasks.
- The effects of reinforcing operant variability on task acquisition.
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Neuringer, Deiss, and Olson (2000) was replicated and extended to determine the effect of variability contingencies on task acquisition for twelve 7-9 year old children. Subjects first learned to press a computer's shift keys with increasing response variation. Each subject was then exposed to one of three experimental conditions during which they received a point for target responses. Variability condition subjects received additional points on a variable interval schedule for nontarget responses occurring less than 3% of the time. The any condition subjects received additional points on a variable interval schedule for any nontarget response. Control subjects received points only for target responses. All variability condition and two control subjects learned the target response. All any condition subjects and two control subjects did not.
- The effects of priming and contingent attention on novel play episodes in a child with autism
- This study evaluated the effects of priming and contingent attention procedures on play variability in a child with autism. During baseline, numbers of novel play episodes, different play episodes, and actions occurred at low rates. Priming procedures did not produce desired change. When contingent attention was implemented, significant increases occurred in novel play episodes, different actions, and different play episodes. These results show that attention contingent on variable play episodes can increase the number of novel responses to play materials. The results are discussed within the context of treatment and future research.
- The Effects of Hearsee/Say and Hearsee/Write on Acquisition, Generalization and Retention.
- This study examines the effects of training in two yoked learning channels (hearsee/say and hearsee/write) on the acquisition, generalization and retention of learning. Four fifth-grade participants were taught the lower-case letters of the Greek alphabet. Twelve letters were taught in the hearsee/say channel and twelve letters taught in the hearsee/write channel for equal amounts of time. The see/say channel reached higher frequencies at the end of training and showed higher acquisition celerations than the see/write channel. However, the see/write channel showed higher accuracy and retention than the see/say channel. The see/write channel also showed greater generalization across learning channels including the see/say, think/say, think/write and see-name/draw-symbol.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Evaluating a positive parenting curriculum package: An analysis of the acquisition of key skills.
- With the increase in survival for children with cancer, part of the focus of current research is aimed towards evaluating how these children are adapting psychosocially. Neurocognitive deficits have been well established. However, there are multiple facets encompassing quality of life, including general mental health, lifestyles and health behaviors, and academic and cognitive functioning. The relationship between neurocognitive and psychosocial functioning has yet to be thoroughly evaluated. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between neurocognitive and psychosocial functioning in survivors of brain tumors and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Data was collected from existing archival database comprised of patients of the at Cook Children's Medical Center in Texas. The sample consisted of 177 patients between the ages of 3 and 12 who were at least two years post-diagnosis. Measures used included the NEPSY and the Behavioral Assessment for Children. Statistical analyses included a several one-way analysis of variances, an independent samples t-test, a univariate analysis of variance, a hierarchical multiple regression, and odds ratio analyses. Results indicated survivors treated with neurosurgery alone appear to be less at risk for developing behavior problems than other treatment modalities. Also, brain tumor survivors demonstrate more problematic behaviors than survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Visuospatial functioning, diagnosis, and type of treatment were found to be predictive variables of behavior problems. Attention, and perhaps language, deficits may predispose children to more problems in their behavior. It is concluded that there are other factors affecting behavior in this population that were not accounted for in this analysis. It is recommended for future studies to research the individual clinical scales of the Behavior Assessment System for Children, obtain information from multiple informants, study this relationship longitudinally, and research additional factors that may be influencing the relationship between neurocognitive and psychosocial functioning. This provides evidence of risk factors that should be monitored as the child returns home and to school.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Effects of Response Restriction on Non-Socially Maintained Self-Injury
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This study examined the effects of response restriction (blocking and protective equipment) on subsequent durations of self-injury with two female participants with developmental disabilities. First, a functional analysis was conducted with each participant to identify potential maintaining variables of the self-injury. Second, access to the response was systematically restricted in a multiple schedule restriction paradigm. A baseline extended alone was conducted without the restriction component in place as a control condition. For one participant the results suggested that response restriction may have increased subsequent durations of responding once the restriction element was removed. For a second participant responding did not appear to be affected by the restriction component.
- Suppressive effects of a stimulus correlated with reprimands for automatically-maintained eye poking.
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A functional analysis, conducted to assess the variables maintaining the chronic eye poking of a female diagnosed with profound mental retardation, indicated that the behavior persisted in the absence of social contingencies. A procedure was initiated in a training environment in which a punisher (mild reprimand) was delivered contingent on eye poking in the presence, but not in the absence, of a neutral stimulus (wristbands). Using a combination of multiple baseline and multielement experimental designs, it was determined that that eye poking was suppressed in the presence of the previously neutral stimulus, even in environments in which the reprimand contingency was inoperative.
- The effects of alternative contingencies on instruction following.
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The purpose of this experiment was to evaluate the effects of alternative contingencies on instruction following by an ABA design. Three college students consistently pressed keys 1-5-3 and 4-8-6 in the presence of the written instruction "Press 153" or "Press 486." During condition A, the contingencies for following and not following the instruction were the same: CON FR5 FR5 and CON FR20 FR20. During condition B, the contingencies for following and not following the instruction were different: CON FR20 FR5. For one participant, the schedule of reinforcement was then changed to FR30. The results showed that subjects followed instructions when the schedule of reinforcement was the same for instruction following and not following.
- The Effect of High-Probability Request Sequences on Latency to Comply with Instructions to Transition in a Child With Severe Mental Retardation
- This study investigated the effect of implementing high-probability request sequences prior to the delivery of instructions to transition in a child with severe mental retardation. Data were collected on latency to comply with a low-probability request to transition and a modified version of the low-probability request. Implementation of high-probability request sequences resulted in shortened latencies to comply with the modified low-probability request instructing the child to engage in a preferred activity located at the endpoint of the transition.
- A parametric analysis of the immediate and subsequent effects of response restriction on hand mouthing.
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The immediate and subsequent effects of different durations of response restriction were evaluated in a multiple schedule design. Response restriction components of 15, 30, and 60 minutes were conducted between 15 minute alone components. Levels of responding subsequent to the termination of response restriction procedures were compared to free operant levels prior to the implementation of response restriction. Responding during response restriction components reduced to near zero levels. Subsequent levels of responding were similar to or exceeded free operant baseline levels. Results are discussed in terms of potential operant mechanisms responsible for levels of responding subsequent to response restriction.
- The Effects of Copying Before, Copying After, and Guessing on Acquisition Rate and Retention
- Computer-based instructional programs are being used more frequently in classrooms. While these programs offer many benefits from traditional teaching methods, humans still need to program them. There is inconsistency in the literature regarding the best way to design such programs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of three training procedures in teaching individuals to type a specified three-letter response in the presence of a corresponding symbol. Results show that the training format that prompted individuals to copy the correct response before the opportunity to respond was more efficient than viewing the correct response after an error, or copying the correct response after an error. A discussion of the results as well as implications for classroom use is also provided.
- 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.
- 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.
- Choices in Reinforcer Delivery
- The current study consisted of two experiments, both of which were comparisons of choice conditions replicated across four participants. Four typically-developing pre-school children participated in this study. Experiment 1 evaluated participants' preference for choosing consequent stimuli prior to engaging in academic tasks (pre-session choice) versus choosing consequent stimuli each time criterion for reinforcement had been met within the session (within-session choice). In Experiment 2, preference for choice-making was evaluated when outcomes for both choice and no-choice conditions were identical. For two participants, results indicated strong preference for choice-making.
- The effects of a human resources information technology intervention on background check processing in a financial institution: A process level analysis.
- The human resources department of a financial institution implemented a multi-component intervention to replace a paper-based hiring system. Organization-wide impacts included changes in the background check operations. To support changes, training was conducted and procedure manuals distributed. Turn time for background checks decreased, but a combination of factors may be responsible. Other metrics are either inconclusive or suggest a confounding variable, yet quality of work did not suffer was maintained. Desired system use was achieved, accompanied by improvements in time-to-fill, voluntary turnover, and quality of applicants. Considerations for analysis and challenges faced are discussed, along with suggestions for further clarification and improvements.
- Improving administrative operations for better client service and appointment keeping in a medical/behavioral services clinic.
- Appointment no-shows are a problem in healthcare organizations. It is important that appointment intake and scheduling processes are effective in both meeting client needs and efficient in meeting organizational business requirements. This study examined baseline levels of appointment keeping in a not-for-profit medical/behavioral pediatric services clinic, analyzed existing administrative processes, introduced additional appointment keeping reminders, and presented systematic, performance management tutorials for clinic employees. Results indicate an increase in percentage of appointments kept and a decrease in appointment lag time.
- A Measurement System for Monitoring Play in Typically Developing Children and Children with Autism
- A comprehensive measurement system was developed to monitor play in children with autism and typically developing children. The study was conducted in a preschool operated in conjunction with a center-based program for children with autism. The development of the measurement system was based on observations of four children with autism and three typically developing children during social and play activites. Data were collected on material use and several dimensions of play: Simple Manipulation, Functional Manipulation, Symbolic Toy Play, Symbolic Role Play and Play Themes. The results indicated that the measurement system consistently measured a wide range of play behaviors across children and materials. Significance of the information gathered from the measurement system in assessing play and designing interventions is discussed.
- The effects of a "responsive teaching strategy" to increase toy play in young children with autism in an inclusive setting.
- Toy play represents one of many levels of play where children can expand their repertoires and socially interact with peers. Play typically increases in complexity as the child's repertoire develops; however, children with autism often have delayed play skills. The current study investigated the effects of using a 3-component play training procedure (choices, prompting, and consequences), replicated from a previous study, to increase simple and pretend toy play in three boys with autism. Additional measures were used to observe engagement with materials, children, and adults during a 10-minute session. Observations show increased toy play for two participants and increases in overall engagement for all participants. The findings suggest that the teaching program used is replicable across multiple populations, furthering the advancement of evidence-based practices.
- Transfer of "good" and "bad" functions within stimulus equivalence classes.
- This study compared results of two experiments that tested transfer of function in stimulus equivalence classes in a task dissimilar to (in Experiment I) and similar to (in Experiment II) the task that trained functional responding. Eleven students from UNT participated in return for monetary compensation. Phase 1 and 2 were identical in the two experiments, in which they established stimulus equivalence classes and functional responding, respectively. Each experiment then used different tasks in the third phase to test differential responding. Only participants in Experiment II demonstrated consistent transfer of function. Results are discussed in terms of how task similarity may function as a type of contextual control when there is limited experience with the task.
- Is video modeling enough to teach parent-child interactions? Toward a systematic evaluation of the key components of video modeling.
- Parent-child interactions help set the foundation for a child's development. It is therefore important to investigate the relative efficiency and efficacy of procedures used to train them. One procedure that researchers continue to explore is video modeling. The current study evaluated the effect of a video model that displayed favorable parent-child interactions and a modified model with embedded instructions to determine if the introduction of either of these models would alter parent-child interactions. Both models were presented alone without supplemental guidance. Three families were involved in the study. The results showed no systematic change across families or conditions as a result of video viewing and are discussed within context of the needs of the parent, adequate stimulus control, community to support behavior change, measurement sensitivity, and influence of methodology. This study provided a great baseline for future studies to explore the necessary components to create an effective video model.
- A behavioral economic analysis of the demand for money in humans:
- This study investigated the effects of unit price structure, unit price descriptions, and unit price sequence on the demand for money in humans. Six groups of 3 participants solved multiplication problems in exchange for money under various unit prices. Consumption of money decreased as the unit price increased across all conditions. However, the data also showed that: (a) fixed price structures produced slightly more elastic demand than did variable price structures, (b) price descriptions produced more elastic demand under variable price structures but had little or no effect under fixed price structures, and (c) the alternate sequence used with fixed price structures produced slightly more elastic demand.
- 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.
- The Effects of the Density of Reinforcement on the Maladaptive Behaviors of a Child With Autism
- The present study consists of two experiments that analyze the effects of high and low densities of reinforcemnt on the maladaptive behaviors of a 9 year old girl with autism. The first experiment investigates the isolated effects of density of reinforcement on the frequency of maladaptive behaviors during a motor imitation teaching task. High densities of reinforcement produced fewer occurrences of maladaptive behavior than low densities of reinforcement. Experiment 2 analyzes the effects of density of reinforcement during the same teaching tasks as in experiment 1 on maladaptive behavior, task accuracy, prompt resistance, and language. Maladaptive behavior did not recur during experiment 2. High density of reinforcement conditions during the second experiment showed a positive effect on the accuracy of responding and compliance with prompts.
- Performance Improvement in an Accounting Firm: Comparing Operational and Financial Data Before and After Process Redesign
- The case study described in this thesis involves a process improvement project in the Tax Department of a Certified Public Accounting firm. A process map was created by interviewing employees involved in the process. A process analysis identified problems and possible solutions. The Partners in the firm decided to streamline the process for simple tax returns in order to make them more profitable. This study examined what impact, if any, the process improvement intervention had on key financial and operational measures. Results indicated that the tax returns prepared in the new process were faster, cheaper, and more profitable. This study indicates that organizations conducting process improvement interventions can beneficially affect key financial and operational measures.
- The effects of a conflicting instruction on a FR 5 performance
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The purpose of this experiment was to evaluate the effects of a conflicting instruction on FR-5 performances by an ABABC design. After all four college students were consistently pressing 1-5-3 followed by sound-clips, the schedule value changed to FR-5 (A). Then they were presented with the written instruction "Press 426" (B) in addition to the previous condition. In the last condition (C), 1-5-3 responses were then scheduled for extinction in three participants and the reinforcer was changed from sound-clips to points for one participant. The results showed that unlike previous experiments, instructions did not override the scheduled contingencies. Instruction-following occurred only when there were no other contingencies (i.e., extinction of 1-5-3) or the scheduled reinforcer for FR-5 performances was weak.
- Improving Appointment Keeping at an Eye Care Clinic Using a Revised Process Package
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Missed appointments by patients are a major problem for health care professionals. To combat this issue, some optometrists use a pre-appointing system in which patients are scheduled for an annual exam a year after their initial visit. Prior to that subsequent appointment, clinic staff often try to contact the patient to confirm the appointment. This study examined baseline levels of appointment keeping, analyzed existing processes for pre-appointing patients, and introduced a revised process package to improve appointment keeping at an eye care clinic. This package included training, mailed postcard reminders and two phone call reminders. Results indicate appointment keeping by pre-appointed patients increased over baseline. The intervention was also shown to be cost-beneficial.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Measuring indices of happiness in a parent-training program.
- Behavior analysts have long recognized the need for direct and reliable measurement of complex behaviors that are important to society. Recently investigators have approached one of the singular most complex behaviors: happiness. Limited research, however, has explored happiness in parent-training programs with children with autism and their families. The current study applied the definitions and data systems used in Broome's 2007 study to obtain indices of happiness within a parent training program for parents of toddlers with autism. Direct measures of smiles and laughs were collected from videotaped assessments. Results suggest that the program increased behaviors associated with happiness. Results are discussed in terms of program development and future research.
- The emergence of joint attention in a naturalistic parent training program.
- Behaviors related to joint attention have been described by behavior analysts and developmental psychologists alike as having a distinctly social function. Children with autism often do not emit these behaviors. Research on the collateral effects of teaching joint attention suggests far reaching consequences. Given the reported benefits of using these behaviors, and the theoretical descriptions of their function, we assessed joint attention as a collateral effect of a naturalistic parent training program. Data suggest that although these behaviors were not directly targeted, they increased in all 3 children. Implications of parent training goals and child intervention targets are discussed in terms of a behavior analysis of joint attention and child development.
- Immediate and subsequent effects of response-independent food delivery on problem behavior maintained by food.
- The immediate and subsequent effects of response-independent food delivery on problem behavior maintained by food were investigated. A functional analysis indicated that the participant's problem behavior was maintained by tangible (food) reinforcement. In a subsequent analysis, each occurrence of problem behavior produced a bite of wafer in the first and third components of mixed and multiple schedules, while either response-independent food or extinction was presented in the second component. Dense and lean schedules of food delivery were assessed. Results indicated that a very dense schedule of food nearly eliminated problem behavior, a very lean schedule of food and extinction produced substantial decreases in problem behavior, and intermediate schedules did not decrease problem behavior. Response patterns were differentiated across mixed and multiple schedule arrangements, with signaled changes in the schedules (multiple schedule) generally showing more immediate and sustained effects throughout the intervention component. Implications for interpretations of the effects of the intervention are discussed.
- Immediate and generalized effects of one component (Stay Close Tool) of a behavioral parenting curriculum.
- The Essential Tools for Positive Behavior Change is a behavioral parenting curriculum that is currently being disseminated throughout the state and Florida and is now being utilized in Texas to teach parents who are at risk or are founded of abuse and neglect. Research on the curriculum thus far has focused on large scale outcomes, skill acquisition of caregivers during analog role-play assessments, and scores on a written quiz. Little research has focused on generalization of classroom performance to the home. The measurement systems that have been used to evaluate positive outcomes also were in need of improvement. The current study was designed to determine whether teaching a component (Stay Close) to typical parents resulted in immediate improvements in written exam scores and on a role-play assessment and if those skills could be seen in a home setting. The results indicated that small improvements were seen across quiz scores in all but one family and some improvements across behavior was seen in both the role-play and home observations. Additionally, a reliable measurement system was created that captured both home observations and role-play assessment data.
- Effects of Prompting and Fading Procedures to Establish Following the Line of Regard in A Child with Autism
- Children with autism show deficits in communication skills, including joint attention, a component of which is following the line of regard. Two experiments were conducted. The first experiment examined how prompting and fading procedures effected following the line of regard in a child with autism. The second experiment examined this effect on the child's learning the names of novel objects. One 10-year-old boy, with a primary diagnosis of autism, participated. A changing criterion design was used in Experiment I. Experiment II used a succession of interventions to assess incidental learning of novel object names. Results indicate that prompting and fading with reinforcement was an effective training procedure for teaching this child to follow the line of regard. However, this skill did not automatically lead to the child's learning the names of novel objects.
- Within-session session changes in responding as a function of habituation vs. satiation.
- Behavior analysts refer to a decrease in response rate following repeated, contingent presentations of a reinforcing stimulus as a product of satiation. Other evidence suggests that these decreases may often be due to habituation to the sensory properties of the reinforcing stimulus. The investigation reported here sought to determine whether decreases in operant responding by 3 adults with developmental disabilities were due to satiation or habituation. During baseline, participants placed poker chips into a container, and no reinforcement was available. Within subsequent phases, participants received diet lemon-lime soda on a fixed-ratio (FR) schedule of reinforcement. In one condition, the color of the soda was constant throughout the session, and in another condition food coloring was added several minutes into the session. Results for at least 2 participants indicated that: (a) soda functioned as a reinforcer for placing poker chips in the can; (b) response rates decreased within the session to baseline levels; and (c) response rates increased following a change in the color of the soda within the session. Results for the third participant were less clear. The results support the argument made by other researchers that the terms habituation (a weakening of a behavior following contact with the reinforcing stimulus) and stimulus specificity (a strengthening of a behavior following a change in the reinforcing stimulus) may be more appropriate descriptors of within-session changes in responding. The factors associated with habituation and satiation, as well as both basic and applied research examples, are discussed.
- Toward a systems analysis of treatment integrity.
- This case study is a performance improvement project focusing on the organizational system and management practices in a center for children with autism. Staff interviews and a process improvement map were used to assess the organization and assist in identifying potential solutions. The analysis led to treatment integrity as the key outcome measure. The center's administrative team decided to implement treatment delivery process changes to impact treatment integrity measures. This study measured data sheet changes and treatment implementation to determine the impact of process changes on treatment integrity. High levels of variability in treatment integrity across all teams were observed, and results suggest that a process change was not enough to increase treatment integrity. Further study is necessary to investigate measurement and impact of treatment integrity on desired outcomes for children with autism.