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- Fearful to Friendly (F2f): a Constructional Fear Treatment for Domestic Cats Using a Negative Reinforcement Shaping Procedure in a Home Setting
- Feral and fearful cats and kittens in animal shelters are not likely to be adopted as companion animals because they emit fearful or aggressive behaviors in the presence of humans. The purpose of the fearful to friendly (F2F) research was to investigate a shaping procedure to increase friendly behaviors of feral and fearful domestic cats and kittens with the goal of achieving animal shelters’ adoptability criteria. The results showed the F2F procedure was a safe and very effective procedure to quickly tame feral kittens deemed unadoptable. The day after implementing F2F, three out of four kittens approached me and accepted petting and holding without any additional training.
- The Effects of Increasing Rates of Reinforcement Through an Alternative Fluent Behavior on the Acquisition and Extinction of Behavior in Dogs
- The purpose of the present study was to experimentally investigate the effects of interspersing the opportunity to perform a fluent behavior during the acquisition of a new behavior. The experimenter trained left and right paw movements in domestic canines using a multiple treatment design. One paw movement was trained with a typical shaping procedure while the other was trained with an opportunity to perform a fluent behavior, touching the dog’s nose to a plastic disc, following each successive approximation in the shaping procedure. Two extinction phases were implemented during the experiment. The results showed that higher rates of reinforcement were achieved primarily following changes in criteria for reinforcement for the behavior in acquisition. There were no effects on rate of acquisition of the behavior, but adding an alternative fluent behavior may have slowed the differentiation between the reinforced behavior and alternative behaviors for one dog. The behavior trained with the addition of an alternative fluent behavior extinguished more quickly than in the control condition and extinguished at similar rates to the opposite leg movement. This suggests that the technique of offering an alternative fluent behavior may facilitate the chaining of the opposite behavior with the behavior targeted for reinforcement.
- Response Patterns in Functional Analyses: a Preliminary Analysis
- Functional assessment procedures have proven effective in identifying the operant contingencies that maintain problem behavior. Typically, the evaluation of responding during functional analyses is conducted at the condition level. However, some variables affecting occurrences of behavior cannot be evaluated solely through the use of a cross-session analysis. Evaluating within-session patterns of responding may provide information about variables such as extinction bursts, discriminative stimuli, and motivating operations such as deprivation and satiation. The current study was designed to identify some typical response patterns that are generated when data are displayed across and within sessions of functional analyses, discuss some variables that may cause these trends, and evaluate the utility of within-session analyses. Results revealed that several specific patterns of responding were identified for both across- and within-session analyses, which may be useful in clarifying the function of behavior.
- A Comparison of Transfer of Stimulus Control Or Multiple Control on the Acquisition of Verbal Operants in Young Children with Autism: an Extension
- One language intervention approach for individuals with autism involves teaching one response topography under multiple sources of control and then establishing that response under individual controlling variable. Another approach involves establishing one response topography under singular control and then using that response to establish the response topography under different controlling variables. The study sought to extend previous research by investigating the impact of each approach on the acquisition of verbal responses. Three of the eight participants acquired all target responses for at least one response topography. The results of previous research were not replicated directly and the findings were discussed in terms of preexperimental verbal repertoires and restricted interests.
- What Are They Learning: a Study of Errors Produced During Behavior Acquisition Utilizing Two Prompting Procedures with a Cat
- Prompting methods are common amongst animal trainers, both novice and experts. However, there is little empirical evidence to demonstrate the strengths or weaknesses of common prompting procedures. The current study assessed the strengths and weaknesses during behavior acquisition of two prompting methods, luring and targeting. Luring placed an edible directly in front of the animal which guided the animal through the desired behavior. Targeting, however used a target, an arbitrary object the animal has been trained to touch, guide behavior. A cat was trained, using each method, to walk around a flower. Walking around the right flower pot was trained using luring and walking around the left flower pot was trained using targeting. After both behaviors were acquired, a delay cue method was designed to transfer stimulus control. Later a combination of a delay cue and prompt fading was used. During acquisition the luring method acquired the behavior of walking around a pot more quickly with consistently fewer errors. During stimulus transfer the cat began independently initiating the behavior earlier with the target trained behavior and produced more correct behaviors after the verbal cue. Luring appeared to produce the faster behavior, but after stimulus transfer it could be concluded that the cat did not learn the desired behavior, but rather following the lure. Both methods could be beneficial in different circumstance, however, given the desired behavior was to walk around a flower pot on cue, targeting would be considered best practice.
- 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.
- 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.
- Immediate and subsequent effects of response blocking on self-injurious behavior.
- Abstract In many institutional settings, blocking, response restriction (e.g., restraint, protective equipment), and re-direction procedures are used extensively as intervention for self-injurious behavior (SIB) and other forms of problem behavior. In the current study, a three component, multiple-schedule analysis was used to examine the immediate and subsequent effects of blocking on SIB that persisted in the absence of social reinforcement contingencies. During the first and third components the participant was in the room, alone, with no social consequences for SIB. During the second component (response restriction) the therapist sat in the room with the participant and blocked occurrences of SIB. Results indicated that, although blocking was effective in decreasing SIB while it was being implemented, subsequent effects were idiosyncratic across participants. Evidence of increased levels of SIB following blocking was observed for some participants.
- Correspondence between verbal behavior about reinforcers and performance under schedules of reinforcement.
- Important advancements have been made in the identification of reinforcers over the past decade. The use of preference assessments has become a systematic way to identify preferred events that may function as reinforcers for an individual's behavior. Typically, preference assessments require participants to select stimuli through verbal surveys or engagement with stimuli as preferred or non-preferred. Not all studies go on to directly test the effects of the preferred stimuli, and even fewer studies directly test for the effects of the non- preferred stimuli. The present study systematically identified preferred and non-preferred stimuli in adult human subjects by verbal report and then proceeded to test the effects of both verbally reported preferred and non preferred events on single and concurrent schedules of reinforcement. The results are discussed in terms of contemporary concerns regarding preference and reinforcer assessments.
- Comparison of client attendance, attrition, and outcomes in 2 class system packages.
- Using the principles of systems analysis as a guide, this study compared two class schedule formats used by Behavior Management and Parenting Services (BMAPS) in order to address the following research questions: 1) What effects do 2 different class formats have on student attrition and appointment keeping? 2) What effects do 2 different class formats have on student outcomes on a pre and posttest assessment? 3) What effects do 2 different class formats have on staff procedures? BMAPS provides parent education to individuals referred by Child Protective Services. The current research included approximately 200 referred clients with an appointment or class scheduled with BMAPS between January 1, 2006 and September 22, 2007. Data was collected by reviewing client files for class attendance and performance records. Results of this study allow BMAPS to enlist the class format that is correlated with better attrition rates and client outcomes.
- The Effects of Interspersed Trials and Density of Reinforcement on Accuracy, Looking Away, and Self-injurious Behavior of a Child with Autism
- 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.
- The Effects of an Electronic Feedback Sign on Speeding
- Although a handful of experiments have utilized indirect feedback in attempts to reduce speeding on roadways, fewer experiments have utilized direct feedback as a means to reduce incidences of speeding. The current study evaluated the effects of direct and individualized feedback provided by a large electronic feedback sign that displayed the speed of oncoming vehicles as they approached the sign along the roadways of a college campus. The effects of the sign were evaluated using a non-simultaneous multiple baseline experimental design employing two control conditions and intervention phase. Each condition was implemented at three sites on the college campus. The results showed that intervention produced significant decreases in both measures of vehicle speeds at each site, relative to measures collected during both control conditions.
- Training a non-match response: Toward a technology for determining controlling stimulus dimensions for two children with autism.
- The research investigated the impact of sexual harassment on withdrawal behaviors and attitudes toward harassment by examining the gender composition of the harassment dyad and the organizational status of the perpetrator in relation to the victim. Archival data from the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan was used to obtain surveys in which participants rated their attitudes and experiences related to sexual harassment. Only individuals who reported experiencing sexual harassment within the 24 months prior to data collection are included in the current research. A MANOVA was conducted to determine if withdrawal behaviors and attitudes of victims varied by the gender dyad and/or the organizational status of the perpetrator. Results indicated that individuals harassed by people with higher organizational status displayed more withdrawal behaviors in the form of decreased productivity and increased use of sick, annual, and unpaid leave. Individuals harassed by a member of the same gender also used more unpaid leave. Interestingly, individuals harassed by members of the opposite gender, tended to disagree more strongly with the attitude index measuring cautious awareness of sexual harassment.
- 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.
- Topographical analysis of reinforcement produced variability: Generalizations across settings and contingencies.
- This study evaluated the effects of programming a variability contingency on one object and the generalization of variability across other objects and contingencies when the defining features of the variable responses were topographical differences. A dog's interactions with five different objects were measured under both ANY (where any physical contact with the object would be reinforced on a fixed ratio schedule) and the VAR contingencies (where only the novel responses per trial would be reinforced). The ANY contingency produced stereotyped responding of behavior with all objects. When one of the dog-object interactions was changed to the VAR contingency, a marked decrease in stereotypic behavior and an increase in novel responses in the form of topographical combinations were observed across both contingencies.
- 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.
- Increasing activities and interests in a child dually diagnosed with PDD-NOS and DS.
- Expanding interests may be a behavioral cusp, resulting in widespread changes across skills, and therefore is particularly relevant in intervention programs for children with autism. Little research has addressed directly increasing the diversity of activities and interests for this population. This study describes a program developed to increase activities and interests in a girl dually-diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD-NOS) and Downs syndrome (DS). A multiple-baseline design across stimuli was employed to evaluate the program. The results show that the program increased number of total and different toy interactions. No effects were observed for overall duration of toy interactions. Results are discussed in relation to play skill instruction and preference assessment literature, the cusp, and autism intervention programs.
- 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.
- Developing a function-based treatment for problem behavior using a structured descriptive assessment.
- This study evaluated the utility of structured descriptive assessment (SDA) to generate a hypothesis regarding the operant function of problem behavior when the analogue functional analysis (FA) failed to evoke problem behavior for an adult with developmental disabilities. The effectiveness of interventions based on that hypothesis was evaluated in the natural environment. The SDA succeeded in producing a relatively controlled baseline of problem behavior where the FA and direct observation could not. However, the extent to which treatment procedures affected problem behavior could not be determined due to confounding variables outside the control of the experimenter. The results provide cautionary evidence highlighting both the potential utility of SDA and challenges that may be encountered when conducting SDA and evaluating treatments in natural environments.
- Toward a systematic evaluation of evaluating favorable conditions in a parent training program: The pursuit of happiness.
- Research has shown that parents of children with disabilities, such as autism, experience significantly higher stress levels than parents of typically developing children. It has been suggested that parent education programs, in particular naturalistic communication training, will reduce parental stress. Most of the literature in this area has relied on parental reports and has only focused on decreasing stress and has not directly addressed increasing alternate feelings, such as happiness. In different but related areas of behavior analysis, an emphasis has been placed on the importance of happiness as a quality of life indicator and that the development of multileveled assessment is sorely needed. This study was designed to analyze one set of measures within a data-based intervention program for parents of toddlers with autism. The Family Connections Project (FCP) is a parent training project designed to enhance the quality of relationships for families who have toddlers with autism. Within this project parents are taught to identify and arrange opportunities to interact with their children in ways that will increase motivation and social responsivity. This study looked at the collateral effects of this training program and investigated if FCP affected the relationship between parents and their toddlers; of particular interest was parental happiness. Video taped assessments were used as a direct measure to collect indices of parental affect/happiness (e.g., smiles). Independent judges' ratings were used in comparison with a controlled parent-child dyad. Furthermore, pre and post parental goals, descriptions, and satisfaction surveys were analyzed in the context of the parental happiness indices. Results were evaluated in a multiple baseline design across child skills and are discussed in the context of parent and child's targeted behavior changes and collateral outcome measures.
- A comparison of auditory and visual stimuli in a delayed matching to sample procedure with adult humans.
- Five humans were exposed to a matching to sample task in which the delay (range = 0 to 32 seconds) between sample stimulus offset and comparison onset was manipulated across conditions. Auditory stimuli (1” tone) and arbitrary symbols served as sample stimuli for three (S1, S2, S3) and two (S4 and S5) subjects, respectively. Uppercase English letters (S, M, and N) served as comparison stimuli for all subjects. Results show small but systematic effects of the retention interval on accuracy and latency to selection of comparison stimuli. The results fail to show a difference between subjects exposed to auditory and visual sample stimuli. Some reasons for the failure to note a difference are discussed.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Immediate and subsequent effects of fixed-time food presentations on automatically maintained mouthing.
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Several studies have demonstrated that fixed-time (FT) schedules of stimulus delivery can function to reduce a variety of behaviors. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the immediate and subsequent effects of FT food deliveries on mouthing. In Phase 1, a preference assessment showed that caramel popcorn, chocolate cookies and pretzels were highly preferred food items. Thus, providing the basis for use of food items during treatment. In Phase 2, a functional analysis showed that mouthing was a nonsocially maintained problem behavior. Phase 3 demonstrated the use of FT schedules of food deliveries as treatment for nonsocially maintained mouthing. Results indicated that FT schedules of food significantly reduced mouthing. In addition, levels of mouthing observed during post-FT observations were reliably lower than pre-FT observations. Treatment effects, operative mechanisms responsible for the treatment effects and the experimental arrangement used to investigate varying FT schedules are discussed.
- Effects of click + continuous food vs. click + intermittent food on the maintenance of dog behavior.
- There is disagreement among clicker trainers on whether or not food should be delivered every time the clicker (conditioned reinforcer) is used. However, presenting a conditioned reinforcer without food can weaken the strength of the conditioned reinforcer and also disrupt its discriminative stimulus function. A within subjects reversal design was used with 2 dogs to compare the behavioral effects of continuous pairings (C+F condition) vs. intermittent pairings (C+C+F condition) of the clicker with food. Results show that the C+C+F condition affects the frequency, accuracy, topography, and intensity of the behavior, and increases noncompliance and other unwanted behaviors. This study adds to the literature by evaluating the effects of conditioned reinforcement in an applied setting using discrete trials without undergoing extinction.
- Multiple-respondent anecdotal assessments for behavior disorders; An analysis of interrater agreement and correspondence with treatment outcomes.
- The current study was designed to further evaluate the usefulness of anecdotal assessments. The goal of this study was to evaluate the overall agreement between multiple respondents on the primary function of aberrant behavior using the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS) and the Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST) and, if agreement was obtained, to assess the effectiveness of treatment based on the outcome of the assessments. Results showed that anecdotal assessments were able to identify the general type of contingency maintaining two participants' problem behavior. However, for one participant the assessments did not correctly identify the specific form of reinforcement (attention or tangible items) that maintained the aberrant behavior.
- The effects of rate of responding on retention, endurance, stability, and application of performance on a match-to-sample task.
- Fluent performance has been described as the retention, endurance, stability, and application of the material learned. Fluent performers not only respond quickly during training, they also make many correct responses during training. The current study used a within-subject design to analyze the effects of increased response rates on Retention, Endurance, Stability, and Application tests. Number of correct responses and number of unprompted, correct responses in error correction procedures were yoked for individual participants across an Accuracy-plus-Rate training condition and an Accuracy-Only training condition. One participant scored better in tests that followed the Accuracy-Only condition. One participant showed results that slightly favor the Accuracy-plus-Rate training condition. The two participants whose response rates were successfully reduced in the Accuracy-Only condition performed better on all tests that followed the Accuracy-plus-Rate condition.
- An evaluation of two performance pay systems on the productivity of employees in a certified public accounting firm.
- This study examined the effects of switching from an incentive pay system solely based on productivity to a scorecard-based incentive pay system. Performance of staff and senior accountants was analyzed across three departments for a two-year baseline and a three-year intervention period. Results showed that percent of charge hour goal remained high during the study. Once the scorecard-based incentive system was implemented, performance on the other line items increased or remained at or above goal levels. Incentive payouts were generally higher under the second incentive plan than under the first for top performers. Possible explanations for data trends, weaknesses of the measures within the scorecard, measure/line item alternatives and implications for future research are also discussed.
- The Effects of the Delay in a Delayed Match-To-Sample Procedure on Acquisition and Transfer
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Twenty-six participants, divided into three groups, learned to relate English words to Czech and Portuguese words in a matching-to-sample procedure. Half the word pairs were learned using English words as samples and foreign words as corresponding comparisons and the other half were learned with the foreign words serving as samples and English words as corresponding comparisons. The only difference in training across the three groups involved a programmed delay between the removal of the sample stimulus and the presentation of comparison stimuli. For Group 0, Group 2, and Group 8, the programmed delay values between sample offset and comparison onset were 0 s, 2 s, and 8 s, respectively. Test trials assessed the extent to which the conditional discriminations established during training had become reversible or the extent to which the effects of learning had transferred to a new situation. The results suggest that the likelihood of transfer was greatest for the group that learned the task with the largest delay (i.e., an 8 s delay between sample offset and comparison onset).
- A comparison of brief versus extended paired-choice preference assessment outcomes.
- Few studies have systematically evaluated whether preferences can reliably be identified using brief procedures. Typically, studies have used brief procedures to select potential reinforcers for use in intervention procedures. A total of 17 food and leisure paired-choice preference assessments were administered to 10 subjects in order to evaluate the extent to which the results of a brief (i.e., single-session) assessment correspond with those from more extended procedures (i.e., 5 sessions). Eleven out of the 17 brief and extended assessments identified the same stimulus as the most preferred (highest rank). Outcomes suggest that a brief assessment can be useful when a single, potent reinforcing stimulus is desired, and an extended assessment should be conducted when a larger number of preferred stimuli is desired.
- Effects of Fixed- and Variable-Ratio Token Exchange Schedules on Performance with Children with Autism
- The research literature with nonhumans supports findings that token economies are a common component of training programs. The literature suggests that the schedule by which exchange opportunities become available determines the organization of behavioral performances in token economies to a great extent. This study sought to systematically document whether the dynamics observed in basic laboratory procedures will also be observed in a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and whether altering schedules by which the exchange opportunities become available will attenuate these effects. The participant was exposed to two conditions: 1) a fixed token-production schedule (FR1) with a fixed token-exchange schedule (FR5) and 2) a fixed token-production schedule (FR1) with a variable token-exchange schedule (VR5). Results of the current study did not lend themselves to draw definitive conclusions that the patterns of responding observed in this experiment were in fact due to the change in the token exchange schedule.
- Utilizing staff training methods for developing a mathetics error correction procedure in a university classroom.
- The education community agrees that correcting student errors is important for learning. They do not agree on the components that define successful error correcting. Some theories suggest that detailed feedback facilitates adult learning and some suggest that less detail is needed for these learners. Gilbert (1962) applied the scientifically derived methods of Behavior Analysis when designing instruction. This study attempted to develop an efficient error correction procedure for university teachers. Throughout the semester, error correction design efforts between the teachers and the experimenter became more collaborative. While error correction procedures never showed systematic effects on student grades, later versions were viewed more favorably by both teachers and students and were more likely to be implemented accurately. Decreased teacher practice opportunities, due to low student participation, may have decreased the procedure's effectiveness.
- Measures of reading comprehension: The effects of text type and time limits on students' performance.
- Although the importance of reading comprehension is generally recognized, a better understanding of the factors influencing measurement of reading comprehension may impact the ability to assess strengths and deficits. The current study examined the effects of text type and time limits on the rate of students' performance across four common assessments of reading comprehension. Results showed similarities between performance with narrative and expository texts and across time limit conditions for all of the assessments. In terms of comparing across reading comprehension assessments, the findings are limited by the differences in the response channels and stimulus conditions of each assessment. The results have implications for the development of measurement systems and the assessment of reading comprehension.
- Effects of a limited hold on pigeons' match-to-sample performance under fixed-ratio scheduling.
- Pigeons were trained on a zero-delay identity match-to-sample task. Experiment 1 started with every correct match reinforced with grain access and subsequent conditions include higher fixed-ratio values. Experiment 2 included the same fixed-ratio values as experiment 1 with and without a limited hold (LH) on the opportunity to select a comparison stimulus. Prior research suggested that trials after reinforcement would have an increased likelihood of error, and that these errors would be reduced in LH conditions. Results confirmed this expected error pattern and in most LH conditions errors were reduced early in the ratio.
- Observing and Attending in a Delayed Matching-to-Sample Preparation in Pigeons
- Pigeons worked in a titrating delay match-to-sample (TDMTS) procedure in which selecting the correct comparison stimulus increased the delay between sample offset and comparison-array onset and incorrect comparison selections decreased that delay. Prior research in our lab has shown that the stable adjusted value of the retention interval is a curvilinear function of the observing response requirement. The current study examined the effect of the distribution and predictability of observing response requirements on adjusted retention interval values. The data show that unpredictable observing response requirements were more effective in attenuating the deleterious effects of delay on matching accuracy. The data have implications for our understanding of attending and encoding in performances involving remembering over short temporal durations.
- Teaching Simple Auditory Discriminations to Students with Autism
- This study aimed to test the effectiveness of classroom translations of some laboratory procedures for teaching simple auditory discriminations to learners with developmental disabilities. Three participants with autism and mental retardation were trained to make topographically distinct responses in the presence of two different stimuli, either a pure tone and silence, or two tones. A portable electronic piano keyboard was used to produce tones. Delayed prompt and differential reinforcement procedures were used to teach the responses. None of the participants performed the discriminations accurately without prompting despite numerous revisions to the procedures.
- An Evaluation of the Effects of an Abridged Parent Training Program on Parent-child Interactions in the Home
- This study examined the effects of a condensed parent training program on parent-child interactions in the home. Two parents participated in a positive parenting workshop that included explicit training of four skills and indirect training of two additional skills. To determine skill acquisition, both parents performed role plays and completed written exams pre- and post-training. Role play assessment results showed improvements in all skill areas for both participants. Written assessment results showed improvements for all skills directly taught except one. Multiple measures were examined in the home prior to and following the workshop to assess generalization. Results showed an increase in positive interactions and decrease in coercive interactions and undesirable child behavior for both participants.
- Retention, Endurance, Stability, and Application of Learned Performances as a Function of Training Condition
- A functional definition of fluency describes performance frequency ranges that predict retention, endurance, stability, application, and adduction as outcomes of practice. This experiment assessed these outcomes after different training conditions using a within-subject design. Participants in an experimental group learned new skills in a condition with rate and accuracy criteria, then in a yoked, rate-controlled condition with the same number of prompted responses and correct trials in practice. Control group participants received training in consecutive conditions with rate and accuracy criteria. Performance of individuals in the control group demonstrated practice effects. Data obtained from participants in the experimental group showed similar performance across conditions. Considering efficiency, the condition with rate and accuracy criteria was superior.
- The effects of timed readings on recall and comprehension in a child with Asperger's syndrome.
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The effects of timed readings on recall and comprehension in a child with Asperger's syndrome were examined by employing a multiple-baseline design across two books with reversals. Recall timings consisted of the student's free-say compilation of what she just read. Comprehension tests consisted of the participant's answers to predetermined questions after her recall period. No consequences or feedback was given during any of the conditions. Results indicate that, initially, as the time required to read decreased, the number of unrelated words during the recall period for the two books also decreased. Related words were not as affected. Scores on comprehension tests were high. There was, however, little correspondence between the participant's recall words and the main ideas answered correctly in the comprehension test.
- 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.
- 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 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 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 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.
- An analysis of sample duration in a parent training program.
- Although several guidelines are available for designing observational procedures in both basic and applied settings, few researchers have experimentally examined and compared different direct observation methods. Such methods may have a direct impact on practitioners' ability to effectively assess strengths and challenges, set treatment goals, adjust intervention procedures, and monitor progress. The current study compared 1 and 5 min observations to 10 min observations throughout baseline and intervention phases of a parent training program for toddlers with autism. Results showed similarities with regards to variability, level, and trend in the 5 and 10 min data samples; however, clear differences were seen in the 1 min data sample, which typically showed very low occurrences of responding and displayed steady and flat trends. The findings have implications for the development of time-efficient direct observation procedures utilized in parent training programs for children with autism.
- The effects of combining positive and negative reinforcement during training.
- The purpose of this experiment was to compare the effects of combining negative reinforcement and positive reinforcement during teaching with the effects of using positive reinforcement alone. A behavior was trained under two stimulus conditions and procedures. One method involved presenting the cue ven and reinforcing successive approximations to the target behavior. The other method involved presenting the cue punir, physically prompting the target behavior by pulling the leash, and delivering a reinforcer. Three other behaviors were trained using the two cues contingent on their occurrence. The results suggest that stimuli associated with both a positive reinforcer and an aversive stimulus produce a different dynamic than a situation that uses positive reinforcement or punishment alone.
- Analyzing the Effects of a Performance Pay Plan on Manager Performance in an Accounting Firm
- This study examined the effect of a score card¬-based performance pay plan in a professional services firm. The plan was implemented in response to a decreasing trend in productivity and a desire for a formal incentive compensation plan. Performance of manager and senior manager accountants were analyzed across two departments over a five year period. A definitive account of the effects of the intervention is limited by the case-¬study design, but the data does suggest that the performance pay plans used did not adversely affect performances. Design limitations of the plan and future research are also discussed.
- A comparison of the effects of errorful and errorless teaching methods on the acquisition, generalization, and retention of letter sound discriminations in young children.
- The present study compared the effects of an errorless stimulus shaping procedure to an errorful fluency based procedure for teaching difficult letter sound discriminations using a counterbalanced multielement experimental design. For 2 participants, letters fsteai were taught using the errorless procedure and letters bpdvou were taught using the errorful procedure. For the other 2 participants the conditions were reversed. All participants had considerably fewer errors and fewer trials to criterion with the errorless than with the errorful procedure. Tests of retention and generalization indicate that the errorful procedure generalized and was retained at a higher frequency than the errorless procedure. For 3 participants preference for the errorless procedure over the errorful procedure was demonstrated; whereas, the fourth participant demonstrated preference for the errorful procedure.
- Conditional discrimination and stimulus equivalence: Effects of suppressing derived symmetrical responses on the emergence of transitivity.
- Symmetry suppression was conducted for five subjects who demonstrated a tendency to derive equivalence relations based on conditional discrimination training in a match-to-sample procedure. Symmetry suppression was applied in three consecutive sessions in which symmetrical responses were suppressed for one stimulus class in the first condition, two stimulus classes in the second condition, and all three stimulus classes in the final condition. Symmetry suppression slowed the emergence of transitivity for two subjects and prevented it for the other three. Results indicated that unplanned features of stimulus configurations emerged as discriminative variables that controlled selection responses and altered the function of consequent stimuli. Disruption of cognitive development by conflicting contingencies in natural learning environments is discussed.