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The Effects of Interresponse Intervals on Behavioral Variability in Humans

Description: The present experiment studied the relationship between interresponse intervals and behavioral variability. Subjects emitted sequences of 4 keypresses on two keys on a variability schedule that delivered points when the current 4-response sequence differed from the previous 5 sequences. Three experimental conditions were studied; no interresponse interval, 4-s interresponse interval and 8-s interresponse interval. Interresponse intervals followed each of the first three responses in each sequence. Two groups were used to study initial training histories. Group 1 was first exposed to the no-interresponse interval condition. Group 2 was first exposed to the 4-s interresponse interval condition. Subjects were then exposed to the different interresponse interval conditions. There was little change in variability across conditions. However, the variability observed in the subjects first exposed to the 4-s interresponse interval was greater than the variability observed in subjects first exposed to no-interresponse interval. There was higher-order response patterning in both groups, but it was more pronounced in the no-interresponse interval group.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Reilly, Mark P. (Mark Peter)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effect of Small Group Incentives on Sales Productivity in Two Retail Shops: A Case Study

Description: To meet global competition many companies have reorganized work process systems, eliminated management levels, formed employee work groups and implemented variable compensation systems. This study investigated the effect of group incentives on individual sales performance in two specialty shops located in a large metropolitan hotel. Two questions were addressed: What effect would adding a group bonus plan have on individual employee's sales performance who had previously received hourly wages in one shop; and, what effect would changing an individual incentive plan to a group plan have on the individual employee's sales performance in the other shop. In one shop 5 of 7 employees' productivity increased: in the other, 1 of 3 subjects' productivity increased. Contingencies in both shops are analyzed and suggestions offered for future research.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Bohrer, Kathleen
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effect of Verbal and Graphic Feedback on Direct Care Trainers' Data-Tecording Behavior

Description: This study investigated the effects of verbal and graphic feedback alone and in combination with praise on the data-recording behavior of 12 direct care trainers (DCTs) who recorded their reinforcer deliveries as they interacted with mentally retarded clients. An additional variable examined was the effect of time of delivering feedback on subsequent data-recording behavior. Feedback was delivered by the experimenter. Correspondence checks were conducted and a three-phase multiple condition experimental design was used. All feedback conditions produced an observable difference in DCT data-recording behavior. Time of delivery of feedback also appeared to have an effect on the amount of data recorded by DCTs.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Morris, Timothy Jewlon
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of a Performance Improvement Strategy in a Work Team Setting: a Case Study

Description: A popular approach to operating organizations in the 1990s is the implementation of work teams. The current literature offers little information on the use of performance management techniques in work team settings. This case study examined the effects of employing a performance improvement strategy on employee performance in a work team environment comprised of part-time graduate students. The performance improvement strategy included composing job descriptions, job aids (e.g., work organization charts), task request logs and posting weekly and monthly performance feedback. Improvements were observed in some aspects of team performance. Some of the improvement was due to task clarification and improved scheduling produced by the antecedent interventions. Performance feedback had little effect on measured performance but seemed to facilitate discussion and problem-solving.
Date: May 1994
Creator: McHale, Carrie L. (Carrie Lynn)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Improving the Quality of Hotel Banquet Staff Performance: a Case Study in Organizational Behavior Management

Description: The banquet staff at a north Texas hotel were responsible for setting up 11 different functions (e.g., buffet dinners) for conferences and meetings. The functions were often set up late and items were often omitted. An analysis suggested that performance problems were the result of weak antecedents, inefficient work procedures, inadequate training and a lack of motivating consequences. An intervention consisting of task checklists, feedback, goal setting, monetary bonuses, training and job aids was designed to enhance the accuracy and timeliness of function setups. Performance increased from an average of 68.8% on the quality measure (accuracy plus timeliness) in baseline, to 99.7% during the intervention phase. Performance decreased to 82.3% during a follow-up phase in which parts of the intervention were discontinued by hotel management. Performance increased to 99.3% with the reintroduction of the intervention phase.
Date: May 1994
Creator: LaFleur, Tobias C. (Tobias Christopher)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Conditional Discriminations and Derived Relations: Pinpointing the Moment of Emergence

Description: Four subjects were exposed to the four trial types that define stimulus equivalence from the beginning of the experiment. Procedures were designed to identify acquisition dynamics and relate these observations to responding indicative of equivalence class formation. The data show that, for all subjects, the acquisition of training conditional discriminations was correlated with systematic changes in the subjects' selection responses. The results also indicate that the traditional percent correct measures obscure some important information about the subjects' behavior. The data are discussed in the context of the following statements. 1) Subjects' performances on derived trials are not indicative of relations among stimuli at some other level of analysis but are instances of "equivalencing". 2) "Equivalencing" itself can be characterized as changes in the conditional and conditionally discriminative functions of stimuli involved in the experiment. The potential benefits of this preparation are discussed.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Vaidya, Manish
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of a Point Loss Contingency on Equivalence

Description: The effects of point loss for symmetrical probe performances on other performances of an observed equivalence class, on the emergence of equivalence performances, and on performances in other contexts were examined. After training six conditional discriminations in three contexts, probes (symmetry, transitivity, symmetrical transitivity) were introduced in contexts 1 and 2. In context 3, only trained conditional discrimination trials were delivered. After demonstrations of equivalence in contexts 1 and 2, point loss was placed on symmetrical performances in one of these contexts; probe trials and point loss for symmetrical performances were simultaneously introduced in context 3. Point loss for symmetrical performances may disrupt other probe performances of an observed equivalence class in that same context; does not necessarily disrupt the emergence of equivalence performances; and may disrupt probe performances in other contexts.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Peuster, Andrea M. (Andrea Michelle)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role of Fluency in the Emergence of the Derived Relations of Stimulus Equivalence

Description: 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.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Burkett, Leslie Stewart
Partner: UNT Libraries

Knowledge-of-Correct-Response vs. Copying-of-Correct-Response: a Study of Discrimination Learning

Description: 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.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Geller, David, 1952-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessment and Treatment of Object Mouthing in the Classroom

Description: 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.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Naftolin, Stacie (Stacie A.)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Second-Order Conditional Control of Members of an Equivalence Class

Description: 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.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Cammilleri, Anthony Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Use of an Applied Task as a Test of Stimulus Equivalence

Description: 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.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Luby, John M. (John Martin)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Examining the Relationship between Variability in Acquisition and Variability in Extinction

Description: 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.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Neff, Bryon (Bryon R.)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role of a Point Loss Contingency on the Emergence of Derived Relations in the Absence of Original Relations

Description: 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.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Michniewicz, Leslie (Leslie A.)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Should Corrective Feedback Come Before or After Responding to Establish a "New" Behavior?

Description: 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.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Roberts, Pamela J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effect of Decreasing Defect Probabilities on Quality Control Inspection

Description: This study was a follow up to P. C. Dams' (1996) unpublished University of North Texas masters thesis, The effect of defect probability during training on inspection accuracy in a quality control simulation. Graphics of computer circuit boards were presented in dyads with an error free sample on the left and a comparison on the right. Comparisons had either a rotation or transposition defect, or were error free. Subjects had 10-s to accept or reject the comparison as identical to the sample. They were trained using two different stimulus fading procedures (using descending defect probabilities) and immediate feedback. Defect probabilities for the Tens were 0.60, 0.50, 0.40, and 0.30 and for the Twenties were 1.00, 0.80, 0.60, and 0.40. The last 4 pretraining and posttraining sessions were compared and the posttraining performance of the Twenties, as compared to the Tens, demonstrated greater improvement over pretraining performance. No firm conclusions could be drawn as to the effectiveness of either training procedure. The significance of the current investigation and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Segal, Jo Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Physiological Effects of Monetary Consequences

Description: Electrodermal responding (EDR) and heart rate (HR) were assessed for seven subjects participating in a reaction time task consequated with monetary bonuses (250, 100, and 10), monetary penalties (250,100, and 10), and a monetary neutral value (00). Unlike previous research employing group designs and a tonic measure (i.e., mean over long periods of time), this study utilized a single-subject design and a phasic measure (i.e., mean over 2-s intervals). Heart rate data was too variable for meaningful analysis. EDR data showed that the peak levels of EDR were higher for penalties than for the corresponding values of bonuses (e.g., -250 vs. +250) for most subjects. Similarly, peak levels of EDR were generally higher during sessions in which consequences were presented than in sessions during which consequences were absent.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Kessler, Jeffrey C. (Jeffrey Charles)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Forms, Reports, and Consequences on Homework Completion

Description: The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of (1) training the accurate completion of an assignment form, (2) providing feedback on accurate reporting of homework completion, and (3) consequences for completion or non-completion of homework. All students exhibited highly accurate recording of information on assignment forms and reports of what homework had been completed or not completed. Delivering consequences for completion or non-completion of assignments had a modest effect on homework completion. This package increased the proportion of homework assignments completed on time for all students in at least one, or as many as three, academic subjects. This package can be an efficient tool for teachers to monitor homework completion.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Piland, Jill A. (Jill Anjanette)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessment and Treatment of Multiple Topographies and Functions of Self-injury

Description: Results of a functional analysis indicated that the self-injurious behavior (SIB) of an adult female with profound mental retardation occurred primarily in the alone and demand conditions. Graphs of the separate topographies (head slaps and head bangs) showed that head banging occurred in the alone condition and that both head banging and head slapping occurred in the demand condition. A data analysis procedure to identify within-session trends across sessions and fluctuations in rates of SIB by topography revealed that most of the demands escaped were escaped by head slaps and that over 80% of all head slaps were associated with escape, compared to less than 1%of all head bangs, indicating that head banging and head slapping were members of separate functional response classes. Treatment consisted of noncontingent availability of preferred leisure materials, and produced substantial decreases of both head banging and head slapping. Interpretation of the results are discussed, as well as some implications and limitations of the study.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Gonzalez, Angela M. (Angela Maria), 1970-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Experimental Analysis of Self-injury With and Without Protective Equipment

Description: Outcomes of experimental analyses during which protective equipment (PE) was placed on three participants were compared to those during which PE was not provided to them. Experimental analysis conditions were presented using a multielement format, and the effects of PE were evaluated using a withdrawal design. Results of experimental analysis without PE suggested that self-injurious behavior (SIB) was maintained by negative reinforcement for two participants and nonsocial mechanisms for the third participant. However, SIB was eliminated either immediately or eventually for all participants when PE was provided during experimental analysis. Thus, outcomes of assessments with PE did not match those without PE, and no conclusion about variables associated with SIB could be drawn from experimental analyses with PE alone. Therefore, the present findings do not support the use of PE as an alternative to standard methods for conducting experimental analysis (i.e., without PE).
Date: December 1998
Creator: Le, Duy D. (Duy Dang)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Extinction Effects During Assessment and Treatment of Behavior Disorders in Applied Settings

Description: The main and side effects of extinction were evaluated in a multiple baseline design across the problem behaviors of two elementary school boys. For each subject, functional analysis procedures resulted in the occurrence and assessment of only one of several problem behaviors reported by teachers. Extinction treatment based on functional analysis outcomes was then applied to the assessed topography and resulted in the emergence of other inappropriate response forms. Each successive behavior was exposed to extinction and changes in previous and subsequent response forms were observed. Both main effects and indirect effects of extinction were examined. Findings are discussed regarding the covariation of responses and implications for the treatment of behavior disorders in applied settings.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Magee, Sandy K. (Sandy Kay)
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparison of Points Versus Sounds as Reinforces in Human Operant Research

Description: Research shows that human operant behavior typically differs from non-human operant behavior on schedules of reinforcement. These differences in performance may be related to differences between the experimental preparations used to study human and non-human operant behavior. One such difference is the type of reinforcer used. This experiment analyzed the differential effects of points alone, points backed up by money, and sounds on schedule performance of human subjects. Results show that sounds generated moderate rates of responding, capable of change in either direction. When points backed up with money were the reinforcers, however, high rates of behavior were generated, disrupting the previously established baseline performance. This suggests that while points may be effective in generating high rates of behavior, they may be ineffective in producing sensitive baselines needed to study human operant behavior on schedules of reinforcement.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Rouse, Susan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Control over Therapist Interactions as a Reinforcer for a Child with Autism

Description: This study evaluated whether therapist terminations of social interactions would decrease social terminations and increase social initiations during play activities with a child with autism. The assessment took place in two conditions. The first condition, instructed involved social interactions with instructions delivered, and the second, uninstructed, involved social interactions without instructions delivered. These conditions were analyzed with a multiple baseline across-conditions design. Interaction duration, initiations, instructions, and child terminations were recorded. This study showed that the therapist-removal procedure resulted in a complete decrease in child terminations, and an increase in the number of initiations and the duration of the child-therapist interactions during the uninstructed condition. Similar effects were seen in the instructed condition, but to a lesser degree.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Edwards, William Harrison
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of a Remote-Controlled Tactile Prompt on the Initiation Skills of a Child with Autism

Description: A 4-year old child with autism was taught to make a social initiation statement following a remote-controlled tactile prompt (RCT). The RCT prompt was taught by using a time-delay procedure with written script cards containing initiation statements. Training trials occurred in 6 different play locations in the child's room. Restricted Trial training consisted of allowing the child to play independently, activating the RCT prompt and playing with the child based on any initiation until a warning to end was given. In Free Play training, the warning to end the activity was removed. The child's initiation statements increased from 0 in baseline, to spontaneous initiations in 100% of the trials in all training and generalization phases. The number of words in an initiation statement increased from 3 to 25 per trial. Spontaneous initiations in the No RCT phase generalized to the child's mother without training.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Bingham-Watts, Kera L.
Partner: UNT Libraries