UNT Theses and Dissertations - 314 Matching Results

Search Results

The Effects of Contingency Type on Accuracy and Reaction Time

Description: Positive and negative reinforcement contingencies have been compared in terms of preference, but the differential effects of positive and negative reinforcement on reaction time and accuracy with other variables controlled remain unclear. Fifteen undergraduate students participated in a sound discrimination task that involved random mixed-trial presentations of positive and negative reinforcement contingencies. The participants' goal was to correctly identify whether the tone was shorter or longer than 600 milliseconds. On positive reinforcement trials, the participants received feedback and money tallies only if they identified the sound length correctly, with each correct response in the positive reinforcement trials earning the participant 10 cents. On negative reinforcement trials, the participants received feedback and money tallies only if they identified the sound length incorrectly, with incorrect trials subtracting 10 cents from the participants' total money (which began at $4.00 to equalize the weights of the positive and negative reinforcement contingencies). Accuracy analyses showed a relatively curvilinear relationship between the number of errors for each participant and the binned duration of the sound stimulus, with no differences across the positive and negative reinforcement conditions. Results also indicated weak linear negative correlations at the single subject level between comparison stimulus duration and reaction time, with similar slopes between positive and negative reinforcement trials, and strong curvilinear correlations at the group level, indicating differences between grouped and individual analyses. Overall our results appear to support abandoning the distinction between positive and negative reinforcement as two separate behavioral processes.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Adams, Owen James
Partner: UNT Libraries

Why Dance? The Effects of a Group Dance Period on Social Attending, On-Task Behavior, Affect, Stereotypical Behavior, and Disruptive Behavior of Clients of an Autism Treatment Program

Description: Dance is an enjoyable activity that children can engage in across the lifespan. Many children with autism have limited leisure activity, such as dance, and also have challenges in terms of overall health related to physical activity. Previous research suggests that there are both immediate and prolonged benefits of exercise. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a group dance period on on-task behavior, social attending, affect, stereotypic behavior, and disruptive behavior of three girls diagnosed with autism. The experimenter employed a reversal to evaluate the effects of a "dance party" on a range of behaviors over time. During dance activities, staff and children danced as a group and were observed before and after the dance period. During baseline there was no dance party. While no differences were found across measures, the children did have high levels of favorable affect during the dance party. The results are discussed in the context of previous literature and directions for future studies.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Allen, Emerald Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Behavioral Economic Analysis of Different Reinforcers: Sound-Clips Versus Points Exchangeable for Money

Description: Human operant studies frequently use points exchangeable for money as reinforcers. Some studies employ more immediately consumable reinforcers to emulate properties of food reinforcers. This study examined demand for points/money and for sound-clips to compare their economic characteristics. Across four participants, demand was often higher and less elastic for points/money than for sounds. During subsequent exposures at each response requirement, demand for sounds often decreased to a greater degree than demand for points/money. Thus, sound-clips seem less durable than points/money across prices and across repeated exposure to the same price. Response rates for points/money were often higher than for sounds, suggesting that reinforcers that generate higher response rates may be less elastic than reinforcers that generate lower response rates.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Alvey, Debi A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparing Indices of Happiness during Teaching Interactions

Description: The measurement of happiness has received increasing attention in behavior analytic literature. Happiness in individuals with developmental disabilities has been assessed by 1) counting a specific behavior, or 2) sampling constellations of behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine the two approaches while observing nine child and teacher dyads at an autism treatment center. Results showed that, overall, a constellation of behaviors can yield similar patterns when compared to a specific behavior count. However, the affect of one person did not predict the affect of the other and similar instructional conditions did not predict affect either. The implications of these results and future directions are discussed.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Anderson, Claire Therese
Partner: UNT Libraries

An examination of the effects of accuracy+rate versus accuracy+observing response training methods on matching-to-sample performance.

Description: The relative efficacy of training procedures emphasizing accuracy versus those which add a rate criterion is a topic of debate. The desired learning outcome is fluent responding, assessed by measures of retention, endurance, stability, and application. The current study examined the effects of these two procedures on fluency outcomes using a matching-to-sample paradigm to train participants to match English to Japanese characters. An explicit FR-3 observing response was added to an accuracy-only condition to assess the extent to which it may facilitate learning. Total time spent responding in practice drills in accuracy-only conditions was yoked to total time spent in drills achieving rate aims in accuracy+rate (AR) conditions. One participant clearly demonstrated superior fluency outcomes after AR training while another displayed superior endurance and stability outcomes after such training. The remaining two participants did not demonstrate significantly different fluency outcomes across conditions.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Anderson, Jesse
Partner: UNT Libraries

Contingency Management of Physical Rehabilitation: The Role of Feedback

Description: Modern advances in technology have allowed for an increase in the precision with which we are able to measure, record, and affect behavior. These developments suggest that the domains in which behavior analysis might contribute are considerably broader than previously appreciated, for instance the area of behavioral medicine. One way the field of behavior analysis can begin to address problems in behavioral medicine is with biosensor technology, like surface electromyography (sEMG). For sEMG technology to be useful in behavioral medicine, specifically recovery from total knee arthroplasty, a reference value (the maximum voluntary individual contraction-MVIC) must be established. The MVIC value allows for the comparison of data across days and may allow the programming of contingencies. However, current MVIC methods fall short. Study 1 compares MVIC values produced by a participant given the typical instruction only method with two alternative methods: instruction + feedback, and instruction + feedback in a game context. Across 10 participants both feedback conditions lead to higher MVIC values then the instruction only condition. Study 2 applies the MVIC techniques developed during Study 1 to an exercise procedure. Using an MVIC value as the criteria for feedback Study 2 compares the same three conditions, however this time assessing for the conditions under which exercise performance is optimal. Across all 9 participants the instruction + feedback in a game context lead to the participant ‘working harder' and 8 out of 9 participants exceeded the MVIC value more often during this condition then in the other two conditions.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Armshaw, Brennan P
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Biofeedback and Verbal Feedback on the Training and Maintenance of Diaphragmatic Breathing

Description: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a computer program on the training and maintenance of diaphragmatic breathing. The biofeedback portion was visual computer training and the results were displayed concurrently with participants' breathing responses to monitor display. The verbal feedback portion was praise that was given and recorded when participants responded with predominantly diaphragmatic breathing at the scheduled moment and response instruction that was given when participants responded with predominantly thoracic breathing. The results of this study indicate the computer program's effectiveness needs to be increased by supplementation with verbal feedback.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Armstrong, Earl E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Correspondence between Multiple-Respondent Anecdotal Assessments and Functional Analysis: Analyses of Rank-Order, Magnitude-of-Difference, and Overall Outcomes

Description: We administered the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS) and the Questions About Behavioral Function (QABF) to five raters and compared the results with functional analysis outcomes for 12 cases in which agreement was obtained for at least four out of five raters on either anecdotal assessment. The scores for functional categories on the MAS and QABF were ranked by averaging the scores for the raters who agreed on the primary maintaining variable. Functional analysis results were ranked by examining average responding across all conditions. A comparison showed correspondence between the highest category and the highest functional analysis condition for 10 out of 11 cases for the MAS and all 10 cases for the QABF. Correspondence for the category and condition ranked second was found for 2 out of 11 cases for the MAS and 2 out of 10 cases for the QABF. The magnitude of difference between categories on the MAS/QABF did not appear to predict the amount of difference in responding in the corresponding functional analyses.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Arnalds, Holmfridur Osk
Partner: UNT Libraries

Immediate and subsequent effects of response blocking on self-injurious behavior.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Atcheson, Katy
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Cumulative Consumption Feedback On Demand For Money As A Commodity

Description: Behavioral economic theory describes a relation between response requirement and magnitude of reinforcement, and combines these variables into one independent variable (unit price) affecting operant behavior. This study investigated the relative effects of cumulative feedback on consumption for money as a commodity. Subjects were exposed to ranges of unit prices with or without a cumulative feedback bar on the computer screen indicating monetary earnings. For all participants in this study, consumption of money was a decreasing function of unit prices and the results from the present study are consistent with the behavioral economic prediction that increasing the unit price of a commodity will decrease consumption of that commodity. Analyses of demand curves, elasticity coefficients and response rates suggested differences between Feedback and No Feedback groups, although these were small and not statistically significant. The small differences observed were consistent with a behavior strengthening effect of feedback.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Bailey, Kathleen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Shall We Dance? Teaching Parents the Communication Dance to Enhance Generalized Communication in Their Children

Description: Children diagnosed with autism exhibit deficits in communication that impact their ability to control their immediate environment. Recent research on mand training has been criticized for producing a limited number of mand topographies over a long span of time with limited generalization to novel environments. There is a body of research, however, that successfully establishes larger repertoires. Training parents as change agents may mediate generalization by teaching under naturally maintaining contingencies. Additional effects of parent training may reduce parent reports of stress, increase favorable quality of parent-child interactions, and increase reports of parental self-efficacy. The current study evaluated the effects of a generalized training framework to teach parents how to target generalized mands and expand their child’s communicative topographies. The effects of the training were evaluated using a non-concurrent multiple baseline across participants and skills. Results indicated that parents were able to effectively teach their child to mand for a variety of items and events and to substantially increase the number of different mand topographies and expand the topographies the child emitted. Parents were observed to have higher overall confidence and lower overall stress following intervention. The current study builds on previous research on generalized teaching strategies for parents that are effective in teaching a variety of responses to the child.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Baker, Jacqueline R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Fluency-Based Instruction on the Identification of Component Reading Skills

Description: This study examined the effects of fluency-based instruction on the identification of six component-composite relations for early reading skills. Five participants (ages 5-8) who struggled with reading participated. A multiple probe design was used to assess the effects of frequency building on prerequisite skills on the emergence of composite reading skills. The results show that the prerequisite skills taught did not have an effect on the composite skill probes but did have an effect on the assessment scores. The data expand the research pertaining to Precision Teaching, fluency-based instruction, and component-composite relations. These data suggest that additional skills may be needed to be taught in order to effects on the composite skills. In addition, these authors identify the need for the identification of the component skills necessary to teach rapid autonomic naming.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Bandy, Darren
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Descriptive Praise on Instructional Control Over Varied and Stereotyped Play of a Five-Year-Old Boy

Description: This study investigated the effects of instructional cues on varied and stereotyped play responses of one typically developing 5-year-old child. Responses were observed across four sets of play materials: blocks, DUPLO® blocks, markers and paints. Training included praise contingent upon forms consistent with the instruction. Two instructions were each trained with corresponding instruction signs, "Try something different" (on blue paper) and "Do the same thing" (on yellow paper) for block and DUPLO block forms. Results show differentiated novel responding during the experimental phase. The same differential effect in marker forms occurred in the sign alone phase. When the sign plus instruction was introduced for painting sessions, novel forms in the same condition discontinued and began to occur in the different condition. These findings suggest stimulus control of behavioral variation and behavioral consistency. The implications for both science and society are discussed.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Bank, Nicole L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Training Program to Facilitate Caregiver Involvement in School Meetings

Description: Caregivers of children with autism will likely meet with many school professionals once their children become school-aged. These meetings can be intimidating for caregivers who are unfamiliar with special education terminology and protocol, and caregivers may feel ineffective when communicating with school personnel. The purpose of this study is to describe a training curriculum to teach caregivers ways in which to communicate during meetings with school professionals, including the kinds of questions to ask/statements to make and when to ask or make them. A detailed overview of the training procedures, the participants, and the outcomes are described here. Preliminary data suggest the training produced increases in communication skills and that caregivers found the training effective and useful.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Barahona, Heather
Partner: UNT Libraries

Decision Making in a Miniature Market

Description: Although behavior analysts have studied the effects of motivation on preference assessments, consumer behaviorist have not. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effect of the temporary removal of a choice on the order and frequency of purchases after the candy returned. Seventy percent of the time the participant purchased the removed candy first and 60% of the time the participant purchased more than in the baseline.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Barnes, John
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparative Evaluation of Outcomes between Indirect Analyses and Functional Analytic Procedures

Description: While descriptive assessment outcomes show limited correspondence with experimental analysis outcomes, they are still often used in the treatment of problem behavior. The most effective way of treating problem behavior is by manipulating its controlling variables; however, if descriptive analyses are not depicting accurate environment-behavior relations, then treatments based off of descriptive analysis results have a higher chance of failing. The current study looks to replicate and extend the literature on utility descriptive assessments by analyzing three different data analysis methods. Three children with a diagnosis of autism were exposed to two types of experimental analyses. Following experimental analyses, descriptive assessments were completed and analyzed to determine correlations between the behavior and environmental events. The results from the three investigated data analysis methods were then compared to the outcomes of the experimental analyses.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Basham, Annika J
Partner: UNT Libraries

Establishing Appropriate Toileting Behavior in an Adult Female with Developmental Disabilities and Severe Self-Injurious Behavior

Description: The participant was a 52 year-old woman, diagnosed with a profound intellectual disability, who engaged in high rates of severe self-injurious behaviors (SIB) predominantly in the forms of head banging and head hitting. A series of analyses and interventions was implemented to establish appropriate toileting behavior in the natural environment. Treatment consisted of conjugate reinforcement for optimal toilet positioning with the absence of SIB, episodic positive reinforcement of eliminating in the toilet, and programed generalization across environments and staff. Results showed the maintenance of optimal toilet positioning, decrease in SIB (under 1 instance per min), and appropriate eliminating in 96.3% of all available sessions. Direct support staff were trained to implement the program with 100% fidelity.
Date: May 2019
Creator: Bayliss, Kathleen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Training a non-match response: Toward a technology for determining controlling stimulus dimensions for two children with autism.

Description: 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.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Baynham, Tanya Yvonne
Partner: UNT Libraries

What Are They Learning: a Study of Errors Produced During Behavior Acquisition Utilizing Two Prompting Procedures with a Cat

Description: 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.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Beasley, Robin Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Induced “motivation”

Description: In the avian training community, a procedure has been utilized to maintain food reinforcer efficacy at high body weights. Elements of this procedure include limited holds and closed economies. To test this procedure, a baseline performance of keypecking on an FR 15 schedule at 80% ad lib weight for two pigeons was established. By imposing limited holds and a closed economy, rates of responding were increased compared to baseline, even while the pigeons were over 90% of their ad-lib body weights.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Becker, April Melissa
Partner: UNT Libraries

Correspondence Between Verbal Behavior About Reinforcers and Performance Under Schedules of Reinforcement.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Bekker-Pace, Ruthie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluating a positive parenting curriculum package: An analysis of the acquisition of key skills.

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 2007
Creator: Berard, Kerri P.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparison of Client Attendance, Attrition, and Outcomes in 2 Class System Packages.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Berends, Valori
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Rate Contingent Consequences and Charting on Response Rates for Two Children with Autism.

Description: This study investigated the effects of a precision teaching package on response rates of children with autism. Prior to both experiments a preference assessment was conducted to identify high preference activities for each participant. Experiment 1 investigated whether response rates would shift as a function of rate-contingent consequences during an academic task. Different activities were associated with different rates of responding. The experimental package of 1 minute timings, rate contingent consequences, and charting was successful in increasing the rates of responding when the most highly preferred activity was associated with high rates of responding. When the contingencies were switched and the most highly preferred activity was contingent on lower rates of responding, the participant's responding did not decrease. Experiment 2 was an attempt to replicate the results of Experiment 1 using a multiple baseline across tasks. The experimental package was not successful in increasing the rate of responding.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Berman, Christine M.
Partner: UNT Libraries