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The Effect of Response Preclusion on Stereotypy and Play in a Child with Autism.

Description: This study investigates the effectiveness of response preclusion on stereotypic behavior (climbing and licking) and on play for a child with autism. Data were collected on stereotypic responses, play behavior, and the types of play materials the participant contacted. Implementation of response preclusion was followed by both a decrease in stereotypic behavior as well as an increase in play behavior. Play behavior did not return to baseline levels of responding during reversals to baseline, and stereotypic behavior decreased across reversals. These results suggest the current antecedent manipulation not only reduces stereotypic behavior, but also can establish an environment that is more conducive to learning new, desired behavior.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Delgado, Veronica

Using video modeling to teach complex play sequences to children with autism.

Description: Overcoming social skill deficits in children with autism is a challenge faced by educators and caregivers. Video modeling is a method of training that can promote generalization. This study extends the literature by investigating effects of video modeling on repetitive motor and vocal responses and skill generalization to other settings for children with low-functioning autism/ developmental disabilities. A multiple baseline across 3 play sequences was implemented with 3 males. Results indicate that 2 acquired vocal and motor responses and 1 acquired imitative noises and motor responses using video modeling alone. Generalization occurred with 2 participants. These findings have important implications for the field showing that video modeling can enable educators and caregivers to help children with autism overcome social skill deficits.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Jeffreys, Chris

Shaping Cows' Approach to Humans Using Positive and Negative Reinforcement

Description: Negative reinforcement can be a powerful tool for behavior analysts, yet it is often overlooked as a treatment method. Pryor (1999) outlines a method for approaching a "timid" animal using a combination of negative reinforcement and positive reinforcement. When the animal stands still, the human operates a clicker, and then retreats from the animal. Gradually, the human moves closer to the animal through the clicking and retreating shaping process. Once the human is standing close enough, food may be offered as a positive reinforcer, and the negative reinforcer is canceled out. The purpose of this study was to experimentally demonstrate the click-retreat technique with cows. A multiple-baseline design across subjects was used to test this technique. Results show that the click and retreat technique was effective. Results are discussed in terms of the difference between the click-retreat technique and systematic desensitization.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Morehead, Melissa L.

Teaching Two Children with Autism to Follow a Computer-Mediated Activity Schedule Utilizing Microsoft® PowerPoint® Presentation Software

Description: Children with autism typically exhibit deficits in behavior and also in visual processing. Development and implementation of visually-cued instructional procedures, combined with electronic technology, have been used successfully to teach children with autism complex behavior chains. This study used photographic activity schedules on computer slideshow software to teach two children with autism to follow computer-mediated cues and engage in four play activities, and to transition between each activity in their homes without the presence of a trained behavior therapist. Results of this study demonstrated that these technologies can be utilized in children's homes to promote computer-mediated play behavior while eliminating the necessary cost of a home behavior therapist to prompt and supervise such activities.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Carmichael, Tammy

Effects of Fluency and Accuracy-Only Training on Acquisition and Retention of Letter Naming by Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury

Description: This study examines the effects of accuracy-only training and fluency training on retention of material learned. Two adolescent participants with traumatic brain injuries were taught to name 2 sets of lowercase Greek letters. Each of the 2 sets consisted of 7 letters. Practice and rate of reinforcement were controlled for in this study. Fluency trained letters showed higher retention (percent correct during retention checks) than the accuracy-only trained letters.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Ewing, Christopher Boyd

Tracking to Pliance: Effects of Punishment on Non-Compliance

Description: Inaccurate instructions have been shown to interfere with or override the effects of otherwise effective behavioral contingencies. This effect may be mediated by such factors as the discriminability of current contingencies, histories with accurate and inaccurate instructions, and consequences associated with following instructions. The current experiment investigated the effects of instructions (both accurate and inaccurate) on response patterns when paired with feedback regarding correspondence between responding and instructions, feedback indicating potential point loss for non-correspondence, and point loss for non-correspondence. Inaccurate instructions produced only small and temporary disruptions in response patterns, as did the addition of feedback alone and feedback indicating potential point loss. The introduction of escalating point losses contingent on non-correspondence, ranging from 20%-50% of points earned, produced changes in response patterns that corresponded to the inaccurate instructions. These outcomes indicate that the imposition of direct consequences for noncompliance may alter the effects of other contingencies. Depending on the point at which point losses disrupt responding, such effects may be interpreted in terms of point loss avoidance or, alternatively, maximizing point gains.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Harmon, D. Austin

Evaluation of a Training Package for Teaching Social Skills in an Inclusionary Preschool Environment

Description: Effective training procedures are necessary when teaching behavior analytic techniques because the techniques are so complex and precise; and there is a correlation between the changed skills in the trainees to be beneficial to the client. Instructors who may previously exhibit effective teaching techniques in a one-to-one setting may not exhibit those techniques in an inclusive setting. This study examines the effects of a training package and an instruction on the performance of experienced instructors, and desired responding from both preschool-aged children with autism and typically developing peers. The training took place with 3 triads of one instructor, one child with autism, and one peer in a center-based inclusionary preschool. Instructor skills targeted were prompt and consequence delivery for the target social skills, getting attention and responding to peers. Corroborative data on children's responding were obtained.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Haycraft, Carrie H.

The Effects of Two Types of Consequence Delivery on Task Acquisition.

Description: The effects of two consequence delivery methods on task acquisition were evaluated within a multi-element design. A typical 3 year-old child and a 4 year-old child with autism participated in this study. The task for both children was to select a picture after the experimenter said its name. The consequence in one condition consisted of the experimenter handing the edible item to the children. The consequence in the other condition consisted of the children retrieving the edible item directly from the apparatus, located in a crevice underneath each picture. Results show slightly quicker acquisition in the condition where children retrieved the edible consequence. However, it is possible that other variables had greater influence on the task acquisition.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Jenkins, Juliet

On the effects of extended sample-observing response requirements on adjusted delay in a titrating delay matching-to-sample procedure with pigeons.

Description: A common procedural variation that facilitates the acquisition of conditional discriminations is to increase the time an organism spends in the presence of the sample stimulus by programming extended sample-observing response requirements. Despite their common use, there has been little empirical investigation of the effects of extended sample-observing response requirements. In the current study, four pigeons worked on a titrating delay matching-to-sample procedure in which the delay between sample offset and comparison onset was adjusted as a function of the pigeons' accuracy. The number of responses required to produce the comparison array was manipulated across conditions. Results show that all subjects were able to withstand longer delays between sample offset and comparison onset as sample-observing response requirements increased. These data show that the extent of the response requirement in the presence of the sample has systematic effects on conditional discrimination performances and should be considered in the design of experiments.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Kangas, Brian D.

Do Shared S-minus Functions Among Stimuli Lead to Equivalence?

Description: We examined the claim that equivalence classes contain all positive elements in a reinforcement contingency by asking whether negative stimuli in a reinforcement contingency will also form an equivalence class, based on their shared function as S-minus stimuli. In Experiment 1, 5 subjects were tested for equivalence for positive and negative stimuli. Testing of positive stimuli preceded testing of negative stimuli. Two of five subjects demonstrated equivalence for positive stimuli, and three subjects demonstrated equivalence for negative stimuli. In Experiment 2, order of testing was reversed. Four of six subjects demonstrated equivalence for positive stimuli, and none demonstrated equivalence for negative stimuli. In Experiment 3, positive and negative stimuli were tested together. Only one of five subject demonstrated equivalence for positive and negative stimuli. These data suggest that negative stimuli may enter an equivalence class, and so Sidman paradigm should be expanded. Order of testing was found as a meaningful variable.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Kassif-Weiss, Sivan O.

Clarifying Variables associated with Problem Behaviors Using Structured Descriptive Assessment

Description: This study evaluated the utility of a structured descriptive assessment (SDA) as an alternative method of functional assessment. Initially, an analogue functional analysis, conducted to assess the problem behavior of two adults with developmental disabilities, produced inconclusive results. Subsequently, SDAs was conducted in the individuals' natural environment with the direct-contact caregivers acting as therapists. This assessment manipulated antecedent variables similarly to the analogue functional analysis but allowed for consequences to occur naturally. The results from SDAs suggested that problem behaviors, for both participants, were occasioned by removal of personal items and maintained by their return. Treatments based on the results of SDAs were implemented in a reversal design and resulted in a notable reduction in the occurrences of problem behavior for both participants. These outcomes suggest that SDA procedures may be useful when results from the analogue functional analysis are inconclusive.
Date: August 2005
Creator: McAllister, Amanda Jo

Effects of Concurrent Fixed Interval-fixed Ratio Schedules of Reinforcement on Human Responding.

Description: The present study contributes an apparatus and research paradigm useful in generating human performances sensitive to concurrent schedules of reinforcement. Five participants produced performances observed to be under temporal and ratio control of concurrent fixed interval-fixed ratio schedules. Two aspects of interaction between FI and FR schedules were distinguishable in the data. First, interaction between two schedules was observed in that changes in the value of one schedule affected behavior reinforced on another schedule. Second, switching from one pattern to the other functioned as an operant unit, showing stability during schedule maintenance conditions and sensitivity to extinction. These effects are discussed in the context of current views on behavior under concurrent schedules of reinforcement, and some implications for the conceptualization, measurement, analysis, and treatment of complex behavior are presented.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Parsons, Teresa Camille

A within-subject comparison of stimulus equivalence training.

Description: Training structures have been defined as the order and arrangement of baseline conditional discriminations within stimulus equivalence training. The three training structures most often used are, linear (trains A:B and B:C discrimination), many-to-one (trains B:A and C:A discriminations) , and one-to-many (trains A:B and A:C discriminations). Each training structure trains a different set of simultaneous and successive discriminations that are then needed in the test for derived relations (symmetry, reflexivity, transitivity, and symmetrical transitivity). The present experiment seeks to extend the research on stimulus equivalence training structures by using a within-subject design and adult human subjects. Three sets of 9 arbitrary stimuli were trained concurrently each with a different training structure. From the beginning, training and testing trials were intermixed. The likelihood of producing stimulus equivalence formation was equal across structures.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Rawls, Medea

Generalized identity matching in the pigeon: Effects of extended observing- and choice-response requirements.

Description: Four experimentally naïve white Carneau pigeons learned to match three colors to each other in a variant of an Identity matching-to-sample procedure with an FR20 on samples and a response-initiated FI8-s on comparisons. In Experiment 1, the extent to which subjects were matching on the basis of identity was assessed by presenting, in extinction, test trials comprising novel stimuli serving as the sample (and matching comparison) or as the nonmatching comparison. The results from Experiment 1 suggested intermediate or little to no transfer on the basis of identity. Experiment 2 reassessed transfer on the basis of identity with differential reinforcement on the test trials. Under these conditions, two of the four birds demonstrated substantially better than chance levels of performance. These data imply that while the extended response requirements may be necessary, other procedural aspects may be responsible for generalized identity matching in the pigeon.
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Date: August 2005
Creator: Hayashi, Yusuke

Assessing Optimal Sibling Training Conditions: An Empirical Approach.

Description: The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of play materials on the interactions between a child with autism and her sibling. Three conditions were assessed: open choice, materials chosen by the child with autism, and materials chosen by the typically developing sibling. Within each activity, measures of social interactions were assessed. Results of the assessment showed that more interactions occurred with a material chosen by the child with autism. After sibling training (targeting specific teaching skills), social interactions remained highest in the condition with materials chosen by the child with autism. The results are discussed in terms of a material assessment to optimize sibling training conditions and the importance of sibling relationships.
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Date: August 2005
Creator: Merker, Stephanie K.

Shaping: From art to science.

Description: This study evaluated the effectiveness of a procedure for teaching a caregiver to shape vocal language in a young child with autism. A multiple baseline design was employed to assess caregiver use of shaping procedures, child vocal language progress, and the social validity of the procedures. Following baseline and introductory sessions, the coach and caregiver reviewed video from the previous session and the coach gave descriptive feedback to the caregiver about her performance. Following the review of the videotaped segment, procedures to increase skills were selected and practiced. Rates of responsive opportunity arrangement, model presentation, responsive model delivery, and responsive event delivery, as well as the child's rate of requests, vocalizations, diversity of vocalizations, and social validity were measured. Data suggested that the procedures effectively taught the skill of shaping to a caregiver, which in turn seemed to produce increases in the child's vocal responding.
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Date: August 2005
Creator: Schooley, Kathryne Balch

A Comparison of Brief Versus Extended Paired-Choice Preference Assessment Outcomes.

Description: 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.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Cason, Caroline Adelaide

Effects of a Limited Hold on Pigeons' Match-to-sample Performance Under Fixed-ratio Scheduling.

Description: 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.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Cermak, Joseph Leland

An evaluation of two performance pay systems on the productivity of employees in a certified public accounting firm.

Description: 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.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Shelton, Bryan

The Effects of Rate of Responding on Retention, Endurance, Stability, and Application of Performance on a Match-to-sample Task.

Description: 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.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Wheetley, Brook

The Effects of the Delay in a Delayed Match-To-Sample Procedure on Acquisition and Transfer

Description: 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).
Date: December 2005
Creator: Smith, Kimberly N.

The Effects of Timed Readings on Recall and Comprehension in a Child with Asperger's Syndrome.

Description: 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.
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Date: December 2005
Creator: Young, Christina A.

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

An experimental analysis of opportunity and communication response form in a child with autism and hearing impairments.

Description: An alternating treatment design was used to systematically evaluate the communication response forms, picture exchange communication system (PECS) or sign language, selection for a child with pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified, profound hearing loss, and cochlear implants. The child had a limited pool of high preference items and very few functional skills. Key factors for this child included a structured environment that created a verbal community and contingent access to high preference items. No preference in communication response form was observed. The child successfully used four response forms to communicate: gestures, PECS, sign language, and vocalization. The results are discussed in terms of decision making factors in the selection of response forms.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Dempsey, Donna Jean