UNT Libraries - 322 Matching Results

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The Measurement and Enhancement of Rapport Between Behavioral Therapists and Children with Autism

Description: Rapport has been acknowledged as an important variable in therapeutic contexts. The current evaluation defined and assessed rapport quality between children with autism and behavioral therapists based on behavioral correlates. In addition, the author evaluated the effects of an operant discrimination training procedure to enhance rapport levels for therapists with low levels of rapport. More specifically, the current study evaluated: (a) if the discrimination training procedure would establish therapists’ social interactions as a discriminative stimulus and (b) if social interaction would function as a conditioned reinforcer for novel responses. Results suggest that the discrimination training procedure was successful in conditioning social interaction as a reinforcer for all child participants, and as a result, rapport increased.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Lapin, Carly Ilyse

An Evaluation of Negative Reinforcement During Error Correction Procedures

Description: This study evaluated the effects of error correction procedures on sight word acquisition. Participants were four typically developing children in kindergarten and first grade. We used an adapted alternating treatment design embedded within a multiple baseline design to evaluate instructional efficacy of two error correction procedures; one with preferred items plus error correction and one with error correction only, and a concurrent chain schedule to evaluate participant preference for instructional procedure. The results show that there was no difference in acquisition rates between the procedures. The evaluation also showed children prefer procedures that include a positive reinforcement component.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Maillard, Gloria Nicole

Evaluation of Ethanol’s Effects on the Biophysical Characteristics of Licking

Description: Alcohol use disorders are a public health issue related to adverse effects for individuals and society. A low level of response, or decreased sensitivity, to alcohol has been identified as a heritable risk factor for development of alcohol use disorders. One method for researching level of response to alcohol is through the use of rodent models, which are developed to mimic human conditions while eliminating barriers to conducting research with people. Current rodent models used to evaluate effects of ethanol on motor performance have been criticized for not being well matched to human tasks that measure level of change in body sway after alcohol consumption. This study looks at oromotor behavior as a potential alternative to gross motor performance in hopes of increasing correspondence between human and rodent measures of intoxication. To evaluate rodent oromotor performance a force transducer lickometer is used to measure several dimensions of licking behavior after administration of different concentrations of ethanol solution via gavage. Results show that force of licking is not sensitive to dose of ethanol. The total number of licks per session show dose related decreases and licking rhythm, evaluated by the length and distribution of interlick intervals, either increased or decreased for three of the four subjects. Recommendations are made for procedural modifications in order to reduce variability in data and further investigate oromotor performance and level of response to alcohol.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Stewart, Daryl Ellen

The Evaluation of Task Preference on Reinforcer Efficacy

Description: Stimulus preference assessments have determined high and low preferred items that increase the rate of frequency of responding for various skills. Within applied settings, high preferred items may not attain the same reinforcing value across tasks which might decrease responding. The preference of the task might have an effect on reinforcer efficacy that is being presented. The purpose of the current study is to evaluate changes in reinforcer efficacy as a function of preference for the task. Three children diagnosed with ASD participated in the study. HP/LP items and HP/LP tasks were identified through paired-choice assessments, and each item was presented as a consequence for each task in a counterbalanced multi-element format. Results indicated that preference for the task had little effect of the rate of responding across items.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Lowery, Wesley J.

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)

The Function-Altering Effects of Contingency-Specifying Stimuli

Description: Three children between the ages of 3 and 3 1/2 were asked to choose a colored object from an array of 5 colors in a baseline condition. After color preferences were established, stickers, small toys and praise were made contingent on choosing the least preferred color. After the first experimental condition resulted in consistent choosing of the least preferred color, a second experimental condition was implemented. At the beginning of each session a contingency-specifying stimulus (CSS) was presented, each CSS specifying a different color to be selected. Both contingency-shaping and CSS presentation resulted in stimulus control over responding. However, CSS presentation resulted in immediate redistributions of behavioral units across CSS sessions.
Date: August 1992
Creator: Ford, Victoria L.

The Effects of Different Percentages of Incentive Pay to Base Pay on Work Productivity

Description: This experiment investigated how different percentages of incentive pay affected performance on a number-entering task. It was hypothesized that the critical factor in incentive pay systems was the absolute amount of money that could be earned in an incentive pay paradigm. A counterbalanced single-subject reversal design was employed to examine effects of incentives on performance. Twelve subjects were used in the experiment with three subjects assigned to one of four experimental paradigms. Two of the experimental paradigms incorporated 10% and 100% incentive pay conditions, while the other two experimental paradigms incorporated absolute pay conditions equal to the 10% and 100% incentive pay conditions. Results indicated that similar trends in productivity occurred across subjects in all four experimental paradigms.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Gruenberg, Joel S. (Joel Sanborn)

An Experimental Analysis of Preference Problems in a Self-Control Choice Procedure by Adults with Mental Retardation

Description: The original purpose of this study was to determine if Tegretol has an effect on the impulsive behavior exhibited by people with mental retardation. This was to be accomplished through a replication of the self-control choice procedures used by Ragotzy, Blakely, and Poling (1988). The procedure involved three stages. First, subjects chose between stimuli that provided either one or three edibles. Then the stimuli associated with the smaller and larger edibles were reversed. Following this, the procedure required the implementation of successively longer delays to the larger reinforcer. However, none of the subjects who participated was able to make the discriminations necessary to proceed, i.e., the subjects did not systematically select the stimulus associated with the larger magnitude edible choice. The identification and rectification of these errors in discrimination became the focus of this study. Various procedures were used to enhance discrimination, including fading, adjusting the magnitude of the edibles, and stimulus changes. None of these changes was successful in teaching the subjects the necessary discriminations.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Koppekin, Amy L. (Amy Lynn)

The Physiological Control of Verbal Behavior

Description: The current study sought to investigate whether physiological responses, such as the electrodermographic response (EDG) and/or the frontalis muscle electrical potential (EMG) could be developed as a source of control over verbal responses. Discrimination training procedures using points exchangeable for money were employed to condition verbal responses occasioned by minute interoceptive events with 2 adult human subjects. Specific verbal responses were reinforced in the presence of changes in EDG with Sl and EDG and EMG with S2. Stimulus control over differentiated verbal responses was demonstrated with both subjects. The results suggest that minute interoceptive events can enter into controlling relations with verbal responses and that this control is partially a function of the size or range of physiological responses as well as conditioning history.
Date: August 1992
Creator: Field, Douglas Preston

The Evocative and Repertoire-Altering Effects of Contingency-Specifying Stimuli

Description: The effects of deadlines in contingency-specifying stimuli among nine 4 to 5 year old children were investigated. Each child was given verbal statements differing in the specified deadline, the delivery of the reinforcer, and the opportunity to respond. The results indicated: (a) statements not specifying deadlines or reinforcers failed to control the children's behavior reliably, (b) specifying deadlines, either immediate or delayed, and immediate reinforcers exerted reliable control over the children's behavior when the opportunity to respond was immediately available, and (c) specifying delayed deadlines or no deadlines and immediate or delayed reinforcers did not reliably control the children's behavior when the opportunity to respond was delayed.
Date: August 1992
Creator: Mistr, Kathryn N. (Kathryn Noel)

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)

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

Effects of Single VI History on Human Concurrent VI VI Choice

Description: Two groups of human subjects pressed buttons on five different variable-interval (VI) reinforcement schedules presented for seven minutes each for 15 sessions. At session 16, the same VI schedules were programmed concurrently in each session either with or without a 5 s changeover delay (COD). The same schedule-correlated stimuli were employed in single and concurrent conditions. Two other groups responded on concurrent VI VI conditions from the first session with or without the COD. Response allocations under concurrent scheduling better approximated relative reinforcement frequencies when the COD was programmed. Subjects with single VI histories failed to match response and time allocations to reinforcement ratios better than subjects given no such history. Bidirectional cumulative records are discussed as a molecular data analysis technique.
Date: August 1992
Creator: Madden, Gregory J. (Gregory Jude)

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

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)

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.

Dance: a Training Package Utilizing Videotaped Self-observation to Teach Parents to Enhance Social Interactions with Children At-risk for a Developmental Delay

Description: Previous research has demonstrated the effectiveness of programs that include a videotaped self-observation component. The self-observation protocols, however, have not been clearly specified within programs that teach and report parents’ use of general teaching strategies. The current study investigates the effects of a training package with a self-observation component to teach parents to improve teaching interactions with their children at-risk for a developmental delay using an AB design replicated across participants. Data were collected across play interactions to assess the number of parent teaching episodes, child target responses, and various parent and child relationship qualities. Relationship quality measures included parent and child affect and engagement, parent directives, parent confidence and stress, and parent and child interest. The results of this study suggest that the training package was effective in that parents engaged in higher rates of teaching, their children engaged in more desired responding, and certain aspects of the parent-child interaction were enhanced. These results are discussed in terms of the effects on the parent-child teaching interaction and implications for future use of parent self-observation techniques.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Townley-Cochran, Donna

The Effects of Sucrose on Ethanol Consumption in Ethanol Naïve and Non-naïve Rats

Description: Sucrose fading and intermittent access are two common procedures that induce alcohol consumption in rodents. Sucrose fading procedures involve exposing ethanol naïve rats to a mixture of ethanol and sucrose and gradually reducing the concentration of sugar. Intermittent access procedures involve providing rats with access to ethanol on alternating days. Given that rats will consume ethanol without sucrose, the role of sugar in the sucrose fading procedure is unclear. Rats must be ethanol naïve when they are exposed to treatment with sucrose fading, so there is no point of comparison to show that exposure to sugar in sucrose fading produces higher levels of drinking. There has yet to be any work that isolates the effects of sugar on the consumption of alcohol. The purpose of the present experiment was to examine the effects of sucrose on ethanol consumption in rats with different alcohol histories. Two groups of six rats were exposed to two successive sucrose fading procedures, 30 days apart and their drinking was measured 30 days after each one. One group was exposed to an intermittent access procedure to establish drinking prior to treatment with sucrose fading, the other was ethanol naïve. Following sucrose fading, all rats drank pharmacologically active doses of ethanol. For both groups consumption correlated with the concentration of sucrose and decreased in a step-wise manner as it was faded. For the ethanol experienced rats, consumption dropped below baseline levels as sucrose was faded and decreased further with the second exposure. In contrast, the ethanol-naïve rats did not decrease consumption from the first sucrose fading procedure to the second. Slight differences in peak force of responses were also observed.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Dove, Rachel Jolene

The Effects of Training History on Retention and Reacquisition of Stimulus Control

Description: The purpose of this experiment was to study the effects of training history on retention and re-acquisition of stimulus control of previously learned behaviors. In Phase I, two pairs of behaviors were alternately trained. Circle and touch behaviors were trained concurrently until two consecutive errorless sessions were run. Spin and down behaviors were trained together in the same manner. Probe sessions, in which all four cues were presented, were conducted each time a pair of behaviors reached this criterion. Training of one pair did not occur until the other pair had reached criterion and probe sessions were run. Despite achieving the designated criterion during training, stimulus control changed during probes. During probe sessions, errors increased under the cues that were not currently being trained. In most cases, the type of errors emitted for each cue was the same as the behavior that was trained concurrently. The number of training sessions required to reach criterion accuracy was high during the first set of sessions and decreased over the course of the experiment. In Phase II, spin and circle behaviors were trained concurrently. The number of sessions required to reach stimulus control criteria remained low, and the number of errors emitted under the spin and circle cues during probe sessions decreased. However, the number of errors increased under the touch cue. In Phase III, a reinforce-all procedure was used instead of extinction to test stimulus control. The highest frequency of errors occurred under the touch cue, but the down error was almost exclusively emitted under every cue during the last several sessions.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Tucker, Kathryn Lynn

Measuring the Effect of Alternating In-class with Online Lecture on Student Learning in College Classrooms

Description: Personalized instruction has long been a goal of behavior analysis in the education of typically developing populations, one important element of which is the delivery of lectures in new formats. This study tested feasibility of online lecture delivery by comparing online and in-class delivery of lectures using an adapted alternating treatments design. Each week, the lecture component of a unit of an introductory behavior analysis course was presented either online or in-class, alternating week to week. The alternation was counterbalanced between two sections, where one section saw the lecture for a given unit -online while the other did it in-class, allowing for comparison between lectures of a given unit as well as across units within a section. First attempt quiz scores were measured. No significant difference in the trend of quiz scores between conditions was detected, averaging 73.1% (range, 50.4% to 83.4%) for online and 72.8% (range, 54.8 to 84%) for in-class conditions. This suggests that online lectures are a feasible alternative lecture delivery in this introductory behavior analysis course. This experimental methodology may also be used to test other instructional techniques as well. The ability to place lectures online, opens the door to further, more refined, experimentation with modern instructional methods such as the “flipped classroom.”
Date: August 2013
Creator: Kellerstedt, Brett G.

An Analysis of the Value-altering Effect of Motivating Operations

Description: Motivating operations (MOs) may affect behavior in two ways; A) an MO momentarily alters the frequency of behavior for which a particular consequence has served as reinforcement (evocative-effect) and B) an MO momentarily alters the behavioral effects of the relevant consequence (value-altering effect). Many studies have empirically demonstrated the evocative function of MOs, however, few if any studies have attempted to systematically manipulate and measure the value-altering effect. The focus of this study was to investigate the value-altering effect by measuring choice and response allocation across two alternative tasks. Participants were two female girls diagnosed with autism. During conditioning sessions, experimenters created a history for the children in which clicking on a moving square on a computer monitor produced a small piece of edible. Prior to some conditions, the participants were allowed 5 min of free-access to the edibles, and in other sessions, access to edibles prior to session was restricted. During these sessions, the square was either red or blue depending on the condition type (pre-access or restricted-access). During probe sessions, both colored squares were concurrently available and participants were allowed to allocate their responding to whichever square they chose. One participant preferred the square associated with restricted-access, which may support the notion of the value-altering effect. Difficulties during conditioning sessions interfered with the ability to run sufficient probes with the other participant to evaluate a value-altering effect. Results suggest that the use of these procedures may be useful to differentiate evocative and function-altering effects of MOs.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Devine, Bailey

Further Evaluation of Blocked Trials to Teach Intraverbal Conditional Discriminations: Effects of Criterion-level Probes

Description: Individuals with autism often have deficient intraverbal repertoires. Previous research has found success in using a blocked trials procedure to facilitate discrimination training. A previous study (unpublished) from our laboratory extended this procedure to intraverbal training. The current study continued this line of research by exploring the outcomes of probing the criterion performance more frequently. Three children with autism, ages 7-13, participated. Eight question pairs were taught. One question was presented repeatedly until a specified number of consecutive correct responses occurred, then the other question was presented. Contingent on specific mastery criteria, the trial blocks were faded into smaller blocks until the questions were presented in quasi-random order. Between each step, a criterion probe was conducted to determine if further steps were necessary. The procedure has been successful for two of the three participants. Criterion probe performance showed that not all teaching steps were needed every time. The procedure may have facilitated acquisition over time, because the number of trials to mastery generally decreased over successive targets.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Haggar, Jennifer Lynn

The Power of One Reinforcer

Description: Animal trainers use shaping to teach many behaviors. However, during shaping, the organism may engage in behaviors other than the target behavior or approximations to the target behavior. If the animal is engaged in other behaviors, the rate of reinforcement may decrease and the trainer may resort to what is sometimes referred to as a “desperation click.” That is, the trainer delivers one reinforcer for a behavior that is not a successive approximation to the target response. Anecdotal reports from trainers suggest that sometimes the animal continues to repeat this other behavior that received only one reinforcer, even in the absence of further reinforcement for that behavior. This study compared whether, during a one minute extinction period, participants spent more time engaged in a behavior that had been reinforced only once after a brief period of no reinforcement or in a behavior that had been reinforced multiple times. Participants, who were university students, played a tabletop game that involved touching and manipulating small objects. Five conditions were repeated twice for each participant: reinforcement for interacting with a training object alone, reinforcement for interacting with a training object with other objects present, reinforcement for interacting with a target object, one reinforcer for interacting with a third object immediately following a brief period of no reinforcement, and reinforcement for interacting with any object. Results from this study show that a desperation click situation can be reliably produced in a controlled setting. When participants received one reinforcer for interacting with a new object following a period of no reinforcement, they interacted with the new object for a longer or equal amount of time as compared to an object that had a history of reinforcement.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Hunter, Mary E.

Exploring Fundamental Principles in the Study of Derived Relational Responding in Pigeons

Description: A persistent challenge for behaviorally-based accounts of learning has been providing an account of learning that occurs in the absence of systematically programmed contingencies of reinforcement. Symmetry, one type of emergent behavior, has been repeatedly demonstrated with humans, but has been considerably more difficult to demonstrate with non-humans. In this study, pigeons were exposed to a go/no-go procedure in which hue stimuli were presented full screen on a touchscreen monitor. Pigeons learned 12 baseline relations in less than 30 days. Traditional measures used to evaluate symmetry indicated that, during tests, three of the four birds responded more to the reverse of relations that were reinforced in training than to the reverse of relations that were not reinforced in training. However, additional analyses of these data suggests that these differences were driven by one of two trial types and that symmetry was only observed for one of the two predicted relations. These data systematically replicate and extend work by Urcuioli and colleagues and point to areas where further research is needed.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Hinnenkamp, Jay Evan