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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)

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 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

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)

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 Effects of Extinction on Human Performance Following Exposure to Fixed Ratio Schedules of Reinforcement

Description: This experiment examined the effects of extinction on rate of responding and several topographical and temporal measures in adult humans. Three college students were trained to type the sequence 1•5•3 on a numeric keypad on a computer. The subjects were exposed to different fixed-ratio schedules of reinforcement (FR1, FR 5, and FR10 respectively) and extinction. Subjects displayed typical schedule performances during the maintenance phase of the experiment. During extinction the performances were disrupted, they showed a "break and run" pattern and a general decrease in responding. Also, new topographical and temporal patterns emerged. These data are consistent with those reported for non-human species and special human populations.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Anderson, Richard L.

The Effects of a Feedback Package on the Facial Orientation of a Young Girl with Autism During Restricted and Free Operant Conditions

Description: A multiple baseline design across activities and people was used to assess the effectiveness of a feedback package on the facial orientation of a young girl with autism. During baseline, observations indicated low rates of facial orientation and high rates of gaze avoidance during conversation (restricted operant) and play (free operant) conditions. After treatment, facial orientation rates increased and gaze avoidance rates decreased to levels similar to typically-developing peers and maintained at one month follow up. These results suggest that the feedback package was effective in producing durable facial orientation across different environments and people. Possible interpretations, strengths, and limitations are discussed.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Jacobs, Wendy Lynn

The Effects of Restricting the Response Space and Self-evaluation on Letter Quality in Beginning and Experienced Handwriters.

Description: This study analyzed the effects of restricting the response space and selfevaluation on students' handwriting quality in two beginning handwriters and two experienced handwriters. Students executed letters with and without using a transparent overlay, in a multiple-baseline-across-letters design. The use of the transparent overlay included drawing letters in a space restricted by the transparency; overlaying a model letter on top of the written letter and; evaluating if the two letters matched. Letter quality immediately improved when overlays were used, and handwriting quality maintained when the writing response was not restricted by the overlay transparency. Prompting and feedback were delivered contingent on on-task behavior. Analysis was based on three different measurement systems.
Date: December 2001
Creator: LePage, Julia

The Effects of a Remote Control Tactile Feedback System on Conversation Skills in Children with Autism.

Description: A few studies have examined the effects of a remote control tactile device (RCT) as an unobtrusive prompting method used to promote skills such as verbal initiations and play behaviors in children with autism. To date, however, no published studies have investigated the effects of the RCT as a consequence to increase and maintain conversation skills. This study was designed to determine whether the RCT, in conjunction with common training techniques (i.e. roleplays, visual feedback, and sibling coaching), could be used as a discrete and unobtrusive feedback system to promote conversation skills in high functioning children with autism. Results found that the RCT and training packages were effective in initially increasing rates of target responses. The effects however, did not always maintain with a return to baseline. Programming "naturally" maintaining communities of reinforcement was found to be a critical factor in the maintenance of the conversational responses.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Shively, Jane M.

The Effects of "Errorless" Training and Testing on the Performances of Typically Developing Children During Acquisition and Retention.

Description: This study examines the effects of two teaching procedures and two testing procedures (“Skip” and “Guess”) on acquisition, retention and generalization of learning. Three typically developing females between the ages of 8 and 11 learned the 24 lower case letters of the Greek alphabet. Half of the letters were taught with the “Skip” procedure and the other half with the “Guess” procedure. The “Skip” procedure produced faster and more efficient learning than the “Guess” procedure. The “Skip” procedure also resulted in better initial retention (4 weeks), but this effect disappeared in subsequent retention tests. The training conditions did not have differential effects on generalization tests across learning channels, except for the Free/Say channel.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Arnadottir, Iris

The Effects of Workshop Training and Coaching on the Acquisition and Generalization of Teaching Skills

Description: The purpose of this study was threefold: (a) to examine the separate effects of increased accuracy on multiple-choice/rank-order written tests and coaching on the teaching performance of participants; (b) to compare generalization across tasks produced by the workshop and coaching; and (c) to assess maintenance of teaching performance. Following baseline, two adults received a lecture on discrete trial teaching procedures. A written test measured verbal performance on workshop material periodically throughout this phase. During the next phase, each adult then experienced further training via in-situ coaching. A multiple baseline design across tasks was used during the coaching phase. Results of the workshop training package revealed an inverse relationship between the strongest verbal performance and strongest teaching performance skill areas. In addition, only with the introduction of the in-situ coaching package did teacher performance improve significantly across all behaviors. Child responding remained relatively constant throughout the study, regardless of teacher performance. Some generalization of teacher behavior was observed across tasks, but was extremely variable across both workshop and coaching conditions. After the cessation of coaching, teacher performance remained stable across maintenance phases and at a 6-week follow-up.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Almon, Holly C.

Multiple-Respondent Anecdotal Assessments for Behavior Disorders: An Analysis of Interrater Agreement and Correspondence With Functional Analysis Outcomes

Description: An analysis of interrater agreement across multiple respondents on anecdotal assessments and correspondence between functional analysis outcomes was completed. Experiment I evaluated overall agreement among multiple respondents (direct-care staff) on the hypothesized function of each residents (28 adults with mental retardation) problematic behavior using the Motivational Assessment Scale (MAS) and the Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST). Results of the questionnaires indicated that respondents agreed on the function of the problematic behavior for 10 of the 28 residents. Experiment II examined whether, for selected cases in which 4 out of 5 respondents agreed on the function of the problematic behavior, correspondence occurred between functional analyses and anecdotal assessments outcomes. Two of the 6 functional analyses did not evoke the problematic behavior. However, 4 functional analyses did produce corresponding outcomes suggesting that, when the functional analyses produced interpretable data, the results of the functional analyses corresponded with those of the anecdotal assessments.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Fahrenholz, Anney Renee