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A Comparison of Transfer of Stimulus Control Or Multiple Control on the Acquisition of Verbal Operants in Young Children with Autism: an Extension

Description: One language intervention approach for individuals with autism involves teaching one response topography under multiple sources of control and then establishing that response under individual controlling variable. Another approach involves establishing one response topography under singular control and then using that response to establish the response topography under different controlling variables. The study sought to extend previous research by investigating the impact of each approach on the acquisition of verbal responses. Three of the eight participants acquired all target responses for at least one response topography. The results of previous research were not replicated directly and the findings were discussed in terms of preexperimental verbal repertoires and restricted interests.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Pasat, Irina V.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Effects of Homework Sessions on Undergraduate Students' Homework Performance

Description: Experimenters evaluated the effects of a homework session on undergraduate students' homework performance through an adapted alternating treatments design in two introduction to behavior analysis courses. Several participants attended homework sessions; however, homework submission and homework mastery did not vary as a function of homework session attendance or availability. Homework submission remained high throughout the experiment regardless of attendance at or availability of a homework session. Many participants responded that they were not interested in or did not need homework sessions. Participants who attended homework sessions rated them as neutral or helpful overall, with longer time and different time as the most common suggestions for improvement.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Hamilton, Elissa R.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

A Comparison of Picture to Word Training and Word to Word Training on Native English Speaking College Students’ Acquisition of Italian Vocabulary

Description: The current study assessed the effects of two teaching stimulus presentations, i.e. picture to word and word to word, used to teach second language vocabulary to college students. It also evaluated the emergence of untaught relations when picture to word and word to word were used separately as a teaching strategy. The findings showed picture to word training resulted in more untaught relations. Several aspects such time allotted for online quizzes, experimental and teaching arrangements and vocabulary complexity were suggested for future research.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Vo, Phuong Vi
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Effects of Fines on Cooperation in a Four-Person Prisoner’s Dilemma Game

Description: Cooperation is an important area of investigation for behavior analysis. The prisoner’s dilemma game (PDG) provides a useful scenario for studying cooperation in a behavior analytic paradigm. The PDG can be coupled with the concept of the metacontingency to investigate how various contingency arrangements support and promote cooperation in a group. Players in this experiment participated in a PDG and, in some conditions, were given the ability to fine other players but could not talk. The goal of this experiment was to investigate how players’ ability to fine one another affected the players’ patterns of cooperation, and whether fining itself was affected by the addition of a shared group consequence. The data show that participants cooperated in some conditions, but the fines did not seem to affect players’ rates of cooperation.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Morford, Zachary H.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

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

Toward an Experimental Analysis of a Competition between Dimensions of Cultural Consequences

Description: The exponential growth of the human population has contributed to the overuse and degradation of common pool resources. Using science as a tool for informed policy-making can improve the management of our common pool resources. Understanding the conditions that influence groups of individuals to make ethical self-controlled choices may help solve problems related to the overuse and degradation of common pool resources. Ethical self-control involves the conflict of choice between one that will benefit the individual versus one that will benefit the group. The cumulative effect of many individuals behaving in an ethically self-controlled manner with common resource use may offset some of the harm posed by overuse of common pool resources. Metacontingency arrangements involving ethical self-control may provide some insight as to if and how groups may cooperate to manage a common pool resource. This manuscript proposes an experimental preparation and methodology to evaluate the effects of competing magnitudes of cultural consequences on culturants and their cumulative effect on common pool resources; and provides an analysis and discussion of five trends that might result from such a line of research.
Date: August 2020
Creator: Guerrero, Maria Brenda
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Effects of Textual Fluency on the Rate of Acquisition and Application of Intraverbal Relations

Description: Intraverbal behavior governs core elements of academic and intellectual behavior. These intraverbal relations can be explicitly taught when an individual is prompted to provide an appropriate response with pictures, text, or other stimuli following a verbal stimulus. It is possible that a focus on fluency of the target repertoires may lead to more conclusive data. the current study assessed the effects of precision teaching based instruction for component textual repertoires on the acquisition of intraverbal relations. Specifically, this study compared the effectiveness of two textual prompting procedures (with and without fluency-based instruction) on the acquisition and application of intraverbal relations using time-delay and a carefully controlled set of intraverbal stimuli. Results indicate that the use of textual prompts and an errorless time-delay transfer of stimulus control procedure were effective strategies for teaching intraverbal responses regardless of the inclusion of fluency-based instruction.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Shrontz, Rachael E.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Would You Do Your Homework for a Chance to Improve Your Quiz Score?

Description: Students who complete homework generally do better on measures of academic performance such as quizzes, exams, and overall course grades. We examined the effects of contingent access to second quiz attempts on the percentage of undergraduate students completing homework to mastery. The study was conducted in an Introduction to Behavior Analysis course that, historically, had only 70% of students on average completing homework. An adapted multiple baseline design across sections was used for four sections of the course. Students could access a second quiz attempt contingent by meeting the following criteria: the student received a 16 out of 20 on the first quiz attempt or by meeting the mastery criterion of the homework (45 out of 50). We also examined the relation between homework accuracy and scores on first quiz attempts. Two sections did not show a difference in homework completion with and without the second quiz attempt contingency. One section showed more sensitivity toward the contingency once it was withdrawn, and one section never had the removal of the contingency and had the highest percentages of students completing their homework. When analyzing the relation of homework accuracy to the corresponding first quiz attempts, homework accuracy appeared to be related to higher scores on first quiz attempts across all sections. Quiz scores were typically a letter grade higher for students who completed homework compared to students who did not complete homework to mastery. Although there are limitations to the current study, the results suggest the second quiz contingency may impact homework completion.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Zimmerman, Karl J.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

An Exploration of Cooperation during an Asymmetric Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma Game

Description: Researchers investigated how the contingent delivery of a cultural consequence on target culturants in an asymmetric iterated prisoner's dilemma game (IPDG) affected players' choices. The asymmetric IPDG creates an analogue to income disparities created by wage gaps and other cultural practices that create wealth inequalities between different members of the population and allows researchers to explore how these inequalities affect cooperation between players. Six undergraduate students divided into three dyads participated in an ABABCDCD reversal design. An asymmetric IPDG was arranged in Condition A and C such that one player received a greater number of points regardless of the second participants' selections - analogue to contingencies that produce income inequalities from wage gaps. In Condition B and D, a metacontingency was arranged such that delivery of a cultural consequence (CC; bonus points equally distributed among the dyad) was contingent on the oscillating production of target aggregate products (AP) across two consecutive cycles. When participants' coordinated responding and contacted the target AP→ CC relation, the wage gap was reduced. However, individual contingencies are in direct competition for the "wealthier" player, reducing the probability of cooperative responding. Results showed the CC selected certain oscillations between target APs resulting in a decrease of a point disparity between the players while also establishing equal points between the players during certain conditions.
Date: August 2020
Creator: Lopez, Carlos Ramiro
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring the Effects of Cultural Consequences Identified through a Ranking Task on the Interlocking Behavioral Contingencies of Ethically Self-Controlled Responses with Participants with Pre-Existing Relationships

Description: This study explored the effects of cultural consequences identified through a ranking task on the selection of interlocking behavioral contingencies and aggregate products constituting ethically self-controlled responses when participants had pre-existing relationships. Two experiments were conducted to explore these effects. Experiment 1 had two triads of three participants each recruited from a university-based autism center. Experiment 2 had three triads of three participants each; participants in Triads 3 and 4 were recruited from a university-based rock-climbing club while participants in Triad 5 were recruited from the same university-based autism center as in Experiment 1. All participants were exposed to a task that involved choosing odd or even rows from a matrix displayed throughout the experimental session. Individual contingencies were programmed in all conditions while metacontingencies were programmed in some conditions. Participants selected the topography of the cultural consequence through a pre-experimental ranking task prior to the onset of the experimental session. A change was made to the experimenter's verbal behavior in all operant and metacontingency conditions for Experiment 2. The results of both experiments indicate that identification of the cultural consequence through a ranking task with participants having pre-existing relationships did have an effect on the continued selection of the cultural consequence across all triads with quicker selection occurring during Experiment 2. This study extends the current literature on ethical self-control and provides new procedures and designs to further understand the variables involved in the selection of cultural consequences when there is competition with an immediate operant consequence.
This item is restricted from view until June 1, 2023.
Date: May 2022
Creator: Elwood, Chelsea Christina
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Improving Staff Tutoring in a Special Education Classroom Through Active Listening Skills

Description: According to the U.S. Department of Education, in 2015, Texas special education programs were rated among the lowest in the nation. School districts in the state have a substantial need for effective and efficient staff training. In this study, researchers implemented TAPS: A Talk Aloud Problem Solving Approach Packet to teach active listener qualities to staff members in a life skills special education classroom. A multiple baseline across staff members was used to evaluate the effects of the TAPS training on the presence and absence of the staff members' active listener qualities during a pre-test, a post-test, and probes. The staff members that underwent TAPS training acquired all of the active listener qualities as a function of the TAPS training, and the effects of the training maintained during probe sessions. Additionally, TAPS training appeared to improve staff members' scores on the Whimbey Analytical Skills Inventory (WASI) Test and anecdotally improved the quality of staff and student tutoring interactions. Several areas of potential research and improvement are discussed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Neri-Hernandez, Lucero
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Reinforcing Variability Produces Stereotypic Behavior

Description: Behaving in novel ways is essential to the development of the types of complex performances described by the term creativity, problem solving, and perseverance. Some research suggests that response variability is an operant and a critical component of novel behavior. However, other account of novel behavior may be more parsimonious. Topographical variability has rarely been examined, nor has operant variability with organisms with baselines featuring stereotypic responding. This study examined the effects of a variability-specifying contingency on the cumulative novel responses of undergraduate students. Using the PORTL apparatus, participants interacted with a ball with a single hand. When the variability-specifying contingency was in effect, novel topographies were reinforced. When a reinforce every response condition was implemented, the participants did not emit any novel responses. When variability-specifying contingencies were in effect, novel responses were rarely followed by subsequent novel responses. They were mostly followed by repeated emission of the same topography, or by other previously emitted topographies. Novel responding did not persist long, although the variability-specifying contingency remained in effect and the potential for novel responding was great. The variability-specifying contingency often resulted in stereotypic response chains. Each of these findings call into the question the assertion that variability is an operant and suggests other possible explanations for the observed novelty.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Kieta, Andrew R.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Parent Partnership: Towards a Constructional Approach to Improving the Life of Parents with Children with Autism

Description: Parents with children diagnosed with autism face a variety of stressors. The typical approach to dealing with these stressors is pathological which focuses on the problem by attempting to eliminate or alleviate the stressors through counseling, behavioral therapy, tutoring, and/or drugs. The purpose of the current study was to assess an alternative approach, a constructional one, which focuses on solutions by teaching 3 parents to analyze their life, formulate goals, and develop programs to reach their goals building off of their strengths and assets. The by-product is the reduction or elimination of the stressors. The results suggest that the use of a constructional program is very effective in helping parents develop a new repertoire that will ultimately improve their overall quality of life.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Liden, Timothy Allen
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

An Evaluation of the Effects of Effort on Resistance to Change

Description: Behavioral momentum theory (BMT) has become a prominent method of studying the effects of reinforcement on operant behavior. BMT represents a departure from the Skinnerian tradition in that it identifies the strength of responding with its resistance to change. Like in many other operant research paradigms, however, responses are considered to be momentary phenomena and so little attention has been paid to non-rate dimensions of responding. The current study takes up the question of whether or not the degree of effort defining a discriminated operant class has any meaningful effect on its resistance to change. Using a force transducer, rats responded on a two-component multiple VI 60-s VI 60-s schedule where each component was correlated with a different force requirement. Resistance to change was tested through prefeeding and extinction. Proportional declines in response rate were equal across components during all disruption tests. Differentiated response classes remained intact throughout. The negative result suggests several future research directions.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Foss, Erica K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An In-Depth Look at Community Gardens: Practices that Support Community Garden Longevity

Description: Current food production methods in the United States contribute to environmental degradation as well as food insecurity. Food production by means of community gardens has the potential to reduce the deleterious effects of current production methods. However, many community gardens face challenges that hinder their longevity, thereby reducing the likelihood of the support they might provide for environmentally sustainable food production and decreased food insecurity for community members. A behavioral systems science approach was combined with ethnographic research methods, matrix analysis, and a literature review regarding best practices for community gardens to study the cultural practices of three established community gardens in the southwest region of the US. The results of the analyses conducted are presented in terms of recommendations to support each target community garden's sustainability. Recommendations regarding future research include environmental manipulations to identify functional relations and potential outcome measures for improving the longevity of community gardens are provided.
Date: August 2020
Creator: Cran, Stephanie
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Selecting Variability in Interlocking Behavioral Contingencies

Description: The current study explored how the variability or lack thereof in interlocking behavioral contingencies (IBC) may be brought under contextual control. Four undergraduates (two dyads) students participated in the current study. Dyads were instructed to play a game on a computer screen with the goal to earn as many "Congratulations" as possible. An ABABAB reversal design was used. A Lag 1 schedule of cultural consequence delivery for IBC topography was set in the variability (VAR) condition. During the repeated (REP) condition only one IBC topography was reinforced. For one of the two dyads, the variability of IBC topography was brought under contextual control. It is important to explore the behavioral processes at the cultural level to understand prediction and control of cultural phenomena.
Date: December 2020
Creator: Urbina III, Tomas
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Monitoring and Increasing Goal Related Instruction and Engagement in Groups of Children with Autism

Description: A high rate of instructional engagement is important to maximize progress in early intensive behavioral interventions (EIBI). Teachers responsible for eliciting instructional engagement may need additional support to maintain high rates of engagement. Literature suggests that goal setting and feedback is effective in increasing performance. the purpose of this study was to evaluate whether goal setting and group feedback would increase engagement in instructional activities related to the children’s goals. Results indicate that goal setting and group feedback was successful in increasing engagement in instructional activities. the results are discussed in the context of engagement, staff performance, group contingencies and performance feedback.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Rossi, Kathleen Anne
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

A Schoolwide Tiered Intervention for Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

Description: Childhood obesity rates in the U.S. are increasing. Increasing intake of fruits and vegetables is one method to combat obesity. The purpose of this study was to examine a tiered approach to fruit and vegetable consumption with 26 children in an inclusive preschool. The first tier included ongoing availability and opportunity to eat fruits and vegetables (exposure). The second tier included programmed consequences (a reward system). A multiple baseline across children and classrooms was used to evaluate the effect of the interventions. The tier one intervention was effective for nine children and tier two was effective for six children. Eleven children, however, did not respond to either condition. Results are discussed in the context of previous research and tertiary interventions.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Mendoza, Blanca L.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Increasing Exercise in Sedentary Adults Using a Contingency and Technology-Based Management Package to Begin and Sustain New Levels of Activity

Description: Using a multiple baseline across participants with a changing criterion, this study explored and evaluated the effects of the individualized contingency management package (goal-setting, education, etc.) with sedentary typical adults while focusing on the mentoring component and the use of the technology of the exercise tracker to increase and sustain physical exercise to a level that increased health-benefiting physical activity. During initial mentoring meeting prior to the start of baseline, each participant was given a Garmin Viovsmart 3® exercise tracker, educated on the basic components of the device, and connected to the dashboard through the Garmin Connect™ app on their smartphones. Once each participant's activity stabilized, participant began intervention with weekly mentoring meetings focused on immediate feedback (social reinforcement), goal-setting and education. Through the Connect™ app, experimenter gave social reinforcement on a VR3 schedule to each participant, and participants were encouraged to participate by commenting to other participants through a private group set up for this study. The results indicate that the individualized contingency management package was effective for three of four participants whom increased their total activity minutes from pre-intervention range 0-104 min of weekly activity to post-intervention range of 269-404 min weekly. The two participants that completed two- and six-week maintenance checks continued to increase their total weekly activity minutes. Each of the participants showed increases in exercise during baseline that might suggest the wearable itself, along with basic instruction may be responsible for the increase in activity levels. To our knowledge, this is the first study to isolate an exercise tracker. The exercise tracker created social validity and meaningful change as it allowed participants to choose preferred exercises and plan their own exercise schedules. This helped facilitate natural generalization to their environment. Future research in behavioral health paired with technology will be far-reaching now that real-time assessments …
Date: August 2019
Creator: Adams, Kristen Lea
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

A Comparison of Vocabulary Banks and Scripts on Native English-speaking Students’ Acquisition of Italian

Description: The study applied behavior analytic principles to foreign language instruction in a college classroom. Two study methods, vocabulary banks and scripts, were compared by assessing the effects on Italian language acquisition, retention, and generalization. Results indicate that students without prior exposure to Italian engaged in more exchanges and emitted more words in script tests compared to vocabulary bank tests. Participants with at least two classes in Italian prior to the study engaged in more exchanges and emitted more words during vocabulary bank tests. Data suggest that different teaching strategies may work for different learners. More research is needed to determine efficient teaching methods and how to ascertain which approaches work best for learners with different histories.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Dean, Brittany L.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

An Exploration of the Titrating-Delay Match-to-Sample Procedure with Pigeons

Description: The delayed matching‐to‐sample (DMTS) procedure involves the insertion of a delay between the offset of a sample stimulus and the onset of an array of comparison stimuli; one of which is designated as the “correct” match for the sample on each trial. The procedure has served as the base preparation in which the effects of environmental variables on short‐term remembering and is, in many ways, responsible for a refined understanding of the phenomenon. Despite its utility, however, there are a few problems with the DMTS procedure – first, the procedure doesn’t adjust for individual differences and second, the conventional dependent measure, percent of correct trials, is not as sensitive as one might like. The titrating-delay matching to sample (TDMTS) procedure is a variant of the DMTS procedure in which the delays between sample and comparison are adjusted as a function of the subject’s performance. Stable measures of adjusted delay are not only sensitive measures of the performance of interest but they are also automatically tuned to differences across individuals. The study reported here continues our efforts to understand the dynamics of the TDMTS procedure so that it can be used to ask important questions related to short‐term remembering.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Friedel, Jonathan E.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

A Multimodal Investigation of Renewal of Human Avoidance, Perceived Threat, and Emotion

Description: Many people who receive exposure-based treatments for anxiety disorders exhibit a return of fear and avoidance which is often referred to as renewal or relapse. Human and nonhuman research on fear conditioning and renewal has been instrumental in helping understand relapse in anxiety disorders. The purpose of this investigation was to examine renewal of human avoidance and assess whether avoidance may aid in sustaining renewal of fear responses. We adopted a multimodal measurement approach consisting of an approach-avoidance task along with ratings of perceived threat and fear and measures of skin-conductance, a widely used physiological measure of fear. A traditional, single-subject research design was used with six healthy adults. All tasks employed a discrete trial procedure. Experimental conditions included Pavlovian fear conditioning in which increased probability of money loss was paired with a “threat” meter in Context A and later followed extinction in Context B. Fear and avoidance increased to higher threat levels in Context A but not Context B. Renewal testing involved presenting the threat meter on a return to Context A to determine if it evoked fear and avoidance (i.e., relapse). As predicted, renewal testing in Context A showed that increased threat was associated with increased avoidance, ratings of perceived threat and fear, and higher skin-conductance. Moreover, results showed that renewal maintained over six blocks of trials. This is the first investigation of renewal of threat and avoidance in humans that highlights avoidance as a mechanism that may contribute to maintaining fear in anxiety pathology.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Ludlum, Madonna L.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

A Constructional Approach to Establishing and Maintaining Calm Canine Behavior

Description: Very few behavior-change programs with canines produce effects that persist beyond the training condition. The present study is an experimental demonstration of a constructional program that established calm patterns of behavior as alternatives to hyperactive ones. Three dogs that exhibited hyperactive patterns were chosen as subjects. Seven conditions common to canine-caretaker relationships were used to determine which factors resulted in the hyperactive patterns. Then, sitting and lying down were taught as beginning points using touch as a reinforcer. The final behavior, maintained by naturally occurring reinforcers, was established errorlessly. The study used a control-analysis strategy of behavior change with a changing-criterion design. The intervention resulted in an immediate reduction in hyperactivity and an increase in sitting and lying down for all dogs.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Owens, Chase Jonathan
Partner: UNT Libraries
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