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Knowledge-of-Correct-Response vs. Copying-of-Correct-Response: a Study of Discrimination Learning

Description: Copying prompts with subsequent unprompted practice produced better learning of simple discriminations than feedback only of a correct response without subsequent practice. The Copy condition promoted faster acquisition of accurate performance for all subjects, and shorter response latencies and durations for 3 of 4 subjects. The data support the findings of Barbetta, Heron, and Heward, 1993 as well as Drevno, Kimball, Possi, Heward, Garner III, and Barbetta, 1994. The author proposes that response repertoires are most valuable if easily reacquired at times after original learning. Thus, reacquisition performance data are emphasized. The data suggest that discriminations acquired by copying prompts may result in useful repertoires if a practice procedure is used which facilitates transfer of stimulus control from a formal prompt to a naturally occurring stimulus.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Geller, David, 1952-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Conditional Discriminations and Derived Relations: Pinpointing the Moment of Emergence

Description: Four subjects were exposed to the four trial types that define stimulus equivalence from the beginning of the experiment. Procedures were designed to identify acquisition dynamics and relate these observations to responding indicative of equivalence class formation. The data show that, for all subjects, the acquisition of training conditional discriminations was correlated with systematic changes in the subjects' selection responses. The results also indicate that the traditional percent correct measures obscure some important information about the subjects' behavior. The data are discussed in the context of the following statements. 1) Subjects' performances on derived trials are not indicative of relations among stimuli at some other level of analysis but are instances of "equivalencing". 2) "Equivalencing" itself can be characterized as changes in the conditional and conditionally discriminative functions of stimuli involved in the experiment. The potential benefits of this preparation are discussed.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Vaidya, Manish
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Concrete, Symbolic, and Verbal Reinforcement of the Discrimination Learning of Moderately and Severely Retarded Boys

Description: The present study is an attempt to determine which of several different types of reinforcers is most effective in discrimination learning using institutionalized mentally retarded boys of different intellectual levels as subjects. If one type of reinforcement works more effectively in conditioning one level of institutionalized mentally retarded subject, then that type of reinforcement could be used to greater advantage in controlling behavior than some other, less effective kind of reinforcer.
Date: January 1968
Creator: Johnson, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Simple Color Discrimination in Autistic Subjects: Effect of Using a Single Stimulus as SD and Reinforcer

Description: A one-trial learning color discrimination task was extrapolated from Jarvik's (1953) teaching color discrimination to primates. A yellow-blue discrimination was selected to teach eleven autistic children. As in Jarvik's, SD and SA, reinforcer and punisher, were one and the same. Sugar-flavored water was the S D alum-flavored water, S . The instrumental response of reaching for a colored glass and drinking was established. Then one-trial learning occurred. The learning tests were a block of twenty-five trials for each individual subject on the following day. The second day another block of twenty-five trials was administered to each subject. It was hypothesized that the subjects would function at a ninety per cent criterion level. None of the subjects learned the task.
Date: May 1974
Creator: Ellis, Janet
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Application of Auditory Stimuli as Fading Prompts in Discrimination Training

Description: An experiment was conducted to examine the functionality of using auditory stimuli in isolation as fading stimuli. A review of the literature revealed very few reports regarding the usage of the auditory modality for fading purposes. The study employed auditory prompts as fading stimuli in the transfer of stimulus control across stimulus modalities, specifically, the transfer of stimulus control from auditory to visual stimulus properties. A single subject was employed for the experiment. The results were that the intensity of the auditory stimulus was an ineffective dimension to use for fading operations in the transfer of stimulus control across stimulus modalities, Further investigation is needed regarding the conditions that limit the transfer of stimulus control when auditory prompts are employed as fading stimuli.
Date: May 1976
Creator: Perlman, Neal S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of a Point Loss Contingency on Equivalence

Description: The effects of point loss for symmetrical probe performances on other performances of an observed equivalence class, on the emergence of equivalence performances, and on performances in other contexts were examined. After training six conditional discriminations in three contexts, probes (symmetry, transitivity, symmetrical transitivity) were introduced in contexts 1 and 2. In context 3, only trained conditional discrimination trials were delivered. After demonstrations of equivalence in contexts 1 and 2, point loss was placed on symmetrical performances in one of these contexts; probe trials and point loss for symmetrical performances were simultaneously introduced in context 3. Point loss for symmetrical performances may disrupt other probe performances of an observed equivalence class in that same context; does not necessarily disrupt the emergence of equivalence performances; and may disrupt probe performances in other contexts.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Peuster, Andrea M. (Andrea Michelle)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role of a Point Loss Contingency on the Emergence of Derived Relations in the Absence of Original Relations

Description: The role of point loss for symmetrical relations introduced simultaneously with probe trials in the absence of original relations on all probe trial performances was evaluated. Training was completed after six conditional discriminations were established in two contexts. Point loss was introduced simultaneously with probe trials in the absence of original relations in the first context. Probe trials with no point loss in the absence of original relations were introduced in the second context. The simultaneous introduction of probe trials and the point loss contingency may in some cases prevent the emergence of an equivalence class in the context that contained the point loss as well as in the context where no point loss occurred.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Michniewicz, Leslie (Leslie A.)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Transfer of "good" and "bad" functions within stimulus equivalence classes.

Description: This study compared results of two experiments that tested transfer of function in stimulus equivalence classes in a task dissimilar to (in Experiment I) and similar to (in Experiment II) the task that trained functional responding. Eleven students from UNT participated in return for monetary compensation. Phase 1 and 2 were identical in the two experiments, in which they established stimulus equivalence classes and functional responding, respectively. Each experiment then used different tasks in the third phase to test differential responding. Only participants in Experiment II demonstrated consistent transfer of function. Results are discussed in terms of how task similarity may function as a type of contextual control when there is limited experience with the task.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Madrigal-Bauguss, Jessica
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Attempt to Dissociate Effects of Response Requirements and Sample Duration in Conditional Discrimination Learning with Pigeons.

Description: Attempts to control various aspects of response requirements and sample viewing durations of sample stimuli show that an increase in both facilitates acquisition of conditional discriminations. Despite these attempts, few empirical data exist that demonstrate the relative contributions of both response- and time-dependent schedules. In addition, viewing opportunities of sample stimuli are present outside of the researchers' control, allowing for 'unauthorized sample viewing.' This study employed a titrating delay matching-to-sample procedure to systematically control various aspects of response requirements and sample viewing durations to independently assess their relative contributions towards conditional discrimination performance. Four pigeons worked on a titrating delay matching-to-sample procedure in which the delay between sample offset and comparison onset continuously adjusted as a function of the accuracy of the pigeons' choices. Results show sample viewing durations contribute most toward conditional discrimination performance. The data show 'unauthorized sample viewing' improved acquisition of conditional discriminations and should be a consideration in design of future research.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Levine, Joshua
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessing the Stimulus Control of Observers.

Description: The science of behavior analysis relies heavily on direct observation. Human observers are typically used to measure behavior in applied settings. Although the use of human observers is beneficial in many regards, it also presents challenges. Of primary concern is the extent to which the data generated by observers actually corresponds to the behavioral events of interest, and the implications this may have in terms of replication. This study assessed the effects that labels, definitions, and examples and non-examples of two different modalities had on observer accuracy, consistency, and agreement. Results showed that current practices in observer training may require refinement to ensure high observer accuracy, consistency, and agreement. Suggestions for how to improve the desired stimulus control of observers are provided.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Kuhn, Robin Merritt
Partner: UNT Libraries

Interactions of equivalence and other behavioral relations: Simple successive discrimination training.

Description: The experimenter asked if documented equivalence class membership would influence the development of shared discriminative stimulus function established through simple successive discrimination training. In Experiment 1, equivalence classes were established with two sets of 9 stimuli. Common stimulus functions were then trained within or across the equivalence classes. Greater acquisition rates of the simple discriminations with stimuli drawn from within the equivalence classes were observed. In Experiment 2, a third stimulus set was added with which no equivalence relations were explicitly trained. The findings of Experiment 1 were replicated, but the Set 3 results were inconsistent across subjects. The outcomes of the two experiments demonstrate that equivalence classes have an effect on other behavioral relations which requires further investigation.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Brackney, Ryan
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Determining the Relation Between the Moments of Acquisition of Baseline Conditional Discriminations and the Emergence of Equivalence Relations

Description: The experiment was an attempt to gain a more precise understanding of the temporal relation between the development of analytic units and equivalence relations. Two prompting procedures were used during training to pinpoint when eight subjects learned the conditional discriminations. Near simultaneous presentation of probe and training trials allowed for examination of the temporal relation between conditional discrimination acquisition and derived performances on stimulus equivalence probes. The data show that, for seven of eight subjects, a decreased reliance on prompts was coincident with the development of equivalence-consistent choices on either all or some probe trials, which suggests that the development of analytic units is sufficient to give rise to equivalence relations among stimuli.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Swisher, Melissa J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparison of Auditory and Visual Stimuli in a Delayed Matching to Sample Procedure with Adult Humans.

Description: Five humans were exposed to a matching to sample task in which the delay (range = 0 to 32 seconds) between sample stimulus offset and comparison onset was manipulated across conditions. Auditory stimuli (1” tone) and arbitrary symbols served as sample stimuli for three (S1, S2, S3) and two (S4 and S5) subjects, respectively. Uppercase English letters (S, M, and N) served as comparison stimuli for all subjects. Results show small but systematic effects of the retention interval on accuracy and latency to selection of comparison stimuli. The results fail to show a difference between subjects exposed to auditory and visual sample stimuli. Some reasons for the failure to note a difference are discussed.
Date: December 2002
Creator: DeFulio, Anthony L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Conditional Dscrimination and Simulus Euivalence: Effects of Sppressing Drived Smmetrical Responses on the Emergence of Transitivity.

Description: Symmetry suppression was conducted for five subjects who demonstrated a tendency to derive equivalence relations based on conditional discrimination training in a match-to-sample procedure. Symmetry suppression was applied in three consecutive sessions in which symmetrical responses were suppressed for one stimulus class in the first condition, two stimulus classes in the second condition, and all three stimulus classes in the final condition. Symmetry suppression slowed the emergence of transitivity for two subjects and prevented it for the other three. Results indicated that unplanned features of stimulus configurations emerged as discriminative variables that controlled selection responses and altered the function of consequent stimuli. Disruption of cognitive development by conflicting contingencies in natural learning environments is discussed.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Jones, Aaron A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Exploration of the Relationship between Worry and Other Verbal Phenomena

Description: This study hypothesized a direct relationship among three verbal phenomena: derived relational responding, verbal intelligence, and worry. It also hypothesized that experiential avoidance would mediate the relationship between derived relational responding and worry. Overall, results from this study failed to support a relationship between worry and the other two verbal phenomena, however, results did support a relationship between derived relational responding and verbal intelligence. Additionally, results indicated a significant relationship between experiential avoidance and worry. Future research should clarify the relationship among the three primary variables of interest, improve measurement of these variables, be more sensitive to external validity, and promote the study of acceptance-based treatments that target experiential avoidance.
Date: May 2008
Creator: O'Brien, Karen M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparing a discriminative stimulus procedure to a pairing procedure: Conditioning neutral social stimuli to function as conditioned reinforcers.

Description: Social stimuli that function as reinforcers for most children generally do not function as reinforcers for children diagnosed with autism. These important social stimuli include smiles, head nods, thumb-ups, and okay signs. It should be an important goal of therapy for children with autism to condition these neutral social stimuli to function as reinforcers for children diagnosed with autism. There is empirical evidence to support both a pairing procedure (classical conditioning) and a discriminative stimulus procedure to condition neutral stimuli to function as reinforcers. However, there is no clear evidence as to the superiority of effectiveness for either procedure. Despite this most textbooks and curriculum guides for children with autism state only the pairing procedure to condition neutral stimuli to function as reinforcers. Recent studies suggest that the discriminative stimulus procedure may in fact be more effective in conditioning neutral stimuli to function as reinforcers for children diagnosed with autism. The present research is a further comparison of these two procedures. Results from one participant support recent findings that suggest the discriminative stimulus procedure is more effective in conditioning neutral stimuli to function as reinforcers. But the results from the other participant show no effects from either procedure, suggesting future research into conditions necessary to condition neutral social stimuli to function as reinforcers for children with autism.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Koelker, Rachel Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries

Does Stimulus Complexity Affect Acquisition of Conditional Discriminations and the Emergence of Derived Relations?

Description: Despite the central importance of conditional discriminations to the derivation of equivalence relations, there is little research relating the dynamics of conditional discrimination learning to the derivation of equivalence relations. Prior research has shown that conditional discriminations with simple sample and comparison stimuli are acquired faster than conditional discriminations with complex sample and comparison stimuli. This study attempted to replicate these earlier results and extend them by attempting to relate conditional discrimination learning to equivalence relations. Each of four adult humans learned four, four-choice conditional discriminations (simple-simple, simple-complex, complex-simple, and complex-complex) and were tested to see if equivalence relations had developed. The results confirm earlier findings showing acquisition to be facilitated with simple stimuli and retarded with complex stimuli. There was no difference in outcomes on equivalence tests, however. The results are in implicit agreement with Sidman's theory of stimulus equivalence.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Martin, Tiffani L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effect of a Brief Acceptance-Based Protocol on Health Related Relational Framing

Description: Behavior analysts who study verbal behavior theorize that people derive relationships between stimuli - forming stimulus classes such that psychological functions transfer among stimuli and therefore affect behavior. Verbal processes are thought to play a role in cancer patients' behavioral flexibility. The current study examined if an analogue intervention produced changes in relations between health-relevant stimuli from pre- to post-test in patient and student samples. A matching-to-sample (MTS) task required participants to form three 4-member classes that included health, treatment, or neutral terms. Participants next listened to either an acceptance-based or a control-based rationale and therapy exercise, or a distracter task. Then, they were re-exposed to the MTS task. Latencies and accuracies for learning each class as well as between condition differences were examined. Finally, changes in ratings of stimuli from pre to post analogues were measured. Differences in stimuli ratings were seen in the student sample, reflecting transfer of function and some reduction in responsiveness to stimuli following intervention, but overall no learning performances are found. Discussion explores the consistency of the findings with acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) theory in light of the seemingly lack of findings.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Madrigal-Bauguss, Jessica A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of PECS Training on Symbolic Matching Skills in Learners with Autism

Description: This study evaluated whether picture exchange communication system (PECS) training would result in the development of conditional relations among corresponding pictures, objects (reinforcers) and spoken words used in PECS training with learners with developmental disabilities. Three participants with autism and mental retardation were trained to use PECS. Match-to-sample procedures were used to assess all possible conditional relations among stimuli before, during, and after PECS training. None of the three participants in this study acquired conditional discriminations involving the pictures, reinforcers, and spoken words used in their PECS training.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Cranmer, Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries