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open access

The Effects of Jackpots on Responding and Choice in Two Domestic Dogs

Description: The current study investigated the impact of delivering a jackpot on response rate and response allocation in two domestic dogs. For the purpose of this research, a jackpot was defined as a one-time, within-session increase in the magnitude of reinforcement. Two experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of delivering a jackpot in both single-operant and concurrent schedule procedures. Experiment 1 investigated the impact of a one-time, within-session increase in the magnitude of reinforcement on response rate in a single-operant procedure. Results of Experiment 1 showed no clear change in response rate after the delivery of the jackpot. Experiment 2 investigated the impact of a one-time, within-session increase in the magnitude of reinforcement on response allocation in a concurrent schedule procedure. Results of Experiment 2 showed an increase in response allocation to the jackpotted contingency in both subjects. These results suggest that a jackpot, as defined here, has no effect in single-operant procedures while having an effect in concurrent schedule procedures. These effects are similar to those reported in the magnitude of reinforcement literature.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Muir, Kristy Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Topographical analysis of reinforcement produced variability: Generalizations across settings and contingencies.

Description: This study evaluated the effects of programming a variability contingency on one object and the generalization of variability across other objects and contingencies when the defining features of the variable responses were topographical differences. A dog's interactions with five different objects were measured under both ANY (where any physical contact with the object would be reinforced on a fixed ratio schedule) and the VAR contingencies (where only the novel responses per trial would be reinforced). The ANY contingency produced stereotyped responding of behavior with all objects. When one of the dog-object interactions was changed to the VAR contingency, a marked decrease in stereotypic behavior and an increase in novel responses in the form of topographical combinations were observed across both contingencies.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Gomez, Francisco
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

When to Say It: Establishing a Verbal Cue

Description: Dog trainers sometimes teach verbal cues by saying the cue as the dog is performing the desired behavior. However, there is disagreement about when to say the cue. In this study, a pet dog was trained to go to three different apparatus, the cue for each of which was given at a different time, in a multi-element design. The cue "hoop" was given just as the dog began to move to the hoop apparatus. The cue "carrier" was given as the dog was stepping into the carrier apparatus. The cue "platform" was given after the dog was sitting on the platform apparatus. To test if the dog had learned the cues, the trainer had the dog sit and gave the cue. During testing, if only the correct apparatus was present, the dog responded to all three cues. However, when all three apparatus were present, the dog only responded correctly to the "hoop" cue. This suggests that giving the cue just as the learner is beginning to perform the desired behavior is the most effective teaching method.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Rulla, Emily
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Breaking Accidental Behavior Chains.

Description: Accidental behavior chains are a common problem in dog training. Many handlers inadvertently reinforce undesirable behaviors. The behavior analytic literature already contains articles describing methods of breaking chains; however, those methods either are not used in dog training for practical purposes or are ineffective in dog training. This experiment investigated two ways to break a behavior chain, including extending the chain and introducing a delay into the chain. The results of extending the chain showed that it is possible to decrease the target behavior using this method, but it was not eliminated in this study. Adding a delay into the behavior chain resulted in a quick elimination of the target behavior.
Date: May 2010
Creator: McKnight, Debra Gayle
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
open access

Effects of Click + Continuous Food Vs. Click + Intermittent Food on the Maintenance of Dog Behavior.

Description: There is disagreement among clicker trainers on whether or not food should be delivered every time the clicker (conditioned reinforcer) is used. However, presenting a conditioned reinforcer without food can weaken the strength of the conditioned reinforcer and also disrupt its discriminative stimulus function. A within subjects reversal design was used with 2 dogs to compare the behavioral effects of continuous pairings (C+F condition) vs. intermittent pairings (C+C+F condition) of the clicker with food. Results show that the C+C+F condition affects the frequency, accuracy, topography, and intensity of the behavior, and increases noncompliance and other unwanted behaviors. This study adds to the literature by evaluating the effects of conditioned reinforcement in an applied setting using discrete trials without undergoing extinction.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Wennmacher, Pamela L.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Natural concepts in the domestic dog.

Description: The current study investigated concept formation in domestic dogs, specifically that of a toy concept. The dog's differential responding (retrieval vs. non-retrieval) to two sets of stimuli suggested a toy concept. Differential responding occurred from the very first trial, indicating that the concept had been formed in the natural environment, not during the experiment. It was hypothesized that a common response may be responsible for the emergence of the class in the natural environment. The results demonstrated that it was possible to expand the class by adding previously non-retrieved objects to the toy class through a common response. It was also shown that the toy concept passed the more stringent criterion (transfer of function test) required validating it as a concept.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Feuerbacher, Erica Nan
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Effects of Combining Positive and Negative Reinforcement During Training.

Description: The purpose of this experiment was to compare the effects of combining negative reinforcement and positive reinforcement during teaching with the effects of using positive reinforcement alone. A behavior was trained under two stimulus conditions and procedures. One method involved presenting the cue ven and reinforcing successive approximations to the target behavior. The other method involved presenting the cue punir, physically prompting the target behavior by pulling the leash, and delivering a reinforcer. Three other behaviors were trained using the two cues contingent on their occurrence. The results suggest that stimuli associated with both a positive reinforcer and an aversive stimulus produce a different dynamic than a situation that uses positive reinforcement or punishment alone.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Murrey, Nicole A.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

[News Script: Dog obstacle course]

Description: Script from the WBAP-TV/NBC station in Fort Worth, Texas, covering a news story about an area near Fort Worth's Municipal heliport is being turned into an obstacle course for dogs.
Date: February 24, 1962
Creator: WBAP-TV (Television station : Fort Worth, Tex.)
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections
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