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Effects of Reinforcement History on Stimulus Control Relations

Description: Ray (1969) conducted an experiment on multiple stimulus-response relations and selective attention. Ray's (1969) results suggested that stimulus-response relations function as behavioral units. McIlvane and Dube (1996) indicated that if stimulus-response relations are behavioral units the effects of environmental variables on stimulus-response relations should be similar to the effects of environmental variables on single response topographies. This experiment analyzed the effects of reinforcement history on the probability of stimulus-response relations with differing reinforcement histories. In separate conditions random-ratio schedules of reinforcement were contingent on each of four discriminated responses. To assess the effects of reinforcement, during test conditions stimuli controlling different topographies were present concurrently in composite form. Results show that reinforcement history affects the probability of each response topography and that the association between response topographies and their controlling stimuli tends to remain constant throughout variations in reinforcement probability.
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Date: December 2000
Creator: Reyes, Fredy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Order effects of variability-contingent and variability-independent point delivery: Effects on operant variability and target sequence acquisition.

Description: Previous research has shown that variability is a reinforceable dimension of operant behavior. Additionally, it has been demonstrated that learning is facilitated when variability in responding is high. In this research, variability was observed within an operant composed of any sequence of six left and right key presses. Variability was either a requirement for point delivery (VAR conditions) or points were delivered independent of variability (ANY conditions). Two groups of college undergraduates experienced different orders of conditions. One group began the experiment under VAR conditions, and the variability requirement was later removed. The other group began the experiment under ANY conditions, and the variability requirement was later added. A concurrently reinforced target sequence (i.e., an always-reinforced sequence of left and right key presses) was introduced to both groups after these orders of conditions had been experienced. A variety of outcomes resulted. Subjects learned the target sequence when variability was both high and low with non-target points concurrently available. Other subjects learned the target sequence after all non-target point deliveries had been suspended. One subject failed to acquire the target sequence at all. These results were compared to previous findings and possible explanations for the discrepancies were suggested.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Lee, Coral Em
Partner: UNT Libraries

Correspondence Between Verbal Behavior About Reinforcers and Performance Under Schedules of Reinforcement.

Description: Important advancements have been made in the identification of reinforcers over the past decade. The use of preference assessments has become a systematic way to identify preferred events that may function as reinforcers for an individual's behavior. Typically, preference assessments require participants to select stimuli through verbal surveys or engagement with stimuli as preferred or non-preferred. Not all studies go on to directly test the effects of the preferred stimuli, and even fewer studies directly test for the effects of the non- preferred stimuli. The present study systematically identified preferred and non-preferred stimuli in adult human subjects by verbal report and then proceeded to test the effects of both verbally reported preferred and non preferred events on single and concurrent schedules of reinforcement. The results are discussed in terms of contemporary concerns regarding preference and reinforcer assessments.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Bekker-Pace, Ruthie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Loading the Problem Loader: The Effects of Target Training and Shaping on Trailer Loading Behavior of Horses in a Natural Setting

Description: The purpose of this study was to develop an effective method for trailer loading horses based on the principles of positive reinforcement. Target training and shaping were used to teach trailer loading behavior in a natural setting. Five AQHA mares were selected for this program. All five had been loaded before through the use of punishment. A two-horse trailer was used. Approximations to loading and inappropriate behaviors were the dependent variables. When intervention started the target was moved to various locations inside the trailer. Subjects started training on the left side of the trailer. After a subject was loading in the left side they were moved to the right side, then to loading half on the right and half on the left, then they were loaded by a different trainer, and into a different trailer. For one subject a limited hold was utilized, as well as a companion horse.
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Date: August 2000
Creator: Ferguson, Dawnery
Partner: UNT Libraries

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.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Partial Reinforcement in Frontalis Electromyographic Training

Description: This study investigated the role of reinforcement schedule and instructional set in frontalis EMG training. The experiment consisted of four groups participating in 30 minute sessions on three consecutive days. Group conditions were intermittent feedback (alternating 100 second trials), continuous feedback, motivated control and no-treatment control. Excepting the no-treatment controls, each subject was instructed that extra credit points were available contingent on the number of seconds in criterion. An individual criterion based on each subject's initial baseline microvolt level was utilized.
Date: December 1983
Creator: Capriotti, Richard
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Positive Verbal Reinforcement on the Four Underlying Factors in Intrinsic Motivation

Description: The study examined the effects of positive verbal reinforcement on intrinsic motivation by determining differential effects over four multidimensions of Ryan's Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI). Subjects (N=60) were 30 male and 30 female college students. The subjects were blocked by gender and randomly assigned to a positive verbal reinforcement group or a control group. The subjects received 10 trials on the stabilometer. The results of the study indicated that there were significant group differences for composite intrinsic motivation and for perceived competence; however, there were no significant gender differences found. Furthermore, no group differences were reported for the underlying factors of interest/enjoyment, effort, or pressure/tension.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Prentice, Ray (Grant Ray)
Partner: UNT Libraries

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)
Partner: UNT Libraries

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)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Conditioned Reinforcement with an Equine Subject

Description: Historically, horse trainers have relied primarily upon repetition, negative reinforcement, and punishment to teach new behaviors. Positive reinforcement has been eschewed, largely on the basis of the wides read belief that positive reinforcement is not effective with horses. Additional difficulties in the timely application of such reinforcement have further inhibited its use. After repeated pairing of an auditory stimulus with an established primary reinforcer, the auditory stimulus was predicted to be a reinforcer. An equine subject was then successfully trained to perform five different, novel tasks using only the auditory stimulus. Subsequently, extinction of behavior was noted in the absence of the conditioned reinforcer. Implications for many phases of horse training were discussed. Some weaknesses of the present study were noted along with suggested issues for future investigations.
Date: May 1980
Creator: Flynn, Karen Kolb
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role of Contingent-Anxious Versus Temporally Yoked Conditioned Stimulus Termination in the Enhancement or Conservation of Learned Fear

Description: This study investigated whether contingent-anxious conditioned stimulus termination was more important than temporally yoked termination in producing conservation or enhancement of learned fear. Thirty psychology students, twenty-six females and four males, were administered item thirty-nine from the Fear Survey Schedule and an avoidance test. After in vivo treatment exposure to a harmless snake, post-test measures identical to pretests revealed that contingent-anxious subjects retained significantly more fear (p <.05) on both indexes than temporally yoked subjects. No enhancement was found and only on the subjective measure did contingent-anxious subjects show fear conservation when contrasted with no-treatment controls (p >.05). Implications for "implosive" therapies were discussed.
Date: December 1974
Creator: Dial, Miles H.
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

The Effects of Incentive and Frustrative Cues on the Acquisition of an Alleyway Running Response in Rats

Description: The motivational properties of Longstreth's (1970) definitions of incentive and frustrative cues were tested using 32 rats in a two phase straight alleyway experiment. During pretraining, incentive cue Ss were presented a visual cue prior to reinforcement; frustrative cue Ss experienced the visual cue simultaneously with reinforcement. Ss encountered the same cue in mid-alley during 40 CRF training trials. Significant inhibition developed as frustrative cue Ss passed through the cue and postcue segments. Significant incentive effects occurred midway through training only in the postcue segment. Differential resistance to extinction was not found. The results did not support all of Longstreth's assumed functions. The motivational effects were interpreted using Spence's and Amsel's instrumental learning paradigms.
Date: May 1974
Creator: Morey, John Christopher
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

The Effects of Cumulative Consumption Feedback On Demand For Money As A Commodity

Description: Behavioral economic theory describes a relation between response requirement and magnitude of reinforcement, and combines these variables into one independent variable (unit price) affecting operant behavior. This study investigated the relative effects of cumulative feedback on consumption for money as a commodity. Subjects were exposed to ranges of unit prices with or without a cumulative feedback bar on the computer screen indicating monetary earnings. For all participants in this study, consumption of money was a decreasing function of unit prices and the results from the present study are consistent with the behavioral economic prediction that increasing the unit price of a commodity will decrease consumption of that commodity. Analyses of demand curves, elasticity coefficients and response rates suggested differences between Feedback and No Feedback groups, although these were small and not statistically significant. The small differences observed were consistent with a behavior strengthening effect of feedback.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Bailey, Kathleen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Reinforcer Magnitude on a Fixed Time Food Delivery Treatment of Pica

Description: The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of using fixed time schedules with different magnitudes of stimulus delivery as treatment for pica. A functional assessment was conducted, which indicated that pica occurred across experimental conditions and was most frequent in the absence of social stimulation or contingencies. A competing stimulus assessment was then conducted to identify stimuli that could potentially compete with pica during NCR. Subsequently, an evaluation of the effects of reinforcer magnitude on NCR as a treatment of pica was conducted. Treatment results indicated that quantity of reinforcer increased the effectiveness of leaner schedules of reinforcer delivery; however, it was not possible to fade the temporal schedule to one that would have been useful in practice. In addition, limitations and future research are outlined.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Lyon, Nathan Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries

Analyzing Contingencies of Behavioral and Cultural Selection

Description: A choice paradigm was used to evaluate allocation of interlocking behavior of two groups of two participants between responses having operant consequences only and responses having cultural consequences. In a discrete trial BABABAB design, each participant could select one of three options, which delivered either 3 or 5 points. In B (cultural consequence) conditions, two of the options had additional effects: the 3-point option also added 3 points to the other participant's earnings, and one of the 5-point options also subtracted 5 points from the other participant's earnings. The third option was unchanged in both conditions and delivered 5 points to the participant who selected it. Results indicated that participants in both groups initially frequently produced response combinations that earned 8 points for one or the other individual (and 0 or 3 points for the other), but allocation of responding increasingly changed to combinations that produced 6 points for each individual. This shift in performances away from maximum individual reinforcement towards maximum group reinforcement indicates cultural contingencies did not act in concert with operant contingencies, suggesting they are different mechanisms of selection.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Hunter, Chad S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Behavioral Economic Analysis of Different Reinforcers: Sound-Clips Versus Points Exchangeable for Money

Description: Human operant studies frequently use points exchangeable for money as reinforcers. Some studies employ more immediately consumable reinforcers to emulate properties of food reinforcers. This study examined demand for points/money and for sound-clips to compare their economic characteristics. Across four participants, demand was often higher and less elastic for points/money than for sounds. During subsequent exposures at each response requirement, demand for sounds often decreased to a greater degree than demand for points/money. Thus, sound-clips seem less durable than points/money across prices and across repeated exposure to the same price. Response rates for points/money were often higher than for sounds, suggesting that reinforcers that generate higher response rates may be less elastic than reinforcers that generate lower response rates.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Alvey, Debi A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparison of Points Versus Sounds as Reinforces in Human Operant Research

Description: Research shows that human operant behavior typically differs from non-human operant behavior on schedules of reinforcement. These differences in performance may be related to differences between the experimental preparations used to study human and non-human operant behavior. One such difference is the type of reinforcer used. This experiment analyzed the differential effects of points alone, points backed up by money, and sounds on schedule performance of human subjects. Results show that sounds generated moderate rates of responding, capable of change in either direction. When points backed up with money were the reinforcers, however, high rates of behavior were generated, disrupting the previously established baseline performance. This suggests that while points may be effective in generating high rates of behavior, they may be ineffective in producing sensitive baselines needed to study human operant behavior on schedules of reinforcement.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Rouse, Susan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Suppressive effects of a stimulus correlated with reprimands for automatically-maintained eye poking.

Description: A functional analysis, conducted to assess the variables maintaining the chronic eye poking of a female diagnosed with profound mental retardation, indicated that the behavior persisted in the absence of social contingencies. A procedure was initiated in a training environment in which a punisher (mild reprimand) was delivered contingent on eye poking in the presence, but not in the absence, of a neutral stimulus (wristbands). Using a combination of multiple baseline and multielement experimental designs, it was determined that that eye poking was suppressed in the presence of the previously neutral stimulus, even in environments in which the reprimand contingency was inoperative.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: McKenzie, Scott Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

Effects of Training Accurate Component Strokes Using Response Constraint and Self-evaluation on Whole Letter Writing.

Description: This study analyzed the effects of a training package containing response constraint, self-evaluation, reinforcement, and a fading procedure on written letter components and whole letter writing in four elementary school participants. The effect on accuracy of written components was evaluated using a multiple-baseline-across components and a continuous probe design of components, as well as pre-test, baseline, and post-test measures. The results of this study show that response constraint and self-evaluation quickly improved students' performance in writing components. Fading of the intervention was achieved quickly and performance maintained. Results also show that improvement in component writing improved whole letter and full name writing and letter reversals in the presence of a model were corrected.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Cline, Tammy Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Observing and Attending in a Delayed Matching-to-Sample Preparation in Pigeons

Description: Pigeons worked in a titrating delay match-to-sample (TDMTS) procedure in which selecting the correct comparison stimulus increased the delay between sample offset and comparison-array onset and incorrect comparison selections decreased that delay. Prior research in our lab has shown that the stable adjusted value of the retention interval is a curvilinear function of the observing response requirement. The current study examined the effect of the distribution and predictability of observing response requirements on adjusted retention interval values. The data show that unpredictable observing response requirements were more effective in attenuating the deleterious effects of delay on matching accuracy. The data have implications for our understanding of attending and encoding in performances involving remembering over short temporal durations.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Lovelace, Bryan S.
Partner: UNT Libraries