Search Results

Advanced search parameters have been applied.
open access

Effects of Single VI History on Human Concurrent VI VI Choice

Description: Two groups of human subjects pressed buttons on five different variable-interval (VI) reinforcement schedules presented for seven minutes each for 15 sessions. At session 16, the same VI schedules were programmed concurrently in each session either with or without a 5 s changeover delay (COD). The same schedule-correlated stimuli were employed in single and concurrent conditions. Two other groups responded on concurrent VI VI conditions from the first session with or without the COD. Response allocations under concurrent scheduling better approximated relative reinforcement frequencies when the COD was programmed. Subjects with single VI histories failed to match response and time allocations to reinforcement ratios better than subjects given no such history. Bidirectional cumulative records are discussed as a molecular data analysis technique.
Date: August 1992
Creator: Madden, Gregory J. (Gregory Jude)
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
open access

The Use of Conjugate Reinforcement in Autism Treatment Programs: a Demonstration and Discussion

Description: The effect of a reinforcer on behavior is largely determined by the schedule in which it is implemented. One type of reinforcement schedule that has not been explored extensively is conjugate reinforcement. Previous researchers have used conjugate schedules to evaluate a reinforcer's effects on behavior and as an assessment tool. However, none have explored how to effectively engineer conjugate schedules in applied settings. The current study explores the effectiveness of conjugate reinforcement implemented by several interventionists across a variety of responses, reinforcers, and in a wide range of participants with autism. The results indicated that delivering social, audio/visual, and tangible stimuli in a conjugate schedule resulted in increased durations of various target responses (e.g. social skills, motor skills) and non-targeted measures (e.g., approach, social bids, speed) across participants. Considerations regarding reinforcer and response selection in implementing conjugate schedules in applied settings are provided.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Reetz, Stephany Kristina
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Effects of Non-differential Reinforcement and Differential Reinforcement on Problem Behaviors and Accuracy of Responding of Autistic Children.

Description: The effects of non-differential reinforcement and differential reinforcement on problem behaviors and accuracy of responding of autistic children was examined. In experiment 1, one child with autism participated, and in experiment 2, two children with autism participated. In the non-differential reinforcement condition both prompted and unprompted responses were reinforced. In the differential reinforcement condition only unprompted responses were reinforced. Overall, problem behaviors were more frequent in the non-differential reinforcement condition. In experiment 1, accuracy was higher in the differential reinforcement condition, while experiment 2 showed inconclusive results with regards to accuracy. It is concluded that non-differential reinforcement can decrease problem behaviors in teaching situations, but may not be sufficient to ensure acquisition of target tasks.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Ingvarsson, Einar Thor
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Effects of a Limited Hold on Pigeons' Match-to-sample Performance Under Fixed-ratio Scheduling.

Description: Pigeons were trained on a zero-delay identity match-to-sample task. Experiment 1 started with every correct match reinforced with grain access and subsequent conditions include higher fixed-ratio values. Experiment 2 included the same fixed-ratio values as experiment 1 with and without a limited hold (LH) on the opportunity to select a comparison stimulus. Prior research suggested that trials after reinforcement would have an increased likelihood of error, and that these errors would be reduced in LH conditions. Results confirmed this expected error pattern and in most LH conditions errors were reduced early in the ratio.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Cermak, Joseph Leland
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Shaping Cows' Approach to Humans Using Positive and Negative Reinforcement

Description: Negative reinforcement can be a powerful tool for behavior analysts, yet it is often overlooked as a treatment method. Pryor (1999) outlines a method for approaching a "timid" animal using a combination of negative reinforcement and positive reinforcement. When the animal stands still, the human operates a clicker, and then retreats from the animal. Gradually, the human moves closer to the animal through the clicking and retreating shaping process. Once the human is standing close enough, food may be offered as a positive reinforcer, and the negative reinforcer is canceled out. The purpose of this study was to experimentally demonstrate the click-retreat technique with cows. A multiple-baseline design across subjects was used to test this technique. Results show that the click and retreat technique was effective. Results are discussed in terms of the difference between the click-retreat technique and systematic desensitization.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Morehead, Melissa L.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

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
open access

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
open access

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
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

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.
Access: Restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: May 2003
Creator: McKenzie, Scott Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Using Concurrent Schedules of Reinforcement to Decrease Behavior

Description: We manipulated delay and magnitude of reinforcers in two concurrent schedules of reinforcement to decrease a prevalent behavior while increasing another behavior already in the participant's repertoire. The first experiment manipulated delay, implementing a five second delay between the behavior and delivery of reinforcement for a behavior targeted for decrease while no delay was implemented after the behavior targeted for increase. The second experiment manipulated magnitude, providing one piece of food for the behavior targeted for decrease while two pieces of food were provided for the behavior targeted for increase. The experiments used an ABAB reversal design. Results suggest that behavior can be decreased without the use of extinction when contingencies favor the desirable behavior.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Palmer, Ashlyn
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

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
open access

Choices in Reinforcer Delivery

Description: The current study consisted of two experiments, both of which were comparisons of choice conditions replicated across four participants. Four typically-developing pre-school children participated in this study. Experiment 1 evaluated participants' preference for choosing consequent stimuli prior to engaging in academic tasks (pre-session choice) versus choosing consequent stimuli each time criterion for reinforcement had been met within the session (within-session choice). In Experiment 2, preference for choice-making was evaluated when outcomes for both choice and no-choice conditions were identical. For two participants, results indicated strong preference for choice-making.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Law, Sarah Ann
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

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.
Access: Restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Ferguson, Dawnery
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Effects of Behavioral Charting, Token Reinforcement, and Social Reinforcement on the Production Rates of Sheltered Workshop Clients

Description: This investigation concerned the effects of behavioral charting, token reinforcement, social reinforcement, and combinations of behavioral charting with token or social reinforcement, upon the production rates of sheltered workshop clients. The differential effects of these reinforcement methods were investigated by arranging for the application of each reinforcement mode in a sheltered workshop setting and comparing the mean production rates achieved by two groups of sheltered workshop clients under each reinforcement condition. The findings derived from this sample led to the conclusion that positive reinforcement, and specifically social reinforcement used both alone and in combination with behavioral charting, can be a very effective mode of reinforcement for sheltered workshop clients. It was suggested that more attention might be devoted in rehabilitation facilities to using the simpler and more readily available forms of reinforcement which behavioral charting and social reinforcement represent.
Date: December 1974
Creator: Moore, Eugenia M.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

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
open access

Learned Helplessness: The Result of the Uncontrollability of Reinforcement or the Result of the Uncontrollability of Aversive Stimuli?

Description: This research demonstrates that experience with uncontrollable reinforcement, here defined as continuous non-contingent positive feedback to solution attempts of insoluble problems, fails to produce the proactive interference phenomenon, learned helplessness, while uncontrollable aversive events, here defined as negative feedback to solution attempts of insoluble problems, produces that phenomenon. These results partially support the "learned helplessness" hypothesis of Seligman (1975) which predicts that experience with uncontrollable reinforcement, the offset of negative events or the onset of positive ones, results in learning that responding is independent of reinforcement and that learning transfers to subsequent situations. This research further demonstrates that experience with controllability, here defined as solubility, results in enhanced competence.
Date: August 1975
Creator: Benson, James S.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Application of Group Contingent Reinforcement to Retarded Adults

Description: Two groups of eleven retarded adults each were used as subjects. An individually consequated token economy was in effect during baseline-1 for both groups. The treatment phase of the experiment consisted of group consequation, the first group receiving a high rate of reinforcement and the second group receiving a low rate. The individual token system was reinstated for both groups during baseline-2 measures. Attending behavior and work output were measured during each phase of the experiment. Significant differences were found between group versus individually contingent reinforcement treatments on attending behaviors, and between high and low contingency groups on performance behaviors. Differences between the high contingency and low contingency groups were found to be non-significant in regard to attending behaviors.
Date: May 1976
Creator: Newman, Jan
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Effects of Interspersed Trials and Density of Reinforcement on Accuracy, Looking Away, and Self-Injurious Behavior of a Child with Autism

Description: This research examines the effects of task interspersal and density of reinforcement on several behaviors of an autistic 6-year-old boy during the performance of a visual matching task and two auditory matching tasks. Experiment 1 investigated the effects of interspersing high and low accuracy tasks on correct matching responses, positions of matching responses, looking away, and self-injurious behavior (SIB). The effects of interspersed trials were evaluated using an ABAB multiple treatments design. Results indicated that interspersed trials produced slightly more correct responses during the visual matching task; however, correct responses decreased during the other two tasks. The use of interspersed trials also decreased looking away from the stimuli and SIB. Experiment 2 evaluated the effects of reinforcement density apart from task interspersal. Two conditions, reinforce-corrects-only and reinforce-all-responses, were compared in Experiment 2. Correct responses increased slightly for all three tasks during the reinforce-all-responses condition. Looking away and SIB were very infrequent throughout Experiment 2.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Ybarra, Rita
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Assessment and Treatment of Multiple Topographies of Self-injury Maintained by Separate Reinforcement Contingencies

Description: Functional analysis procedures were used to assess and treat multiple topographies of self-injurious behavior exhibited by an individual. An experimental functional analysis indicated that one topography, hand biting, appeared to be maintained by social positive reinforcement in the form of delivery of tangible items. The analysis also provided evidence that a second form of self-injury, skin picking, was automatically reinforced. To treat positively reinforced hand biting, access to a preferred tangible was arranged contingent on the omission of biting for a prespecified time interval. Hand biting was nearly eliminated, and low rates were maintained as the schedule of reinforcement was thinned to 10 min. Competing stimulus assessments identified that magazines effectively suppressed all occurrences of skin picking; therefore, noncontingent access to magazines was implemented. Using a combination of multielement and multiple baseline designs, we were able to demonstrate that the two topographies of self-injury were maintained by independent reinforcement contingencies and that interventions corresponding to each topography and function effectively treated both behaviors.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Pace, Amy
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Internal-External Locus of Control, Perception of Teacher Intermittency of Reinforcement and Achievement

Description: This study measured the relationships between locus of control, students' perception of the schedule of teacher reinforcement, and academic achievement. The Intellectual Achievement Responsibility questionnaire, Perception of Teacher Reinforcement scale, and Wide Range Achievement Test were used to measure these variables. All subscores of the Intellectual Achievement Responsibility questionnaire correlated significantly with achievement for the females, but no relationships were found for the males. Perception of the teacher as partially rewarding was significantly correlated with reading, spelling, and total achievement for the males and with reading and arithmetic achievement for the females. Perception of the teacher as partially punishing was significantly correlated with arithmetic achievement for the males, but was not related to achievement for the females.
Date: December 1974
Creator: Welch, Linda N.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

An Evaluation of Reinforcement Effects of Preferred Items During Discrete-Trial Instruction

Description: This study compared the relative reinforcing efficacy of high-preferred and low-preferred stimuli, as determined by two types of preference assessments, on acquisition rates in three children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The study also evaluated the indirect effects of preference on students’ stereotypy and problem behavior during instructional periods. Participants were presented with a task and provided high or low-preferred stimuli contingent upon correct responding. Results showed that acquisition occurred more rapidly in the highly preferred condition for some participants. Higher rates of problem behavior occurred in the low preferred condition for all participants. These results highlight the importance of utilizing preference assessment procedures to identify and deliver high-preferred items in skill acquisition procedures for individuals with ASD.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Rorer, Lynette
Partner: UNT Libraries
Back to Top of Screen