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A Stimulus Control Analysis of the Misinformation Effect

Description: This paper explores research on the misinformation effect and hypothesizes a new explanation for the occurrence misinformation effect. Current psychological theories states the misinformation effect occurs when memories are skewed by the presentation of new information after an initial event. This effect has been tested in a multitude of ways, including testing words lists, pictures, colors, and change blindness. Socially, the misinformation effect has been used to explain the inaccuracies of eyewitness testimony. The current judicial system relies on the fallible memory of people and has wrongfully imprisoned numerous innocents. The purpose of this research is to show the misinformation effect is not a problem with memory storage and retrieval, but rather a product of selective stimulus control.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Tait, Kelly M.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Reducing Undesirable Behavior with Stimulus Control

Description: The present experiment investigated the application of Green and Swets (1966) signal-detection theory to undesirable behavior as a method of reducing unwanted behaviors using reinforcement and extinction. This experiment investigated the use of this stimulus control technique to reduce undesirable behaviors using a multiple-baseline design. Once the cue for a target behavior was established and maintained, the use of the verbal cue was reduced in frequency and the rate of unprompted undesirable behavior was recorded. Generalization was tested across multiple people. Data for this experiment showed that undesirable behavior could be reduced by altering the stimulus control that maintained it.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Davison, Matthew Alan
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

A Stimulus Control Analysis of Imprinting in a Human-Reared Pigeon

Description: Events that occur early in the life of birds greatly influence social and sexual preferences throughout the course of life. Traditionally, this is explained by a learning process known as imprinting. Young birds are thought to imprint to early stimuli, causing the development of permanent preferences for those stimuli. In the present study, imprinting is examined with respect to behaviors of an adult human-reared pigeon in several conditions. The subject was either presented with no stimulus, a conspecific stimulus, a novel stimulus, a human stimulus, or the human and novel stimuli simultaneously. Several phases within these conditions were employed to pinpoint the variables that produced the most social and sexual behavior. The results showed that while some conditions produced unclear behavior, other conditions produced very clear indications of sexual preference for humans and fear of conspecifics. The results suggest that the concept of imprinting may not be needed to explain the sexual preference of the subject, and that operant contingencies may play a large role in sexual behavior.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Varnon, Christopher A.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Effects of Common and Uncommon Elements on the Emergence of Simple Discriminations

Description: A computerized program was designed to test whether arranging a common element in two, otherwise independent, 2-term correlations (stimulus-stimulus and response-stimulus) would result in emergent simple discriminative-stimulus properties for the antecedent stimulus relative to an arrangement with no common elements programmed. Data from 8 adult participants in this experiment indicate that common element arrangements led to relatively high rates of responding in the presence of the putative discriminative stimulus and relatively low rates or no responding in the presence of the putative s-delta during testing in extinction. Conversely, the uncommon element arrangements produced no clear discriminative control. The current data reflect a comparison of arrangements across subjects. These data support Sidman's (2000) suggestion that common elements among contingencies are sufficient to produce stimulus classes and cause class mergers. The data also have implications for thinking about the mechanism by which and the conditions under which discriminative control develops. Finally, these data have the potential to inform the programming and implementation of reinforcement contingencies in applied settings.
Date: May 2019
Creator: Niland, Haven Sierra
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Further Evaluation of Blocked Trials to Teach Intraverbal Conditional Discriminations: Effects of Criterion-level Probes

Description: Individuals with autism often have deficient intraverbal repertoires. Previous research has found success in using a blocked trials procedure to facilitate discrimination training. A previous study (unpublished) from our laboratory extended this procedure to intraverbal training. The current study continued this line of research by exploring the outcomes of probing the criterion performance more frequently. Three children with autism, ages 7-13, participated. Eight question pairs were taught. One question was presented repeatedly until a specified number of consecutive correct responses occurred, then the other question was presented. Contingent on specific mastery criteria, the trial blocks were faded into smaller blocks until the questions were presented in quasi-random order. Between each step, a criterion probe was conducted to determine if further steps were necessary. The procedure has been successful for two of the three participants. Criterion probe performance showed that not all teaching steps were needed every time. The procedure may have facilitated acquisition over time, because the number of trials to mastery generally decreased over successive targets.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Haggar, Jennifer Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Misinformation About the Misinformation Effect

Description: This study partially replicated the research of Cook, Kwak, Hoffman, & Loftus where they examined post-event activities that induces subjects to pick a wrong person in a forced choice identification procedure. The goal was to investigate if providing a neither option to a match to sample task increases the accuracy of responding. Subjects were asked to study three faces for 10 seconds, after which they were asked to pick out the faces in a forced choice setting where two other faces were presented. Later the subjects were asked to pick out faces in a setting in which they could use a neither option. Results indicated that a generalization effect occurs when identifying faces and the effect is seen as subjects choosing the wrong face. This suggests that when using faces with some similar features in a lineup setting the procedure may cause the subject to pick the wrong person.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Halvorsen, Lars I.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

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

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
open access

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

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
open access

An Evaluation of Effectiveness and Efficiency of Matrix Training Permutations

Description: Recombinative generalization is a generative outcome that involves responding to novel stimulus combinations, and it can be facilitated through an instructional approach called matrix training. A learner's history with constituent stimuli and the arrangement of combination stimuli within the instructional matrix may affect the likelihood of recombinative generalization. To investigate this further, the current project assessed recombinative generalization with novel combinations of abstract stimuli by programming specific training histories for undergraduate student participants. The matrix training conditions were: (a) trained constituents with overlap training, (b) untrained constituents with overlap training, (c) trained constituents with nonoverlap training, and (d) untrained constituents with nonoverlap training. We evaluated whether and the extent to which recombinative generalization occurred in each matrix training condition in comparison to a condition that included training the constituents and providing a word-order rule. Finally, we compared the training trials in experimental conditions to directly training all constituents and combinations. The results suggested both overlap conditions and the trained constituents with nonoverlap condition produced recombinative generalization, and the trained constituents with nonoverlap condition was the most efficient. These results could inform the training order and stimulus arrangements practitioners employ to program for recombinative generalization.
Date: May 2020
Creator: Durham, Rebecca
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Effects of Training History on Retention and Reacquisition of Stimulus Control

Description: The purpose of this experiment was to study the effects of training history on retention and re-acquisition of stimulus control of previously learned behaviors. In Phase I, two pairs of behaviors were alternately trained. Circle and touch behaviors were trained concurrently until two consecutive errorless sessions were run. Spin and down behaviors were trained together in the same manner. Probe sessions, in which all four cues were presented, were conducted each time a pair of behaviors reached this criterion. Training of one pair did not occur until the other pair had reached criterion and probe sessions were run. Despite achieving the designated criterion during training, stimulus control changed during probes. During probe sessions, errors increased under the cues that were not currently being trained. In most cases, the type of errors emitted for each cue was the same as the behavior that was trained concurrently. The number of training sessions required to reach criterion accuracy was high during the first set of sessions and decreased over the course of the experiment. In Phase II, spin and circle behaviors were trained concurrently. The number of sessions required to reach stimulus control criteria remained low, and the number of errors emitted under the spin and circle cues during probe sessions decreased. However, the number of errors increased under the touch cue. In Phase III, a reinforce-all procedure was used instead of extinction to test stimulus control. The highest frequency of errors occurred under the touch cue, but the down error was almost exclusively emitted under every cue during the last several sessions.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Tucker, Kathryn Lynn
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

Oral Syringe Training Animals: Indiscriminable and Discriminable Punishment Contingencies

Description: Animals are commonly trained to perform behaviors during routine husbandry procedures. However, some husbandry procedures have aversive consequences when the real procedure is performed. This commonly results in loss of the trained behavior. The present study assessed whether maintaining the antecedent environmental stimulus conditions between appetitive and aversive outcomes would prevent this effect and, conversely, whether adding a stimulus discrepancy would facilitate this effect. Three domestic rats served as participants in a multiple baseline across participants design with multi-element components. All three rats stopped performing a trained behavior when a discrepant stimulus reliably predicted an aversive outcome. In addition, all three rats continued to perform the same behavior when antecedent environmental stimulus conditions were consistent between aversive and appetitive outcomes. Results are discussed in terms of practical implications for behavior change agents and conceptual implications for learning theory.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Erickson, Emilie Jane
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Sleep Disorders in Inpatient Vietnam Combat Veterans

Description: This study evaluated the efficacy of a cognitive behavioral treatment for insomnia among inpatients who met the diagnostic criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The cognitive behavioral treatment consisted of progressive relaxation, stimulus control, and thought stopping with cognitive restructuring.
Date: August 1983
Creator: Walker, Ann L. (Ann Lois)
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Use of a Stimulus Control Transfer Procedure to Teach Spontaneous Manding to Children with Autism

Description: Current research indicates that the inability to spontaneously communicate needs or wants may result in the acquisition of unconventional forms of requesting such as aggression and tantrums. This in turn limits the amount of access that students with autism have to neurotypical peers and social environments. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of using a stimulus control transfer procedure on the acquisition of spontaneous mands. Four school-aged children with autism, two boys and two girls, participated in the study. A multiple baseline design across participants was utilized to demonstrate a functional relation between the stimulus control transfer procedures and the rate of spontaneous mands. Measurement variables included the frequency of spontaneous versus multiply-controlled mands during discrete trial training on a variety of verbal operants. Effectiveness of the intervention was analyzed through visual analysis and the magnitude of effect was assessed through effect size. Visual analysis indicated that three of the four participants learned to spontaneously mand for items out of view and demonstrated generalization across targets, staff and environments. The effect size for three participants were large (d = 1.94; d = 2.2; and d = 1.4), whereas the outcome of intervention for one participant (d = 0.98) indicated moderate effect. The overall (d = 1.15) outcome demonstrated a large effect of the intervention on the rate of mands. Based on the results of this study, it is recommended that early and intensive behavior intervention programs for children with autism incorporate this type of procedure for socially significant outcomes.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Ward, Karen D.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

A Masking Procedure for Stimulus Control Assessment

Description: The present series of experiments were designed to investigate the utility of the use of a masking system to assess the development of stimulus control. The first experiment compares sample observing time with response accuracy in a match-to-sample task. The second experiment more closely examines this relation by subdividing the sample stimulus mask into four quadrants. The third experiment compares sample observing time during training with accuracy during a subsequent testing condition to determine if the observed differentiation between the quadrants was correlated with the development of stimulus control.
Date: August 2019
Creator: Condon, David
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Precluding the S- in Establishing Color Discriminations in Autistic Children

Description: A procedure in which the S- was prevented from being responded to, by electro-magnets, was used to establish color discriminations. The procedure was modified in Situation 1, to include the prevention of responses to the S+ if the S- was responded to first. The original procedure and modified procedure were used in Situation 1, with only the modified procedure being used in Situations 2 and 3. The procedure of reinforcing responses to the S+ and extinguishing responses to the S-, through nonreinforcement, was used in Situation 4. Data recorded consisted of the number of trials, the number of reinforcements, and which stimulus was first responded to. Criteria for the acquisition of a discrimination was 100 first responses to the S+. Results indicated that the modified procedure was much more effective in establishing the discriminations, than the original procedure or the procedure of reinforcing responses to the S+ and extinguishing responses to the S-. The modified procedure enhanced the establishment of stimulus control, reduced the number of errors and eliminated stereotyped responses.
Date: May 1975
Creator: Buck, Raymond W.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Function-Altering Effects of Contingency-Specifying Stimuli

Description: Three children between the ages of 3 and 3 1/2 were asked to choose a colored object from an array of 5 colors in a baseline condition. After color preferences were established, stickers, small toys and praise were made contingent on choosing the least preferred color. After the first experimental condition resulted in consistent choosing of the least preferred color, a second experimental condition was implemented. At the beginning of each session a contingency-specifying stimulus (CSS) was presented, each CSS specifying a different color to be selected. Both contingency-shaping and CSS presentation resulted in stimulus control over responding. However, CSS presentation resulted in immediate redistributions of behavioral units across CSS sessions.
Date: August 1992
Creator: Ford, Victoria L.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Stimulus Control Effects of Changes in Schedules of Reinforcement

Description: Sometimes, changes in consequences are accompanied by a clear stimulus change explicitly arranged by the experimenter. Other times when new consequences are in effect, there is little or no accompanying stimulus change explicitly arranged by the experimenter. These differences can be seen in the laboratory as multiple (signaled) schedules and mixed (unsignaled) schedules. The current study used college students and a single-subject design to examine the effects of introducing signaled and unsignaled schedules, and the transitions between them. In one phase, a card was flipped from purple to white every time the schedule was switched from VR-3 to FT-10. In another phase, the schedule still changed periodically, but the card always remained on the purple side. Results showed that the participants' responding was controlled by the schedule of reinforcement, by the color of the card, or both. These results suggest that changes in patterns of reinforcement lead to changes in stimulus control. In addition, the stimulus control for a behavior can come from several different sources. During teaching, it may facilitate the development of stimulus control to change the environment when a new behavior is required.
Date: August 2020
Creator: Abdel-Jalil, Awab
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Effects of Instructions on Schedule Sensitivity

Description: There are many situations in which human performances appear insensitive to changing contingencies of reinforcement when compared to nonhuman operant performances. Explanations of these discrepancies have appealed to rule-governance and have provided some evidence that instructions produce these differences by restricting response alternatives as well as functioning as discriminative stimuli for other contingencies. In order to further evaluate these potential functions, a canonical study on rule-governance was systematically replicated. Five undergraduate participants were tasked with earning blocks by pressing a button during LED-signaled, fixed-ratio 7 and differential-reinforcement-of-low-rate 5-s schedules of reinforcement. Phase 1 of the experiment switched between these two schedules, with the schedule alternating every 1 minute. Phase 2 added instructions to "Go Fast" and "Go Slow" to the LEDs and programmed the lit LED to switch 30 seconds into each 1-minute session. Phase 3 removed the instructions from the LEDs and returned to the procedures of phase 1, with only one LED lit during each 1-minute session. Results showed that instructions influence the response rates as well as stimulus control over those rates. Results also showed that all participants ignored instructions conflicting with the reinforceable rate by the end of Phase 2. These findings indicate that instances of insensitivity may result from instructions restricting response alternatives and their stimulus control, as opposed to instructions signaling a second contingency. These findings are discussed in terms of the nature of instructional stimulus control, its relation to the operant unit of analysis, and alternative interpretations of other instances of insensitivity.
Date: May 2020
Creator: Butcher, Grayson M
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Training a non-match response: Toward a technology for determining controlling stimulus dimensions for two children with autism.

Description: The research investigated the impact of sexual harassment on withdrawal behaviors and attitudes toward harassment by examining the gender composition of the harassment dyad and the organizational status of the perpetrator in relation to the victim. Archival data from the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan was used to obtain surveys in which participants rated their attitudes and experiences related to sexual harassment. Only individuals who reported experiencing sexual harassment within the 24 months prior to data collection are included in the current research. A MANOVA was conducted to determine if withdrawal behaviors and attitudes of victims varied by the gender dyad and/or the organizational status of the perpetrator. Results indicated that individuals harassed by people with higher organizational status displayed more withdrawal behaviors in the form of decreased productivity and increased use of sick, annual, and unpaid leave. Individuals harassed by a member of the same gender also used more unpaid leave. Interestingly, individuals harassed by members of the opposite gender, tended to disagree more strongly with the attitude index measuring cautious awareness of sexual harassment.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Baynham, Tanya Yvonne
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

On the effects of extended sample-observing response requirements on adjusted delay in a titrating delay matching-to-sample procedure with pigeons.

Description: A common procedural variation that facilitates the acquisition of conditional discriminations is to increase the time an organism spends in the presence of the sample stimulus by programming extended sample-observing response requirements. Despite their common use, there has been little empirical investigation of the effects of extended sample-observing response requirements. In the current study, four pigeons worked on a titrating delay matching-to-sample procedure in which the delay between sample offset and comparison onset was adjusted as a function of the pigeons' accuracy. The number of responses required to produce the comparison array was manipulated across conditions. Results show that all subjects were able to withstand longer delays between sample offset and comparison onset as sample-observing response requirements increased. These data show that the extent of the response requirement in the presence of the sample has systematic effects on conditional discrimination performances and should be considered in the design of experiments.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Kangas, Brian D.
Partner: UNT Libraries
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