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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

A Behavioral Economic Analysis of the Effects of Unit Price Sequence on Demand for Money in Humans.

Description: Three groups of participants were exposed to different unit price sequences. Unit prices for all groups ranged from unit price 1 to 21. Analyses of demand curves, response rates, session duration, and elasticity coefficients suggest that the sequence of exposure to unit prices can affect the elasticity of demand. In addition, the size of unit price contrast, direction of unit price change, and proximity to experimental milestones also may affect the consumption of monetary reinforcers.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Williams, Jack Keith
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Measurement System for Monitoring Play in Typically Developing Children and Children with Autism

Description: A comprehensive measurement system was developed to monitor play in children with autism and typically developing children. The study was conducted in a preschool operated in conjunction with a center-based program for children with autism. The development of the measurement system was based on observations of four children with autism and three typically developing children during social and play activites. Data were collected on material use and several dimensions of play: Simple Manipulation, Functional Manipulation, Symbolic Toy Play, Symbolic Role Play and Play Themes. The results indicated that the measurement system consistently measured a wide range of play behaviors across children and materials. Significance of the information gathered from the measurement system in assessing play and designing interventions is discussed.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Gudmundsdottir, Kristin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Shall We Dance? Teaching Parents the Communication Dance to Enhance Generalized Communication in Their Children

Description: Children diagnosed with autism exhibit deficits in communication that impact their ability to control their immediate environment. Recent research on mand training has been criticized for producing a limited number of mand topographies over a long span of time with limited generalization to novel environments. There is a body of research, however, that successfully establishes larger repertoires. Training parents as change agents may mediate generalization by teaching under naturally maintaining contingencies. Additional effects of parent training may reduce parent reports of stress, increase favorable quality of parent-child interactions, and increase reports of parental self-efficacy. The current study evaluated the effects of a generalized training framework to teach parents how to target generalized mands and expand their child’s communicative topographies. The effects of the training were evaluated using a non-concurrent multiple baseline across participants and skills. Results indicated that parents were able to effectively teach their child to mand for a variety of items and events and to substantially increase the number of different mand topographies and expand the topographies the child emitted. Parents were observed to have higher overall confidence and lower overall stress following intervention. The current study builds on previous research on generalized teaching strategies for parents that are effective in teaching a variety of responses to the child.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Baker, Jacqueline R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Sucrose on Ethanol Consumption in Ethanol Naïve and Non-naïve Rats

Description: Sucrose fading and intermittent access are two common procedures that induce alcohol consumption in rodents. Sucrose fading procedures involve exposing ethanol naïve rats to a mixture of ethanol and sucrose and gradually reducing the concentration of sugar. Intermittent access procedures involve providing rats with access to ethanol on alternating days. Given that rats will consume ethanol without sucrose, the role of sugar in the sucrose fading procedure is unclear. Rats must be ethanol naïve when they are exposed to treatment with sucrose fading, so there is no point of comparison to show that exposure to sugar in sucrose fading produces higher levels of drinking. There has yet to be any work that isolates the effects of sugar on the consumption of alcohol. The purpose of the present experiment was to examine the effects of sucrose on ethanol consumption in rats with different alcohol histories. Two groups of six rats were exposed to two successive sucrose fading procedures, 30 days apart and their drinking was measured 30 days after each one. One group was exposed to an intermittent access procedure to establish drinking prior to treatment with sucrose fading, the other was ethanol naïve. Following sucrose fading, all rats drank pharmacologically active doses of ethanol. For both groups consumption correlated with the concentration of sucrose and decreased in a step-wise manner as it was faded. For the ethanol experienced rats, consumption dropped below baseline levels as sucrose was faded and decreased further with the second exposure. In contrast, the ethanol-naïve rats did not decrease consumption from the first sucrose fading procedure to the second. Slight differences in peak force of responses were also observed.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Dove, Rachel Jolene
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

Measuring the Effect of Alternating In-class with Online Lecture on Student Learning in College Classrooms

Description: Personalized instruction has long been a goal of behavior analysis in the education of typically developing populations, one important element of which is the delivery of lectures in new formats. This study tested feasibility of online lecture delivery by comparing online and in-class delivery of lectures using an adapted alternating treatments design. Each week, the lecture component of a unit of an introductory behavior analysis course was presented either online or in-class, alternating week to week. The alternation was counterbalanced between two sections, where one section saw the lecture for a given unit -online while the other did it in-class, allowing for comparison between lectures of a given unit as well as across units within a section. First attempt quiz scores were measured. No significant difference in the trend of quiz scores between conditions was detected, averaging 73.1% (range, 50.4% to 83.4%) for online and 72.8% (range, 54.8 to 84%) for in-class conditions. This suggests that online lectures are a feasible alternative lecture delivery in this introductory behavior analysis course. This experimental methodology may also be used to test other instructional techniques as well. The ability to place lectures online, opens the door to further, more refined, experimentation with modern instructional methods such as the “flipped classroom.”
Date: August 2013
Creator: Kellerstedt, Brett G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of the Value-altering Effect of Motivating Operations

Description: Motivating operations (MOs) may affect behavior in two ways; A) an MO momentarily alters the frequency of behavior for which a particular consequence has served as reinforcement (evocative-effect) and B) an MO momentarily alters the behavioral effects of the relevant consequence (value-altering effect). Many studies have empirically demonstrated the evocative function of MOs, however, few if any studies have attempted to systematically manipulate and measure the value-altering effect. The focus of this study was to investigate the value-altering effect by measuring choice and response allocation across two alternative tasks. Participants were two female girls diagnosed with autism. During conditioning sessions, experimenters created a history for the children in which clicking on a moving square on a computer monitor produced a small piece of edible. Prior to some conditions, the participants were allowed 5 min of free-access to the edibles, and in other sessions, access to edibles prior to session was restricted. During these sessions, the square was either red or blue depending on the condition type (pre-access or restricted-access). During probe sessions, both colored squares were concurrently available and participants were allowed to allocate their responding to whichever square they chose. One participant preferred the square associated with restricted-access, which may support the notion of the value-altering effect. Difficulties during conditioning sessions interfered with the ability to run sufficient probes with the other participant to evaluate a value-altering effect. Results suggest that the use of these procedures may be useful to differentiate evocative and function-altering effects of MOs.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Devine, Bailey
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

Improving Performance in a Global Logistics Company: Operational Performance Before and After Process Improvement

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of an intervention designed to eliminate damage notification failures in a customer-specific standard operating procedure used by a global logistics company. Process maps identified locations in the process where damage notification failures could most likely occur. A revised process was designed overnight to eliminate as many notification failure points as possible. In addition, a job aid was included to help facilitate the process change for the drivers. The results of the intervention showed a rapid and profound decrease in damage notification failures leading to the retention of a large, profitable account with a minimal initial investment of time and money.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Dearman, Shawn Kale
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

Using video modeling to teach complex play sequences to children with autism.

Description: Overcoming social skill deficits in children with autism is a challenge faced by educators and caregivers. Video modeling is a method of training that can promote generalization. This study extends the literature by investigating effects of video modeling on repetitive motor and vocal responses and skill generalization to other settings for children with low-functioning autism/ developmental disabilities. A multiple baseline across 3 play sequences was implemented with 3 males. Results indicate that 2 acquired vocal and motor responses and 1 acquired imitative noises and motor responses using video modeling alone. Generalization occurred with 2 participants. These findings have important implications for the field showing that video modeling can enable educators and caregivers to help children with autism overcome social skill deficits.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Jeffreys, Chris
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Descriptive Praise on Instructional Control Over Varied and Stereotyped Play of a Five-Year-Old Boy

Description: This study investigated the effects of instructional cues on varied and stereotyped play responses of one typically developing 5-year-old child. Responses were observed across four sets of play materials: blocks, DUPLO® blocks, markers and paints. Training included praise contingent upon forms consistent with the instruction. Two instructions were each trained with corresponding instruction signs, "Try something different" (on blue paper) and "Do the same thing" (on yellow paper) for block and DUPLO block forms. Results show differentiated novel responding during the experimental phase. The same differential effect in marker forms occurred in the sign alone phase. When the sign plus instruction was introduced for painting sessions, novel forms in the same condition discontinued and began to occur in the different condition. These findings suggest stimulus control of behavioral variation and behavioral consistency. The implications for both science and society are discussed.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Bank, Nicole L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Power of One Reinforcer

Description: Animal trainers use shaping to teach many behaviors. However, during shaping, the organism may engage in behaviors other than the target behavior or approximations to the target behavior. If the animal is engaged in other behaviors, the rate of reinforcement may decrease and the trainer may resort to what is sometimes referred to as a “desperation click.” That is, the trainer delivers one reinforcer for a behavior that is not a successive approximation to the target response. Anecdotal reports from trainers suggest that sometimes the animal continues to repeat this other behavior that received only one reinforcer, even in the absence of further reinforcement for that behavior. This study compared whether, during a one minute extinction period, participants spent more time engaged in a behavior that had been reinforced only once after a brief period of no reinforcement or in a behavior that had been reinforced multiple times. Participants, who were university students, played a tabletop game that involved touching and manipulating small objects. Five conditions were repeated twice for each participant: reinforcement for interacting with a training object alone, reinforcement for interacting with a training object with other objects present, reinforcement for interacting with a target object, one reinforcer for interacting with a third object immediately following a brief period of no reinforcement, and reinforcement for interacting with any object. Results from this study show that a desperation click situation can be reliably produced in a controlled setting. When participants received one reinforcer for interacting with a new object following a period of no reinforcement, they interacted with the new object for a longer or equal amount of time as compared to an object that had a history of reinforcement.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Hunter, Mary E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring Fundamental Principles in the Study of Derived Relational Responding in Pigeons

Description: A persistent challenge for behaviorally-based accounts of learning has been providing an account of learning that occurs in the absence of systematically programmed contingencies of reinforcement. Symmetry, one type of emergent behavior, has been repeatedly demonstrated with humans, but has been considerably more difficult to demonstrate with non-humans. In this study, pigeons were exposed to a go/no-go procedure in which hue stimuli were presented full screen on a touchscreen monitor. Pigeons learned 12 baseline relations in less than 30 days. Traditional measures used to evaluate symmetry indicated that, during tests, three of the four birds responded more to the reverse of relations that were reinforced in training than to the reverse of relations that were not reinforced in training. However, additional analyses of these data suggests that these differences were driven by one of two trial types and that symmetry was only observed for one of the two predicted relations. These data systematically replicate and extend work by Urcuioli and colleagues and point to areas where further research is needed.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Hinnenkamp, Jay Evan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Shaping: From art to science.

Description: This study evaluated the effectiveness of a procedure for teaching a caregiver to shape vocal language in a young child with autism. A multiple baseline design was employed to assess caregiver use of shaping procedures, child vocal language progress, and the social validity of the procedures. Following baseline and introductory sessions, the coach and caregiver reviewed video from the previous session and the coach gave descriptive feedback to the caregiver about her performance. Following the review of the videotaped segment, procedures to increase skills were selected and practiced. Rates of responsive opportunity arrangement, model presentation, responsive model delivery, and responsive event delivery, as well as the child's rate of requests, vocalizations, diversity of vocalizations, and social validity were measured. Data suggested that the procedures effectively taught the skill of shaping to a caregiver, which in turn seemed to produce increases in the child's vocal responding.
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Date: August 2005
Creator: Schooley, Kathryne Balch
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Concurrent Fixed Interval-fixed Ratio Schedules of Reinforcement on Human Responding.

Description: The present study contributes an apparatus and research paradigm useful in generating human performances sensitive to concurrent schedules of reinforcement. Five participants produced performances observed to be under temporal and ratio control of concurrent fixed interval-fixed ratio schedules. Two aspects of interaction between FI and FR schedules were distinguishable in the data. First, interaction between two schedules was observed in that changes in the value of one schedule affected behavior reinforced on another schedule. Second, switching from one pattern to the other functioned as an operant unit, showing stability during schedule maintenance conditions and sensitivity to extinction. These effects are discussed in the context of current views on behavior under concurrent schedules of reinforcement, and some implications for the conceptualization, measurement, analysis, and treatment of complex behavior are presented.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Parsons, Teresa Camille
Partner: UNT Libraries

Generalized identity matching in the pigeon: Effects of extended observing- and choice-response requirements.

Description: Four experimentally naïve white Carneau pigeons learned to match three colors to each other in a variant of an Identity matching-to-sample procedure with an FR20 on samples and a response-initiated FI8-s on comparisons. In Experiment 1, the extent to which subjects were matching on the basis of identity was assessed by presenting, in extinction, test trials comprising novel stimuli serving as the sample (and matching comparison) or as the nonmatching comparison. The results from Experiment 1 suggested intermediate or little to no transfer on the basis of identity. Experiment 2 reassessed transfer on the basis of identity with differential reinforcement on the test trials. Under these conditions, two of the four birds demonstrated substantially better than chance levels of performance. These data imply that while the extended response requirements may be necessary, other procedural aspects may be responsible for generalized identity matching in the pigeon.
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Date: August 2005
Creator: Hayashi, Yusuke
Partner: UNT Libraries

Clarifying Variables associated with Problem Behaviors Using Structured Descriptive Assessment

Description: This study evaluated the utility of a structured descriptive assessment (SDA) as an alternative method of functional assessment. Initially, an analogue functional analysis, conducted to assess the problem behavior of two adults with developmental disabilities, produced inconclusive results. Subsequently, SDAs was conducted in the individuals' natural environment with the direct-contact caregivers acting as therapists. This assessment manipulated antecedent variables similarly to the analogue functional analysis but allowed for consequences to occur naturally. The results from SDAs suggested that problem behaviors, for both participants, were occasioned by removal of personal items and maintained by their return. Treatments based on the results of SDAs were implemented in a reversal design and resulted in a notable reduction in the occurrences of problem behavior for both participants. These outcomes suggest that SDA procedures may be useful when results from the analogue functional analysis are inconclusive.
Date: August 2005
Creator: McAllister, Amanda Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessing Optimal Sibling Training Conditions: An Empirical Approach.

Description: The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of play materials on the interactions between a child with autism and her sibling. Three conditions were assessed: open choice, materials chosen by the child with autism, and materials chosen by the typically developing sibling. Within each activity, measures of social interactions were assessed. Results of the assessment showed that more interactions occurred with a material chosen by the child with autism. After sibling training (targeting specific teaching skills), social interactions remained highest in the condition with materials chosen by the child with autism. The results are discussed in terms of a material assessment to optimize sibling training conditions and the importance of sibling relationships.
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Date: August 2005
Creator: Merker, Stephanie K.
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

Do Shared S-minus Functions Among Stimuli Lead to Equivalence?

Description: We examined the claim that equivalence classes contain all positive elements in a reinforcement contingency by asking whether negative stimuli in a reinforcement contingency will also form an equivalence class, based on their shared function as S-minus stimuli. In Experiment 1, 5 subjects were tested for equivalence for positive and negative stimuli. Testing of positive stimuli preceded testing of negative stimuli. Two of five subjects demonstrated equivalence for positive stimuli, and three subjects demonstrated equivalence for negative stimuli. In Experiment 2, order of testing was reversed. Four of six subjects demonstrated equivalence for positive stimuli, and none demonstrated equivalence for negative stimuli. In Experiment 3, positive and negative stimuli were tested together. Only one of five subject demonstrated equivalence for positive and negative stimuli. These data suggest that negative stimuli may enter an equivalence class, and so Sidman paradigm should be expanded. Order of testing was found as a meaningful variable.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Kassif-Weiss, Sivan O.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

The Effects of Rate of Responding on Retention, Endurance, Stability, and Application of Performance on a Match-to-sample Task.

Description: Fluent performance has been described as the retention, endurance, stability, and application of the material learned. Fluent performers not only respond quickly during training, they also make many correct responses during training. The current study used a within-subject design to analyze the effects of increased response rates on Retention, Endurance, Stability, and Application tests. Number of correct responses and number of unprompted, correct responses in error correction procedures were yoked for individual participants across an Accuracy-plus-Rate training condition and an Accuracy-Only training condition. One participant scored better in tests that followed the Accuracy-Only condition. One participant showed results that slightly favor the Accuracy-plus-Rate training condition. The two participants whose response rates were successfully reduced in the Accuracy-Only condition performed better on all tests that followed the Accuracy-plus-Rate condition.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Wheetley, Brook
Partner: UNT Libraries