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open access

Evaluation of a Behavior Skills Package to Teach Caregivers to Manage Disruptive Behavior during Medical and Dental Appointments

Description: Adults with developmental disabilities that live in large residential settings experience complications due to problem behavior when attending routine medical/dental appointments. This may result in sedation for clients for even the most routine medical/dental appointments. The purpose of this project was to develop a comprehensive staff training program that incorporated best practices to teach direct-support professionals behavior management techniques and best practices for transporting clients to and from routine medical/dental appointments. 4 direct-support professionals at a large residential care facility participated in this project. Multiple probes were conducted utilizing standard role-play exercises to evaluate caregiver acquisition of 16 specific skills related to client information, best practices for client transport, and behavior management. The results indicated that behavior skills training (BST) resulted in caregiver acquisition of all 16 skills during role-play exercises.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Kinser, Joshua Andrew
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

Musical Priming and Operant Selection

Description: Language is a cultural construct, and the relationship between words is taught. Priming research has long investigated the relationship between related and unrelated words. Similar research has been seen in music relationships, but most of these investigate harmonic relations despite the melodic relationship being the one listeners are mostly likely to describe. Further, these studies typically measure existing relationships and do not attempt to teach a new relationship, nothing that most adults are experienced musical listeners. This study seeks to establish a new melodic relationship (the enigmatic Scale) in addition to a familiar one (the major Scale) while measuring response time to the musical sequences. A baseline was conducted in which participants listened to a musical sequence and selected via response box if the final note is consonant (major Scale) or dissonant (enigmatic Scale). Following baseline a training section occurred in which participants heard sequences ranging from 2-7 notes and were provided feedback for correct and incorrect responses. Following completion of the training participants completed a post-test identical to baseline. Behavioral results are discussed in relation to Palmer's (2009) concept of the repertoire.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Vail, Kimberly Gail
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Teaching Observational Learning to Children with Autism: An In-vivo and Video-Model Assessment

Description: Observational learning (OL) occurs when an individual contacts reinforcement as a direct result of discriminating the observed consequences of other individuals' responses. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may have deficits in observational learning and previous research has demonstrated that teaching a series of prerequisite skills (i.e., attending, imitation, delayed imitation, and consequence discrimination) can result in observational learning. We sequentially taught these prerequisite skills for three young children with ASD across three play-based tasks. We assessed the direct and indirect effects of training by assessing OL before and after instruction across tasks and task variations (for two participants) during both in-vivo and video-model probes using a concurrent multiple-probe design. All participants acquired the prerequisite skills and demonstrated observational learning during probes of directly-trained tasks. Generalization results varied across participants. Observational learning generalized to one untrained task for one participant. For the other two participants, observational learning generalized to variations of the trained tasks but not to untrained tasks. Generalization additionally occurred during the in-vivo probes for both participants for whom we assessed this response. Implications of these findings, as well as directions for future research, are discussed.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Sansing, Elizabeth M
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

Identification of environmental determinants of behavior disorders through functional analysis of precursor behaviors

Description: Methods for the determining the functional properties of problem behaviors are necessary for the design of successful treatments. Many of the currently utilized methodologies are chosen based on their speed, ease of application or for the perceived risk-reduction they afford. However, when thoroughly analyzed many of these methods fall short of their intended purpose. The current study attempted to assess dangerous problem behavior through a functional assessment of functionally related precursor behaviors during analog sessions. Results indicate that for three participants, placing the reinforcing contingencies on these related precursor behaviors produced differentiated outcomes during the assessment. These outcomes matched the outcomes of assessments of the more dangerous problem behaviors.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Churchill, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

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
open access

Examining the Relationship between Variability in Acquisition and Variability in Extinction

Description: Using the "revealed operant" technique, variability during acquisition and extinction was examined with measures of response rate and a detailed analysis of response topography. During acquisition, subjects learned to emit four response patterns. A continuous schedule of reinforcement (CRF) for 100 repetitions was used for each pattern and a 30 min extinction phase immediately followed. One group of subjects learned the response patterns via a "trial-and-error" method. This resulted in a wide range of variability during acquisition and extinction. Only one subject emitted a substantial amount of resurgent behavior. A second group of subjects was given instructions on what keys to press to earn reinforcers. This group had less variability in acquisition and extinction and resurgent responding was prevalent.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Neff, Bryon (Bryon R.)
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Effects of Modeling, Roleplaying and Feedback on the Performance of Teachers of Children with Autism

Description: Teachers providing treatment to children with autism are responsible for implementing numerous procedures. Teacher training has not been addressed extensively in the literature. This study employed a multiple baseline design to evaluate the effects of a training package incorporating modeling, roleplaying and feedback on teacher performance. Results indicated that the teacher implemented correct teaching episodes following training. Changes in teacher performance were only observed when the training package was applied to each setting and skill area. As a result of changes in teacher behavior, the child demonstrated an increase in the number of desired responses. Results are discussed in the context of generalization, training package components, cost-benefit of single-subject designs, and limitations of the study.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Edwards, Carla Ward
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

Assessment and Treatment of Multiple Topographies and Functions of Self-injury

Description: Results of a functional analysis indicated that the self-injurious behavior (SIB) of an adult female with profound mental retardation occurred primarily in the alone and demand conditions. Graphs of the separate topographies (head slaps and head bangs) showed that head banging occurred in the alone condition and that both head banging and head slapping occurred in the demand condition. A data analysis procedure to identify within-session trends across sessions and fluctuations in rates of SIB by topography revealed that most of the demands escaped were escaped by head slaps and that over 80% of all head slaps were associated with escape, compared to less than 1%of all head bangs, indicating that head banging and head slapping were members of separate functional response classes. Treatment consisted of noncontingent availability of preferred leisure materials, and produced substantial decreases of both head banging and head slapping. Interpretation of the results are discussed, as well as some implications and limitations of the study.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Gonzalez, Angela M. (Angela Maria), 1970-
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Experimental Analysis of Self-injury With and Without Protective Equipment

Description: Outcomes of experimental analyses during which protective equipment (PE) was placed on three participants were compared to those during which PE was not provided to them. Experimental analysis conditions were presented using a multielement format, and the effects of PE were evaluated using a withdrawal design. Results of experimental analysis without PE suggested that self-injurious behavior (SIB) was maintained by negative reinforcement for two participants and nonsocial mechanisms for the third participant. However, SIB was eliminated either immediately or eventually for all participants when PE was provided during experimental analysis. Thus, outcomes of assessments with PE did not match those without PE, and no conclusion about variables associated with SIB could be drawn from experimental analyses with PE alone. Therefore, the present findings do not support the use of PE as an alternative to standard methods for conducting experimental analysis (i.e., without PE).
Date: December 1998
Creator: Le, Duy D. (Duy Dang)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of a Conflicting Instruction on a Fr 5 Performance

Description: The purpose of this experiment was to evaluate the effects of a conflicting instruction on FR-5 performances by an ABABC design. After all four college students were consistently pressing 1-5-3 followed by sound-clips, the schedule value changed to FR-5 (A). Then they were presented with the written instruction "Press 426" (B) in addition to the previous condition. In the last condition (C), 1-5-3 responses were then scheduled for extinction in three participants and the reinforcer was changed from sound-clips to points for one participant. The results showed that unlike previous experiments, instructions did not override the scheduled contingencies. Instruction-following occurred only when there were no other contingencies (i.e., extinction of 1-5-3) or the scheduled reinforcer for FR-5 performances was weak.
Access: Restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Koremura, Yuka
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Effects of the Density of Reinforcement on the Maladaptive Behaviors of a Child With Autism

Description: The present study consists of two experiments that analyze the effects of high and low densities of reinforcemnt on the maladaptive behaviors of a 9 year old girl with autism. The first experiment investigates the isolated effects of density of reinforcement on the frequency of maladaptive behaviors during a motor imitation teaching task. High densities of reinforcement produced fewer occurrences of maladaptive behavior than low densities of reinforcement. Experiment 2 analyzes the effects of density of reinforcement during the same teaching tasks as in experiment 1 on maladaptive behavior, task accuracy, prompt resistance, and language. Maladaptive behavior did not recur during experiment 2. High density of reinforcement conditions during the second experiment showed a positive effect on the accuracy of responding and compliance with prompts.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Motiejunas, Kristina M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Improving Appointment Keeping at an Eye Care Clinic Using a Revised Process Package

Description: Missed appointments by patients are a major problem for health care professionals. To combat this issue, some optometrists use a pre-appointing system in which patients are scheduled for an annual exam a year after their initial visit. Prior to that subsequent appointment, clinic staff often try to contact the patient to confirm the appointment. This study examined baseline levels of appointment keeping, analyzed existing processes for pre-appointing patients, and introduced a revised process package to improve appointment keeping at an eye care clinic. This package included training, mailed postcard reminders and two phone call reminders. Results indicate appointment keeping by pre-appointed patients increased over baseline. The intervention was also shown to be cost-beneficial.
Access: Restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Hodge, Victoria L.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

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
open access

Performance Improvement in an Accounting Firm: Comparing Operational and Financial Data Before and After Process Redesign

Description: The case study described in this thesis involves a process improvement project in the Tax Department of a Certified Public Accounting firm. A process map was created by interviewing employees involved in the process. A process analysis identified problems and possible solutions. The Partners in the firm decided to streamline the process for simple tax returns in order to make them more profitable. This study examined what impact, if any, the process improvement intervention had on key financial and operational measures. Results indicated that the tax returns prepared in the new process were faster, cheaper, and more profitable. This study indicates that organizations conducting process improvement interventions can beneficially affect key financial and operational measures.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Chhabra, Meeta Kaur
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

A Behavioral Economic Analysis of the Demand for Money in Humans

Description: This study investigated the effects of unit price structure, unit price descriptions, and unit price sequence on the demand for money in humans. Six groups of 3 participants solved multiplication problems in exchange for money under various unit prices. Consumption of money decreased as the unit price increased across all conditions. However, the data also showed that: (a) fixed price structures produced slightly more elastic demand than did variable price structures, (b) price descriptions produced more elastic demand under variable price structures but had little or no effect under fixed price structures, and (c) the alternate sequence used with fixed price structures produced slightly more elastic demand.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Reyes, Jorge R.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Investigating the effects on parallel play between siblings: Teaching children with autism to emit social phrases to their typically developing sibling.

Description: The focus of this study was three fold. First, modeling and feedback were investigated as a training package for social interactions between siblings. Second, the effects of social phrases taught to the sibling with autism were investigated. Third, the magnitude of these social phrases was measured by timing duration of parallel play. The experimental design is an A-B-A1-A2 design conducted in a clinic, with a probe for generalization in the home environment. This intervention was replicated across an additional sibling dyad to indicate its effectiveness. This study ascertained that the sibling with autism was a viable participant in learning new social skills that could function as a behavioral cusp and increase sibling interactions.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Hille, Katrina J.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

An Evaluation of the Effects of Two Different Role Play Formats on the Outcomes of a Parent Training Curriculum

Description: The current study was designed to replicate and extend previous research on the effectiveness of behavioral parent training. Specifically, the effectiveness of the Behavior Management and Parenting Services (BMAPS) curriculum in teaching parents to exhibit a set of parenting skills and respond accurately to a multiple choice examination about positive parenting techniques was evaluated. In addition, the curriculum was revised so that the relative effectiveness and acceptability of two role play formats could be assessed. The outcomes of the study showed an improvement in the participants' ability to identify correct answers on a multiple choice examination and apply the parenting skills taught in class within a role play format; results pertaining to the efficacy of each role play format were less conclusive.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Carlson Litscher, Barbara J.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Role of a Point Loss Contingency on the Emergence of Derived Relations in the Absence of Original Relations

Description: The role of point loss for symmetrical relations introduced simultaneously with probe trials in the absence of original relations on all probe trial performances was evaluated. Training was completed after six conditional discriminations were established in two contexts. Point loss was introduced simultaneously with probe trials in the absence of original relations in the first context. Probe trials with no point loss in the absence of original relations were introduced in the second context. The simultaneous introduction of probe trials and the point loss contingency may in some cases prevent the emergence of an equivalence class in the context that contained the point loss as well as in the context where no point loss occurred.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Michniewicz, Leslie (Leslie A.)
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Online Lecture As an Alternative Method of Instruction in College Classrooms: Measuring the Effects of Alternating In-class with Online Lectures in Two Sections of an Undergraduate Introduction to Behavior Analysis Course

Description: Online instruction is becoming increasingly common at universities; however, there is little single subject research concerning the effectiveness of the online lecture format. We investigated whether online lecture could replace in-class lecture in two sections of an undergraduate Introduction to Behavior Analysis course without detrimentally affecting student learning. Using an adapted alternating treatments design, online and in-class lecture formats were counterbalanced across the two course sections. Experimenters collected data on lecture attendance/access, percent correct on the weekly quiz, and student report on lecture format preference. The data show that, within the context of this class, students performed equally in the weekly quiz regardless of lecture format; further, that this is consistent when looking at individual student data and mean data. However, although students stated a preference for online lecture in the questionnaire, a greater percentage of students attended in-class lecture than accessed online lecture.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Treacher, Kay G.
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

Using Progressive Ratio Schedules to Evaluate Edible, Leisure, and Token Reinforcement

Description: The general purpose of the current study was to evaluate the potency of different categories of reinforcers with young children diagnosed with developmental delays. The participants were two boys and one girl who were between the ages of seven and eight. In Phase 1, we evaluated the reinforcing potency of tokens, edible items, and leisure items by using a progressive ratio (PR) schedule. For two participants, we found that tokens resulted in the highest PR break points. For one participant, edibles resulted in the highest break points (tokens were found to have the lowest break points). In Phase 2, we evaluated the effects of presession access on the break points of edibles and tokens. This manipulation served as a preliminary analysis of the extent to which tokens might function as generalized conditioned reinforcers. During Phase 2, presession access altered the break points of edibles, but not tokens. The findings of the current study suggest that PR schedules may be useful as a means to better assess certain dimensions of tasks and how they affect reinforcer effectiveness (e.g., amount of effort the client is willing to exert, the duration at which the client willing to work, how many responses the client will emit, etc.), and to evaluate to what extent tokens actually function as generalized conditioned reinforcers.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Russell, Danielle M.
Partner: UNT Libraries
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