Date of Degree

2010

Document Type

PhD diss.

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Department

Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

First Advisor

Joel E. Ringdahl

Second Advisor

John A. Northup

Abstract

The primary purpose of the current study was to determine which variables influence or change response allocation among mand topographies. The variables evaluated consisted of response effort, schedule of reinforcement (extinction), changes in concurrent schedules arrangements, and availability of visual stimuli (i.e., a communication card). The stability of responding was evaluated across more than one reinforcement context (escape, attention, and tangible) for each of the 2 participants. Finally, a concurrent schedules arrangement was used to evaluate response allocation among card touches, manual sign, microswitch touches, and vocalizations. Results of the evaluation suggested that response allocation varied across reinforcement contexts in baseline and when responding was challenged. However, variations in response allocation were not uniform across all challenges and reinforcement contexts. Problem behavior continued to be exhibited at low levels throughout the evaluation even when mild punishment procedures were implemented. These results are discussed in terms of changes in patterns of responding across reinforcement contexts, variability in response allocation among available response options, and persistence of responding when challenges are implemented.

Pages

vii, 93

Bibliography

78-84

Copyright

Copyright 2010 Kelly Marie Vinquist