Date of Award

12-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Behavioral Analysis

First Advisor

Christopher A. Podlesnik

Second Advisor

Corina Jimenez-Gomez

Third Advisor

Darby Proctor

Fourth Advisor

Lisa Steelman

Abstract

Conditional discrimination skill is foundational in teaching many other functional skills in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and error occur during training. Antecedent- and consequence-based intervention are commonly used without the understanding of underlying behavioral mechanism responsible for these errors. A quantitative framework based on choice- and signal-detection analyses (Davison & Tustin, 1978) was used to quantify and categorize errors. Three children diagnosed with ASD participated. The current study used an automated 0-s delayed matching-to-sample (DMTS) procedure on an iPad Pro® 9.7”. Four experimental conditions were arranged successively, wherein each corresponded with a level of sample stimuli disparity: high, low, and zero, and high disparity. Results showed that changes in sample disparity reflected corresponding changes in discriminability (log d) and possibly modulated changes observed in stimulus bias (log b stimulus) and location bias (log b location). Further correlational analyses confirmed that accuracy (percent correct) was found to have strong and positive correlation with discriminability, but weak correlation with stimulus and location bias. Clinical practice and research implications were discussed.

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