Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Behavioral Analysis

First Advisor

David A. Wilder

Second Advisor

A. Celeste Harvey

Third Advisor

Vida L. Tyc

Fourth Advisor

Lisa A. Steelman


The high-probability (high-p) sequence is frequently used to increase compliance. It involves presentation of a series of instructions with which a participant has historically complied immediately before the presentation of an instruction that has a lower probability of compliance (i.e., a low-p instruction). To date, the high-p sequence has received mixed support in the literature. Thus, researchers have begun to investigate alternatives to the sequence, one of which involves omission of the high-p instructions and noncontingent access to preferred items immediately before the delivery of the low-p instruction. In the current study, the effect of varying durations of noncontingent access to a preferred item prior to the delivery of a low-probability instruction was evaluated with three children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A multielement design was used with three different durations: zero s, 30 s, and 3 min. The study ended on a choice phase. The results show a larger increase in compliance during the 3 min of noncontingent access to items for two participants and an increase in compliance during both the 30 s and 3 min for one participant. These results may suggest an alternative method for increasing compliance in children with ASD.


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