Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Behavioral Analysis

First Advisor

David Wilder

Second Advisor

Felipa Chavez

Third Advisor

Kimberly Sloman

Fourth Advisor

Robert A. Taylor


Stereotypy is a restricted, repetitive behavior that features rigidity and invariance. Approximately 88% of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) exhibit some form of stereotypy (Chebli et al., 2016). Although it often occurs under conditions of stimulus deprivation, stereotypy may also occur under other environmental conditions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of stereotypy when preferred items are available noncontingently. Three participants were exposed to a baseline condition in which they had no access to items, followed by conditions in which high and low preferred items were delivered noncontingently to investigate whether automatically-maintained stereotypy was likely to increase during access to preferred items. Results showed that all three participants exhibited increased levels of stereotypy when they had access to high preference items. Implications and further research suggestions are discussed.