Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Rule-governed behavior (RGB) is behavior that is controlled by verbal descriptions of contingencies rather than by direct contact or a history of direct contact with the contingencies. Humans rely on RGB to navigate a multitude of life experiences, and in doing so, we avoid direct contact with destructive or harmful contingencies or contingencies that would be inefficient to contact. However, individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) do not naturally demonstrate RGB, leaving them at increased risk of contacting dangerous consequences. Thus, acquiring RGB is a critical concern that affects the development and wellbeing of individuals with ASD. The current study examined the effectiveness of intervention programs designed to promote acquisition and generalization of RGB in children with ASD. Multiple exemplar training (MET) resulted in increased performance of target behaviors as well as successful discrimination. Furthermore, training resulted in generalized performance to untrained exemplars, natural settings, and unfamiliar others demonstrating acquisition and generalization of RGB.

Date

4-9-2019

Committee Chair

Noell, George

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