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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The effect of a differential observing response and an error correction procedure for teaching conditional discriminations to children with autism spectrum disorders Lam, Yvonne


A differential observing response (DOR), in which a unique response puts the learner in sensory contact with the sample stimulus (Walpole, Roscoe, & Dube, 2007), is an antecedent strategy used to address faulty stimulus control. Similarly, error correction (EC) procedures are consequence strategies for addressing errors and faulty stimulus control (McGhan & Lerman, 2013). Few studies have compared the combination of an error correction procedure and a DOR; thus, the purpose of this study was to examine this combination for teaching auditory to visual conditional discriminations. The study employed an adapted alternating treatments design with one participant where the primary dependent variable was the number of sessions to reach mastery criterion. A total of three comparative evaluations (i.e., stimulus bundles) were completed in which the auditory-visual stimuli consisted of nonsense consonant-vowel-consonant words assigned to flags. For the first stimulus bundle, more rapid learning was associated with the EC condition. For the second stimulus bundle, neither treatment was associated with more rapid learning, as acquisition in each treatment occurred at the same rate. Finally, for the third stimulus bundle, more rapid learning was associated with the DOR+EC condition. The results indicated that the addition of a DOR to an error correction procedure did not result in more rapid learning of auditory to visual conditional discriminations for the participant. Limitations of the study and directions for future research are discussed.

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