Thesis

Increasing the use of praise by direct line staff conducting ABA therapy: a component analysis of goal setting and feedback

A staff performance intervention was introduced in a non-public behavior analytic agency with four behavior technicians working with children with autism to analyze the effects of goal setting and feedback on use of behavior specific praise statements. Results indicated that for some individuals feedback alone may act as a conditioned reinforcer and may improve staff performance. Results further indicated that goal setting may act as a conditioned establishing operation manipulation for the value of feedback to improve staff performance. Learning history may impact the extent to which feedback acts as a conditioned reinforcer and to which goal setting acts as a conditioned establishing operation manipulation. Considerations for future research creating stronger verification of results and reducing potential aversive qualities of goal setting are discussed.

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