Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Applied Behavior Analysis: M.S.


Community Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy


School of Health and Human Services

First Advisor

Benjamin N. Witts

Second Advisor

Kimberly A. Schulze

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Ethology, Descriptive Assessments


Sign-tracking is a counterintuitive response that occurs when a signal stimulus is paired with reinforcement. Sign- and goal-tracking studies have been replicated across several species including pigeons, rats, quail, and cuttlefish. To date, no sign-tracking studies with the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach (MHC) are in the literature. Replicating sign-tracking studies with this new species is essential to an understanding how this counter-intuitive behavior occurs, particularly in invertebrate species like the MHC. To establish research on MHC sign- and goal-tracking, however, will first require ethological studies to identify potential dependent variables that indicate MHC responses to meaningful versus neutral stimuli. This study identifies the response topography of consummatory behavior in the MHC, for use with future studies.


I would first like to thank my advisor Dr. Benjamin N. Witts. This project, and others, are products his support and insistence on high standards, and I am a better researcher because of it. I would also like to thank Dr. Schulze and Dr. Rudrud for their support in the completion of my degree; this program is a reflection of your passion and dedication. This thesis is dedicated to Mr. Spreeman, who recently passed. He always encouraged me to think outside of the box and follow my intellectual curiosity, and he will be greatly missed by all of those who knew him.



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