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

Michele Traub

Second Advisor

Benjamin Witts

Third Advisor

Kimberly Schulze

Fourth Advisor

Sara Ibbetson

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

discriminative stimuli, functional analysis


This study expanded on current research regarding discriminative stimuli (SDs) included in functional analyses (FA) by comparing conditions with pre-session statements that do not specify contingencies in place to conditions that have pre-session statements that specify contingencies in place (e.g., starting a condition with “I need to do some work” versus “I need to do some work, if you yell I will ask you to stop.”) A multi-element design consisting of at least four trials of three different conditions with general statements, followed by the same conditions with contingency-specifying statements was used. Three BCBAs with at least 10 years of experience reviewed the assessment results via survey to determine function, as well as the session number at which the function became apparent. Functional determination was agreed upon for four out of five assessments with contingency-specifying statements, whereas in the general statement analyses, function was only agreed upon in one assessment. In the assessment where function was agreed upon in both statement and no statement analyses, it occurred five conditions sooner with statements. Overall, results indicate that using contingency-specifying statements as SDs in FA may lead to faster and clearer functional determination.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.