Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




This study was concerned with the task of determining necessary steps for establishing an errorless method of discrimination training in a right-left problem. It was designed to establish a terminal motor response of the S placing the "correct" hand on a blank stimulus board in response to an auditory stimulus of "Left" or "Right." To achieve this terminal response in a group of institutionalized retardates, stimuli of a previously learned color discrimination (pink and blue) were presented immediately following the corresponding auditory stimulus of "Left" or "Right" during each of the initial discrimination trials. To preclude or greatly diminish errors during the establishment of this discrimination, fading techniques were used to move the Ss from a discrimination controlled by visual (color) stimuli to one controlled by auditory stimuli ("Left" or "Right").

Results indicated the designed program, i.e. fading procedures, to be effective for precluding or diminishing errors to less than 10% for five of the nine Ss and for maintaining a correct response level of 70% or above for all Ss throughout procedures of fading. For three Ss who experienced difficulty, i .e. the correct response level fell below 90% at some point in fading, remedial manipulations of the visual and/or auditory stimuli were incorporated. The remedial procedures used for these Ss proved effective and the resultant data revealed possible considerations for redesigning the program. Remedial techniques were employed if Ss did not meet the response criterion while: 1) Generalizing from one set of stimulus components (experimental) to another (testing), 2) Fading from visual to auditory stimuli, 3) Discriminating initial differences between both visual and auditory stimuli, 4) Differentiating the motor response corresponding to the presented auditory and visual stimuli, and 5) Discriminating the reinforcing stimuli as discriminating stimuli for correct responses. The design of the present study was one which attempted to measure behavior before learning began and after a program had been completed, in addition to demonstrating that behavior can be successful while change is being implemented. This was an analytic task set by E in attempt to establish observable functional relations between S's behavior (the dependent variable) and the program as originally designed (the independent variable). The individual analysis of behavior has as its primary concern the initiation of effective procedures. Therefore, this thesis dealt with a detailed analysis of the methodology involved in learning a right-left discrimination.


iii, 50 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm. Bibliography: leaf [32]

Included in

Psychology Commons



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