Study objective: To examine effects of participative management as a behavioral intervention package. Design: Multiple-baseline design across groups of client companies. Setting: The target performance was journalizing tasks in a small accounting firm in the Kanto area. Participants: Four female part-time employees, 38–50 years old. Intervention: The participants held monthly meetings in which they discussed management objectives, set target behaviors for the next month, recorded the execution of the target behaviors, and calculated the percentage of accomplishment. The firm paid a monetary incentive based on an interdependent, group-oriented contingency for achieving the monthly target behaviors. Measures: A management index was calculated every month for each company by dividing the charge by the costs. The percentage of target behaviors completed each month was also recorded after the commencement of the intervention. Results: The management index improved with the intervention package. Conclusion: Participative management, as a behavioral intervention package, was effective in improving the productivity of the part-time employees. Social as well as economic validity was confirmed.
Study objective: The present study aimed to improve the handwriting of a child with a learning disability when writing hiragana characters, and examine effects of objective evaluations of legibility based on error patterns and giving him feedback. Design: Multiple baseline design across tasks. Setting: The resource room in an elementary school. Participant: A male elementary school first grader with difficulties in handwriting hiragana characters and very low motivation, and a long-term trainee teaching staff member. Independent variables: Visual models, instructions, and feedback based on objective evaluations. Measures: The percentage of correct target characters that fulfilled the above evaluation criteria (legibility), and the ratio of handwritten characters as directed in the child's regular class (motivation). Results: The percentage of target characters and the ratio of handwritten characters as directed in the regular class increased. The number of correct target characters written in the regular class also increased. Conclusion: The results suggest that objective evaluations and feedback were effective for increasing the handwriting legibility and motivation of the child, and also for increasing the coordination between the resource room teacher and the teachers of the regular class.
Study objective: The present study examined whether a percentile schedule for vegetables would increase the variety of vegetables that university students consume in their daily life. Design: Multiple baseline design across participants. Setting: The participants were instructed to consume various kinds of vegetables. Participants: 7 university students who had concerns regarding their lack of consumption of vegetables participated in the program. Intervention: In the baseline phase, an e-mail questionnaire was sent to the students, instructing them to record the names of the vegetables that they had consumed that day. In the intervention phase, in addition to the first questionnaire, an e-mail message was sent to the students whenever a current vegetable item scored less than a criterion determined during the preceding week. Measure: The number of different vegetables consumed was the measure of response variability. Results: In the intervention phase, some students showed an increase in the variety of vegetables consumed as compared to the baseline phase. Conclusions: The percentile schedule for vegetables increased the consumption of a variety of vegetables by some students.
Study objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of behavioral assessment of daily living practices for a person with spasmodic dysphonia. Setting: Behavioral interviews were conducted in a room at a psychiatric clinic; homework tasks were carried out at the client's home. Participant: A 24-year-old man with spasmodic dysphonia. Intervention: The client was instructed to call local shops by phone to get information about the shops and simultaneously record his communication with the clerks on an IC recorder. Measure: Rate of correct responses in communication between the client and the clerks each week, according to the criteria established for the exchange. Results: The percentages of correct responses were 100% in all phases. After the 3 phases, the client was able to get a job that he had avoided. Conclusion: The behavioral assessment of daily living practices was effective in changing the client's behavior toward getting a job.
Study objective: Effects on school lunch preparation time of an intervention that combined an interdependent group-oriented contingency and a token economy system were examined in an elementary school first grade class. Design: Changing criterion design. Setting: One 1st-grade classroom at a public elementary school. Participants: 26 first-graders (16 boys, 10 girls). Measurement: Time that the students took to prepare their school lunch. Independent variables: An interdependent group-oriented contingency operation was performed using token reinforcers and backup reinforcers. In the token economy system, 5 tokens were exchanged for the backup reinforcers. Results: The performance of school lunch preparation in the class improved, and the preparation time was reduced. Conclusion: The intervention combining an interdependent group-oriented contingency and a token economy system was found to be effective in improving students' lunch preparation behavior. Questionnaire results confirmed the social validity of the procedure.
Study objectives: The present study examined effects of prompts on increasing a teacher's attention to a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in a general education class and on the child's out-of-seat behavior and academic engagement. Design: ABAB design. Setting: A first-grade general education class. Participants: A male elementary school teacher and an 8-year-old girl with autism spectrum disorder. Target behaviors: The teacher's attention to the child, and the child's out-of-seat behavior and academic engagement. Intervention: Functional assessment indicated that the child's out-of-seat behavior was maintained by her teacher's attention. During the intervention, the teacher used a timed vibratory cue device (MotivAider) as a prompt to provide attention to the child when she was seated. The teacher was told not to attend to the child when she was out of her seat. Results: During the intervention, the teacher's attention to the child increased; the child's out-of-seat behavior decreased, and her academic engagement increased. Conclusion: The teacher increased his attention to the child when he was using MotivAider as a prompt, and the child's academic engagement improved.
The tutorial articles in the present special section are based on the fifth and sixth meetings of the Kyoto Seminar for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, titled Instrumentation in the Study of Operant Conditioning: The Past and the Future. The Kyoto Seminars were held twice a year, from early in December, 2012, to the end of March, 2015, that is, six times. The tutorial articles in the present issue deal with a variety of methods for experiments with adult and non-adult humans as participants in the study of human operant behavior. The articles reveal that research on human operant behavior has benefited from technical innovations in experimental apparatus for humans. The articles will provide a further step for future research on human operant behavior.