Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Second Advisor

Dr. Michele Burnette

Third Advisor

Dr. Neil Kent

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Terry Page


Two manuals were used to train behavioral assessment interview skills. The first manual outlined eleven initial responses the therapist must make to determine the controlling variables related to a client’s problem. The second manual outlined strategies for dealing with evasive or nonappropriate responses made by a client. Subjects were graduate students from the psychology department of Western Michigan University who had no experience in conducting assessment interviews. Six subjects participated. Simulated therapy sessions between subjects acting as therapists and confederates acting as clients were conducted. Scripts were utilized to standardize confederate responses. Each session dealt with a clinical concern amenable to a behavior analysis.

Confederates provided either appropriate, nonevasive responses to the subjects’ questions (Phase 1), or nonappropriate, evasive responses (Phase 2) to a predetermined number of the subjects’ questions. Half the subjects received the manuals in complete form, i.e., with examples illustrating therapist and client responses. The other half received manuals minus the examples. Subjects’ performance was rated by the number of correct responses emitted as outlined in the manuals. Performance was compared in pre- and post-baseline conditions. Results indicate that both manuals were effective in training the responses they outline. Concerning the subjects receiving manuals with examples, two subjects required the implementation of feedback in Phase 2 to reach criterion. Concerning the subjects receiving manuals without examples, one subject required the addition of examples to reach criterion in Phase 2. The manual without examples was as effective as the manual with examples, although the inclusion of examples may have added to the efficiency with which the targeted responses were learned. Implications for future research regarding training behavioral interview skills were discussed.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons