Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Galen Alessi

Second Advisor

Dr. Jack Michael

Third Advisor

Dr. Neil Kent

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Paul Wienir


Stimulus overselectivity refers to a phenomenon in which, after discrimination training with a multiple component stimulus, behavior fails to come under the control of all of the components of the stimulus. After a screening process based on past research, a group of children with specific learning disabilities was categorized into one of two groups: overselective and non-overselective. Both groups were exposed to training and testing for generalization. All children in both groups evidenced "stimulus overselectivity" during these tests for generalization. Generalization training subsequently reduced stimulus overselectivity for all students. There were few differences between the two groups. The results suggest that the phenomenon is variable and may be more closely tied to the teaching and testing paradigm than to a characteristic of the organism. Suggestions for future research were discussed.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access