Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Richard W. Malott

Second Advisor

Dr. Jessica Frieder

Third Advisor

Dr. Steve Ragotzy

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Carmen Jonaitis


Autism, matching-to-sample, discrimination, behavior analysis, conditional discrimination


Matching-to-sample is a basic procedure used in most programs for pre-school children with autism. However, a few children fail to acquire this skill with standard matching-to-sample procedures. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate an alternative method for teaching matching-to-sample to those children when the traditional methods are likely to fail. First, simple discriminations with the matching materials were taught, then the discriminations were made more complex across successive sessions. Initially, all discriminations were taught using bins to separate the comparison stimuli. All three children acquired matching-to-sample, which generalized to matching novel two-dimensional stimuli, not placed in bins.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access