Date of Award

6-2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Heather M. McGee

Second Advisor

Dr. Alyce M. Dickinson

Third Advisor

Dr. Anthony DeFulio

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Kevin J. Munson

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to bridge a gap between Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) and the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (EAB). Although OBM’s historical and scientific roots are nested within EAB, OBM research does not always strictly follow or adhere to basic research definitions or procedures. That is, terms that have specific operational definitions in EAB and Applied Behavior Analysis are sometimes used incorrectly in OBM research. Similarly, these terms are often associated with specific experimental procedures in basic literature, yet OBM research procedures may not follow the strict procedural guidelines. The purpose of the present study was to address these issues by demonstrating behavioral contrast using organizational tasks while adhering to basic paradigm procedures.

Behavioral contrast is a behavioral phenomenon that has a vast research history within EAB literature and a limited research history within applied literature. Despite the limited research history in the applied literature, it may be beneficial to assess if behavioral contrast has a potential use in organizational settings. To date, only one study has demonstrated the phenomenon within an OBM research context, however the procedures and terminology used in that study suggest that the demonstration may be flawed. Therefore, the current study attempted to demonstrate behavioral contrast with behaviors that are typical within business settings while adhering to basic paradigms and correct usage of behavioral terminology.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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