Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Second Advisor

Dr. James E. Carr

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Malott

Fourth Advisor

Dr. John Austin


Visual inspection is the primary method of data analysis used in behavior analysis. Thus, it is important that behavior analysts have the skills necessary for accurate visual inspection. Research has shown that visual inspection can sometimes be unreliable, which has broad implications for the evaluation of treatment effects using this method. Traditional lectures have been shown to be ineffective in teaching visual inspection skills to a satisfactory level, although improvements in visual inspection have been accomplished using statistical methods and aids such as celeration lines superimposed on graphs. However, these methods are not effective when the aids are removed and are typically unavailable when inspectors evaluate graphs in natural settings. Experiment 1 of the current investigation evaluated the effects of a portable job-aid on the visual inspection of graphs by university students and found positive results. Experiment 2 assessed the job-aid in a university setting and compared it to traditional lecture. Results showed main effects of both job-aid and traditional lecture, but no significant differences between group means. However, the number of students meeting criterion (i.e., 80% or better) following the job-aid plus teaching package was more than twice the number reaching criterion following traditional lecture (16 vs. 7). The current research demonstrates a visual inspection tool for which training is brief, it is easy to use, it produces quick and clinically significant results, it is portable, and it is effective in groupinstruction circumstances.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access