Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. John Austin

Second Advisor

Dr. Ron Van Houten

Third Advisor

Dr. Eric Fox

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Alicia Alvero


Direct observation procedures have been widely used by applied behavior analysts to examine the effects of various interventions, however, recent research examining the effects of the observer's presence on behavior has found that participants behave in ways that are not representative of their behavior in the absence of an observer. Furthermore, recent research has demonstrated that both reactivity and habituation are idiosyncratic and it remains unclear which variables mediate reactive effects with individuals. Researchers have discussed the necessity of identifying and measuring reactive effects in order to discover variables (e.g., discriminative stimulus properties) that may mediate reactive effects. Previous research has discussed the possible role of an observer as a discriminative stimulus and its effects on behavior, however, the concept has mainly been employed as a post-hoc explanation for behavior changes that were not anticipated and has yet to be systematically examined with work and safety-related behavior. Therefore, the purpose of the current study is to examine the effects of observer presence (with and without feedback) on individuals' work and safety-related behavior. In general, the study found that reactivity was demonstrated for both groups (i.e., observation only group and observation plus feedback group), however, habituation was demonstrated less frequently than reactivity for both groups.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access