Date of Defense




First Advisor

Dr. Richard Malott

Second Advisor

Koji Takeshima

Third Advisor

Holly Harrison


The Professional Psychology Practicum (PPP) is a licensure system designed for behavior analysis graduate students working on their Masters degrees. This course provides students with the means necessary to gain the correct amount of clinical experience required to earn their Temporary Limited License in Psychology. In order for the students to obtain the most out of this course it is crucial to make certain that the system as a whole is functioning as efficiently as possible. With this in mind, my thesis set out to improve the development and implementation of the PPP system. This was completed by utilizing the behavioral systems analysis approach. The following steps illustrate how this design was used. First, I conducted an analysis of the existing Professional Psychology Practicum. I examined what problems there were in the PPP system that were inhibiting the efficiency of the practicum. I found these to include ineffective natural contingencies and a lack of structured contingencies intended to reinforce the completion of tasks that would benefit the system. Next, I specified the desired accomplishments of the Professional Psychology Practicum. Every individual in the practicum was informed about what tasks needed to be completed and to the extent of quality, quantity, and timeliness that they needed to be completed in. Following the specification, I designed and implemented an intervention intended to solve any of the problems occurring in the system. This intervention would make students lose a substantial amount of points (which was identified as highly aversive) if they failed to complete the desired tasks by the deadline. After this intervention was in place, surveys were delivered to all individuals involved with the practicum. The results concluded that the intervention was a success. The tasks that needed to be complete in order to increase the effectiveness of the systems were now being completed on time and with significantly high quality. The students rated the system and concluded that it was much more efficient and helpful.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only