Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Public Affairs and Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Jack L. Michael

Second Advisor

Dr. R. W. Malott

Third Advisor

Dr. Neil Kent

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study assessed the validity of the matching law in an applied setting. It manipulated extraneous reinforcement and measured the rate of rocking in a 24-year-old developmentally disabled man. The resulting data were compared to that predicted by the matching law.

The results were important in three ways: (1) extraneous reinforcement systematically affected rocking in an applied setting in the manner predicted by the matching law, (2) a clinically undesirable behavior decreased in frequency, and (3) this decrease occurred in the absence of direct intervention on the target behavior. Thus, to a slight degree, scientific, practical and humanitarian goals were supported by these results.