Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Neil D. Kent

Second Advisor

Dr. Frederick P. Gault

Third Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study assessed the feasibility of teaching a 7-year-old severely retarded, hearing and vision impaired girl to respond consistently to a pure tone stimulus using operant audiometric techniques. The experimenter first shaped a head turn response using the opportunity to rock on a rocking horse as reinforcement. Following response shaping, the experimenter used a bone conduction transducer (BCT) as a tactile stimulus in training the subject to turn her head to the left in a similar fashion to a 500 Hz, 65 dB tone/vibration. After 15 days of transfer training, designed to bring the left head turn response under control of the tone/vibration, the experimenter replaced the BCT with a set of headphones, then used an ascending and descending operant tracking procedure to assess hearing levels and generalization. The experimenter demonstrated in this way that the child 's hearing could be successfully assessed by an audiologist. Results suggested that, with careful application, this procedure can be used by classroom teachers to prepare pupils to be professionally tested.