Date of Award

8-1998

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Alyce Dickinson

Second Advisor

Dr. John Austin

Third Advisor

Dr. Jack Michael

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

A between group design was used to examine the effects of training to fluency or to accuracy-only on application and retention over a 4-month period. Subjects were 30 college students, and the experimental task was a stimulus equivalence task. Accuracy training consisted of teaching relationships between Hebrew symbols and nonsense syllables, and between nonsense syllables and numbers (component tasks) to 100% accuracy. In addition to this accuracy requirement, fluency training included a speed criterion. Immediately following training, both groups were timed on an application worksheet (composite task). The fluency group was able to complete this worksheet more quickly than the accuracy-only group; however, both groups were highly accurate. During monthly or biweekly retention sessions, correct responses per minute were recorded for the application (composite task) worksheet. The type of training did not affect how quickly the rate of fluency or accuracy deteriorated over time. However, training to fluency did result in higher absolute levels of fluency and accuracy over the 4 months, as well as a significantly smaller drop in accuracy from the post-training trial to the retention tests. In the final retention testing session, correct responses per minute were recorded for the component task worksheets. Results of this analysis indicate that training to fluency led to greater accuracy retention than training to accuracy alone. This study indicates that training beyond accuracy to fluency may result in a greater absolute amount of material retained as well as less deterioration of accuracy over time.

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