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The Effects of Noise Reduction on Social Behaviors
Carbone, Vincent J.
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The problem. Previous researchers have suggested that noise level reduction is correlated with generalized improvements in untreated social behaviors. It is not clear that this generalized effect can be assumed with different behaviors in different settings. In addition, the results of previous studies were obtained by utilizing interval time sampling measurement procedures as opposed to continuous recording. Procedure. Electro-mechanical equipment was wired to a stereo in the recreation room of a juvenile shelter care facility. The equipment continuously measured the frequency and durations of disruptions above 85db during treatment phases. In addition several corollary social behaviors were continuously measured by trained observers. A contingency of reinforcement was placed on a social behavior in the latter phases of the experiment. Findings. A repeated time series design (reversal] demonstrated experimental control of disruptions above 85db. However, no change was found in the level of social responding until a direct contingency of reinforcement was applied. Conclusion. Corollary social behaviors did not show a generalized effect of the contingencies placed upon disruptions above 85db. The contradictory findings of previous research may be the result of measurement procedures and not differences in responding. Recommendations. It can not be anticipated that a reduction of noisy disruptions will lead to a generalized enhancement of social responding. Moreover, noise reduction researchers should utilize continuous recording procedures to measure changes in corollary social behaviors.
24 leaves. Advisor: Phillip K. Duncan