Psychology Faculty Publications
Case Difficulty of Simulation SoftwarePreliminary results concerning difficulty levels of client cases in "Simulations in Developmental Disabilities: SIDD" are presented. Participants conducted assessments to identify causes of problem behavior and propose treatments for 10 clients. Although SIDD may teach clinical decision-making skills, providing numerous cases did not guarantee learning for all participants. Exposure to a difficult case early in instruction was associated with better overall performance by participants. Additionally, treatment performance best indicated perceived difficulty level. Further experimental research comparing order of difficulty is recommended.
An Evaluation of Simulations in Developmental Disabilities (SIDD) Instructional Software that Provides Practice in Behavioral Assessment and Treatment DecisionsSimulations in Developmental Disabilities (SIDD) is a multimedia computer program designed to provide undergraduate psychology students with practice in making assessment and treatment decisions. Eighteen undergraduate psychology students participated in an experiment to test the instructional effectiveness of SIDD. Post-test scores were significantly higher in the experimental group who received training with SIDD than in a control group who did not receive training. The students also rated the software positively. Future strategies to further evaluate the software are discussed.
Performance Factors in Associative Learning: Assessment of the Sometimes Competing Retrieval ModelPrevious simulations revealed that the sometimes competing retrieval model (SOCR; Stout & Miller, 2007), which assumes local error reduction, can explain many cue interaction phenomena that elude traditional associative theories based on total error reduction. Here we applied SOCR to a new set of Pavlovian phenomena. Simulations used a single set of fixed parameters to simulate each basic effect (e.g., blocking) and, for specific experiments using different procedures, used fitted parameters discovered through hillclimbing. In Simulation 1, SOCR was successfully applied to basic acquisition, including the ‘overtraining effect,’ which is context dependent. In Simulation 2, we applied SOCR to basic extinction and renewal. SOCR anticipated these effects with both fixed parameters and best fitting parameters, although the renewal effects were weaker than those observed in some experiments. In Simulation 3a, feature negative training was simulated, including the often observed transition from second-order conditioning to conditioned inhibition. In Simulation 3b, SOCR predicted the observation that conditioned inhibition after feature-negative and differential conditioning depends on intertrial interval. In Simulation 3c, SOCR successfully predicted failure of conditioned inhibition to extinguish with presentations of the inhibitor alone under most circumstances. In Simulation 4, cue competition, including blocking (4a), recovery from relative validity (4b), and unblocking (4c), were simulated. In Simulation 5, SOCR correctly predicted that inhibitors gain more behavioral control than excitors when they are trained in compound. Simulation 6 demonstrated that SOCR explains the slower acquisition observed following CS-weak shock pairings.