Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


This study investigated the conditionability of mentally retarded adults with speech intensity disorders using feedback and various schedules of reinforcement. A voice volume feedback apparatus was used in training with six female subjects who spoke too loudly. Five of these subjects also received social reinforcement in the form of verbal praise when they spoke at an appropriate level. Subjects were randomly assigned to feedback only, continuous reinforcement, fixed interval, fixed ratio, variable interval, and variable ratio conditions. The results indicated that: the combination of visual feedback and social reinforcement were effective with these subjects, as they were able to significantly (p= .001) decrease voice volume. Information on the schedules of reinforcement alone was inconclusive due to the confounding effect of change in room size. The decreases in speech volume did appear to generalize to a non-training setting. Explanations of the results are discussed and several improvements for future application of the method are suggested.


John Gurski

Date of Award

Spring 1981

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1981 Ann Young


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