Comparison of probe procedures in the assessment of chained tasks
Alexander, Jennifer Lenz
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This study used an adapted alternating treatments design to compare the effects of repeated exposure of assessment procedures for chained tasks. Specifically, the researcher compared single opportunity probe (SOP), multiple opportunity probe (MOP), and, a preliminary procedure, the natural opportunity probe (NOP). The effects were first evaluated with 12 college student participants (CSP) and then replicated with 12 secondary student participants (SSP) with developmental disabilities. For the CSP ascending data were evident with MOP, zero-celerating for SOP, and variations in responding for NOP. The SSP generally responded with 0% correct across all probe procedures, with some responding in MOP and minimal responding in NOP. Implications of these findings suggest that both MOP and SOP present with testing threats and researchers should perhaps abandon these procedures for alternative choices. If MOP are to be used it is suggested that a minimum of five data collections occur prior to intervention. If SOP are to be used it is recommended that conclusions about the potency of the intervention are interpreted conservatively.