1998: Hiselgis Perez

Florida International University

Hiselgis Perez's master’s thesis, The Nature of Attention and Its Reinforcer Efficacy for Infant Behavior, used an alternating-treatments design to compare the relative efficacy of visual, tactile, and auditory social stimulation as reinforcers for infant behavior. The speed of learning, measured in terms of trials to criterion and increases in infants’ behavior rates, served as indices of stimulus efficacy. Another project, "Social Versus Non-social Sensory Stimuli as Reinforcers for Infant Behavior," compared visual, tactile, and auditory social stimuli with visual, tactile, and auditory non-social stimuli as reinforcers for infant behavior. Next, "Conjugate Versus Discrete Social Reinforcers: A Comparative Analysis" compared the relative reinforcer efficacy of discrete tactile and auditory social stimulation (administered at a fixed duration and intensity) versus “conjugate” tactile and auditory social stimuli (whose duration and intensity are proportional to the response they are reinforcing). Finally, "The Effects of Previous Learning on the Efficacy of Novel Reinforcers" explored the effects of previous conditioning on subsequent acquisition of behavior and on the efficacy of novel reinforcers. 


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