Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis and Clinical Science

Committee Member(s)

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid

Dr. Kara Wunderlich

Nicole Forbes

Supervising Faculty Member

Dr. Stephanie Kincaid


Extinction bursts are a widely discussed phenomenon. The data analysis methods used to analyze the effects of extinction bursts have not been examined thoroughly within the field of applied behavior analysis, however. In this study, we implemented extinction procedures in a reversal design on three typically developing pre-school aged individuals. We then conducted two different data analysis methods. First, extinction effects were evaluated relative to one baseline measure including reinforcer consumption time and one baseline measure excluding reinforcer consumption time. Second, extinction was evaluated at the whole- and within-session (last five minutes of baseline and first ten minutes of extinction) level of analysis, based on procedures implemented by Katz and Lattal (2020). In total 1 extinction burst was observed out of 5 baseline to extinction transitions, when reinforcer consumption time was included. When reinforcer consumption time was excluded, the magnitude of this extinction burst was minimized. No additional extinction bursts were uncovered at the within-session level that were not observed at the whole-session level. The results of both data analysis methods are further discussed with regard to the implications they hold for utilizing rate of responding as a dependent measure when evaluating extinction effects in clinical treatment settings.


Portions of this research project were conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-2021. Appropriate precautions were implemented to protect the health of both researchers and participants. Consequently, the thesis requirements and expectations for Rollins College students were modified during this academic year to ensure quality research experience while also maintaining safety.

Rights Holder

Kelti Keister