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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

David Wilder

First Committee Member

Kenneth L. Beauchamp

Second Committee Member

Keven Schock

Third Committee Member

Jennifer MacDonald


Traditional behavioral techniques such as modeling, performance feedback, and reinforcement are the predominant methods used to teach social skills to adults with schizophrenia. Although they have been shown to be effective, these methods focus on the accuracy of skill acquisition, but do not focus on the speed with which an individual can perform the skill. In contrast, precision teaching, an alternative behaviorally based instructional technique, focuses on frequency training, which includes an emphasis on accuracy plus the speed of responding. The purpose of the present study was to compare components of the precision teaching methodology with accuracy training in order to determine which of these two methods is most useful for the teaching and maintenance of social skills in individuals with schizophrenia. The level of social skill ability for each participant was determined by recording the number of syllables spoken per minute. In this experiment each participant was able to increase his or her performance from that of baseline for number of syllables per minute and percent of correct responses. This experiment also supports the hypothesis that precision teaching produces an increased number of syllables per minute than did the accuracy training method during the retention and maintenance probes.



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