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The Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities: The Role of Conditionality
AdvisorWilliams, Wilfred L.
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The Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities (ABLA) is a table top test designed to measure the ability of individuals with intellectual disabilities to perform one simple and five two-choice discrimination tasks. A large body of research has shown that the 6 discriminations appear to be ordered in difficulty such that the first failed level is predictive of failure at higher levels. Conditional discriminations are tested in the ABLA at levels 4 (visual-visual) and 6 (auditory-visual). However, conditional position discrimination has not been investigated in relation to the ABLA. This study assessed the discrimination abilities of individuals who performed at ABLA levels 3-6 to determine where conditional position discrimination would fit into the ABLA hierarchy. It was found that some individuals performing at ABLA 6 demonstrated a conditional position discrimination whereas others performing at level 6 and those performing below level 6 did not learn this task after several hundred trials. Participants at level 6 who could not perform a conditional position discrimination during initial assessment were taught the task using both the standard ABLA format and a direct-response reinforcer procedure in an ABAB multiple baseline design. There was no difference in performance between procedures across all participants at level 6.