Graduation Date

Summer 8-17-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area

First Advisor

Dr. Wayne W. Fisher


The interview informed synthesized contingency analysis (IISCA) is controversial, with some extolling its benefits relative to traditional functional analysis (FA; e.g., efficiency; Slaton, Hanley, & Raftery, 2017) and others focusing on its shortcomings (e.g., false-positive outcomes; Fisher, Greer, Romani, Zangrillo, & Owen, 2016). One limitation of prior comparisons is investigators could not ascertain with surety the true function(s) of the participants’ problem behavior for use as the criterion variable. In Chapter 1, we developed a translational study to circumvent this limitation by training a specific function for a surrogate destructive behavior prior to conducting an FA and synthesized contingency analysis (SCA) of this response. In Chapter 2, we used single-subject experimental designs to evaluate iatrogenic effects during FA and SCA. The FA correctly identified the function of the target response in all six cases and produced no iatrogenic effects. The SCA produced differentiated results in all cases, and produced iatrogenic effects in three of six cases. Finally, in Chapter 3 we discuss these finding in terms the mechanisms that may promote iatrogenic effects.