Graduation Year

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Raymond G. Miltenberger

Keywords

applied behavior analysis, habits, public speaking, simplified habit reversal

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Public speaking is a challenge faced by people from all walks of life. Research in the area of public speaking has focused on examining techniques to reduce public speaking anxiety. Very little research, however, has focused on the acquisition of public speaking skills. While presenting speeches, many people engage in nervous habits that have the potential to decrease the effectiveness of the speech and their credibility as a speaker. This study evaluated the effectiveness of simplified habit reversal in reducing three of these nervous habits: filled pauses, tongue clicking, and inappropriate use of the word like. Following baseline, participants received simplified habit reversal training that consisted of awareness training and competing response training. During post-intervention assessments all 6 participants exhibited an immediate decrease in all three target behaviors.

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