Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Kimberly Crosland


Applied behavior analysis, Differential reinforcement, iPad, Social skills, Verbal behavior


Studies have shown that increasing eye contact can be accomplished by using reinforcement, prompting, shaping, functional movement training, punishment, and self-monitoring. However, there is a lack of research that evaluates the use of technology as a way to increase eye contact. This study tested the effectiveness of a tablet application at increasing eye contact in children diagnosed with autism. The application requires the child to look at a picture of a person's face and identify the number displayed in the person's eyes in order to receive reinforcement. Data was collected immediately after training, one hour after training, and in the natural environment. The tablet application was not effective at increasing eye contact for any of the three participants. Once the tablet application was shown to be ineffective, the researcher used differential reinforcement to increase eye contact. All three participants showed an increase in eye contact once the differential reinforcement training was implemented.