Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Katz, Jack||Shearer, William M.||Williams, J. David

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology


Audiometry; Hearing


In order to determine the relative effectiveness of the instrumental avoidance and classical conditioning methods for use in galvanic skin response audiometry, 24 naive, normal hearing university students were given both conditioning methods In a counter-balanced order. Each acquisition schedule was followed by 20 extinction trials. The total number of responses following acquisition was considered the measure of resistance to extinction. The conditioned stimuli In each case were spondaic words which were presented from 10 to 50 db S.L. in a randomized order. Two sophisticated judges who were unaware of the particular conditioning method rated the graphic record utilizing strict latency and amplitude criteria. The results of this investigation reveal that the instrumental avoidance method was superior to the classical method. That is, following the conditioning schedules the subjects obtained a greater number of significant galvanic skin responses and also appeared to adapt more slowly over the 20 trials. There were no important differences found between presentation levels, method orders, sexes, or between subjects having high or low initial skin resistance. This study tends to support the work of Hopkinson, Katz, and Schill. Instrumental avoidance conditioning methods for galvanic skin response audiometry appear to be more resistant to extinction. The use of speech stimuli may be considered desirable not only from a theoretical approach but also from a practical clinical point of view. Further study is necessary to determine the value of instrumental avoidance galvanic skin response audiometry with organic and non-organic hearing losses.


Includes bibliographical references.


vii, 33 pages




Northern Illinois University

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