Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Paper Session #375
Behavioral Research: Some Conceptual Problems and Solutions
Monday, May 31, 2010
10:00 AM–11:20 AM
Bonham C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: TPC
Chair: Richard I. Parker (Texas A & M University)
Visual Analysis of Data Plots and Effect Sizes: Is There Any Common Ground?
Domain: Theory
RICHARD I. PARKER (Texas A & M University), Kimberly Vannest (Texas A&M University)
Abstract: Two quite different research traditions—statistical Effect Size summaries, and visual analysis of graphed data—are meeting, and Behavior Analysts should be alert to what effect sizes can and cannot lend to visual analysis. Articles on statistical analysis of single subject data are increasing, and the US Department of Education is examining how well visual and statistical evidence can support "evidence-based interventions." This presentation will highlight both dangers and a few potential benefits of this confluence. Two Behavior Analysis purposes will be emphasized: a) to permit inference of functional relationships, and b) to document sufficient change in a client to have practical benefit on quality of life. It will be shown that whereas inference tests may at times inform the first purpose, an effect size is of little use. However, the second purpose provides “talking ground” for visual analysis and effect sizes. Data charts from a variety of single case research designs will be used to highlight potential dangers and benefits of effect sizes and inference tests. From the presentation, the audience is encouraged to develop a carefully weighed opinion on this controversial topic, avoiding both uninformed zeal and over-protectionism
CANCELLED Transformation of Functions: Relational Frames of More-Than and Less-Than and the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure
Domain: Experimental Analysis
TAYLOR HARRIS (California State University, Fresno), Amanda N. Adams (California State University, Fresno), Marianne L. Jackson (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract: Language is worth studying for social, educational, and pragmatic reasons. Relational Frame Theory is one account of human language that gradually has been gaining support from behavior analytic studies in recent years. Some primary assertions of Relational Frame Theory are that we learn to respond relationally to arbitrary verbal stimuli (such as words) and then transform their function (such as the denotations and connotations of words) to other stimuli depending on their relationship. The current study focuses on the transformation of emotive functions to arbitrary stimuli that have more-than and less-than relationships. Participants were taught more-than or less-than relationships among arbitrary nonsense syllables. After learning that one of the nonsense syllables corresponded to a mood (happy or sad), participants were expected to be able to derive relationships among the various stimuli so that they could identify which stimuli reflect more intense moods. Secondary measures were also recorded. Results did not meet expectations and will be described and discussed.
Why Behavioral Research is Not Conducted at Many Universities and Clinical Settings: Problem-Solving Roadblocks
Domain: Theory
ZINA A. ELURI (Eastern Michigan University), James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Behavior analysis is known for its use of scientific research and experimentation to understand behavior and assess and inform treatment in clinical settings; however, the amount of research conducted at many sites is limited. Potential reasons for the difficulty of conducting research in this field include issues surrounding human subjects approval, participant recruitment, inadequate research facilities, few financial resources, and time constraints, among others. These limitations can lead to decreased motivation of students and professionals in investing time and energy into critical research areas. Small universities with few graduate programs tend to be less able to conduct behavioral research, while professionals in clinical settings tend to be more constrained by legal issues associated with assessment and treatment of their clientele. Although there are several difficulties with conducting research in this area, professionals in the field have been able to overcome them with great success. This paper will focus on these obstacles and provide strategies that professionals can use to circumvent these issues resulting in the advancement of our understanding of behavior.



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