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.

  • AAB: Applied Animal Behavior

    AUT: Autism

    BPH: Behavioral Pharmacology

    CBM: Clinical/Family/Behavioral Medicine

    CSE: Community Interventions, Social and Ethical Issues

    DDA: Developmental Disabilities

    EAB: Experimental Analysis of Behavior

    EDC: Education

    OBM: Organizational Behavior Management

    TPC: Theoretical, Philosophical, and Conceptual Issues


    SCI: Science

    OTH: Other

2011 Behavioral Economics Conference

Event Details

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Poster Session #8
TPC Poster Session
Friday, March 25, 2011
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
The Club at 151

What is Savings in Experimental Behavioral Analysis?

Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
ANA CAROLINA TROUSDELL FRANCESCHINI (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil), Maria Helena Hunziker (Universidade de São Paulo)

The 2007-2010 economic crisis showed the importance of preventing imbalances between savings and consumption in aggregated and individual levels. Behavioral economics can provide theories and technologies that may prevent such imbalances in the future, but first it must overcome barriers imposed by different philosophical traditions and research methodologies from economics and behavior analysis. The aim of this work is to analyze economic concepts in behavioral terms. For example, in economics savings equals income less consumption (S=Y-C). In experimental behavioral terms income may be understood as the number of conditioned stimuli which an organism possesses and that can be exchanged for unconditioned stimuli delivered under a reinforcement schedule during a period of time. Consumption can be a behavioral chain with four components: (a) Discriminative stimulus (SD): money possession; (b) purchasing responses, producing two consequences - conditioned stimulus reduction (less money) and reinforcer delivery (a good); (c) reinforcer delivery is also the SD for another class of responses, namely (d) responses of using the purchased goods. Savings can be either a stimulus (income not spent) or the reduction of consumption behaviors probability. Each definition leads to different experimental procedures and choosing the proper one depends on the specific research objectives.


Assessing Delay and Probability Discounting in Pathological Gamblers With and Without Substance Use Problems

Area: TPC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
LEONARDO F. ANDRADE (University of Connecticut School of Medicine), Nancy M. Petry (University of Connecticut School of Medicine)

Pathological gamblers and substance abusers often engage in behavior patterns that have short-term reinforcing effects but devastating long-term consequences, and these disorders are highly comorbid. Past research has shown that substance abusers discount delayed reinforcers more substantially than non-substance using controls, and individuals with both disorders discount delayed reinforcers at extremely high rates. However, surprisingly little data exists on the association between pathological gambling and probability discounting, or its association with substance use. We analyzed a large dataset comprised of treatment-seeking pathological gamblers with (n = 107) and without (n = 119) substance use problems to examine whether these two groups differed with respect to delay and probability discounting. Both processes were assessed via questionnaires that evaluate choices for hypothetical monetary amounts. Results revealed significant effects of substance use status on delay but not probability discounting, with no correlation between the two discounting processes. The data suggest that these two constructs may reflect different aspects of impulsivity. Effects of substance use status on probability discounting rates may have been undetected due to floor levels of probability discounting in pathological gamblers. Additional investigation is warranted due to the lack of a control group with no substance use or pathological gambling problem.


The Applications of Electronic Data Collection in the Field of Behaviorial Economics

Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
WILLIAM V. JUSTICE (University of Memphis), Laura Baylot Casey (University of Memphis), Jenny A. Hayes (Behavioral Services of Tennessee)

The modern world is full of engineered environments. Places of commerce, industry, and living are often engineered around human behaviors and the variables that contribute to them. Commercial spaces are frequently designed for the purpose of maximizing the human response-class of shopping. Although environmental stimulation (such as advertising) has been developed for this reason, it seems reasonable that there are other types of measurable stimuli that may contribute to these response-classes. Many of the environmental factors that affect the senses are objectively measurable by electronic sensors. Given that these devices are astoundingly good at collecting profuse amounts of very accurate data, I propose that studying the various measurable environmental factors (i.e. temperature, humidity, light, noise) in settings such as commercial spaces may yield clues as to what among these may contribute to the behavioral efficacy of those settings in accomplishing their intended use. A portable data collection device has been developed by the principle investigator in order to collect certain types of environmental data at a high sampling rate. This study is being performed from a purely observational perspective and does not seek to validate theories as much as survey a large volume of data for functional relationships.




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