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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Paper Session #235
International Paper Session - Verbal Behavior Training and Practice
Sunday, May 25, 2008
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Stevens 4
Area: VRB
Chair: Mecca Chiesa (University of Kent)
We Need a Commented Edition of Skinner’s Verbal Behavior (1957).
Domain: Applied Research
MARIA DE LOURDES PASSOS (UFRJ/University of Massachusetts Medical School-Shriver Center)
Abstract: One of the most important reasons why Verbal Behavior (Skinner, 1957) is difficult to read is the amount and range of topics outside behavior analysis whose knowledge is required to understand the book. Skinner’s approach to verbal behavior relies mainly on theoretical frameworks from the fields of operant conditioning, traditional grammar and linguistics, literature and literary criticism, and epistemology. The topics from outside the field of behavior analysis appear in Verbal Behavior either openly, as in the case of references to authors or themes, or covertly, as an implicit background for the discussion of several issues. The book offers a brief explanation of the concepts necessary to understand the behavioral processes, but none to understand concepts that pertain to the other fields. A commented edition of Verbal Behavior would highlight the richness of its sources and would provide the information necessary to make the book accessible to readers of different backgrounds. Above all, it needs to be done to make Verbal Behavior understandable to students of behavior analysis.
Self-Rule Generation: The Effect of Observation Training.
Domain: Applied Research
CRISTIN D. JOHNSTON (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Observation Training, teaching individuals to observe and collect data on another person's behavior, has been utilized in the area of Behavioral Safety research and has been shown to be effective in reducing risky behavior without the use of feedback interventions (Alvero & Austin, 2004; Harrison, 2005). In a computer analog, we analyzed how 1) the verbal behavior of those making observations and 2) the type of Observation Training impacted subsequent non-verbal responding. Specifically, we looked at the accuracy and specificity of the rules participants generated for themselves and their congruence with non-verbal responding.
Changing the Behaviour of Adult Models: Effects on the Verbal Behaviour of a Child.
Domain: Applied Research
MECCA CHIESA (University of Kent)
Abstract: Concerns were raised by staff about the behaviour of a 10-year-old boy attending an after-school play scheme. Observation revealed that the boy’s verbal interactions with staff and other children were consistently rude and insulting. Observation of staff and parents’ verbal interactions with the boy showed very little in the way of positive interaction. Training implemented with staff and the boy’s parents brought about a change in their verbal behaviour, a shift from mainly negative to mainly positive. Subsequent observation of the boy’s verbal interactions showed a decrease in negative interactions and the presence of some positive verbal behaviour in the repertoire. No training was carried out with the boy and no instructions were delivered to him.



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