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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

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Symposium #209
Look Ma, No Rats! Putting Applied Behavior Analysis to Work on a University Campus.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 129 B
Area: TBA/CSE; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Raymond O. Sacchi (Washington State University)
Discussant: Thomas A. Brigham (Washington State University)
Abstract: The need for more behavior analysts has been acknowledged for years. According the ABAI website, there are still many misconceptions about our field. While our numbers continue to rise, there is much work to be done in dispelling myths about behavior analysis. Many introductory psychology students believe that behavior analysts work only with pigeons and rats or, if we do work with human beings, that behavior analysis is centered on working with individuals with autism. This symposium is designed to highlight behavior analytic research at a major state university in areas outside the lab, working with the general student population. We believe that by showcasing research studies in applied areas, we can increase interest in behavior analysis among undergraduate students who are not interested in the operant chamber. Recent research studies on alcohol and binge drinking, sexual assault and victim blame, and reinforcement strategies in the classroom will be presented. Additionally, the use of new technologies to track behaviors that were previously difficult to measure will be discussed in the research presented.
Using Text Messaging as a Tool to Monitor College Students' Drinking Behaviors
RAYMOND O. SACCHI (Washington State University), Thomas A. Brigham (Washington State University), Kristin Onorati (Washington State University), Samantha Swindell (Washington State University), Jon Walter (Washington State University)
Abstract: Improper alcohol use by college students is a dangerous problem receiving much attention in today's media. Past research has shown that teaching students to calculate their own blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) reduces both quantity consumed per drinking occasion and total occasions of drinking. It has been suggested that few students in the research are actually calculating their BACs during the drinking behavior. It has been difficult to determine if that is the case. However, direct observation and other forms of monitoring could potentially change the target behavior, so we need to utilize a new technology that is familiar to the students themselves. Electronic data recording is an ever expanding field that demonstrates that it is possible to collect real-time data under conditions as close to natural as possible. At this point, most research has utilized expensive personal data assistants (PDAs) to collect information. We used text messaging to collect real-time BAC information from participants while they are consuming alcohol in natural settings, using a quick reference card to make the calculation easy.
The Effect of Interactive Response Systems and Extra Credit on Exam Performance
SAMANTHA SWINDELL (Washington State University), Thomas A. Brigham (Washington State University), Raymond O. Sacchi (Washington State University)
Abstract: Interactive response systems currently available enable presenters to ask questions and immediately display feedback during presentations. Three experiments examined the effects of one such system on students’ performance in a psychology course using an “ABCB” design. During baseline, students attended lectures and completed an exam. In the first treatment phase, students used hand-held remotes to respond to multiple-choice questions for extra credit with class results displayed immediately. In the next phase, students continued to respond to questions and receive feedback, but did not receive extra credit points. During the final treatment phase, the extra credit contingency was reintroduced. The specific aspects of the questions were manipulated in the treatment conditions across three studies: in study 1, two multiple-choice questions related to the current lecture were presented at the end of each lecture; in study 2, questions related to the current lecture were inserted throughout the lecture; in study 3, each lecture began with 4 questions related to the previous lecture and/or assigned reading. In the studies, we predicted that responding using the interactive system would be associated with higher exam scores and better performance on the multiple-choice questions and would be greatest when correct responses resulted in extra credit points.
Sexual Assault on College Campuses and the Effect of Greek Enrollment on Victim/Perpetrator Blame
KRISTIN ONORATI (Washington State University), Thomas A. Brigham (Washington State University), Raymond O. Sacchi (Washington State University), Samantha Swindell (Washington State University), Jon Walter (Washington State University)
Abstract: This presentation will describe a university safety study regarding issues of sexual coercion and domestic violence and how it led to interest in designing behavioral analytic research to develop programs to help decrease sexual assault on campus and increase reporting of sexual assaults to the authorities. Sexual assault on college campuses has been a large problem in the past and continues to be a major safety issue today. Blame attributed to these sexual assault victims has been shown to have negative impacts on recovery and psychological health. As such research on the correlates of blame attribution is important and necessary for the reduction of this problem. The current study looks at the impact of sorority and fraternity involvement in attribution of blame to the victim and perpetrator in sexual assault cases. The amount of blame placed on a victim has been shown to be related to an increased risk of revictimization (self-blame), decreased likelihood of reporting the crime to police, and negative outcomes in certain aspects of recovery. Discussion will include study results and current data from the campus safety survey on sexual assault.



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