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.


32nd Annual Convention; Atlanta, GA; 2006

Event Details

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Symposium #371
Battling Procrastination: Self-Managing Studying and Writing for Competency Exams and Dissertation Defenses
Monday, May 29, 2006
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Summer Ferreri (Michigan State University)
Discussant: William L. Heward (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Five recent graduates from The Ohio State University’s Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis doctoral program are self-described as last minute "chunkwriters". With the looming prospect of two consecutive summers of studying and writing for competency exams and dissertations, the graduates developed self-management plans to increase the likelihood of timely, consistent, and quality scholarly behavior. The presenters will share graphs of studying and/or writing behaviors, details of the individualized self-management plans, and a “top ten list” for successful competency exam and dissertation preparation. The symposium participants will encourage self-management as a strategy for others facing similar high stakes scholarly activities.
Losing the Criteria Battle but Winning the Graphing War.
SUMMER FERRERI (Michigan State University), Terri Hessler (The Ohio State University, Newark)
Abstract: Two doctoral students developed and implemented self-management plans to increase time-management skills and quality writing behaviors related to competency exam preparation. The students continued the self-management programs during the preparation of the dissertation manuscript and defense. The primary components of the plans were self-regulated reinforcement contingencies and graphing of studying and writing behaviors. Although both students neglected to regularly reach self-imposed criteria, they developed knowledge about effective self-management components, and ultimately were successful in earning their doctorates.
Balancing Scholarly Commitments and Still Taking That Much Needed Vacation!
NATALIE ALLEN-WILLIAMS (Weber State University), Michele M. Nobel (Antioch University, McGregor)
Abstract: Two doctoral students shared reinforcers and kept each other honest while delivering self-regulated consequences. Shared reinforcers consisted of social interactions including earned workout time, meeting for lunch, and taking a vacation to Utah. Presenters will share their contingency plans, graphs of their scholarly behaviors, and discuss advantages of sharing reinforcers and providing support for self-regulated consequences. This particular self-management program helped shape behaviors that lead to successful competency exams, dissertations defenses, and ultimately graduation.
What I Did Last Summer: Self-Management Plans for Writing Candidacy and Dissertation Manuscripts.
MARY D. SALMON (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: One doctoral student set a time-based contingency to work on two comprehensive take-home papers in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a candidacy exam. Similar contingencies were employed for dissertation preparation. The dependent measures included the number of hours worked per day and a cumulative graph of the number of words written. Additionally, the student set a deadline for completion of each paper. The self-management plans were very successful as the student met predetermined deadlines. Information regarding specific reinforcers and contingencies employed as well as graphs will be shared.



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