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

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W31
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Using Skinner's Verbal Behavior to Analyze Pure and Impure Verbal Operants to Improve Communication-Training Interventions
Friday, May 26, 2006
10:00 AM–1:00 PM
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Andy Bondy, Ph.D.
ANDY BONDY (Pyramid Educational Consultants), LORI FROST (Pyramid Educational Consultants)
Description: This workshop focuses on how to use Skinners Verbal Behavior to analyze common communications objectives and intervention plans for individuals with disabilities. We will briefly review Skinners core verbal operants (i.e., mand, tact, intraverbal, etc.) but will add strategies to identify multiple controlled verbal operants (which are more common than pure verbal operants). We will review common language goals and objectives from representative IEPs and other formats. We will review videotaped examples of language training sequences and practice identifying the multiple controlled verbal operants that are in use (as opposed to the intended operants). Examples will vary across modalities, as verbal behavior does not pertain to any one or preferred expressive modality. We will also review an understanding of autoclitics and how they are acquired and modified over time can improve training strategies with individuals with various disabilities.
Learning Objectives: At the completion of the workshop, participants will be able to: 1) Distinguish between pure and impure verbal operants. 2) Identify compound verbal operants. 3) Analyze videotape examples of compound verbal operants. 4) Define and identify common autoclitic operants (both vocal and non-vocal). 5) Suggest strategies to promote the development and understanding of autoclitics. 6) Rewrite common IEP objectives in terms of Verbal Operants
Activities: Participants will review Skinner�s fundamental verbal operants and review examples across several modalities. We will then describe impure verbal operants and suggest a way of using an ABC analysis to identify sources of multiple control over such operants. Participants will review written examples of impure operants and then review videotape examples of them. Participants will review and suggest modifications to sample IEP objectives (and are encouraged to bring their own), including identifying pure and impure operants as well as potential teaching strategies. We will then discuss autoclitics and the many functions that Skinner identified associated with them. We will review several key factors associated with easy versus difficult acquisition of such verbal operants as well as discuss how Skinner�s views can impact on our understanding of various disabilities, including autism.
Audience: Teachers, speech/language pathologists, psychologists, and behavior analysts. Participants should be well versed in the fundamentals of applied behavior analysis as well as be familiar with Skinners fundamental operants described in Verbal Behavior. Participants should be ready to share examples of language targets with which they are familiar.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate



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