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.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Poster Session #89
#89 Poster Session - TPC
Saturday, May 28, 2005
5:30 PM–7:00 PM
Southwest Exhibit Hall (Lower Level)
128. An Historical Review of Subject Variables in JABA
Area: TPC; Domain: Applied Research
HILARY J. KARP (University of Houston, Clear Lake), Tamara Cameron (University of Houston, Clear Lake), Carol Pollard (University of Houston, Clear Lake), Jennifer Weinman (University of Houston, Clear Lake), Erica McCarty (University of Houston, Clear Lake), Deborah L. Grossett (University of Houston, Clear Lake)
Abstract: Behavior Analysts have long recognized the importance of the context of behavior. Many important aspects of context are included in subject variables of the participants in studies. The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) is the premier journal in the application of behavioral principles to treatment. This study examines the reporting of subject variables historically in JABA since its inception in 1968.The variable of age was reported in a high percentage of studies consistently across years, except for a dip in the early 70s (1969-1974). The reporting of the variable of gender varied tremendously from year to year. Neither the reporting of gender nor the participation of females in studies appeared to be affected by the historical rise of the women’s movement. A very small percentage of studies reported on the ethnicity of the participants. The American Psychological Association’s multicultural guidelines (2003) have called for an increase in ethnic diversity in psychological research. While ethnicity has rarely been reported as a relevant variable in JABA in the past, perhaps the study and reporting of ethnically diverse populations will increase in the future.
129. Bridge Research in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis: Publication Trends and Contributions
Area: TPC; Domain: Applied Research
ANNA I. PETURSDOTTIR (Western Michigan University), Geoffrey D. DeBery (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) has been proposed as an appropriate publication outlet for studies that bridge basic and applied research (Wacker, 2003, 1996), and it has been suggested the prevalence of such studies in the journal has increased over the course of the last decade (Wacker, 2003). To evaluate this claim, all research articles and brief reports published in JABA from 1984 through 2003 were examined and coded as either bridge studies or applied/other studies. In addition, articles identified as bridge studies were analyzed in terms of participant populations, settings, target behaviors and topics of investigation. The results indicate that the prevalence of bridge research in JABA has been increasing at a steady rate since the early to mid-1990s. A substantial portion of bridge studies have focused on the functional analysis and treatment of severe behavior disorders in individuals with developmental disabilities, or other topics of relevance to this population. A variety of basic research and conceptual topics have been addressed in bridge research, including reinforcement and reinforcement schedules, choice, stimulus control and establishing operations. The impact of this research on applied research and service delivery remains to be investigated.
130. (Un)Observability of Covert Responses and Private Stimuli
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
EMMANUEL Z. TOURINHO (Universidade Federal do Para)
Abstract: Covert responses and private stimuli have been defined as behavioral events that are inaccessible to direct public observation. Based on Skinner’s and Kantor’s writings, the present work suggests that the basis for such (un)observability is diverse and, also, that there are degrees of (un)observability of covert responses and of stimulating conditions which control verbal responses descriptive of feelings and emotions. (Un)observability of covert responses results from both structural aspects (the degree of participation of the motor apparatus in the emission of the response) and relational aspects (observer’s repertoire, familiarity between observer and observed). It seems appropriate, then, to speak of a continuum of observability of responses, based on those aspects. (Un)observability of stimuli results from the type of stimulation (interoceptive or proprioceptive stimuli are private stimuli; exteroceptive stimuli are public stimuli). In that sense, stimuli are either public or private events. However, in self-descriptions of feelings and emotions, stimulating conditions always include public stimuli, associated to private stimuli. Under those circumstances, it may also be appropriate to speak of a continuum of observability of stimulating conditions. Such an approach to (un)observability of covert responses and private stimuli is in accordance with a non-naturalistic view of psychological privacy.
131. Making Sense of the Adaptive Unconscious and Similar Notions in a Behaviorist Frame
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
HAROLD L. MILLER JR. (Brigham Young University)
Abstract: There is something about the recently published notions of the adaptive unconscious (Wilson, 2002), the conscious will (Wegner, 2002), and the robot's rebellion (Stanovich, 2004) that teases the radical behaviorist interested in how behavior is caused, in the evolution of private behavior, and in the development of stimulus control of such behavior. In my poster I will attempt to identify potential commensurability between the seemingly disparate discourses, essentially offering one more effort to span the behaviorist-cognitivist divide. I will leave it to the reader of my poster to assay whether such efforts are anything more than tilting at windmills.
132. Information Theory Applied to the Analysis of Human Behavior: Measuring Variability of Using Shannon's Notions of Entropy and Information
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
RICHARD L. ANDERSON (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas), Camille Parsons (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Claude Shannon's mathematical theory of communication systems, originally designed to analyze signal and noise in telephone systems, has proven to be applicable to problems in fields ranging from communications to biology to cosmology. This paper applies Shannon's information theory to the relationship between the behavior of an organism and the organism's environment. A model based on Shannon's notions of entropy and information is developed and applied to human operant data collected from a long term research program on schedules of reinforcement and rule-governed behavior. The effects of fixed ratio and interval schedules of reinforcement and operant extinction contingencies on the amount of entropy and information in the subject's behavior stream were measured. The results of this analysis and implications of this model are discussed in the context of the measurement and analysis of behavioral variability.
133. Effect of Differential Reinforcement on Creative Responding Among College Students
Area: TPC; Domain: Basic Research
SHANNON GARCIA (Central Missouri State University), Duane A. Lundervold (Central Missouri State University)
Abstract: Effect of differential reinforcement of creative behavior among college age adults was examined. Overall, past research supports the finding that extrinsic (externally delivered) reinforcers increases creative responding and minimally affects intrinsic motivation. However, most research has been conducted with young children. Twenty college age students were randomly assigned to a differential reinforcement (DRE) or a control (C) condition. DRE group received one 10- minute training session. Participants were instructed to describe creative uses for 10 common objects with contingent praise for divergent responding. At post training assessment, all participants were instructed to draw pictures using circles as the main part of the drawing. A creativity score was calculated by assigning a scored equal to the frequency of the drawing in the sample of drawings. Results indicated DRE had significantly higher mean creativity scores than the C condition (p = .01). Data support past research regarding effect of differential reinforcement on creative behavior. Limitations to the study include small sample size, use of an arbitrary task and lack of assessment of intrinsic motivation. Research evaluating the effect of external differential reinforcement procedures on college students' intrinsic motivation and creative responding using more functional tasks is needed.
134. Dog Eat Dog: The Use of Clicker Training to Decrease High-Intensity, Low-Frequency Canine Aggression
Area: TPC; Domain: Applied Research
JONATHAN A. WORCESTER (University of South Florida), Michelle Duda (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Clicker training (Pryor, 1984) is a form of non-coercive training based on operant conditioning principles. Using a simple mechanical device to mark a behavior simultaneously paired with the presentation of a reinforcing stimulus, clicker training has been used to shape, extinguish, and/or reinforce new behaviors in a variety of domestic, farm, and wild animal species. The purpose of this poster presentation is to provide a data-based illustration of clicker training used with an owner and two dogs of similar size and weight. Within canine species, several types of aggression exist, including fear, predatory, and dominance aggression, each with different topographies and antecendent/consequence conditions (Polsky, 1983). Antecedent-behavior-consequence analyses confirmed that one dog engaged in highly intense biting directed toward the other dog on occasions when the two simultaneously approached or were approached by other dogs. Based on the hypothesis that the dog’s aggression served the function of dominance, a differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior procedure (DRI) was used to teach the dog to come to its owner instead of attacking the other dog. Data confirmed that the clicker training procedure successfully extinguished occurrences of aggression and shaped a prosocial replacement behavior within this context (i.e., coming to its owner).



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