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 #256
#256 Poster Session - VRB
Sunday, May 29, 2005
5:30 PM–7:00 PM
Southwest Exhibit Hall (Lower Level)
135. Transferring Control for the Mand to the Motivative Operation
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
VINCENT JOSEPH CARBONE (Carbone Clinic), Gina Zecchin (Carbone Clinic), Leigh Mariano (Carbone Clinic), Emily Sweeney (Carbone Clinic), Giovanna Ritrovato (Carbone Clinic), Kevin M. Bastin (Carbone Clinic)
Abstract: The mand repertoire allows the speaker to effectively control the social environment. Children with autism who develop an effective mand repertoire tend to exhibit lower rates of problem behavior (Charlop-Christy, 2003, Shafer, 1993). While the motivative operation (MO) is ultimately the controlling antecedent variable for the mand clinical experience has demonstrated the many learners with autism fail to acquire mands exclusively under the control of the MO and audience. In other words, they never learn to mand for items that are not present or for which the response is not at least partially under the control of an echoic stimulus or other verbal stimulus, e.g. “what do you want?” When this happens the mand response is multiply controlled making it a partial tact, echoic, intraverbal or combination of all three. To gain the most benefit from a mand repertoire the learner’s teacher will need to fade the discriminative stimuli and bring the response under the control of the MO and audience only. Although a set of recommended procedures for fading to the MO have been published (Sundberg and Partington, 1998), there have been no published demonstrations of the procedures necessary to transfer stimulus control of the mand to the MO with young children with autism. Using a multiple baseline design across mands the procedures for fading prompts to the MO were established for several participants. All participants developed mands under the control of the MO and audience only. Implications for teaching children with autism will be discussed.
136. Using Stimulus Equivalence to Demonstrate Pre-existing Linguistic Relations III: Further Refinements
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
JEREMY M. HOF (Jacksonville State University), Michael C. Clayton (Jacksonville State University)
Abstract: In a series of experiments, undergraduate students were trained in A-B, A-C, and D-C conditional relations using a matching-to-sample procedure. The A, B, and C stimuli were arbitrary visual forms. D stimuli for one group of subjects consisted of three common English words and for another group of subjects the D stimuli consisted of three pictures of human faces. Equivalence relations were tested between D stimuli and the B, A, and C stimuli (D-B, B-D, A-D, C-D) but using the D stimuli seen by the other group in training. Thus, subjects trained with faces were tested with words and subjects trained with words were tested with faces. Subjects trained with faces responded in accordance with non-substitutional equivalence (equivalence & symmetry), while subjects trained with words readily responded in accordance with both non-substitutional and substitutional relations. Response latencies for both groups of subjects were shorter when responding to non-substitutional relations than when responding to substitutional relations. Results are discussed in terms of the analysis of pre-existing linguistic relations and the transfer of those same relations.
137. Case Examples of Rule-Governed Deceleration of Inappropriate Behavior
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
MITCHELL ABBLETT (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Timothy J. H. Paisey (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Matthew L. Israel (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract: Behaviors under the stimulus control of verbal contingency descriptions are termed rule-governed. The resulting indirect-acting contingencies may be described as analogs to direct-acting contingencies. Rule-governed behavior change is often immediate, without necessity of direct consequation. Data will be presented in the form of standard celeration charts displaying behavioral frequencies among cognitively typical adolescents with lengthy histories of severe conduct disorders who have been in placement at the Judge Rotenberg Center, a residential treatment facility in Canton, Massachusetts. Current data provide single-case examples of immediate behavior change among these adolescent students following verbal descriptions of behavior change contingencies involving aversive consequation. Implications of rapid behavior change without direct contact with aversive stimulation are discussed in terms of rule governance, use of aversive stimuli, and behavioral treatment of adolescents with histories of severe conduct problems.
138. Effects of Instructional Specificity and Feedback Density on the Rule Elaboration and Instructional Transmission
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
GERARDO ORTIZ (Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico)
Abstract: Even though instructions and rules are descriptions of particular contingencies, they occur on different times: instructions precede the contact with the contingency, whereas rules are generated after such contact. The objective was to evaluate the effects of instructional specificity (specific vs. generic), feedback density (none, continuous, or accumulated) and rule target knowledge (known or unknown) on rule elaboration and instructional transmission. 120 college students were randomly assigned to different experimental groups in order to perform a conditional discrimination task (first-order matching to sample), 60 of them where “followers” of instructions elaborated as rules by other subjects. The results show that when the participants follow rules elaborated by other, instructional specificity and feedback density have differential effects on the subject’s performance and specificity and pertinence of the rules elaborated (i.e. instructional transmission).
139. Decreasing Inapppropriate Vocalizations Through a Verbal Model
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
CHANIE GOLDBERG (Shema Kolainu - Hear Our Voices), Gili P. Rechany (Shema Kolainu - Hear Our Voices)
Abstract: Verbal behavior teaching procedures were used to decrease the number of inappropriate vocalizations made by a student. During individualized instruction the target student engaged in frequent inappropriate vocalizations. Intraverbals were taught to increase her functional use of language while decreasing socially inappropriate behaviors. Results demonstrated that the procedures were effective for this student.
140. Functional Communication Training in Severe TBI: Pointing to Yes/No
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
JEFFREY SMITH (Timber Ridge Ranch Neurorehabiliation), Sara Kressler (Timber Ridge Ranch Neurorehabiliation)
Abstract: An ABAB design was utilized to increase finger pointing to promote functional communication with an indivdual with a severe traumatic brain injury. The individual displayed noncompliance due to learned helplessness. When asked to respond to simple discrimination and/or 'yes' and 'no' questions, the individual would seldom lift his hand to make a pointing response to a stimulus. Finger pointing and proximity to object was shaped in order for a correct response to be accepted. During the initial baseline (A1) phase, data indicated that the individual responded to less than 5% of the opportunities allocated. When training (B1) was implemented, a steady increase in rate of responding was displayed. Due to an unplanned medical circumstance, the individual returned to baseline (A2) and the researchers observed a decrease in finger pointing responses. A return to treatment (B2) phase occurred and the rate of responding increased to B1 levels with minimal training.
141. Rule-Governance and Schedule-Control in the Escalation of Commitment
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
ALEXANDER PERSOSKIE (Allegheny College), Jennifer M. O'Donnell (Allegheny College)
Abstract: Escalation of commitment is the tendency of decision makers to increase their level of investing when their investments fail to produce returns. Researchers have recently found that escalation can result from a history of variable reinforcement (Goltz, 1992). In sequential investing situations where losses for investing are generally followed by wins, for example, the failure of one investment to producea return can become a discriminative stimulus for further investing. The present research was an attempt to replicate this basic finding and to examine the role that rule following might play in facilitating this effect. the results supported past research on the effects of variable-ratio reinforcement and indicated that the escalation observed in past studies like Goltz (1992) was likely due to rule following. furthermore, it was found that a rule inaccurately describing behavioral contingencies could exacerbate the occurrence of escalation
142. The Effects of a Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing Procedure on Inducing Vocal Sounds in Children with Autism: A Replication Study
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
NICOLE KALEN (Hawthorne Country Day School), Luis Barros (Hawthorne Country Day School), Soyoung Yoon (Hawthorne Country Day School), Reyes Vera (Hawthorne Country Day School)
Abstract: The current study replicated the procedure used in the study by Yoon and Bennett (2000). In particular, this study replicated the Experiment I in their study. Two children with autism at ages of 5-7 were the participants. Both had no functional vocal verbal behavior and no echoic skills. Both had very few vocalizations in free-operant settings.Data on the participant’s target vocal sound were collected during pre-pairing, pairing, and post-pairing conditions. Preferred stimuli were paired with a target vocal sound and delivered to the participants during pairing sessions. During pre-and post-pairing sessions, no pairing was given.Results are discussed in regard to the effects of the pairing procedure on the occurrence of target vocal sounds in the participants who are slightly older and have different classification from the original study by Yoon & Bennett.
143. Using Natural Environment Training to Teach Mands to a Young Child with Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
MARCI A. MCCLUSKEY (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: One of the greatest deficits faced by children diagnosed with autism is their lack of functional communication skills. Mand training will teach the child to request items and preferred activities as desired. Mand training during the initial stages of teaching language is of particular importance for children with autism. Mand training can immediately benefit a child with autism by specifically targeting his/her core deficits. Further, mand training has been shown to reduce problem behavior, increase spontaneous language and increase social initiations. Natural Environment Training involves the teaching of appropriate skills as opportunities arise naturally in the child's daily life. Through the use of mand training in the natural environment training model the spontaneous manding of one child with autism were improved.



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