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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Symposium #44
Effects of Manipulating Motivational Variables on Academic Responding of Children Across Textual Repertoires
Saturday, May 28, 2005
2:30 PM–3:50 PM
Williford B (3rd floor)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Denise E. Ross (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: Four experiments examining effects of motivational variables on academic responding are presented. Experiment 1 demonstrated how reinforcer sampling can function as an establishing operation during multiple instructional programs. Experiment 2 tested the effectiveness of conditioning story listening on reading comprehension. Experiment 3 tested whether a peer observation and reinforcement conditioning procedure would condition math as a reinforcer and increase math performance. Experiment 4 investigated the effects of mastery with rate criterion and mastery with accuracy criterion on reading comprehension and maintenance.
Reinforcer Sampling as an Establishing Operation.
SUDHA RAMASWAMY (Teachers College, Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: We present experiments with four children with developmental disabilities that identify how “sampling reinforcers” can function as an establishing operation tactic using a multiple element design. The dependent variable consisted of correct/incorrect responses (95-100% interobserver agreement) to multiple instructional programs in controlled time sessions. The experiment subsequently tested the tactic as an establishing operation by examining the effects of satiation and deprivation on the dependent variable. The finding shows that the tactic is useful for students with particular repertoires or deficits in repertoires and adds to the growing numbers of establishing operation tactics for both verbal and nonverbal behavior.
Conditioning Story Listening to Function as a Reinforcer
JANET C. SOLORZANO-CORREIA (Teachers College, Columbia University), Dolleen-Day Keohane (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: We tested the effectiveness of conditioning listening to a story as a reinforcer and its effects on correct vocal responding to auditory comprehension questions for young children with speech and language disabilities. Using a time-lagged multiple probe design, participants’ behaviors during the conditioning procedure (stereotypy, passivity, and observation) and responses to comprehension questions were measured during five-second interval recording and frequency recording, respectively. Interobserver agreement data were high. During preexperimental conditions, participants listened to each of three different children’s stories on a tape recorder and then probes were conducted after each story to test their responses to five comprehension questions. During treatment conditions, participants’ story listening behaviors were paired with reinforcers and followed by five question probe sessions to test for comprehension. Results are presented in terms of number of intervals in which target behaviors were emitted during training and increased number of student correct responses to comprehension questions during probe sessions. The use of a paired conditioning procedure to improve reading comprehension is discussed.
Effects of Conditioning Mathematics as a Reinforcer on Academic Performance in Math
CHRISTINE A. O'ROURKE (Teachers College, Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: This study was performed to test whether a peer observation and reinforcement conditioning procedure would condition access to mathematics as a reinforcer and improve academic performance in math. Initially, a pretreatment experiment was conducted to establish that math activities were not a conditioned reinforcer. The subsequent experimental condition consisted of a peer observation procedure in which correct responses of confederate peers were reinforced with access to independent math activities while correct responses of the target students were reinforced with access to activities other than math. Results demonstrated that correct math responses of target students increased following the contingent delivery of math activities for correct responses. Additionally, once math activities were conditioned as a reinforcer, performance in math for acquisition tasks improved as compared to preexperimental measures. Interobserver agreement data were high. Results suggested that engaging in math activities was conditioned as a reinforcer through observation as a function of the peer observation procedure. Results are discussed in terms of including the conditioning of a novel reinforcer through observation (in this study, independently engaging in activities not previously in participant’s repertoire) as part of observational learning.`
Effects of Mastery and Rate Criteria on Maintenance and Reading Comprehension
TINA MARIE COVINGTON (Teachers College, Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of two performance criteria, mastery with a rate criterion or mastery with an accuracy only criterion, on the effects of reading comprehension and maintenance. Four students classified with educational disabilities and who also had emerging reader/writer repertoires participated in the study. Using a multiple-baseline design, the study compared the two, performance criteria using teacher controlled learn unit presentations of sight words. Comprehension tests were conducted during baseline and following criterion phases (mastery plus rate or mastery only) on a set of words. Interobserver agreement data were high. Maintenance probes were conducted 4-weeks following the final comprehension probe session. Data and future directions will be discussed.



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