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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Invited Tutorial #216
CE Offered: BACB
2005 ABA Tutorial: The Importance of Understanding and "Extending" Skinner's Extended Tacts for Behavior Analysis Applications
Monday, May 30, 2005
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
International North (2nd floor)
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: T. V. Joe Layng, Ph.D.
Chair: Janet S. Twyman (Headsprout)
Presenting Authors: : T. V. JOE LAYNG (Headsprout)

Some have maintained that the investigation and teaching of higher cognitive function is outside the domain of behavior analysis or at least Skinners treatment of Verbal Behavior. In contrast, this presentation will argue that Skinners treatment provides the foundation for understanding a range of complex verbal phenomena important to behavior analysts or anyone interested in higher cognitive function. This is particularly true for those who build programs to teach verbal behavior skills. Building on Skinners analysis, this talk offers a heuristic that may be useful for those who design Verbal Behavior programs. This heuristic helps delineate a hierarchy of repertoires and the contingencies that define them. These extended relations include: Basic units or sameness relations, which include concepts and simple equivalence relations; linked units or ordered relations, which include principles and more complex equivalencelike relations; and combined units or generative repertoires, which include reasoning, problem solving, and the use of metaphor. Generative repertoires are of particular importance for they provide the learner with the means for more autonomous learning. Accordingly, this category will be emphasized, drawing heavily from the work of Joanne K. Robbins (and others) and her analysis of how to teach the various types of intelligence.

T. V. JOE LAYNG (Headsprout)
Joe Layng co-founded Headsprout, and serves as the company's Senior Scientist where he led the scientific team that developed Headsprout’s patented Generative Learning Technology. This technology forms the basis of the company’s Headsprout Early Reading program, for which Joe was the chief architect. Joe has over 25 years of experience in the experimental analysis of behavior and the learning sciences both in the laboratory and in applied settings. Joe earned a Ph.D. in Behavioral Science (Biopsychology) from The University of Chicago, where he conducted basic research on animal models of psychopathology. Specifically, he, in collaboration with P. T. Andronis and I. Goldiamond, investigated the recurrence of chronic, un-reinforced, self-injurious behavior (SIB – head-banging by pigeons) as a function of past selection contingencies for SIB, and current selection contingencies which maintained a different class of behavior (key-pecking). He also collaborated with P. T. Andronis and I. Goldiamond on research investigating the adduction of untrained complex symbolic social-behavior, which led to the key elements upon which the Headsprout Generative Learning Technology is based. Other work has included Signal Detection Theory experiments on the discrimination of ambiguous stimuli, particularly those of social consequence, in collaboration with J. K. Robbins, H. Karp, and M. Mauldin while at the University of Houston–Clear Lake. From 1991 to 1996, Joe was the Director of the Academic Support Center, and then Dean of Public Agency and Special Training Programs at Malcolm X College in Chicago. While at Malcolm X College Joe founded the Personalized Curriculum Institute (PCI), which rapidly equips under-prepared students with the skills needed for college success, and worked with the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago White Sox Charities to bring research-based instruction to Chicago's schools.



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