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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Paper Session #310
Int'l Paper Session - EAB I
Monday, May 30, 2005
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
International South (2nd floor)
Area: EAB
Chair: Josele Abreu-Rodrigues (University of Brazil)
Variation and Behavioral Sensitivity to Contingency Changes
Domain: Basic Research
JOSELE ABREU-RODRIGUES (University of Brazil), Ana A. Baumann (Utah State University), Alessandra Souza (University of Brazil)
Abstract: Two studies compared the effects of instructions and self-descriptions, and histories with either a variety of schedules of reinforcement or a single schedule upon behavioral sensitivity. In Experiment 1, during Training, the variable groups were exposed to three schedules (FR, VI, FT), and the specific groups to one schedule (FR). Each one of these two groups was divided into two subgroups. Participants in the self-description groups were asked to indicate the best way to gain points. Their answers were given to participants in the instruction groups. During Testing, all participants were exposed to an FI schedule. Response rates decreased with the FI schedule for the variable groups, and remained unaltered for the specific groups. Experiment 2 asked whether the high sensitivity obtained with the variable groups were due to the exposure to several schedules or to the variable behavior patterns produced by those schedules. For such, the variable groups were exposed to FR, VR, and RR schedules. The implementation of the FI did not decrease the high response rates generated by those schedules. These findings suggest that self-descriptions and instructions are functionally equivalent, and that variable contingencies promote greater behavioral sensitivity than specific ones as long as variable behavior patterns are obtained with the former contingencies.
Peak Shift and Resistance-to-Change
Domain: Basic Research
BRENT L. ALSOP (University of Otago, New Zealand), Benjamin McEachen (University of Otago, New Zealand)
Abstract: Four pigeons were trained in a multiple schedule where different colors signaled the two components. Responses were reinforced on a random interval 30-s schedule in one component, and on a random interval 180-s schedule in the other component. Response rates were higher during the component with the higher reinforcer rate. A succession of brief generalization tests was then carried out in extinction using eight different key colors. The generalization gradients revealed both positive and negative peak shift, and response rates to all stimuli decreased across sessions of extinction. An analysis of resistance-to-change at each test stimulus across extinction sessions revealed that resistance-to-change also showed the peak shift phenomenon. Response rate and resistance-to-change can share common properties of stimulus control, and both are worthy of analysis in order to understand the relation between response strength and antecedent stimuli.



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