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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

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Symposium #66
Science Board Translational Series: Lessons of Stimulus Relations Research for Creating Lessons for Sophisticated Learners
Saturday, May 23, 2009
2:30 PM–3:50 PM
North 122 BC
Area: EDC/EAB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Basic research on stimulus equivalence and other stimulus relations shows how teaching a few things can create a variety of untaught abilities -- a finding that should be of special interest in education, where a lot must be taught using very limited time and effort. This session will focus on applying principles that were derived from the basic laboratory to the development of instruction for sophisticated adult learners (college students). Each presenter will briefly survey selected basic research and theory, and discuss how those it may be used to create lessons that generate more abilities than are directly taught. Each presentation will showcase selected applied research findings that illustrate the operation and effectiveness of the resulting instruction.
Examining the Generalization and Retention of Equivalence Relations Consisting of Course Content in the Undergraduate Rehabilitation Services Major
RUTH ANNE REHFELDT (Southern Illinois University), Brooke Diane Walker (SIU Carbondale), Yors A. Garcia (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: This presentation will report two experiments in which the stimulus equivalence instructional protocol was implemented to teach the basic concepts in two undergraduate rehabilitation courses. In the first experiment, an automated protocol was used to establish three, 4-member classes between stimuli related to single-subject methodology. Stimuli included the names of the design, representative graphs, definitions, and clinical vignettes in which the use of a particular design as an evaluation technique would be appropriate. Generalization of the relations to novel clinical vignettes was examined, as was the retention of the derived relations at least one month following their original laboratory experiment. In the second experiment, a paper-and-pencil format was used to establish relations between disability names, causes, definitions, and common treatments. Experimental performance was correlated with class performance, and long-term retention was also examined. Results suggest that the stimulus equivalence protocol may be an efficient means of facilitating student achievement of basic course objectives, and the relations may be remarkably stable over time.
Generalization, Perceptual Classes, and Equivalence Classes: Their Intersection and Applications
LANNY FIELDS (Queens College, CUNY), Patricia A. Moss (The Graduate Center of CUNY)
Abstract: Equivalence classes can be used as models of meaningful informational networks that include perceptually disparate stimuli all of which can be used interchangeably. An example would be the words DOG and PERRO, and the picture of the family dog called Clarence. The class then is composed of singular stimuli. In contrast, all stimuli encountered in actual settings will be perceptual variations of these prototypical stimuli that are the members of the above mentioned equivalence class. To be of real world utility, however, perceptual variants of each of these terms in the equivalence should also be interchangeable with the class members. Further, if a response is learned in the presence of one of the class members, it should be evoked by all of the members of the basal class and all of the perceptual variants of those class members. These induction of these performances will be considered by integrating current knowledge of stimulus generalization, the relationship of broad generalization gradients to perceptual classes, and the linkage of perceptual classes and equivalence classes. These topics will be considered in the presentation with relevant information drawn from the basic research and applied behavioral domains.
Using Contextual Control to Promote “Conditional Reasoning” in Hypothesis Decision Making
THOMAS S. CRITCHFIELD (Illinois State University), Daniel Mark Fienup (The May Institute)
Abstract: Most academic abilities require a degree of "conditional reasoning,” that is, concepts apply only under some circumstances. We will briefly survey the phenomenon called contextual control, in which a stimulus participates in multiple equivalence classes in different contexts. We will proceed to show how this phenomenon shaped the development of equivalence-based lessons to teach undergraduate research methods students about the role of statistical inference in hypothesis decision making. Both laboratory and field research show that the lessons succeed in creating “conditional reasoning” and that the resulting abilities expand in predictable, untaught ways. We will also consider whether the stimulus control literature suggests better ways to accomplish the same outcomes.
Web-Based Accelerated Acquisition of Complex Mathematical Relations: An Artificial Neural Network Approach
CHRIS NINNESS (Stephen F. Austin State University), Jennifer McGinty (Stephen F. Austin State University), Robin Rumph (Stephen F. Austin University), Glen L. McCuller (Stephen F. Austin State University), Sharon K. Ninness (Nacogdoches ISD)
Abstract: We are developing and deploying a series of web-interactive construction-based / selection-based software systems addressing a wide range of math skills, including trigonometric identities, inverse trigonometric functions, and various types of multivariate statistical relations. As training progresses, our neural network architecture identifies (and allows us to remediate) mathematical error patterns that may occur during our online training. Outcomes suggest that mathematically inexperienced students are capable of acquiring extremely large, complex, and multifaceted abstract concepts rather efficiently when exposed to these online procedures. In this presentation, we will illustrate several of our recently developed web-based training protocols. Moreover, we will describe the respective histories of selection-based responding and construction-based responding and demonstrate how both types of preparations can be employed symbiotically across and within studies.



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