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 #457
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
Boulevard B (2nd floor)
Area: EAB
Chair: D. Austin Harmon (University of North Texas)
Increasing Class Attendance by Utilizing Randomly Administered Extra-Credit Reaction Papers on Course Lectures
Domain: Basic Research
DANIEL L. FUDGE (University of Tennessee), Robert Lee Williams (University of Tennessee)
Abstract: Research has shown that exam scores and performance on related measures are affected by class attendance in college courses. Students who attend class regularly have a better chance of performing well in a course than those who are frequently absent. Considerable research is available on ways to increase attendance. The current study provided positive reinforcement in the form of extra-credit contingencies applied in class.Three classes were involved in the study. The class receiving the extra-credit contingencies included approximately 55 students in an educational psychology class at a large public university. Each of two non-treatment classes also had approximately 55 students taking the same course. The dependent variables in the study were the number of students who attended class on days when no credit-producing activities were scheduled and their exam performance at the end of each treatment phase. The independent variable was unannounced extra-credit for written reactions to instructor lectures. The results indicated that students attended class more often on days when the contingency was in place. This was determined through both intra-subject and inter-subject comparisons. Exam performance was higher for the treatment class during the treatment units and higher than in the same units in the non-treatment classes.
Using Goal Setting and Behavioral Self-Management to Improve Daily Exercise and Health of an Overweight Adult
Domain: Applied Research
DENNIS MCDOUGALL (University of Hawaii)
Abstract: This presentation describes an intervention that utilized goal setting and behavioral self-management (self-monitoring, self-graphing, and self-planning) to improve exercise and health of an overweight, middle-age adult (McDougall, 2004). The intervention demonstrated strong experimental control over the primary target behavior as evidenced by systematic increases in the duration of daily running from near zero levels during baseline to 20 minutes per day during initial intervention, then to 40, 60, 80, and 100 minutes per day during subsequent intervention phases. Generalization probes indicated improvements in the participant’s health, including gradual reductions in body weight (from 202 lbs. to 168 lbs.) and post-exercise pulse rate, with corresponding improvements in body mass index from near-obesity to just above the upper range of normal. Improvements persisted during a one-month maintenance phase. The study utilized a simple and novel variation of the classic changing criterion design, called the range-bound changing criterion design. That is, each intervention phase utilized two performance criteria, rather than one criterion, that restricted the range of daily exercise to a minimum and maximum duration. The presenter will provide rationales for using this range-bound version of the changing criterion design.
From Tracking to Pliance: Effects of Punishment on Non-Compliant Behavior
Domain: Basic Research
D. AUSTIN HARMON (University of North Texas), Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas), Manish Vaidya (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Inaccurate instructions have been shown to interfere with or override the effects of otherwise effective behavioral contingencies. This effect may be mediated by such factors as the discriminability of current contingencies, histories with accurate and inaccurate instructions, and consequences associated with following instructions. The current experiment investigated the effects of instructions (both accurate and inaccurate) on response patterns when paired with feedback regarding correspondence between responding and instructions, feedback indicating potential point loss for non-correspondence, and point loss for non-correspondence. Inaccurate instructions produced only small and temporary disruptions in response patterns, as did the addition of feedback alone and feedback indicating potential point loss. The introduction of escalating point losses contingent on non-correspondence, ranging from 20%-50% of points earned, produced changes in response patterns that corresponded to the inaccurate instructions. These outcomes indicate that the imposition of direct consequences for noncompliance may alter the effects of other contingencies. Depending on the point at which point losses disrupt responding, such effects may be interpreted in terms of point loss avoidance or, alternatively, maximizing point gains.



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