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.


First International Conference; Italy, 2001

Event Details

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Poster Session #4
#4 Poster Session - OTH (PRA)
Wednesday, November 28, 2001
5:00 PM–6:30 PM
Truss Pavilion
1. Discovering B. F. Skinner and Thinking Critically with the Introductory Psychology Textbook
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ROBERT G. JENSEN (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract: This poster will present to the viewer an introduction to the ideas of B. F. Skinner while at the same time presenting a strategy for teaching fundamental critical thinking skills (elements of an argument; ambiguity in language; confusing correlation with causation; oversimplification; faulty analogy; and concluding one thing but proving another) in a classroom format that encourages student interaction with learning materials and group work among students. The learning materials are taken from current introductory psychology textbooks.
2. Health Beliefs and Attitudes and Stimulus Equivalence
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JOSE LUIS YBARRA SAGARDUY (University of Almeria)
Abstract: Social-cognitive theories view health beliefs and attitudes as cognitive correlates of healthy and risky behaviors. From a behavior-analytic approach, these variables could be considered as verbal behavior that can regulate these behaviors. The purpose of this research was to use stimulus equivalence procedures to study the formation and change of health beliefs and attitudes. In a first phase which examined beliefs and attitudes formation, fifteen subjects were trained to form three, four-member equivalence classes and were divided in three groups according to the type of training (match-to-sample, type respondent, and use of compound stimulus). One member from one of these classes (class A) was paired with scenes of a risky behavior (i.e., smoking) and one member from other class (class B) was paired with scenes of a healthy behavior (i.e., exercise). In a second phase that examined beliefs and attitudes change, a different member of class A was paired with a healthy behavior (i.e., healthy diet) and a different member of class B with a risky behavior (i.e., taking drugs). In both phases, subjects were asked to categorize the remaining members of the classes as risky or healthy behaviors. Subjects showed transfer of functions in accordance with the expected equivalence relations. The conceptual and applied significance of the results is discussed.
3. Health Beliefs and Attitudes in Children and Adolescents: A Behavior-Analytic Approach
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JOSE LUIS YBARRA SAGARDUY (University of Almeria), Emilio Moreno San Pedro (University of Almeria)
Abstract: There is a generalized agreement that childhood and adolescence are appropriate periods to implement health promotion programs. Beliefs, attitudes, concepts or values which are involved on posterior regulation of healthy and risky behavior develop and strength during this time. This paper discusses social cognitive theories (development theory of Piaget, the health belief model and the locus of control theory) that consider health beliefs and attitudes in the childhood and adolescence as variables that explain and predict risky and healthy behavior. Although these theories have generated a voluminous literature, they have not resulted in specific intervention strategies to influence these behaviors. The purpose of this paper is present a behavior-analytic approach about health beliefs and attitudes. These variables are analyzed as verbal behavior and it is argued that they could function as self-rules (ply, track or augmental) that regulate healthy and risky behaviors. It could allow identifying manipulable variables to influence such behaviors. A developmental analysis of this verbal control is examined.
4. Low Level Prenatal Dioxin Exposure in Rats Induces Sexually Dimorphic Changes in Operant Behavior
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
RIEKO HOJO (University of Rochester), Sander Stern (University of Rochester), Grazyna Zareba (University of Rochester), Bernard Weiss (University of Rochester)
Abstract: Prenatal exposure to high doses of the environmental contaminant dioxin (TCDD; 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin) is reported to induce changes in motor activity, cognitive and sexual behavior. Corresponding developmental data on schedule- controlled operant behavior, though promising (Markowski et. al, in press) are limited. The present study sought to examine the effects of low, environmentally relevant levels of TCDD, on the performance of gestationally-exposed offspring tested on a series of reinforcement schedules. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 0, 20, 60 and 180 ng TCDD/kg via gavage on gestational day 8. At the age of three months, all subjects were first performed on an incremental fixed ratio (FR) reinforcement schedule, which required increases in FR values every 4 sessions. Subsequently, subjects were assigned to a multiple reinforcement schedule consisting of FR 11 combined with a differential reinforcement of low rate (DRL) 10 sec schedule. On both the incremental FR and the multiple reinforcement schedules, TCDD-exposed animals revealed gender- specific response patterns. Male offspring exposed to TCDD responded at higher rates than controls on the incremental FR schedule. In contrast, female offspring responded at lower rates than controls. On the multiple FR-DRL schedule, TCDD-exposed males earned more reinforcers in the FR than controls whereas exposed female offspring earned more reinforcers in the DRL component. These sexually dimorphic responses in schedule-controlled operant behavior support dioxin's classification as an endocrine disruptor. (Supported by grants ES 08958 and ES 01247 from NIEHS.)
5. Strategies Leading to the Acquisition, Maintenance, and Generalization of Intraverbal Behavior within the Natural Environment
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
DIANE TARANTO (Children's Home Intervention Program, Inc.)
Abstract: After observing the lack of generalization of intraverbal behavior, previously trained in discrete trial settings and absent from the language repertoires of two children, under the age of three and diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder, within the natural environment, systematic generalization teaching strategies were developed to facilitate the use of this verbal operant in natural settings. Each child's language was assessed in three settings (discrete trial teaching, generalized home environment, and classroom) concurrent with baseline, training, and follow-up. After the onset of training, these intraverbal behaviors were emitted in the natural environment, with systematic intervention strategies towards generalization, and finally without direct intervention or prompting. The classroom data reflect individual difference in the frequency of each child's unprompted use of this verbal operant. Probes for acquisition and maintenance of the verbal operant were tested and revealed generalization and maintenance of the skills even those not specifically targeted for intervention.
6. The Alternative Communication and the Naturalistic Teaching
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
KELY DE PAULA (Federal University of Espirito Santo, Brazil), Leila R De Paula Nunes (State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Abstract: As the spoken language is used as a means of information exchange to socialization and interaction, people having speech disturbs have overcome their communication limits by using the Augmentative and Alternative Communication systems, which enables a greater interaction to the social environment. This research looks forward to teaching a multiply handicapped child how to make use of a pictographic communication system, providing communicative abilities, which are very important in a conversation. The intervention for an acquisition and development of an alternative communication was based on the strategies of the naturalistic teaching. This research lasted 14 months and it's divided into four study areas. The studies 1 & 2 employed a quasi-experimental single subject research design and the studies 3 & 4 presented a descriptive approach. The results showed the capacity of the child, not only in requesting items and actions desired, but also in emitting an a variety of communicative functions (question, answer, comment, interaction and greeting), as well as generalizing these skills to different non- trained settings, that is, to situations of his daily life, relating with different communicative partners. The functional analysis of the linguistic production indicated the construction of expressive sentences made of three or more words/symbols.



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