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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Symposium #48
Applications of Behavior Analytic Methods to Changing Important Behaviors in Organizations
Thursday, November 29, 2001
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Carnelutti Hall
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Michael A. Magoon (Auburn University)
Abstract: Organizational behavior management is faced with need to expand its capsule of proven approaches to changing organizational performance and addressing cultural phenomena. The experimentally evaluated approaches have often involved direct involvement of an applied behavior analyst working at the immediate level of an initiative. However, OBM practice extends far beyond this, involving client control of parts or all of technologies, initiatives that extend through multiple layers of organizations, and complex performance systems. Further, the principles underlie cultural phenomena. This symposium features experimental evaluations of technologies that may be useful for such more complex applications, including client assessment of problems and opportunities, that are applied at one level of an organization with the intent of affecting other levels, and that involve relatively complete performance systems as well as data-based analyses of cultural practices.
Results from Small-Scale PM Projects Using Descriptive and Informant Assessment
JOHN AUSTIN (Western Michigan University), Austin Kaye Jackson (Western Michigan University), Nelson R. Eikenhout (Behavioral Science Technology, Inc.)
Abstract: We will present the findings of two small-scale, short-term, applications of performance management. The novelty of the studies is that each used a form of functional assessment to determine the appropriate intervention. Study 1 used an informant assessment (i.e., a combination of interviews and direct observation) to develop an intervention effective at increasing the customer service at a local branch of a nationally (US) known department store. Using a multiple baseline across behaviors and departments, we evaluated the effects of a performance matrix and posted feedback on the customer service behaviors of floor employees at the location. Study 2 used a descriptive assessment to develop an intervention to help employees check electronic notices sent by managers in a university computer lab. The descriptive assessment measured the occurrence and non-occurrence of a variety of stimuli relative to the occurrence and non-occurrence of the target behavior. The assessment results, though ambiguous, suggested a prompting strategy to alter the target behavior. We evaluated the effects using a reversal design (ABAB). The utility of various applied behavior analysis functional assessment methodologies as applied to organizational phenomena will be discussed.
Just One Kiss for a Pretty Dress of Blue: The Evolutionary Consumption of Fashion
DIANE F. DICLEMENTE BROCKMAN (Dickinson College), Aimee Adams (Dickinson College), Jennifer Britton (Dickinson College), Donald A. Hantula (Temple University)
Abstract: Using the theories of evolutionary psychology and consumption, the function of fashion may be explained. Just as animals in the wild have evolved specific ornamentation for adaptive purposes, the tenets of evolutionary theory and sexual selection may be used to explain differences in the distinctiveness of ornamentation and dress of humans. While functionally, one only needs a pair of pants and shirt to cover the body and protect it from the elements, the excessive amount of clothing purchased each year serves a much different function: to signal both the long term and short term mating strategies of both males and females. However, fashion may be adjusted due to the increase and decrease of one’s own sex or in other words, a high or low sex ratio in addition to specific mating strategies. To this end, sex ratio may be an establishing operation for the clothing consumption of the different sexes. This research investigates the distinctiveness of dress in relation to marital status. Issues involving sex ratio of the demographic group used in the study will also be discussed.
Balancing Academic Performance Measures: A Significant Application of the Total Performance System
RAMONA HOUMANFAR (University of Nevada, Reno), Kristen A. Maglieri (University of Nevada, Reno), Horacio Ricardo Roman (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Important academic performance outcomes, i.e., publication, thesis defense, dissertation defense, are too infrequent to be effective measures of student and faculty performances in graduate programs. One effective way to target the problem of infrequency is to evaluate process measures as well as outcome measures. In addition, many academic institutions promote a balance between quality and quantity for their academic products. However, subjectivity in measuring and comparing the quality of academic products is particularly challenging. Further, performance criteria and standards vary between and within academic activities. This presentation will demonstrate and discuss the strategic development and implementation of an academic performance evaluation system through the utilization of the Total Performance System (TPS) in the Behavior Analysis Program at the University of Nevada, Reno.



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