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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Paper Session #103
Education II
Friday, November 30, 2001
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Cloister of the Cypress Hall
Area: EDC
Chair: Philip N. Chase (West Virginia University)
Are There Critical Frequencies for Achieving "Fluency" in Phoneme Recognition?
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
DAVID J. LEACH (Murdoch University)
Abstract: The acronym RESAA is a mnemonic for learning outcomes that are predicted when behavior becomes 'fluent'. It stands for 'retention', 'endurance', 'stability', 'application' and 'adduction'. But what frequencies are critical in achieving RESAA criteria when practicing the components of basic academic skills such as reading ? Are there critical thresholds and how wide are they? This study systematically built see/say phonemes by fifteen grade 1 children to increasing, step-wise frequency aims. RESAA measures were taken at successive intervals. The results were surprisingly mixed and raised important practical and theoretical questions about using RESAA criteria for determining 'fluency' outcomes as they are currently defined.
Altering Student Choice by Altering Relative Discrete Task Completion Rates while Working on Academic Assignments
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CHRISTOPHER SKINNER (Univesity of Tennessee)
Abstract: My students and I have published several experiments where we exposed students to two or more academic assignments and then asked them to choose which assignment they would prefer for homework. Separate experiments have shown that interspersing additional briefer problems increased both problem completion rates and the proportion of students choosing the assignment with these additional problems. In the current study, data on relative problem completion rates (RPCR) and choice are combined across experiments (i.e., 5 experiments with different subjects including college students, high school students, and middle school students) to reveal a linear relationship between RPCR and choice. This relationship would be predicted by Herrnstien's matching law, provided that discrete task completion (e.g., problem completion) is a reinforcing event. Discussion will focus on several theoretical issues. A process where discrete task completion should become a conditioned reinforcer will be presented. Generality of the theory that discrete task completion is reinforcing event will be discussed as a plausible causal explanation for previous experimental findings (e.g., timing and pacing procedures, breaking large tasks down to smaller tasks to increase persistence). Two other experiments that demonstrate the applied value of the interspersal procedure will be briefly discussed. One study shows how this procedure can be used to increase persistence or on-task behavior of an elementary student within general education setting. The other study shows how this procedure can be used to increase the probability of students selecting assignments that require much more time and effort (e.g., 40% more) to complete.



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