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.


Seventh International Conference; Merida, Mexico; 2013

Event Details

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Poster Session #50
VRB Posters
Monday, October 7, 2013
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
Gran Salon Yucatan (Fiesta Americana)
109. The Effects of Contextualized and Decontextualized Stories with Autoclitics Upon Nonverbal Behavior
Area: VRB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
FELIPE GOMES (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil), Luis Antonio Lovo Martins (University of Sao Paulo), Sidinei Rolim (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil), Marcos Garcia (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil), Martha Hübner (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil), Paulo Abreu (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Although there is little experimental research about verbal behavior as context or consequence to other behaviors, usually they are regarded as part of the "verbal regulation" area of research. This study aimed to replicate the experiments performed by Valdivia et al. (2006). The subjects were four participants aged between 6 and 7 years. The procedure consisted in the use of two experimental protocols, made of two stories, one about physical restraint and the other about itch, both contextualized and decontextualized. Both stories contained autoclitics. The results showed that both contextualized and decontextualized experimental protocols evoked, with few variations, verbal and nonverbal responses related to sensations of itch and physical restraint, respectively. These findings indicate that the different verbal contexts manipulated by Valdivia et al. (2006), and replicated here, did not produce difference in motivational states of the four participants across the two experimental sets. Thus, the responsible variable for producing changes in subjects' motivational states was the use of autoclitics, maintained on both experimental protocols.

110. The Ether of Skinner’s Analysis of Verbal Behavior: The Autoclitic
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
KENNETH W. JACOBS (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: In an attempt to account for the presumed to be deliberate verbal behavior of the speaker, Skinner (1957) introduced the autoclitic, which is an expansive term covering areas such as grammar and the composition of verbal behavior with respect to its effects upon a listener. Brought into question are the limitations of this term due to its expansive nature along with its relation to time. According to Skinner, a listener can come under the control of future stimuli, and it is not until contact with those future stimuli that the listener is affected. This is to say that when coming under the control of future stimuli, there is no immediate effect upon the listener. Presumably, this led Skinner to posit the autoclitic as a device that mediates the gap between the present circumstances and those of the future. This poster, however, contends that there is an immediate effect upon the listener, and by analyzing these effects in relation to stimulus objects and their functions we can remedy the problem of time and possibly increase the precision of the autoclitic. Furthermore, by focusing on the immediate effects upon the listener we will also elucidate the effects of multiple causation on the listener with respect to context.
111. An Analysis of Self-editing as a Function of the Controlling Environment
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
DOMINIQUE STEDHAM (University of Nevada Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Like any behavior, verbal behavior is shaped and maintained in accordance to the contingencies of reinforcement. Although Skinner argues that a speaker does not engage in particular responses in order to produce certain consequences, he describes the process of self-editing as an “additional activity of the speaker” (Skinner, 1957, p. 369). Furthermore, he suggests that “various degrees of editing” occur as a function of special audiences and that certain audiences can be distinguished according to the extent to which a speaker is “released” from editing his verbal responses (Skinner, 1957, p. 394). Yet, in the case of identifying an audience, the physical dimensions are not clear. The audience can serve a discriminative function, yet this discrimination is also subject to generalization and as such, a wide range of audiences may be effective in selecting subdivisions of a repertoire or the topics of discussion (Skinner, 1957, 174). Presumably self-editing can be described in terms of autoclitic behavior, but since autoclitics can be classified in terms of other verbal operants it should follow that the special case created for them is unnecessary. This poster will argue that the various degrees noted by Skinner might not measure the “release from editing,” but rather, the effectiveness of that particular audience as a controlling variable for the speaker’s verbal behavior.
112. An Examination of an Automated Computer Program for Teaching Deictic Relational Responding to Children
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
RYAN LEE O'DONNELL (Florida Institute of Technology), Joshua K. Pritchard (Florida Institute of Technology), Anita Li (Florida Institute of Technology)

Those studying perspective taking do so from several different theoretical frameworks, most of which view this skill as a function of biological or natural development (Howlin, Baron-Cohen, Hadwin, 1999; Selman, 1980; Yeates & Selman, 1989). Theory of Mind (ToM) is a construct researchers have been investigating since the 1970s which suggests that perspective taking is based on an ability to see oneself and others in terms of mental states of mind (e.g., desires, intentions, emotions, beliefs, etc.). Behavior analysts have developed protocols to train deictic relational frames to those who have deficits. Of these there are three studies that best demonstrate a behavioral account of perspective taking abilities (McHugh, Barnes-Holmes & Barnes-Holmes, 2004a; McHugh, Barnes-Holmes, Barnes-Holmes & Stewart, 2006; Weil, Hayes & Capurro, 2011). At present, a number of studies have used computers to assess or train deictic relational responding (McHugh et al., 2004a; Rehfeldt, Dillen, Ziomek, & Kowalchuck, 2007). The goal of this research project is to systematically extending Weil et al. (2011) by investigating whether deictic relations can be trained via a computer, and secondarily the implications such training may have (e.g., developing a theory of mind).

113. Retrospective Protocols and Tower of London: A Comparison of Children and Adults
Area: VRB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Hortensia Hickman (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México), Maria Luisa Cepeda Islas (FES Iztacala UNAM), Diana Moreno Rodríguez (FES Iztacala UNAM), Patricia Plancarte (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), NOE GRACIDA (Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, UNAM), Viridiana Ruíz (Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, UNAM), Rosalinda Arroyo (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico)

The Tower of London (TOL) is a tool that involves moving a series of disks based on an initial model to end in a final state. This task was developed with the primary purpose of investigating different cognitive resources that people use to solve the task such as planning behavior and executive behavior. The objective of this research was to compare in adults and children, their verbal strategies through retrospective protocols and the executions to the task, using a computerized version of the Tower of London. Participants were exposed to a session of 24 trials of training in three levels of difficulty and continuous feedback, and two test sessions of 12 trials each. In test 1 performance was evaluated without feedback, in two difficulty levels not trained; while in the second one, transfer was tested to untrained figures. At the end of each session were asked the participants the following questions: 1. What was the best strategy used to reach the goal, 2. If he thought something before responding and, 3. How would you explain to another task. The results showed significant differences in the dependent variables as well as the quality of verbal report.




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