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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #61
CE Offered: BACB
Topics in Translational and Applied Research
Saturday, May 23, 2009
2:30 PM–3:50 PM
North 226 AB
Area: EAB/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
CE Instructor: Stacey Buchanan Williams, M.S.
Abstract: The research presented in this symposium touches upon a range of topics with the underlying theme of bridging basic and applied behavior analytic research. Two of the presentations involve applications of behavioral economics. One in the context of describing consumption of reinforcers in clinically used token economies in place throughout the participant’s day, over the course of two years. The other in the context of an evaluation of the effects of allowing selection of reinforcers (i.e., “choice”) across a range of schedule values. The other two presentations both involve analyses of the effects of feedback. One an examination of the functions of feedback stimuli in pigeons. The other an evaluation of the utility of an automated training for establishing graphing and spread sheet using skills in teachers.
Behavior Economic Analysis of Consumption of Particular Reinforcers in Closed Token Economies
DANA JUSTICE (New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children), Kathryn G. Horton (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Previous literature in behavioral economics has described the function for of consumption of commodities across unit prices, or schedules of reinforcement. Our study examined whether the consumption of different types of edibles by human participants in an applied setting conformed to this pattern with increases in token FR schedule. Over a two year period, data were collected on the edible reinforcers consumed by three children diagnosed with autism at a residential school for individuals with developmental disabilities, earned in a closed token economy. Responding was measured across a range of exchange schedules. Demand and work functions were generated for the most selected reinforcers and these were compared to the results of multiple and paired stimulus preference assessments. Implications for the analysis of reinforcer efficacy in clinical settings using this method are discussed.
A Behavioral Economic Analysis of Choice
JAMIE LEBOWITZ (New England Cetner for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: The current study is a behavioral economic analysis of concurrent and simple terminal links in two-component chained schedules. In study 1, a concurrent-chains schedule was used to measure differences between concurrent (choice) and simple FR1 (no choice) terminal links. Two individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disordes were presented with two options simultaneously. Responding on the choice link resulted in access to a plate of multiple, identical items, from which a single item could be chosen, and responding on the no-choice link resulted in access to one item on a plate. In Study 2, choice and no-choice conditions were arranged in a multiple schedule and schedule requirements for both were systematically manipulated. Data from study two were analyzed as work and demand functions.
Examination of the Utility of an Automated Training in Teaching Graphing and Spreadsheet Use
NICHOLAS R VANSELOW (Northeastern University/New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: In many higher-level academic courses, information is presented on overhead slides. In this study, slides are enhanced with feedback from test information. Participants were taught to create APA style graphs over nine lessons. Each lesson began with a pre-test. After the pre-test, participants were presented with slides containing lesson material. In the feedback condition, slides with information relevant to questions the participant answered incorrectly displayed the message “Error on this information”; other slides displayed “Correct”. In the no feedback condition, these messages were not displayed. After the slides, the participant completed a post-test. Participants repeated slides and post-tests until the post-test score was 100%. Participants completed the workshop in four fewer attempts in the feedback condition than in the no feedback condition on average. During lesson slides, participants spent more time on slides containing information marked with an error message than other slides in the feedback condition. However, even in the no feedback condition, participants spent more time, though not as much as in the feedback condition, on error slides. This study has implications for future research on the use of feedback and “passive” learning. Further research is needed to determine how discrimination between correct and incorrect responses occurs even without feedback.
Effects of feedback following a spatially defined response in pigeons
CHATA A. DICKSON (West Virginia University), Yusuke Hayashi (West Virginia University), Andrew Lightner (West Virginia University), Kennon A. Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Feedback for responding is commonly studied and its use is frequently recommended in relation to problems of learning and behavior. Rarely is the function of these contingent stimuli examined. In this study we investigated effects of response feedback on keypecking and on a spatially defined operant in three pigeons. Measures included response rate, interresponse time, temporal control, and rate of obtained reinforcement. In one component of a multiple schedule immediate response feedback followed each response. In the other component no feedback was delivered. Reinforcement schedules were identical across components and included both VI and DRL schedules across a range of values of each. When the response was a spatially defined operant, response feedback tended to decrease response rates, and altered the shape of the IRT distribution by decreasing short IRTs and shifting the peak of the distribution toward longer IRTs, relative to the no feedback condition. Under some parameters of the DRL schedule, the rate of reinforcement was greater in the feedback component.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh