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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Paper Session #348
Exploring Feedback and Training Mechanisms in OBM
Monday, May 26, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W192c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: OBM
Chair: Amy K. Loukus (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)

Effect of Descriptive Feedback Compared to Basic Feedback on Productivity and Response Maintenance on a Problem-Solving Task

Domain: Basic Research
MONICA GARLOCK (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)

Feedback is widely used in organizational settings and is the most frequently used method to change behavior in organizations. This study uses informational feedback to identify work patterns. Using a computer program, the participants were asked to identify three letter codes that corresponded to product movement from factory to store. The more successful codes that were entered, the more product was moved. The experimental design used was ABABC and BABAC. In one phase (A), the participant received basic feedback in the form of correct or incorrect code only. In phase (B), the participant received descriptive feedback in the form of (e.g., 2 out of 3 letters correct). In phase (C), the participants were given the option to choose one of the previous phases for continued participation. If the submitted code was successful, an amount of product was moved. The dependent variables included the amount of product moved, response accuracy, trial duration and time in phase and survey answers. Data show a shorter response time when given basic feedback than when provided with descriptive feedback. Preliminary results show subjects moved more product with basic feedback than with descriptive feedback. Further data analyses and associated discussion will be provided.

Expanding the Utility of Equivalence-based Instruction: New Avenues for Staff Training in OBM
Domain: Applied Research
AMY K. LOUKUS (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Computerized, equivalence-based instruction (EBI) has been shown to enhance learning outcomes when teaching complex material to large groups in the academic setting. Characteristics deemed unique and appealing to EBI include ease of implementation, self-paced learning, and the emergence of derived (i.e., untrained) relations on the part of the learner following a combination of directly trained relations. Given the benefits of EBI training strategy and its potential benefits to the resource-stricken human service sector, the current study evaluated the utility of EBI procedures in training direct support personnel working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental groups: control (training as usual), individualized, or group-based instruction, and were exposed to either training as usual for the agency, or EBI of appropriate prompting strategies. Additional dependent variables included pre- and post-training direct observation of on-the-job performance, and the adoption and retention of trained concepts via a paper-and-pencil written examination. Preliminary results suggest that EBI procedures may offer an effective, efficient, and budget-friendly avenue for training staff in large human service facilities that allows for flexible learning and promotes the application of derived principles when observed in on-the-job performance trials.



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