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.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Symposium #281
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Innovations in the Use of Equivalence-Based Instruction
Monday, May 30, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Regency Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC/EAB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group)
Discussant: Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
CE Instructor: Jaime DeQuinzio, Ph.D.
Abstract: Equivalence-based instruction (EBI)provides leaners with the opportunity to go beyond what was explicitly taught and acquire responses that were not directly targeted, thus greatly expanding repertoires and improving the efficiency of instruction. This symposium includes four studies that have used EBI to teach various relations to different types of learners- from challenged learners to advanced learners. Additionally, all participants in all four studies demonstrated the emergence of various untaught relations and responses. The first study was a case study in which an adolescent girl with autism, who had struggled for years with learning to orally label double-digit numerals, learned to do so as an emergent response after learning relations among four types of stimuli representing numbers. The second study found that EBI produced not only novel untrained relations among musical stimuli but sequenced generalization in the form of playing songs on the piano by both children with autism and children of typical development. The third study used EBI to teach graduate students to estimate portion sizes. In the fourth study, graduate students who learned classes of time sampling methods (PIR, MTS, and WIR) via equivalence based instruction showed overall improved responding in written and computerized pretest to posttest scores; whereas, the control group showed little to no improvement in pretest to posttest scores.
Keyword(s): emergent relations, equivalence-based instruction

The Emergence of Oral Labeling Following Equivalence-Based Instruction: A Case Study

KELLY DELLA ROSA (Alpine Learning Group), Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)

Following years of traditional, direct instruction to orally label numerals, an adolescent girl with autism could not orally label double-digit numbers. Despite this deficit, she could read any written word (e.g., the word thirteen) and had an intense interest in baseball and the names and team affiliations of baseball players. Past research has demonstrated that oral labeling can emerge following equivalence-based instruction (Groskreutz et al., 2010) so we designed an equivalence-based protocol to determine if oral labeling would emerge following training. We used a pretest/posttest experimental design to examine the effects of teaching specific conditional relations among complex auditory visual stimuli (i.e., Class A is the written digit and the auditory word), the written word (Class B), and the corresponding written names of baseball players (Class C) on the emergence of untaught relations and the oral labeling of digits. The format used for training and testing sessions is a match-to-sample protocol using a one-to-many training structure. Stimuli are presented on PowerPoint slides on a touch screen computer that require the participant to engage in an observing response (i.e., touch the screen) to reveal the sample stimulus and to then select the correct comparison stimulus. Prior to equivalence based instruction, pretests were conducted for all relations and for oral labeling of numerals with each set of numbers. Following pretests, A-B and B-C relations were trained. After each training session, a probe was conducted for oral labeling of numerals. Oral labeling of numerals was near zero levels on pretest measures with the exception of one target. Following EBI, the participant learned to label a total of 4 of the 6 target numerals. Post-tests for all relations were also at criterion levels. These data support past research that has found the emergence of untaught repertoires following EBI.

Using Equivalence-Based Instruction to Teach Piano Skills to Children
Kelli Kent (California State University, Sacramento), KRISTIN GRIFFITH (California State University Sacramento), Emily Darcey (California State University Sacramento), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of using equivalence-based instruction (EBI) to teach individual note playing and playing a song on the piano. Participants included both typically developing children and children with autism. Six children ranging in age from seven to eleven were exposed to an auditory-visual matching-to-sample procedure using musical stimuli. Following training, researchers tested for the emergence of novel untrained relations and sequenced generalization in the form of playing two songs on the keyboard. Results suggest that the EBI procedure was effective in producing emergent relations and teaching piano playing skills, a leisure activity long associated with collateral benefits such as improving socialization, language, listening and motor skills. The success of this procedure is indicative of the wide-ranging application of EBI to novel and creative domains.
Improving Portion-Size Estimation Using Equivalence-Based Instruction
Lisa Trucil (Caldwell College), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell College), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell College), Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell College), LAUREN K. SCHNELL (Caldwell College)
Abstract: Obesity has become a major health concern in the United States. Obesity can be caused by genetics, socioeconomic status, sedentary lifestyle, and overconsumption. However, the underlying cause for obesity tends to be overconsumption. Interventions are needed that will teach individuals to accurately estimate portion sizes. The current study evaluated the use of equivalence-based instruction (EBI) to teach graduate students to accurately estimate portion sizes. The participants were directed to estimate ¼, ½, and 1 cup portions of various foods. EBI was implemented to teach the participants the portion sizes in a measuring cup, on a plate, and what aids represent each portion. The results demonstrated that EBI is an effective and efficient training procedure. These findings extend the current literature on teaching individuals to accurately estimate portion sizes.
Teaching Time-Sampling Procedures to College Students Using Stimulus Equivalence-Based Instruction
Briana Tingler (Caldwell College), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell College), LEIF ALBRIGHT (Caldwell College), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell College), Jessica Day-Watkins (Caldwell College), Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell College), Denise Kerth (Bancroft, Rowan University)
Abstract: Time sampling is a procedure that involves systematically estimating the percentage of time a person engages in a behavior (Saudargas & Zanolli, 1990). Three commonly used time sampling methods are partial interval recording (PIR), momentary time sampling (MTS), and whole interval recording (WIR). Although rules vary for each method, each involves dividing time into blocks of time units, recording the occurrence or nonoccurrence of a target behavior, and calculating the percentage of intervals of engagement/non-engagement in the behavior (Saudargas & Zanolli, 1990). Few studies have investigated how to teach these data collection methods. Stimulus equivalence refers to training relations among stimuli and then testing for emergent untrained relations to determine whether all stimuli occasion the selection of all others. The purpose of the present study was to assess whether different time sampling data collection methods can be taught using a computer-based stimulus-equivalence training model. There were 3 classes of stimuli taught which were momentary time sampling, partial interval recording, and whole interval recording. The members of each class were A (the term), B (definition), C (recommended use), and D (multiple exemplars of vignettes). Undergraduate students at a Northeastern-based private liberal arts university served as participants. A pretest-training- posttest design was used with a control group comparison. The dependent variable was the percentage of correct responses. Generalization of class-consistent responding was also assessed across written tests and sorting tasks. The results increased from an average score of 61% to 98% as a result of training across all training, emergent relations and generalization probes for only the experimental group.



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