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 #244
CE Offered: BACB
Reinforcement, Error Correction, and Generalization: Effective Instruction in Applied Settings
Monday, May 30, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Columbus Hall CD, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Hazel Baker (Advances Learning Center and Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Hazel Baker, M.S.

Programming for effective behavior-analytic instruction requires practitioners to review research to make evidence-based decisions regarding implementation. This symposium will address three aspects of behavior-analytic instruction: selecting proper correction procedures, the effectiveness of varied reinforcer pools and programming for generalization of instructional materials. There is conflicting research guiding practitioners about choosing an effective error-correction procedure when instructing children with autism. This symposium will present research and provide a discussion of the possible reinforcing effects of different correction procedures to help further the research in this area. Assessing the effects of replenished versus unreplenished reinforcer pools has implications for applied settings with limited resources when working with adolescents with autism. Results showed that novel stimuli were preferred over stimuli available in the participants environment. These results have implications about how to allocate resources when considering purchasing new stimuli as potential reinforcers. The third symposium outlines clear recommendations for specific ways to promote generalization in taught skills and will evaluate the success of programming common stimuli to achieve generalization of social skills taught in a behavior-analytic clinic when working with children with autism. Data indicate that bringing stimuli into the teaching environment may not be sufficiently effective to generalize to a new environment.

Keyword(s): Error Correction, Generalization, Reinforcer Assessment, Social Skills
Error-Correction Procedures and Basic Principles of Behavior
HAZEL BAKER (Advances Learning Center and Endicott College)
Abstract: Error-correction procedures have been categorized into two categories. These categorizations of error-correction procedures examine if an active student response is necessary for efficient learning, or if the instructor modeling the correct response is sufficient. Results to date indicate that results are idiosyncratic, and specific to individual learner histories. This leads to a theoretical discussion of the maintaining function of error-correction procedures. Active student responding as described in the research requires a great deal of attention, and may be reinforcing the errors it attempts to correct. A teacher model of a correct response may result in removal of demands for a few moments, which could reinforce errors through escape. The literature on error-corrections will be reviewed with the purpose of analyzing the efficacy of error-correction procedures within the context of their potential reinforcing effects. This will guide future research by connecting error-corrections that are supported by literature to conceptually systematic principles of behavior.
Assessment of Unreplenished vs. Replenished Reinforcer Pools
MONICA SPEAR (Advances Learning Center)
Abstract: Researchers have yet to identify the conditions under which people with autism spectrum disorders demonstrate restricted interests. This study will extend past research on preferences of children with autism by 1) examining participants’ preferences for unreplenished (familiar) play or leisure items versus items that are replenished frequently, 2) assessing whether participants who prefer replenished items select items with properties that are matched or unmatched to their most preferred unreplenished item, and 3) assessing whether participants who show an exclusive preference for unreplenished items will select replenished items during response-restriction and enhanced-replenished pool manipulations. Participants were four adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and a history of restricted interests. One participant selected both unreplenished (familiar) items and replenished (novel) items without further manipulations. The remaining three participants only selected replenished-matched leisure items after additional manipulations. Results are discussed in terms of the ethical and practical importance of assessing a range of potential reinforcers, particularly with clients who demonstrate restricted interests.
Promoting Generalization of Social Skills Taught in a Small-Group Clinic Setting by Programming Common Stimuli
ASHLEY RODMAN (Advances Learning Center)
Abstract: Skills taught in a controlled setting with contrived reinforcement may not generalize to a natural setting without specific programming to achieve that goal. School-aged children with autism participated in this study during their enrollment in behavior analytic social skills groups. These social skills groups use the principles of applied behavior analysis to teach skills in a controlled setting that have not emerged in less-intrusive teaching environments. A generalization assessment in the participant’s natural environment was conducted following at least one semester of small-group clinic-based social skills instruction. Without explicit programming, participants demonstrated generalization of very few of the taught skills. Additional programming for generalization will be provided to promote generalization across the skills that were not demonstrated in the natural environment. The results will reveal if specific programming for generalization implemented in a structured teaching setting successfully promotes generalization in the natural setting. Future research could compare generalization strategies to assess which one is likely to be most efficient at promoting generalization.



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