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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Symposium #345
CE Offered: BACB
How Behavior Analysts Can View and Use Indirect Data to Improve Traditional Psychology
Sunday, May 26, 2019
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Hyatt Regency East, Ballroom Level, Grand Ballroom CD South
Area: VRB/CBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jennifer Trapani (University of Mississippi)
CE Instructor: Emmie Hebert, M.A.

Traditional psychological research and applications have relied on unobservable phenomena and behavior-behavior relations to predict various variables in individuals' lives. Behavior analysis has much to offer in terms of improving these predictions and furthermore effectively influencing behaviors to improve the lives of individuals and groups. This symposium will include talks that focus on using behavioral strategies to collect indirect data in order to make both research and clinical work more effective. One of the talks will discuss how to use linguistic analysis to make the concept of psychological flexibility directly observable. The second talk will discuss how indirect self-report data can be used to make interventions for children. The last talk will discuss how to use behavioral principles to improve data collection from hard to reach populations, such as men of color who have sex with men. The varying topics in this symposium are linked by the emphasis on using behavioral and behavior analytic methods to improve traditional psychological research and interventions.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): behavioral strategies, improving psychology, indirect data
Target Audience:

BCBAs RBTs Other professionals working in applied settings Researchers conducting applied research in any psychology domain

Learning Objectives: 1. Describe a behavioral measure for psychological flexibility and summarize this measure’s relationship with current measures of psychological flexibility. 2. Describe how indirect behavioral data can be used to improve services provided to children and their caregivers 3. Describe how indirect behavioral data can be used to improve research with understudied populations
A Linguistic Analysis of Psychological Flexibility
(Applied Research)
MELISSA MORGAN MILLER (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (70503, University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: Psychological flexibility seems to be an important dimension of the behavioral repertoire that involves the ability to learn and to engage in effective and personally significant behavior in the presence of unwanted private events. As it involves aspects of behavior-behavior relations between overt and covert events, however, psychological flexibility has proven difficult for the behavior analyst to directly observe. While some have suggested that qualitative self-report might eliminate bias caused by questionnaires, it does not generally lend itself to quantitative analysis at the individual or group level. Linguistic Analysis involves transforming qualitative data so that quantitative analysis is possible. This paper will present data from several attempts to create a linguistic analysis “dictionary” that will allow for direct observation and quantification of psychological flexibility. Results suggest that linguistic analysis may be a promising approach to assessing psychological flexibility and other complex aspects of the repertoire. Implications for the continued use of linguistic analysis to assess psychological flexibility and related constructs will be discussed.
I Can Do This!: Using Self-Reported Confidence to Inform Caregiver Workshop Series on Child Academics
(Applied Research)
EMMIE HEBERT (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Sara S. Kupzyk (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Med)
Abstract: Caregivers of children with disabilities serve more than just the caregiving role. They also serve as interventionists, teachers, and advocates. Because of this, it is important for professionals working with families to be aware of the caregivers’ confidence in serving their child’s needs. Operationally defined, a caregiver is displaying confidence when they are able to tact the needs of the child and behave in ways that result in the child’s needs being addressed. While the best way to collect caregiver confidence data would be observe caregivers in-vivo, it is not always a practical method of data collection. The field of psychology has historically used self-report as a measure of indirectly collecting data about individual experiences. This presentation will discuss the process of developing a measure of caregiver self-confidence in providing for academic needs in their children with disabilities and using this measure to inform a caregiver workshop series. Pre-post data collected from caregivers of children in an academic intervention program suggest that workshops targeted at identified “low confidence” items increased caregiver confidence in identifying and providing for their child’s academic needs.

Dissertation, Please Help!: Using Behavior Analytic Techniques to Influence Data Collection

(Applied Research)
YASH BHAMBHANI (University of Mississippi), Karen Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)

Traditional psychology has much to benefit from behavior analytic methods. One of these areas is the process of scale construction to measure verbal reports of behavior. This project aimed to use behavior analytic methods to influence data collection for a scale construction study, from content area experts, and a hard to reach population (men of color who have sex with men). We collected data from experts three times, via an online survey. We used verbal praise delivered online to reinforce survey completion. If experts did not respond within an expected time frame, we used prompts to increase likelihood of responding. Prompts were successful about 40% of the time in influencing experts’ behavior. Next, we collected data from two large samples of men of color, through Amazon mTurk in two different studies. We varied reinforcer strength (compensation in dollars) within each study to influence response rate. For study 1, response rate increased from 8.35 per hour to 29.4 per hour upon increasing the reinforcer by $.20. Interestingly, response rate in study 2 dropped from 19.7 per hour to 10.7 per hour upon increasing the reinforcer by $.25. Implications for using behavior analytic techniques to enhance traditional psychological methods will be discussed.




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