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.


46th Annual Convention; Online; 2020

Event Details

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Poster Session #222
CSS Sunday Poster Session
Sunday, May 24, 2020
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
55. The Role of Social Discounting in Bystanders’ Helping Cyberbullying Victims: A Behavioral Economic Approach
Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
YUSUKE HAYASHI (Pennsylvania State University, Hazleton), Nargess Tahmasbi (Pennsylvania State University, Hazleton)
Discussant: Sarah M. Richling (Auburn University)
Abstract: The goal of the present study was to examine the role of social discounting in bystanders’ helping cyberbullying victims from a behavioral economic perspective. In a novel social discounting task that involved a hypothetical scenario in which participants encountered cyberbullying instances as a bystander, they rated their likelihood of helping cyberbullying victims versus taking no action. The scenario presented several situations in which the social distance to the victims ranged from the person who is emotionally closest to the participants to a mere acquaintance. The scenario also presented three levels of intensity of cyberbullying. The results showed that the likelihood of helping victims (a) decreased as a hyperbolic function of the social distance to the victims, (b) was greater for participants who had a past experience of helping victims, and (c) varied systematically as a function of the intensity of cyberbullying. These findings support the importance of the social discounting process in bystanders’ decision to help victims. Implications for developing effective interventions strategies and the utility of the present task as a research tool are discussed.

A Behavior Analytic Perspective of the Public Behavior of Donald Trump

Area: CSS; Domain: Theory
ROBIN ARNALL (The Sage Colleges, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Nova Southeastern University), Sarah Russell (Sage Graduate School; ASPIRE LLC), Tanisha McClaren (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Tara Castle (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Sarah M. Richling (Auburn University)

In behavior analysis, few studies have analyzed governmental, political behavior, but rather focused on bill passage (Reed, Partington, Kaplan, Roma, & Hursh, 2013; Critchfield, Haley, Sabo, Colbert, & Macropoulis, 2013; Critchfield, Reed, & Jarmolowicz, 2015; Weisburg & Waldrop, 1972) or just voter behavior (Visser, 1996). Specifically, no studies to date have looked at the public behavior of specific political figures in positions of power. The election of Donald Trump was considered polarizing and evoked emotional behavior on all sides of the political spectrum (Flegenheimer & Barbaro, 2016). This study examined the publicly available data on Trump’s approval ratings, time spent on Trump vacation properties and time spent golfing, and Tweeting behavior. A hypothetical functional behavior perspective was completed on his public behavior through the perspective of his voters and publicly observed behavior. Discussion of application of the findings in addition to limitations and future considerations are provided.

57. The Additive Effects of Varying Stimuli on Cooperative and Conformity Responding
Area: CSS; Domain: Basic Research
ELIZABETH GHEZZI (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Sarah M. Richling (Auburn University)
Abstract: The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) is an assessment tool designed to measure ones learning history with respect to pre-existing verbal relations. Responses to stimuli are regarded as implicit as they are measured with respect to the associated response latencies and accuracy, or brief and immediate relational responding (BIRRs, Dymond & Roche, 2013, p. 104). This study used a modified IRAP to select stimuli that were presented in motivational statements in a simulated work task to increase cooperative and conformity responding. Participants came into contact with customized motivational statements promoting cooperative and conformity responding in conditions with a competing pay-for-performance contingency using an alternating treatments design. Results showed that motivational statements temporarily increased cooperative and conformity responding. Further, those participants identified as having a stronger history with particular stimuli, as identified in the modified IRAP, chose to cooperate and conform at higher and more sustained rates. The coherence between implicit responding, as demonstrated in the modified IRAP, and explicit responding, as demonstrated in the simulated work task, and the implications it has on pro social behaviors will be discussed.

Investigating Gender Biases Towards Careers Among STEM and Humanities Students

Area: CSS; Domain: Basic Research
Murilo Cesar Moreira (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), João Henrique de Almeida (Universidade Estadual de Londrina), JULIO C. DE ROSE (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Discussant: Sarah M. Richling (Auburn University)

Gender stereotypes affect both men and women since childhood. While men may be more often associated with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers, women tend to associated with careers related to nurturing and caring. The present research aimed to use an explicit scale and an IRAP to investigate how the gender-career relational pattern could vary for Brazilian college students in accordance with their gender and career. Both instruments included as stimuli names of STEM careers, stereotypically regarded as "male" or stereotypically "female" careers (pedagogy, nursing, fashion, nutrition and psychology) and words describing gender. Participants were divided in four groups (men and women from humanities and STEM careers). They were performed an IRAP task regarding gender and careers and then fill an explicit scale. A significant pro-male-STEM bias emerged for all groups, except the STEM-female group, which was the only group showing a significant pro-female-STEM bias (p<.05). The significant pro-STEM-male bias was especially stronger among STEM-male students, but also found in male-humanities and female-humanities groups. In the explicit scales, participants showed a tendency to select a neutral position (i.e., not classifying careers as "male" or "female"), especially among careers commonly viewed as more "masculine". Considering the participants as single group, correlations were found only between explicit evaluations for the careers more often seen as male and the female-STEM trial-type indicating that the more a career was explicitly evaluated as male, the more the trial type "STEM-Female" was considered "false". These data may contribute to the understanding of how courses and genders may be differently related among different groups, since these patterns may influence behaviors regarding more stereotyped groups.

59. Strategies for Engaging Parent Trainees in Behavioral Skills Training on Social Skills Intervention of Their Infant Babies
Area: CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
WEIWEI CHEN (Wucailu Center for Children with Autism)
Discussant: Sarah M. Richling (Auburn University)
Abstract: A study on one-on-one behavioral skills training for two parents of young children (both 1.2-year-old) who were at risk of untypical social engagement is underway. Both trainees enjoyed notably improved quality of interaction with their child after 20 hours of training on the naturalistic approaches taught to them in order to promote dynamic reciprocal behaviors within each dyad at home. The study focuses on identifying important features of behavioral strategies used to build the behavioral momentum and motivation in the trainees, for increasing their adherence to the goals of intervention for their child, attending to the instruction, active imitation of the trainer in class sessions and generalization of their mastered skills to other settings, all crucial for the training to be effective. Semi-structured interviews and an analysis of the documents and teaching materials used in the training are to be conducted to explore the major themes and sub-themes related to the antecedents and consequences arranged by the trainer for the purpose of better engaging and motivating the trainees in their learning of the intervention approaches. The implications to the much-desired sustainability of services for caregivers of young children with developmental disabilities will also be discussed, under a context where parents are both respected as guardians with high authority over the treatment of their babies, as well as taught and drilled as trainees.
60. Designing an Instructional Program to Teach Behavior Analysts How to Evaluate Cultural Practices and Systems
Area: CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
MICHAELA SMITH (University of North Texas), Traci M. Cihon (University of North Texas), Aecio De Borba Vasconcelos Neto (Universidade Federal do Para)
Discussant: Sarah M. Richling (Auburn University)
Abstract: Analyses of sector interdependencies using a Matrix (Biglan, 1995; Mattaini, 2013) have helped behavior analysts to identify cultural practices and the corresponding environmental controlling variables that are contributing to a variety of social issues. Such analyses can provide behavior analysts with information that is helpful in devising individualized, community-oriented interventions to shift the current contingencies to support constructive cultural practices rather than destructive cultural practices. The goal of this research was to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of an instructional program to teach interested behavior analysts how to conduct such analyses. In collaboration with Behaviorists For Social Responsibility Special Interest Group, an integrated teaching sequence involving both general on-line, programmed instruction and tailored mentoring was created based on the principles of instructional design (Tiemann & Markle, 1990) and the Generative Instruction Model (Johnson & Street, 2004). The instructional program and recommendations for the analysis of its effectiveness are presented here.
61. An In-Depth Look at Community Gardens: Identifying Practices that Support Community Garden Longevity
Area: CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
STEPHANIE CRAN (University of North Texas), Traci M. Cihon (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Sarah M. Richling (Auburn University)
Abstract: Current food production methods in the United States contribute to environmental degradation as well as food insecurity. Food production by means of community gardens has the potential to reduce the deleterious effects of current production methods. However, many community gardens face challenges that hinder their longevity, thereby reducing the likelihood of the support they might provide for environmentally sustainable food production and decreased food insecurity for community members. A behavioral systems analysis was combined with ethnographic research methods, matrix analysis, and a literature review regarding best practices for community gardens to study the cultural practices of three established community gardens in the southwest region of the US. The results of the analyses conducted are presented in terms of recommendations to support each target community garden’s sustainability. Recommendations regarding future research include environmental manipulations to identify functional relations and potential outcome measures for improving the longevity of community gardens are provided.
62. Bringing Behavior Analysis to High School: A Pilot Program Designed to Foster Social Responsibility and Citizenship
Area: CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
TOMAS URBINA (University of North Texas), Michaela Smith (University of North Texas), Rob J Goodhue (University of North Texas), Gabriela Arias (University of North Texas), Aecio De Borba Vasconcelos Neto (Universidade Federal do Para), Traci M. Cihon (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Sarah M. Richling (Auburn University)
Abstract: Many argue that behavior analysis is a science that can be used to address the most pressing issues facing society (Skinner, 1981; Glenn 2004). Unfortunately, many aspiring behavior analysts do not have the opportunity to learn how to approach such a daunting task. We describe how researchers with backgrounds in behavior analysis and education developed a one-semester curriculum for high school students. The pilot program had two overarching goals: 1) to establish a collaborative relationship with the high school faculty and students and 2) to develop students’ engagement with their community from a (more) behavioral perspective. In collaboration with a local high school teacher (Fawcett, 1991), we developed units focused on perspective taking, problem solving, conversation skills, ethical dilemmas, basic behavioral principles, and identifying interdepencies across systems involved in social issues. The pilot program culminated in students’ production of their own matrix analysis (Mattaini, 2004) focused on a social problem of their choice. The results are presented in the context of the rationale for the inclusion of each topic, strategies for content delivery, practice activities, and instructional decision making process along with examples of students’ final projects. As the team was invited back to conduct a year-long program, future directions for expanding the curriculum and program evaluation are explored.



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