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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Symposium #465
Behavior Analytic Explorations of Cognition
Monday, May 31, 2010
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
Lone Star Ballroom Salon F (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EAB/VRB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Chair: Louise A Mchugh (Swansea University)
Abstract: This symposium presents a series of papers that showcase recent behavior analytic research into areas arguably more traditionally the preserve of cognitive psychology but which have begun to be explored using novel theoretical and methodological behavioral approaches. The first paper uses transfer via equivalence of contextual control over non arbitrary relational responding to provide a preliminary model of pragmatic verbal analysis, a process which relational frame theory sees as key to problem solving behavior. The second paper presents a derived stimulus relations account of the development and generalisation of self efficacy judgements. The third paper addresses the issue of causal efficacy judgements within a more broad behavior analytic framework, examining the contribution of a number of interrelated behavioural processes to the emergence of causal efficacy. The fourth and final paper compares the IRAP, a measure of implicit relational responding, with two alternative implicit measures, the IAT, a socio-cognitive measure of implicit associations, and the EMG, an implicit measure of emotional responding.
Derived Relational Transfer of Contextual Control Over Nonarbitrary Relational Responding: A Possible Model of Pragmatic Verbal Analysis
IAN STEWART (National University of Ireland, Galway), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Louise A Mchugh (Swansea University), Denis O Hora (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Abstract: The aims of the current study were (i) to explore the flexibility and generativity of contextual control over non-arbitrary relational responding in humans and (ii) to provide a simple empirical model of pragmatic verbal analysis, which relational frame theory suggests is the behavioral process underlying problem solving. In Experiment 1 (Stage 1) participants were trained to respond to abstract shapes as contextual cues for sameness and distinction relational responding. In Stage 2, participants were trained under contextual control of background color to respond in accordance with contextually controlled relations to particular physical dimensions of multi-dimensional shapes. In Stage 3, participants were trained to relationally respond in accordance with comparison (more / less) relations under the contextual control of novel abstract shapes, while in Stage 4, they demonstrated the emergence of color-based contextual control over more / less relational responding. Experiment 2 showed similar results with minimal instructions while Experiment 3 showed the pattern with a number of different age groups including ten year olds. Experiment 4 extended the core model by showing the transfer of the second order contextual control via derived equivalence relations, thus arguably modelling important features of pragmatic verbal analysis.
Multiple Determinants of Transfer of Evaluative Function After Conditioning With Free-Operant Schedules of Reinforcement
CHARLOTTE N. DACK (Swansea University), Louise A Mchugh (Swansea University), Phil Reed (University of Wales Swansea)
Abstract: Four experiments aimed to explore factors that can differ between schedules of reinforcement, their impact upon evaluative ratings given to discriminative stimuli associated with each schedule and the transfer of these evaluations through derived stimulus networks. Experiment 1 compared two contrasting response reinforcement rules (VR, VI). Experiment 2 compared the same rate of response but a different response reinforcement rate (DRH vs. VR). Experiment 3 compared molar and molecular aspects of contingencies of reinforcement (Tandem VIVR vs. Tandem VRVI). Finally, Experiment 4 compared low rates of responding in order to increase participants sensitivity to the molar aspects of a schedule (DRL vs. VI). The findings suggest that the transfer of evaluative functions is determined mainly by response rate and the molar aspects of the schedules. However, when neither schedule was based on a strong response-reinforcement rule participants focused more on the molecular aspects of the schedule
Temporal Predictability Facilitates Human Causal Learning
JAMES WILLIAM GREVILLE (Cardiff University), Marc Buehner (Cardiff University)
Abstract: When encountering repeated instances of causes and effects, we also experience multiple cause-effect temporal intervals. Where this interval is constant, it becomes possible to predict when the effect will follow from the cause. Three experiments investigated the extent to which temporal predictability contributes to the inductive processes of human causal learning. We demonstrate that a) causal relations with fixed temporal intervals are consistently judged as stronger than those with variable temporal intervals, and b) that causal judgments decline as a function of temporal uncertainty. The results therefore clearly indicate that temporal predictability facilitates causal learning. We consider the implications of our findings for various theoretical perspectives including associative learning theory, the attribution shift hypothesis and symbolic representation of causal structure.
Comparing Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure, Implicit Association Test, and Electromyography as Implicit Measures of Anti-Fat Prejudice
Sarah Roddy (National University of Ireland, Galway), IAN T. STEWART (National University of Ireland, Galway), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Abstract: The aim of this study was to compare the implicit relational assessment procedure (IRAP), a recently developed methodology for the assessment of implicit relational responding, with a traditional measure of implicit attitudes, the implicit association test (IAT), and a measure of implicit affect, facial electromyography (EMG). Facial EMG provides reliable information as to the valence and intensity of emotional reactions by recording discrete muscle movements. These three implicit measures were also compared to explicit measures of affect and attitude within the context of bias towards the overweight. The ability of these three individual measures to predict behavioural intentions towards an overweight target was also assessed. 64 participants in total completed the IRAP, IAT, and EMG and were then exposed to explicit measures of anti-fat attitudes and behavioural intentions towards the overweight. Results will be discussed and the relationship between the IRAP and the other implicit and explicit measures will be explored.



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