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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #419
CE Offered: BACB
When You Can't Do Business in Person: Conducting Organizational Behavior Management Research and Application Online
Monday, May 30, 2022
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Meeting Level 1; Room 153B
Area: OBM/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Denys Brand (California State University, Sacramento)
Discussant: Byron J. Wine (The Faison Center; University of Virginia)
CE Instructor: Byron J. Wine, Ph.D.

The current pandemic has created many roadblocks for practitioners and researchers in all areas of behavior analysis. Many of us have been forced to delay or transition our work to the virtual environment. However, this transition to online has also provided opportunities to evaluate how we conduct research and service delivery via virtual platforms. The current symposium includes a diverse sample of how interventions in Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) can be adapted and evaluated in the online environment. The four presentations will highlight research in rule-governed behavior, positive and corrective feedback, behavioral skills training (BST), and text message prompting. These studies were conducted in a variety of online settings, from virtual workplace analogues to online educational/training programs for college students. Overall, these studies represent how the field of OBM can successfully capitalize on current circumstances to advance our research. Many organizations will maintain at least a partial, virtual workforce going forward and it is critical that the field of OBM adapt our research and application to address this shift in the business environment.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Background and/or education in ABA, familiar with single-subject research methodology, understanding of rule-governed behavior

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Provide examples of how OBM interventions, particularly BST and prompting, can be adapted to the online environment 2. Distinguish between positive and corrective feedback, their relative effects, and individual preferences 3. Identify how motivational statements that highlight different reinforcement contingencies affect performance

Preference for Positive or Corrective Feedback on a Novel Task

(Basic Research)
ERIK SWANSON GODINEZ (California State University, Sacramento), Michael Simonian (California State University, Sacramento), Denys Brand (California State University, Sacramento)

Feedback is one of the most utilized interventions in the Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) literature and is effective in producing increases in performance across a variety of organizational settings. The research on feedback is often interested in the delivery of the feedback (e.g., accuracy, timing, and sequence) with fewer studies investigating preference for different types of feedback. Typically, preference for different types of feedback is measured using indirect methods and relatively few studies have provided participants a direct choice between positive and corrective feedback. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the effects of and preference for positive and corrective feedback during the acquisition of novel tasks using an online format. In the first phase, participants (n =10; 8 female, 2 male) received either positive, corrective, or no feedback (control) across three novel tasks. Participants only mastered the task in which corrective feedback was provided. In the second phase, participants chose to receive either positive or corrective feedback after completing trials of the previous phase’s control task. All participants chose to receive corrective feedback more frequently than positive feedback. Overall, corrective feedback was more effective and more preferred compared to positive feedback.

A Comparison of Motivative Statements Highlighting Positive Versus Negative Reinforcement Contingencies
(Basic Research)
ROCKY PEREZ (Western Michigan University), Sean Borboa (California State University, Fresno), Sharlet D. Rafacz (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract: Research on rule-governed behavior in the workplace is limited. In particular, more research is needed on how statements that manipulate reinforcer value (function as verbal motivating operations) affect performance. Such statements may highlight either positive or negative reinforcement contingencies, but it is unclear which would result in higher performance levels. The current study utilized a within-subject reversal design to investigate the effects of motivational statements on performance in a virtual, analogue work setting. Participants completed two concurrent work tasks that resembled duties of medical office staff. Motivational statements were introduced to see whether those that highlighted positive versus negative social reinforcers resulted in greater changes in response allocation. Results of the study showed no clear difference between the two types of statements on performance; however, there was some indication that highlighting positive reinforcement contingencies first resulted in better performance. A second study is currently underway to confirm these findings. This presentation will discuss how these motivational statements may function as verbal motivating operations (motivative augmentals) and the implications of highlighting positive versus negative reinforcement contingencies in the workplace.

Using Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Interview Skills in an Online Format: Replication and Extension of Stucco et. al. (2017)

(Basic Research)
DAVIS SIMMONS (University of Florida), Andressa Sleiman (Univeristy of Florida ), Nicole Gravina (University of Florida)

Behavioral Skills Training (BST) is an effective training process and has been used to teach a variety of skills, including interview skills. Multiple studies have also demonstrated that BST can be used in a web-based context, but no studies to our knowledge have extended the literature by using BST to teach Interview Skills online. Our study extends and replicates previous research by improving the interview skills of college students in a fully synchronous web-based video format, including a stricter mastery criterion, a stricter vocal criterion for certain responding measures, and additional environmental variables that may be relevant in a web-based format. We used a multiple baseline design across targets with follow up sessions testing for maintenance and generalization. All participant?performance improved from baseline?to post-training across all targeted dependent variables providing additional?evidence?that BST is an effective training?process?to?teach?interview skills to college?students,?and can extend to?a novel web-based?format. Implications, limitations and future directions will be discussed.


Text Messaged Performance Management to Increase Assignment Completion in College Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder

(Applied Research)
JUAN ANTONIO LOPEZ (Western Michigan University), Heather M. McGee (Western Michigan University)

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, organizations across the world were forced to shift from operating entirely in-person to entirely or partially remotely. Many organizations are now working to understand the ways in which they can support or facilitate meaningful behavior change from a distance. Inclusive postsecondary education programs (IPSEs), which offer specialized support to college students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or Intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD), also had to adapt their service models to fit the demands of remote support. This study examined the effects of text message prompts and text messaging self-monitoring on the timeliness of submission of assignments of three college students receiving remote services from an IPSE at a large midwestern university. Two of three participants exhibited meaningful increases in timely assignment submission




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