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 #481
CE Offered: BACB
Syntheses of Verbal Behavior Research
Monday, May 30, 2022
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 255
Area: VRB/DEV; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kristina Wong (Columbia University)
CE Instructor: Carli M Heiman, M.A.

Research on verbal behavior covers a wide array of topics, thus systematic reviews of the literature are critical to synthesizing and summarizing the current state of our field. We can use these syntheses to guide future research. The first talk will describe theories used to explain identify component skills for perspective taking. The second talk will review assessments of and interventions to establish the Incidental Naming cusp and discuss the mechanisms underlying these interventions. The third talk will discusses the variety of interventions to increase the emission of vocal mands and collateral effects of the interventions.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): bidirectional naming, mands, perspective taking, verbal behavior
Target Audience:

Behavior analysts with a basic background in verbal behavior

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to (1) describe the components of perspective taking interventions, (2) understand the mechanisms underlying interventions to establish Incidental Naming, and (3) summarize the various types of interventions to increase the emission of vocal mands.

Perspective-Taking: Breaking it All Down

ALEXIS SHARON VANCE (Hunter College), April N. Kisamore (Hunter College), Anna Portnoy (Hunter College), Lauren K. Schnell (Hunter College), Danielle LaFrance (Elemy Autism Care; Hunter College - City University of New York)

Perspective taking skills are generally considered to underlie more complex social skills and are critical for successful social interactions, such as making and sustaining friendships, pretending, empathy, sharing, conversation skills, detecting deceptive statements, and lying. Traditionally, cognitive explanations have been used to explain deficits in perspective taking. As such, behaviors involved in perspective taking are not clearly operationally defined, making it difficult to identify necessary component skills. From a behavior analytic perspective, perspective taking is like any other behavior; it is learned and amenable to change. Some behavior analysts have attempted to define and identify the behaviors associated with perspective taking; however, despite the strengths of these approaches, the identification of component skills is often lacking. Dependent on the specific theory (e.g., applied perspective taking, stimulus equivalence, relational frame theory) within a behavior analytic orientation, different associated behaviors have been identified as necessary (e.g., deictic frames, false belief, functional social skills). This presentation briefly describes some of the theories used to explain perspective taking, identifies component skills identified in each, and concludes with recommendations for both research and practice.

A Systematic Review of Assessments of and Interventions to Establish Incidental Naming
CARLI M HEIMAN (Teachers College Columbia University), Aparna Naresh (Teachers College Columbia University), joseph m peysin (Teachers College Columbia University), Daniel Mark Fienup (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: Incidental Naming is the capability to learn the names of things from models and has been shown to lead children to exhibit a rapid expansion in vocabulary. This is because children with Incidental Naming can now learn language from environmental antecedents and engage in both listener (e.g. by pointing) and speaker (e.g. by tacting) behavior in the absence of direct consequences. This presentation will describe how we compiled data on assessments of and interventions to establish Incidental Naming. The review identified 15 total studies. Across studies, we identified 4 different types of assessments as well as variations in whether the experimenters tested the same or multiple sets of stimuli pre- and post-intervention. Regarding interventions, nine studies tested the effectiveness of multiple exemplar instruction and 6 tested other intervention procedures. We identified four overarching types of interventions: rotation of listener/speaker responses, establishing a prerequisite developmental cusp, establishment of new reinforcers, and repeated exposure to the models of object-name relations. We conclude by discussing the intersection of the development of Incidental Naming with other areas that have focused on the conditions under which derived relations occur.
A Systematic Review of Mand Interventions
APARNA NARESH (Teachers College Columbia University), Enhea Oh (Teachers College Columbia University), Carli M Heiman (Teachers College Columbia University), Daniel Mark Fienup (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: Students with developmental or language disabilities often lack the ability to emit spontaneous speaker behavior. Therefore, explicit instruction is required to increase the emission of verbal behavior. Mands are often the initial vocal verbal operant that is acquired and is important for the development of other verbal operants and social skills. A search on empirical studies was conducted across 2 databases to identify articles related to mand training. Based on specific inclusion and exclusion criteria set, a total of 70 articles were included for analysis. The following systematic review discusses various mand interventions employed to increase the emission vocal mands, general characteristics across the studies reported, specific and collateral effects of the interventions included, and future directions for research.



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