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 #542
CE Offered: BACB
Health, Safety and the Environment
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
Seguin (Grand Hyatt)
Area: CSE/OBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Jeanine Plowman Stratton (Furman University)
Discussant: Ron Van Houten (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Siri Ming, M.A.
Abstract: Issues of recent socially significant concerns in our society reflect efforts to improve health, safety, and environmental conservation. This symposium addresses each of these areas by presenting student-generated data and evidence of improved social impact using the science of behavior analysis. Discussions will include further elaboration of such efforts for promoting the utility of the science to solve such practical, real-world problems for employees in the workplace to citizens in our local communities, such as university campuses. The first presentation discusses the value of understanding response cost on health safety performances. The latter two presentations discuss the impact of antecedent interventions on recycling behavior on University campuses, one investigating the proximity of waste receptacles, and the other varying message type to measure disposal choices of participants. By utilizing community-based programming and understanding fundamental principles of human behavior, this symposium will shed light on what we may consider “common sense” behaviors that we observe to be difficult to engage in without the proper environmental arrangement for the user.
The Effects of Response Effort on Safe Performance by Therapists at an Autism Treatment Facility
SARAH E. CASELLA (Western Michigan University), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology), Pamela L. Neidert (University of Kansas), Catalina Rey (Florida Institute of Technology), Megan Compton (Florida Institute of Technology), Ivy M. Chong (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: The effects of response effort on safe behaviors (i.e., glove wearing, hand sanitizing, and electrical outlet replacement) exhibited by therapists at an autism treatment center were examined. Participants were exposed to two or three levels of effort (i.e., high, medium, low) for each dependent variable. Results showed increased safe performance during the low effort conditions relative to other conditions across all dependent variables. After the response effort manipulation, performance feedback was added to increase and maintain safe performance. Results are discussed in terms of the practical utility of manipulating response effort to increase safety in human service settings.
An Investigation of Low-Cost Antecedent Modifications to Increase Plastic Recycling at a University
RYAN T O'CONNOR (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Jennifer N. Fritz (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract: Successful recycling interventions have focused on decreasing the response effort necessary to recycle (Brothers, Krantz, & McClannahan, 1994; Ludwig, Gray, & Rowell, 1998). In particular, changing the location of recycling receptacles so that they are closer to the point of consumption has been shown to increase recycling behavior. Nonetheless, previous experimenters did not control for the number of recycling receptacles available across conditions, and the intervention was typically paired with other antecedent manipulations (e.g., signs or memos). Thus, it is unclear whether a mere increase in the number of bins, regardless of location, or the location of the bins, in the absence of additional prompts, would have similar effects. The current study extended previous research by controlling the number of recycling receptacles across conditions and by examining receptacle location without the use of posted signs. The proportion of plastic bottles that were placed in appropriate recycling receptacles versus trash bins was examined across three buildings on a university campus. Manipulating the appearance or number of recycling bins in common areas did not increase recycling. Recycling increased to high levels when the recycling bins were simply placed in classrooms.
Norm-Based Message Type on Recycling Behavior Among University Students
Jeanine Plowman Stratton (Furman University), Michelle Horhota (Furman University), JENNIFER ASMAN (Furman University), Patrick Berg (Furman University), Angela Halfacre (Furman University)
Abstract: Consumer behavior research is expanding to areas of broad-based sustainability, particularly environmental consumption. Conservation of environmental resources is a growing social concern. Social norm-based messages promoting conservation behaviors have been studied to see the impact of environmental conservation, rather than consumption (Cialdini, 2009). By presenting two different antecedent based media messages to two groups, including a control group with no message, the present study examined the impact of the different messaging types on the recycling behavior of University freshman students entering campus. Participants were given fliers at the end of each media messaging session and researchers observed their choice of disposal for the flier. Our findings indicate messages that contain isolation of individual responsibility rather than general social norms were more effective at producing recycling behavior, and either message was more effective than no message. Practical implications, discussion of proenvironmental conservation efforts, and areas for future research on consumption behavior will be presented.



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