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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Poster Session #203
EAB Poster Session 2
Sunday, May 30, 2010
12:00 PM–1:30 PM
Exhibit Hall A (CC)
89. Is “Refraining” From Eating a Case of Self-Controlled Behavior in Pigeons?
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
RAUL AVILA (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Juan Carlos Gonzalez (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Patricia Miranda (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Maria de Lourdes Guzman (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico)
Abstract: Self-controlled eating behavior was studied in three food-deprived pigeons that were exposed to pairs of 3 s food- hopper presentations. The first food-hopper was always presented within a 64-s time cycle and the other could be presented once the cycle elapsed, according to the following contingency. Trying to eat during the first food-hopper presentation interrupted it and cancelled the second food-hopper presentation. Otherwise, eating during the second food-hopper presentation could occur. In five experimental phases, the first food hopper was presented 3, 32, 16, 8 and 3 s before the end of the time cycle, in this order. Each phase was in effect for 60 sessions. For each phase, in the first 20 sessions the first food-hopper presentation was signaled by a key-color change, in the second 20 sessions the signal was withdrawn and in the last 20 sessions the signal was presented again. It was found that when food presentations were contiguous, self-controlled eating was facilitated by the stimulus presentation and this stimulus effect decreased as the interval between food presentations was lengthened. The implications of this self-control eating procedure for self control theory are discussed.
90. The Effect of Shaping Parameters and Task Difficulty on Behavioral Variability
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
BRETT GRANT KELLERSTEDT (Salem State College), Darlene E. Crone-Todd (Salem State College), Jena C. Shepard (Salem State College)
Abstract: Shaping involves successive approximations to a target response. Shaping parameters, such as stepsize, are manipulated using a computer-based sub-hunt game in which subjects are shaped to locate invisible targets, in randomized positions, in a 400 x 400 pixel (p) computer screen by clicking on a screen. The target radii values define task difficulty (i.e., the smaller targets are more difficult tasks). Target size (3, 8 or 13 p) and forward stepsize (FSS = 8 or 15 p, the amount by which the reinforcement criterion shifts) were manipulated to determine the effect and interaction between these two parameters. All participants were exposed to both FSS values, and one of the following target size comparison conditions: (a) 3 vs 8 p; (b) 3 vs 13 p; or (c)8 vs 13 p. Response variability is measured as the total distance traveled in a trial, divided by the initial distance from the target. Results show an increase in response variability between target sizes 3 and 8 p, and for smaller target sizes, there is an increase in variability as FSS increases. This suggests extinctions bursts that result in increased behavioral variability are more likely with smaller targets, or more difficult tasks.
91. How You Say It Does Matter: Framing and Discount Rates
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
LORI PARKER (University of Central Arkansas), Shawn R. Charlton (University of Central Arkansas)
Abstract: A growing literature supports the connection between temporal discounting and problem behavior. The outcomes of this literature suggest one main conclusion: high discounters engage in more problematic behaviors than do their lower discounting counterparts. Given the consistency of these findings, developing methodologies to decrease discount rates may provide effective approaches to treating problem behavior. The current study explores the effect of reframing the discounting question. Participants in the study were given the immediate option as “$100 minus X amount right now” or “$100 in Y days”. This reframing of the question places the emphasis of the task on the costs incurred by choosing the immediate option. According to much of the decision-making literature, emphasizing losses should decrease the value of an option. Results of the present study indicate that participants discounted significantly less in the “framed” condition compared to a typical discounting condition, despite the fact that the earnings were identical in both conditions. These findings suggest that highlighting the negative outcomes of the immediate choice may indeed increase preference for more delayed outcomes.
92. Development of a Program to the Application of Computerized Matching-to-Sample Procedures for Reading
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MARILEIDE ANTUNES DE OLIEVIRA (Federal University of Sao Carlos, Brazil), Camila P. Penariol (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), A. Celso Goyos (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Abstract: The goal of the present study was to develop a teaching program for undergraduate students to implement a computerized Matching-to-Sample procedure to teach reading. Considering A, B and C as stimulus sets in which A = dictated words; B = pictures; and C = printed words, relation AB may represent an important component of rudimentary reading. Twelve words were chosen to teach four undergraduate students. Data collection comprised three successive phases: 1) MTS task elaboration, 2) MTS task application, 3) analysis of student data report. In Phase 1, participants were taught to elaborate a computerized matching-to-sample (MTS) task comprising 12 trials of AB relation with three words. Teaching sessions consisted of experimenter demonstration followed by instructions to follow demonstration. Correct responses followed verbal praise and incorrect responses followed instructional feedback. Criterion to finish the session was 100% of correct responses. Next, participants were presented with generalization tests comprising elaboration of a computerized MTS task using three novel words. During testing sessions, there were no scheduled consequences for participant responses. Criterion to finish the session was 100% of correct responses. In Phase 2 participants were taught to apply a MTS task with a research staff playing the role of a student and, finally, in the Phase 3 participants were taught to analyze student’s data report. Teaching and generalization sessions in the Phases 2 and 3 were conducted in the same manner as described in the Phase 1. Results showed that the teaching procedure may be used as a sound basis for teaching the remainder of the relations for equivalence-based reading and writing for new and more complex words. The procedure, however, may have to be adapted to serve on-the job training for elementary school teachers.
93. Effect of Positive and Negative Feedback on the Choice of Novel Stimuli in Humans
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
ARELI MORANDO (Universidad de Guadalajara (CEIC)), Jose' E. Burgos (Universidad de Guadalajara (CEIC)), Maria Antonia Padilla Vargas Vargas (Universidad de Guadalajara (CEIC)), Mayra Hernandez (Universidad de Guadalajara (CEIC)), Salma Guadalupe Garcia Hernández (Universidad de Guadalajara (CEIC))
Abstract: Humans often face situations where they have to choose between novel and familiar things. This paper explores the effect of the type of feedback on the choice between familiar and novel stimuli. For this purpose, the concept of novelty was defined as an abrupt change in a repetitive sequence of stimulation. One-hundred and twenty high-school students were divided into four groups. All participants were first given five trials where left-clicking with a mouse on a colored geometric figure that was presented on a computer screen (e.g., a blue square) was followed by either positive feedback (“CORRECT”), a negative (“INCORRECT”), or absent feedback. Then, all participants were given a choice between figure they had previously received and a new figure that differed in color. The results indicated that feedback type had an effect on the choice between novel and familiar stimuli. Positive feedback for responding to familiar stimuli tended to induce a preference for novel stimuli.
94. The Effects of Baseline Reinforcer Rate on Resistance to Extinction and Resurgence
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
MEREDITH S. BERRY (Utah State University), Robert N. Johnson (Utah State University), Amy Odum (Utah State University)
Abstract: Six pigeons were exposed to baseline conditions in which key-pecking was reinforced on a multiple variable-interval (VI) 120-s (lean) and 30-s (rich) schedule of food presentation, with each schedule associated with a different key color. Following baseline, pecking on the original key was placed on extinction, and responding on an alternative key provided food on a VI 75-s schedule. After 6 sessions, reinforcement was removed on the alternative key and responses on the original key remained on extinction. Baseline conditions were reinstated and a similar procedure was employed with the presentation and removal of an alternative key associated with a VI 45-s schedule. When food delivery was discontinued on the alterative key in both conditions, responding returned on the keys originally associated with rich and lean VI schedules. Resurgence of response rates during extinction were greater on the key previously associated with the relatively rich schedule than the lean for most subjects.
95. Delayed Disruption of Fixed-Interval Responding
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
MIRARI ELCORO (Armstrong Atlantic State University), Kennon A. Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: To examine the resistance of fixed-interval (FI) responding to change in pigeons, response-independent food was delivered during inter-trial intervals (ITIs) of FI 150 s (Experiment 1) and FI 30 s (Experiment 2) schedules. Two locations of response-independent food were examined: at the beginning and at the end of the ITI. Also, ITI duration was changed across conditions (135 s or 35 s). Each location of response-independent food was examined for each of the ITI durations. In general, location of response-independent food yielded no systematic effects in FI 150 s schedules. In FI 30-s schedules, with both ITI durations, disruption of response patterns was reflected by increased responding at the start of the interval relative to conditions in which response-independent food was absent. When response-independent food was delivered at the end of the ITI, the QL values for FI responding were lower than when response-independent food was delivered at the beginning of the ITI. The duration of such disruptive effects on response patterns was examined by conducting 15 sessions with response-independent food with all pigeons. Results are discussed in relation to parameters such as delay of disruption, disrupter frequency, ITI duration, and baseline differences in overall response rates and patterns.
96. The Rate of Response-Independent Events as Discriminative Stimulus
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
ANDRES H. GARCIA-PENAGOS (West Virginia University), Kennon A. Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: A conditional discrimination procedure was employed to examine the discriminative properties of discrete events distributed in time. Three White Carneau pigeons were exposed to different stimulus rates (number of stimuli per units of time), but different to previous studies a procedure was developed to isolate the presentation of these number-related stimuli from adjunctive behavior. A different number of blackouts were presented at different temporal positions throughout a FI 12-s schedule, and reinforcement was provided contingent to pecks on side keys depending on the number of blackout presentations. By separating the number of responses from the number of stimuli presented, a more precise identification of the control by stimulus events was possible, above and beyond control by the time between stimuli. The stimulus rate effectively controlled the conditional discrimination performance in all the subjects, independently from the differing temporal configurations on which the response-independent blackout presentations occurred. Implications of the study for the understanding of control by events distributed in time are discussed.
97. The Effects of Response-Independent Food Frequency and Delay of Water Reinforcement on Schedule-Induced Drinking
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
VARSOVIA HERNANDEZ ESLAVA (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Jorge A. Ruiz (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Carlos A. Bruner (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico)
Abstract: In a Schedule-Induced Drinking (SID) situation water reinforces the water-producing response. The results of a previous study showed that under a constant frequency of response-independent food the rate of a water-producing response decreased as the response-water interval was lengthened. In the present experiment the effect of decreasing the rate of response-independent food was determined in combination with either delayed or immediate water reinforcement. For six food-deprived rats the rate of response-independent food was decreased from .93 to .05 s using a random time schedule. For three rats lever-pressing was reinforced with water on a random interval 8 s schedule. For the other three rats lever-pressing was reinforced with water on a tandem random interval 6 s fixed time 2 s. Decreasing the rate of response-independent food decreased the rate of the water-producing response for both, immediate and delayed reinforcement. However the effect of decreasing rates of response-independent food was more pronounced in the three rats with delayed water reinforcement. It was concluded that decreasing the rate of response-independent food and lengthening the delay between the water-producing response and water delivery have additive effects because each contributes to a decrease in the reinforcing value of water.
98. Compliance With and Effectiveness of Self-Selected, Low-Cost Behavioral Intervention
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JENNA L. WAZ (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Tracy L. Kettering (The Ohio State University), Diana J. Walker (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: When people think of applied behavior analysis (ABA), they typically think of autism and developmental disabilities and of decreasing problem behavior. Yet ABA is effective across all types of behaviors and populations. The current study seeks to help adults without intellectual disabilities to improve their behavior, either by decreasing “bad” habits or increasing good habits, like working out and eating healthy food. Preliminary data suggest that least intrusive procedures (e.g. self-monitoring) produce weaker effects than more intrusive procedures (e.g. response cost, such as losing money for failing to meet exercise goals). The present, ongoing study uses a changing-criterion design in which participants self-select their own intervention contingencies. These techniques include treatments that are inexpensive or free, easy to implement, and may be likely to be continued after study participation is over (e.g. self-monitoring, public posting, social feedback, contingency contracting, etc.) Results will be discussed in terms of effectiveness and feasibility of procedures, and compliance of participants with the procedures. Descriptors: self-monitoring, contingency contracting, contingency management, self-selected consequences, adult humans.
99. Avoidance Response Affects Judgment of Cue-Outcome Contingency
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
KEITARO NUMATA (Kwansei Gakuin University), Tsuneo Shimazaki (Kwansei Gakuin University)
Abstract: The experiment with a PC-controlled videogame was conducted for the study of human contingency learning. In this experiment, participants were required to destroy invaders for increasing their score by pressing the offense button, and to avoid the invaders’ attack (i.e., outcome) which decreases their score by pressing the defense button. The invaders’ attack occurred after colored signals (i.e., cue) were presented. Two groups of participants were trained to discriminate between a warning signal (W) and a safety signal (S). 5+ group could prevent losing the score by pressing the defense button over 5 times from the onset of W to the offset of W, while 10+ group could prevent by pressing the defense button over 10 times (interval DRH schedule). At the end of a video game, all participants were asked to judge the contingency between each cue (i.e., W, S) and outcome. As a result, the number of the defense button press for W of the 5+ group was larger than that of the 10+ groups. And judgment of the 5+ group was more correct than that of the 10+ group, although the cue-outcome contingency was same. These results suggest that avoidance response affects judgment of cue-outcome contingency.
100. Switching Incrementing Chain Type in an Incremental Repeated Acquisition Procedure
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
KRISTEN AMANDA SPENCER (Auburn University), M. Christopher Newland (Auburn University)
Abstract: Rats behaved under an incremental repeated acquisition (IRA) procedure using either forward (7 animals) or backward (7 animals) chaining. A “performance” and a “learning” condition was implemented. Following several months of drug challenges (not presented here), a “crossover” phase was imposed: the animals were presented with the alternative incrementing training procedure (“forward” animals were given “backward” chaining and vice versa). Animals trained under a forward chaining procedure acquired the “performance” chain more rapidly than those under the backward chaining procedure did. For the “learning” condition, there was no difference between forward and backward chaining during initial acquisition. During the crossover phase, there was little or no decrement in either the performance or learning condition for either group. Thus, forward chaining was better for acquiring a chain that did not change from day to day. Surprisingly, after a long history of backward (or forward) chaining, crossing over to a forward (or backward) training procedure did not disrupt behavior.
101. Gambling on a Concurrent Gamble and Token Production Task
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
ANDREW E. BRANDT (Albion College), Cynthia J. Pietras (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: In many laboratory investigations of gambling, wagering is possible because participants are staked with tokens prior to the start of a session. As a result, the contingencies for wagering are dissimilar to the contingencies found in the natural environment (i.e., gamblers typically risk their own money). Moreover, there is evidence that these procedures may elevate participants’ level of risk proneness compared to when risking their personal money (see Thaler & Johnson, 1990). To test the possibility that staking participants has a similar effect on gambling (i.e., increased risk proneness), a concurrent gamble and token production task was developed in which participants could start a session without being staked with tokens, but would have the opportunity to earn tokens within the session that could also be gambled. Across two 25-min gambling sessions, 7 participants were or were not staked with tokens prior to the session. The simple main effects tests indicated that preference for the gamble option was significantly higher in the first session, but not in the second session, when gambling with staked versus earned tokens. These findings may have implications for the amount of exposure participants are given during studies of gambling.
102. Validation of the Virtual Water Maze as a Behavioral Measure of Cognitive Flexibility
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
LINDSAY MARTIN (Towson University), Amy Neal (Towson University), Rekha Tiwari (Towson University), Adam Schuman (Towson University), Charlotte Eyring (Towson University), Kerry C. Whiteman (Towson University), Alix Timko (Towson University), Bryan Devan (Towson University)
Abstract: Recent research indicates that women with Anorexia Nervosa (AN) have pronounced deficits in their ability to shift between response sets or from one stimulus to another (Tchanturia et al, 2001), potentially impairing treatment. While there are several neuropsychological measures specifically targeting cognitive flexibility, there is a paucity of behavioral measures. Given the significant clinical implications of cognitive flexibility in individuals with AN, it is necessary to develop more behavioral measures. This study hypothesizes that the Virtual Water Maze (VWM: Hamilton & Sutherland, 1999) can provide such a test. Its use as a model behavioral task will contribute to research on cognitive flexibility in humans, and its easy-to-administer, computerized format would considerably aid in future research. Before using it to inform clinical research with AN however, the validity of the VWM as a measure of cognitive flexibility must be established. This study will employ a repeated measures design, where the performance of normal college men and women on neuropsychological measures will be compared to performance during a specific VWM task. Completion of the task requires individuals to shift their 'place' response within a familiar virtual environment. Data to be collected.
103. Free Food Prevents Response Acquisition With Delayed Reinforcement Regardless of Delay Stimuli
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
ANDREW T. FOX (Central Michigan University), Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that food-paired stimuli at the end of long response-reinforcer delays can attenuate acquisition of lever-pressing in rats. In one such study, a light was paired with food that was delivered response independently on the average of once every 90 s. At the same time, a single lever press resulted in a 30-s non-resetting delay followed by reinforcer delivery. For half of the subjects, the light was also presented at the end of the 30-s delay just before food delivery; these subjects showed slower lever press acquisition than controls. The present study attempted to replicate this finding using the same procedure; however, seven out of seven subjects failed to acquire lever pressing. When the response-independent food deliveries were terminated, four out of seven subjects acquired lever pressing, two each from the experimental and control groups. All four of these subjects continued to response at similar levels when response-independent food deliveries were reinstated. Implications for the previous research and for contingency-based theories of learning are discussed.
104. Studies on the Effects of, and Relations Between, Behavioral Contingencies and Metacontingencies
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
BROOK B. WHEETLEY (University of North Texas), Leslie S. Burkett (University of North Texas)
Abstract: The theoretical concept of metacontingency was investigated in a series of experiments in an attempt to answer the question of how changes in metacontingencies affect the interrelated behavior of participants and the product resulting from those interrelations. Goals of the investigation were 1) to identify the measurable properties of cultural level entities comprising the behavior or two participants, and to study the effects of metacontingencies on those properties and 2) to study the effects of metacontingencies on the changes in the interlocking behavioral contingencies supporting the behavior of the participating individuals. Participants responded by making selections in a computer program. Participants worked in separate rooms and on separate computers which communicated with each other via a common database. A reversal design was used to analyze the frequency measures collected. Data indicate that interlocking behavior and the aggregate products that were produced were selected by the cultural level consequence in the metacontingency.
105. Reinforcement Context, Differential Delayed Emergence, and Pausing in College Students
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
KAITLYN P BRIERLEY (College of Charleston), Vanessa Minervini (College of Charleston), Adam H. Doughty (College of Charleston)
Abstract: College students were exposed to a variant of the Perone and Courtney (1992) procedure such that arbitrary-matching-to-sample trials were embedded within a two-component multiple schedule. The Rich component involved distinct non-representational forms as stimuli and 3-cent reinforcers, and the Lean component involved similar letter/number combinations and 1-cent reinforcers. The two components alternated such that there was an equal number of each transition type (e.g., rich-to-lean transition) in each session. Accuracy and latency measures were analyzed as a function of each transition type under baseline conditions. Subsequent stimulus-equivalence probes occurred after baseline-discrimination accuracy was equally high across components. Reinforcement-context effects were obtained in baseline conditions and in the stimulus-equivalence tests. Specifically, there were instances of more pronounced pausing in rich-to-lean transitions during baseline conditions. Also, there were instances of delayed emergence in the Lean, but not Rich, component (despite the absence of programmed consequences). These procedures may prove useful for wedding together the analysis of reinforcement-schedule effects with the study of complex stimulus-control effects.
106. Stimulus Modality and Rule-Governed Behavior
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
MARIO SERRANO (Universidad Veracruzana), Augustin Daniel Gomez Fuentes (Universidad Veracruzana), Enrique Zepeta Grcia (University of Veracruz), Cecilia Magdalena Molina Lpez (University of Veracruz)
Abstract: Following a group design, children observed, listened, or read the fable “The fox and the crow” and then were exposed to five functionally different tasks: a) identify true or false sentences about the fable; b) fill the blanks of uncompleted sentences about the fable; c) matching-to-sample trials in which parts of the fable served as sample and comparison stimuli; d) apply the moral maxim of the fable in hypothetical daily-life situations; and e) produce and/or explain proverbs that include the fable’s moral maxim. Percentage of correct responses decreased across tasks independently of the stimulus modality, except for the group exposed to the auditory stimulation in the conditional discrimination task. Results are discussed in relation to previous studies on verbal memory, generalized matching-to-sample, and rule-governed behavior.
107. Assessment of the Relatedness of Equivalent Stimuli Through the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
RENATO BORTOLOTI (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Abstract: Previous experiments employing a semantic differential showed that abstract stimuli acquired functions of meaningful stimuli equivalent to them, but this depended on experimental parameters such as delayed matching and nodal distance. The present work attempts to verify if the same pattern of results is achieved with the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP). Participants of two experimental groups will establish two equivalence classes comprising pictures of human faces expressing emotions and nonsense words. The classes will be established with simultaneous matching to sample trials for one group and with delayed matching to sample trials for the other. Then, some nonsense words and the faces will be respectively presented as “attributive” and target stimuli in IRAP tasks. It will be evaluated if the participants are faster in consistent IRAP trials involving attributive and target stimuli from the same equivalence class and if the delay parameter interferes in this performance. Data are being collected.



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