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

Previous Page


Poster Session #476
EAB Poster Session 5
Monday, May 31, 2010
6:00 PM–7:30 PM
Exhibit Hall A (CC)
77. Contingencies-Shaped Behavior and Rule-Governed Behavior: Children With and Without Perserverative Developmental Disorder
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
MELANIE LABERGE (L'Université du Québec à Montréal), Céline Clément (Université de Strasbourg), Jacques Forget (University de Quebec a Montreal), Melina Rivard (Universite du Quebec a Montreal)
Abstract: The “language hypothesis” proposes that, as the verbal behavior increases, there’s an evolution from contingencies-shaped behavior to a rules-governed behavior. (Lowe, 1979). Studies supporting this hypothesis would be owed to an artefact of experimental techniques (Darcheville, et al., 1993). In order to try solving this misunderstanding, the present study proposes two experiments, which use a combinaison of different reinforcement schedules (mix or multiple) and extinction. The subjects are four children aged between four and six years old: two having a perservative developmental disorder (PDD) and two without. The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (3rd edition) and Raven's Progressive Matrices are administred. In experiment A, (Hayes et al.,1986) each participant receive one rule to complete a multiple schedule followed by an extinction procedure. In experiment B (Laberge et al., 2009), it’s the comparison between behavior collected in multiple and mixed schedules which verifies the effect of the rule on behavior. Additional data to be collected. Data will be interpreted with the subject’s level to the two tests. More specifically, the language level will be correlated with the data form the reinforcement schedules.The results will help individualizing intervention programs intended for children, especially children with PDD.
78. A Modified Functional Analysis of Inappropriate Behavior Exhibited by Siblings
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
G. JOSEPH SCHLERETH (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jennifer Dawn Magnuson (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Peter Girolami (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: A functional analysis (FA) provides information regarding the variables that evoke and maintain problem behavior. When conducting an FA, it is important to create conditions that are analogous to the individual’s environment. Thus, conducting a standard assessment without consideration for the individual’s natural environment may not provide the information necessary to design effective treatments. One particular variable that may contribute to the onset and maintenance of problem behavior is the presence of a sibling. The purpose of this study was to examine the response rates observed during a modified functional analysis with a set of dizygotic twins. Sessions were alternated between conditions with each twin separately and with both twins present. Results of the functional analyses demonstrate undifferentiated responding for one twin and an escape function for the other twin. Additionally, rates of inappropriate behavior were elevated in combined conditions versus individual conditions for both participants. The occurrence of inappropriate behavior during combined conditions was analyzed for within-session trends by parsing the session into 15-sec intervals. Cumulative records of these data indicate that the twins’ inappropriate behavior occurred sequentially and suggests that the altered motivating operations present in combined sessions may have been responsible for the elevated levels of responding.
79. Assessing Motivation in Children Using a Progressive Ratio Task
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
JOHN J. CHELONIS (National Center for Toxicological Research), Seth A. Osborn (University of Arkansas at Little Rock), Claire R. Gravelin (The College at Brockport, State University of New York), Merle G. Paule (National Center for Toxicological Research)
Abstract: The relationship between age and sex on the performance of a progressive ratio task was studied in 849 children, ages 4 to 14 years. Variations of this task have been used extensively with animals and to a lesser extent with humans to study factors that affect aspects of motivation. The participants in this study were required to press a response lever for nickel reinforcers during a 10 minute period. One response was required to earn the first nickel and each subsequent nickel required 10 more responses than were necessary to earn the previous nickel. Older children made more responses on this task, had shorter inter-response times, and shorter post-reinforcement pauses than younger children. In addition, boys made more responses than girls, especially at older ages. The results of this study illustrate that both age and sex influence the performance of this task and thus suggest that age and sex influence aspects of motivation in children. Further, characterization of performance of this task by humans facilitates comparisons with animal models and, thus, enhances its translational utility.
80. The Effect of Extra Credit and Interactive Response Systems on In-Class Exam Performance
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
SAMANTHA SWINDELL (Washington State University), Thomas A. Brigham (Washington State University)
Abstract: The present study tested whether the use of interactive response systems to ask extra credit multiple-choice questions during lecture would increase in-class exam performance relative to exams for which the lecture material was not accompanied by such questions. During baseline (A), students attended PowerPoint lectures and completed an in-class exam. During the first treatment phase (B), students used hand-held remotes to earn extra credit for correct answers to multiple-choice questions. Individual responses were recorded and the class results were displayed on a PowerPoint slide immediately following each question. In the third phase (A), the use of extra credit questions was discontinued and then again reinstated during the fourth phase (B). In the fifth phase (C), students continued to respond to questions and receive feedback, but did not receive extra credit points for correct answers. During the final treatment phase, the extra credit questions were reintroduced (B). It was predicted that the opportunity to respond using the interactive system (phases B & C) would be associated with higher exam scores relative to the baseline phases (A), and this effect would be greatest when correct responses resulted in extra credit (B phases).
81. Social Discounting for Gains and Losses
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
SHAWN R. CHARLTON (University of Central Arkansas), Lori Parker (University of Central Arkansas)
Abstract: Jones and Rachlin (2006) demonstrated that the amount of an award shared with another person is dependent upon the degree of social connectedness between the sharer and the recipient Since their initial report, studies have confirmed the implications of Jones and Rachlin’s finding, as well as the variables, such as magnitude, which influence sharing behavior. However, the way in which sharing of losses is effected by social distance has been overlooked. For example, an individual’s willingness to forego a monetary gain decreases as the social connectedness felt towards another person decreases. The current study investigates both the shape of the losses function for social discounting and the ways in which this function compares to the social discounting of gains. This is accomplished by presenting participants with two social discounting tasks: one for gains ($50 for you or $75 for person Number 1 on your list) and one for losses (a $50 fine for you or a $75 fine for Person Number 2 on your list). The initial findings suggest that, similar to temporal discounting, changes in social distance are magnified for losses compared to gains. This suggests that while participants are willing to take a lesser gain so that another person can receive a larger gain, they are significantly less willing to take a loss for another person.
82. A Response-Bout Analysis of Human Random-Interval Schedule Performance
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
J. ADAM BENNETT (Western Michigan University), Megan E. McLean (Western Michigan University), Cynthia J. Pietras (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Reinforced responding has previously been conceptualized as alternating between two states: (1) periods of engagement (clusters of responding with relatively short IRTs) alternating with (2) periods of disengagement (responses separated by longer IRTs). In order to obtain quantitative estimates of these two distinct components of responding, log-survivor functions have been used to characterize nose-poke and lever-press responding in rats. This analysis, however, has yet to be effectively extended to the responding of other species. Thus, responding on a computer task was assessed in order to determine if the two-mode conceptualization of response rate adequately characterizes human responding. Adult human subjects pressed buttons which produced monetary reinforcers on a random-interval (RI) 20s schedule and the proportion of IRTs longer than some time (t) was plotted as a function of time (t) on a semi-logarithmic scale in order to construct survivor functions. Although there was some evidence that human responding might be classified as bout-like, not all data resulted in the clear 'broken-stick' functions evident in the analyses of rat nose-poke and lever-press responding.
83. Social Behavior in Situations of Uncertainty and Risk
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
STEPHANIE STILLING (Western Michigan University), Amber L. Watts (Western Michigan University), Cynthia J. Pietras (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The present research investigated human choice in situations involving environmental variability, particularly risky choice within the social context of cooperation. The current experiment first investigated the choice between working alone or working with others in situations involving unpredictable economic gains when participants were told they would be working with either another (fictitious) person or a computer. Second economic context was varied so that sometimes cooperating was optimal (positive budget condition), in that it guaranteed participants would meet the minimum earnings budget requirement every time. While other times working alone was optimal (negative budget condition), since the amount shared was inadequate to meet the minimum earnings budget requirement. A neutral condition was also examined to see if participants would cooperate when there was no monetary requirement. Participants responded on a computer task for hypothetical earnings exchangeable for real money. Preliminary results show that participants responded the same regardless of whether they were told that they were working with another person or a computer. In addition, participants responded optimally during the negative budget condition, while responding was suboptimal in the positive budget condition. These results contribute to the understanding of how environmental context influences cooperation.
84. Experimental Manipulation of Delay Discounting: Implications for Subsequent Gambling-Like Behavior
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
JEFF S. STEIN (University of Kansas), Patrick S. Johnson (University of Kansas), Monica T. Francisco (University of Kansas), Adam T. Brewer (University of Kansas), Shannon L. Tierney (University of Kansas), Gregory J. Madden (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Previous researchers report a positive correlation between high rates of delay discounting and pathological gambling (PG); however, it is currently unclear if high rates of discounting are causally related to PG. If so, then experimentally decreasing rate of delay discounting should also decrease preference for gambling-like (i.e., variable) schedules of reinforcement. The present study seeks to decrease rates of delay discounting in Lewis rats using a modified delay fading procedure. In this procedure, experimental rats (n=12) complete more than 200 training sessions in which the delay to a smaller-sooner reinforcer is gradually faded to 0 s while the delay to a larger-later reinforcer remains static. Control rats (n=12) do not receive this training, but complete an equal number of sessions as their matched experimental rats. Following training and a delay discounting assessment, between-group differences in relative preference for variable (over fixed) schedules of reinforcement will be assessed. Additional data to be collected.
85. Effects of a Response Dependent Reinforcement History on Response Rate Under Response Independent Reinforcement and on Reestablishment Under Response Dependent Reinforcement
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
KARINA BERMUDEZ (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Carlos A. Bruner (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico)
Abstract: The effect of two different histories of reinforcement on response rate was examined. In a first phase of the experiment three rats were exposed to a tandem RI (random interval) 8 s FT (fixed time) 8 s reinforcement schedule while another three rats were exposed to a yoked RI 16 s reinforcement schedule. Another three rats were exposed to a tandem RI 8 s FT 8 s reinforcement schedule while another three rats were exposed to a yoked RI 8 s VT (variable time) 8 s reinforcement schedule. In a second phase all rats were exposed to a RT (random time) 16 s reinforcement schedule. In a third phase the rats were exposed to the same reinforcement schedules as in the first phase. After a history of dependent reinforcement response rate decreased for all rats under independent reinforcement. This effect was more pronounced for rats exposed to immediate reinforcement in the first phase than for rats under delayed reinforcement. Response rate re-establishment under dependent reinforcement was not affected by the history of independent reinforcement. In addition, an important finding was that obtained response-reinforcer interval systematically controlled response rate through all phases, suggesting that although the programmed contingencies were different involve a common effect between them controlled by response-reinforcer proximity.
86. Between-Session Positive Behavioral Contrast as an Animal Model of Pathological Gambling
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
SHAWN SEYEDAIN-ARDABILI (McNeese State University), Benjamin J. Parker (McNeese State University), Cam L. Melville (McNeese State University)
Abstract: Animal models of substance absue have been used successfully to describe the environmental conditions that control these important behaviors (e.g., Koob, 2000). Animal models of other addictive behaviors such as pathological gambling have not been developed. Positive behavioral contrast is an attractive potential animal model of pathological gambling. One of the central behavioral characteristics of pathological gambling is chasing the bet in which gambling behavior increases following exposure to losses. Similarly, positive behavioral contrast refers to an icnrease in responding following exposure to reduced rates of reinforcement. The present study asks if positive contrast will be observed when signaled time-outs (losses) replace programmed reinforcers during the contrast phase of the procedure. Five male Long-Evans rats pressed levers in a between session contrast procedure. In the baseline, a mulitple variable-ration 15 variable-ratio 15 schedule delivered reinforcers for lever pressing. In the contrast phase, during the second component of the multiple schedule, 90% of the programmed reinforcers scheduled by the variable ratio schedule were replaced by five-second timeouts. Positive behavioral contrast was observed. Implications for an animal model of pathological gambling are presented.
87. Comparing Functional Outcomes Between Verbal and Tangible Concurrent Operants Assessments
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JEFFREY R. LUKE (University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Iowa)
Abstract: Recent research in the area of stimulus-preference assessment has progressively improved the efficiency of this technology for predicting reinforcer potency by using verbal rather than “in vivo” tangible assessments. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of using a verbal assessment interview to indicate preferences. Two types of preference assessments were conducted for each individual: verbal choice and “in vivo” choice. During the verbal choice assessment, participants were asked, ‘‘Do you want to do X or Y ?’’ and the items/activities were not presented. In the “in vivo” choice assessment, the participant was asked to participate in the actual choice. Results indicated the two assessments yielded similar results for many of the participants. However, the verbal assessment was typically completed in less time than the tangible assessment. Implications of these findings with respect to developing treatment recommendations will be discussed. IOA was collected on at least 20% of all assessments and agreement scores averaged above 90%.
88. Foraging for Food in Closed and Open Economies: Changes in Global Prey Density
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
ROBERTO P. MACIEL (Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara), Felipe Cabrera (Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara)
Abstract: Four rats were exposed to an open or a closed economy situation while foraged for food in a radial arm maze (RAM). Eight pieces of food were available according to a Concurrent Fixed Interval schedule of reinforcement (CONC FI) and were delivered to the rats, one pellet in each arm, when pressing a lever at the end of the arms of the RAM. The FI values changed from short (FI 60 s) to large (FI 960 s) durations in a time horizon of 11 hours at day. This preparation allowed assessing the locomotion, focal behaviors, and the strategy of searching for food when the environment fluctuates between extremely poor or extremely rich conditions. Results showed that rats in the closed economy considerably changed their response strategies reducing the traveling rate, with an outcome that allowed them to maximize the food intake and minimize the energy expenditure. Otherwise, rats in open economy did not optimize the response strategy, decreasing the global food intake.
89. Bringing Rats Back to Work: Effects of Delivering a Qualitatively Novel Reinforcer on Response Reinstatement
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
TOSHIKAZU KURODA (West Virginia University), Alicia Roca (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Tariq Najih Al-Dwaikat (West Virginia University), Kennon A. Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Operant responding can be recovered after extinction following the response-independent delivery of a reinforcer previously associated with responding. This behavioral phenomenon, known as response reinstatement, has been interpreted as an effect of the discriminative stimulus function of the reinforcer, in addition to its reinforcing effect. Franks and Lattal (1976), for example, showed relatively higher response recovery following a history of variable-ratio (VR) schedule than that of differential-reinforcement-of-low-rate (DRL). In the present experiment we examined the effects of delivering a novel reinforcer on response reinstatement. Lever pressing by four rats was reinforced with food pellets according to a VR schedule. Once responding had been established, an extinction procedure was in effect. Following extinction, either food pellets or a qualitatively novel reinforcer (sweetened condensed milk) was delivered independently of the rats’ behavior, according to a yoked variable-time schedule. The presentation order of both reinforcers was counterbalanced across subjects. Data are being collected at this time.
90. The Relationship Between Discounting and the Sharing Game
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
BRADLEY GOSSETT (University of Central Arkansas), Shawn R. Charlton (University of Central Arkansas)
Abstract: Performance on temporal discounting measures correlates with the degree of cooperation in an iterated prisoner’s dilemma. This relationship is interpreted as evidence that discounting is involved in social behavior. Unfortunately, this conclusion is limited as the relationship has only been tested with the prisoner’s dilemma. The current study investigates the relationship between temporal discounting and Kennelly and Fantino’s Sharing Game. In the Sharing game, participants choose between two pairs of offers. For example: (A) $5 for you and $7 for the other person or (B) $4 for you and $2 for the other person. As shown here, the cost of choosing option A is that the other person earns more than the participant. However, choosing B, where the participant earns more than the other, produces less money than choosing option A. Results from this study indicate no correlation between performance in the Sharing Game and the temporal discounting task. However, completing the temporal discounting task prior to the Sharing Game produced significantly more optimal responding than when the Sharing Game preceded the discounting task. The significance of this interaction is discussed.
91. The Effects of Jackpot Reinforcers Under a Switching-Key Concurrent Schedule
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
EZRA GARTH HALL (West Virginia University), Toshikazu Kuroda (West Virginia University), Kennon A. Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: The concept of jackpot reinforcers has been described as a larger than normal presentation of food delivered contingently on a response (Burch & Bailey, 1999; Pryor, 2006). A jackpot reinforcer delivery has been inconsistent in description and application, but its effect can generally be described as producing an increase in some dimension of behavior. Moreover, few empirical studies have been conducted and these studies have been unsuccessful in finding the described effect. The current study is examining the effects of a jackpot reinforcer delivered under concurrent variable-interval schedules. Two experimentally naïve White Carneau pigeons are serving. A Findley (1958) switching-key procedure is used to alternate between green and red stimuli. A Stubbs and Pliskoff (1969) procedure allows 18 reinforcers to be delivered quasi-randomly to each of the two stimuli for a total of 36 reinforcers per session. During reinforcement, pigeons will have 2-s access to mixed grain. Jackpot reinforcement is defined as 8-s access to mixed grain and will parametrically replace one, three, and nine 2-s reinforcer deliveries across conditions on one specified stimulus. Data is currently being collected.
92. “Psychological Appetite” or Schedule-Induced Deprivation
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
APRIL M. BECKER (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to investigate a procedure called “psychological appetite” that is used in animal training to increase the effectiveness of food reinforcers without using direct deprivation. The procedure has not been tested in the laboratory and little or no research (direct or tangential) can suggest evidence for or against its potential efficacy. Using a pigeon trained to keypeck, this experiment compares a standard laboratory deprivation procedure to the “psychological appetite” procedure (IV), the latter of which involves short periods of deprivation followed by slow returns to weights close to or above the ad-lib weight. During this process, animal trainers claim that the rate of response stays high. Thus, this experiment measures the rate of response on an FR 15 schedule at given percentages of ad-lib body weight (DV) for both standard deprivation and “psychological appetite” procedures. If the experiment produces useful procedures for increasing reinforcer effectiveness, the results may be important in applied settings and also may suggest further basic research into the variables affecting reinforcer effectiveness. Results are pending.
93. Reinforcers Signal Future Contingencies of Reinforcement
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
SARAH J. COWIE (University of Auckland), Michael C. Davison (University of Auckland), Douglas Elliffe (University of Auckland), Jason Landon (Auckland University of Technology)
Abstract: Do changes in local choice following reinforcers on concurrent schedules reflect "reinforcement"? Recent research suggests that stimulus presentations, including food delivery, may signal future behavior-food contingencies, rather than increasing the probability of the behavior that produced the last food. In the present experiment, overall concurrent variable-interval reinforcers were held equal on 2 alternatives. Over conditions, we arranged that the probability that the next food would be obtained sooner on the just-productive alternative, or sooner on the not-just-productive alternative, or sooner on a specific alternative. Post-food preference was jointly controlled by the likely time and location of the next food as signalled by the just-obtained food, as well as by the complexity of this signalling. It was not controlled by the location of the just-produced reinforcer.
94. Reactive and Active Language Upon Rule-Governed Behavior
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
SUCEL MORAN ROMERO (Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara), Emilio Ribes Iñesta (Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara)
Abstract: Four experiments evaluated the effects of reactive language upon active language. During training children observed, listened, read, observed and listened or observed and read a fable and then were exposed to hypothetical daily-life situations. During the generalization phase, the same procedure was in effect but feedback was omitted. Performance in the generalization phase decreased across kinds of active language but increased across kinds of reactive language and its combinations. Results are discussed in relation to previous studies on verbal memory and rule-governed behavior.
95. Extinction Differences Between Trained and Novel Responses Controlled by Compound Stimuli in Rats
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Fredy A. Mora Gámez (Fundación Universitaria Konrad Lorenz), ERICA ALEJANDRA BERTEL FERREIRA (Fundacion Universitaria Konrad Lorenz)
Abstract: An experiment was conducted with 24 rats in order to compare the effect of compound stimuli on trained and novel responses and to analyze the effects of extinction in such responses. In the first part of the experiment, subjects were trained in three single discriminative tasks involving movement and lever pressing in the presence of three different lights. A test phase was then implemented in which multiple stimuli combinations were presented without reinforcement. Untrained responses such as lever pressing in untrained levers, and mixed topographies such as incomplete lever pressing while moving towards a reinforced area were observed; there were also other significant changes in trained responses such as lever pressing and movement. After a retraining period, a second phase was carried out with the same subjects; these were randomly assigned to three different extinction conditions and changes on observed responses during the first part of the procedure were registered; results suggest that novel responses were more resistant to extinction.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh