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.

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47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Program by Invited Events: Sunday, May 30, 2021


 

Invited Paper Session #182
CE Offered: BACB
Fido, No! Using Principles From Behaviour Analysis to Investigate Canine Undesired Behaviour, Owner Training, and Interventions
Sunday, May 30, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: AAB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Erica N. Feuerbacher (Virginia Tech)
CE Instructor: Nicole Pfaller-Sadovsky, M.S.
Presenting Author: NICOLE PFALLER-SADOVSKY (Queen's University Belfast)
Abstract:

Dog ownership has been shown to provide many benefits to humans, such as increased and regular walking, improved cardiovascular health, as well as increased social interactions. However, dogs can display behaviours that are problematic for their owners and their respective social environment. Such behaviours include jumping up on people or aggressive responses toward other individuals. In an effort to alleviate their dogs’ problematic behaviour, owners often reach out to companion animal behaviourists or trainers. However, the interventions’ effectiveness and their outcomes can be variable, especially if there are a lack of resources, such as time, skills, and finances. Unresolved problem behaviour in dogs often leads to a breakdown of the owner-dog relationship and may result in relinquishment and euthanasia. Therefore, our research is aimed at investigating the characteristics of behavioural interventions that may contribute to their ease of implementation and effectiveness (e.g., clicker training and time-based delivery of reinforcers). This presentation will introduce our work on systematically testing intervention components, such as modelling or feedback. We identified variables maintaining problematic behaviour through functional behaviour assessments, and implemented interventions based on respective information. Attendees will learn about the effectiveness of different intervention components, the time-based response-independent delivery of reinforcers (i.e., noncontingent reinforcement) and clicker training.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Applied behaviour analysts, animal behaviourists, students, and dog owners

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation attendees will be able to: (1) identify intervention components that increase effectiveness; (2) discuss the time-based response-independent presentation of a reinforcer (noncontingent reinforcement) with dogs; (3) discuss the implementation and effectiveness of clicker training.
 
NICOLE PFALLER-SADOVSKY (Queen's University Belfast)

As a long-time dog owner (since 1994) and a “Dog Trainer Certified According to Animal Welfare and Protection Legislation” (awarded by the Austrian Ministry of Health and the Messerli Research Institute), Nicole founded her own dog training business in 2008, Happy-Fellow® Coaching & Seminars. Since then she has worked with a range of clients whose dogs display problematic behaviours, such as fear-related behaviour, inter- and intraspecific aggression or stereotypic behaviours. Additionally to her work as a behaviour consultant, Nicole frequently teaches retrieving classes as a fun and stimulating activity for all dogs but also for dog-owner teams participating in retriever-specific competitions. Nicole holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Animal Behaviour from the University of Portsmouth (UK) and a MSc degree in Applied Behaviour Analysis from Queen’s University Belfast (UK). Currently, Nicole is working toward her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in Behaviour Analysis at Queen’s University Belfast. She conducts research on canine learning, human-dog interactions and owner training from a behaviour-analytic perspective.

 
 
Invited Paper Session #183
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Beyond Intervention: How Behaviour Analysis Can Contribute to an Understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Sunday, May 30, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University)
CE Instructor: Francesca Degli Espinosa, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: FRANCESCA DEGLI ESPINOSA (ABA Clinic)
Abstract:

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is one of the most researched conditions within the field of psychology and education. While ABA-based early intervention is considered the most effective evidence-based comprehensive approach to increase skills and reduce problem behaviour in young children affected by ASD, behaviour analysis has yet to provide an analysis of the unique repertoires of children with autism. Instead, the most widely accepted explanations of learning deficits associated with ASD are almost exclusively non-behavioural. In this talk I will discuss the importance of a behavioural account for understanding the unique challenges associated with ASD. At minimum, such an account must be able to address three areas of cognition, widely understood to be compromised in ASD: joint attention, theory of mind, and executive functioning. Developing a comprehensive behavioural conceptual framework that addresses these areas would give behaviour analysis a seat at a table traditionally occupied by other disciplines. Behaviour analysis may then be seen not merely as a collection of techniques to decrease problem behavior or to produce isolated skills.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

behaviour analysts, speech and language therapists, education professionals

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss mainstream autism theories; (2) discuss syndrome-specific ASD deficits; (3) analyze impairments characteristic of ASD.
 
FRANCESCA DEGLI ESPINOSA (ABA Clinic)
Francesca Degli Espinosa, Ph.D, BCBA-D, is director and consultant at ABA Clinic Ltd., adjunct professor at the University of Salerno, and a guest lecturer at Queen's College, Belfast, and Pennsylvania State University. 
 
 
Invited Paper Session #185
CE Offered: BACB
Using Contingency Management and Behavioral Economics to Study Health-Related Behavior
Sunday, May 30, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Michele R. Traub (St. Cloud State University)
CE Instructor: Michele R. Traub, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: WENDY DONLIN WASHINGTON (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract:

Humans are fortunate, in that their behavior can greatly impact their health. Many behaviors can promote health, wellness, and longevity (e.g., physical activity, healthy food choice, and treatment compliance.) However, there are also behaviors that negatively impact health and wellness (e.g., alcohol consumption, sedentary behavior, unhealthy food choices, risky sexual behavior). Unfortunately, the “unhealthy” behaviors are often associated with immediate and highly probable reinforcers, while the “healthy” behaviors have delayed and uncertain reinforcers. Two areas within behavior analysis can inform this competing reinforcer problem: contingency management and behavioral economics. Behavioral economic approaches allow researcher to characterize the value of reinforcers for health-related behaviors. Contingency management research primarily focuses on the use of differential reinforcement of health-promoting behaviors. This presentation will give brief backgrounds on these two areas in the context of health promotion. Data will be presented highlighting factors that impact the efficacy and feasibility of these interventions (e.g., reinforcer type, immediacy of consequences, cost of intervention, goal-setting criteria, and length of intervention.)

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students. 

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify and operationally define health promoting behaviors; (2) describe at least 3 essential features for designing effective contingency management interventions; (3) Select behavioral economic measures that can characterize engagement in health promoting behaviors; (4) describe factors that increase the dissemination of behavioral interventions for health.
 
WENDY DONLIN WASHINGTON (University of North Carolina Wilmington)

Dr. Wendy Donlin Washington is an associate professor of Psychology at University of North Carolina Wilmington. She received her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Auburn University under the direction of Dr. Christopher Newland, and then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine working with Kenneth Silverman and Maxine Stitzer in developing behavioral treatments for drug abuse. She has conducted research in the areas of contingency management, behavioral toxicology and pharmacology, and behavioral economics. Her current research has focused on using behavioral interventions, like contingency management, to treat health related behaviors such as drug use and physical activity. She has served as Membership Board Coordinator for ABAI since 2016, is on the board of editors for Perspectives on Behavioral Science and Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

 
 
Invited Paper Session #212
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Problematic Mobile Phone Use as Impulsive Choice: A Behavioral Economic Approach
Sunday, May 30, 2021
10:00 AM–10:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Erik Arntzen (Oslo Metropolitan University)
CE Instructor: Yusuke Hayashi, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: YUSUKE HAYASHI (Pennsylvania State University, Hazleton)
Abstract:

Mobile phone use is ubiquitous in our society. While some people use it in a reasonable manner, others use it excessively and/or in a problematic manner (e.g., while driving). In this presentation, I will discuss what behavior analysis can do with the societal issue of problematic mobile phone use. From a behavioral economic perspective, problematic mobile phone use is fundamentally a choice controlled by competing reinforcement and/or punishment contingencies that involve a trade-off between multiple consequences (e.g., a smaller-sooner reinforcer vs. a larger-later reinforcer). Based on this conceptualization, I will illustrate how some behavioral economics principles, such as delay/probability discounting and demand analysis, can be utilized to understand, predict, and potentially control some forms of problematic mobile phone use, such as texting while driving, media multitasking, and excessive social media use. I will also argue that this conceptualization of problematic mobile phone use as choice can direct our attention to identifying the environmental/contextual variables that affect the choice, and that this conceptual/philosophical framework, along with strong data, is what behavior analysis can offer to other disciplines in an effort to combat the societal issue of problematic mobile phone use.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

basic and applied behavior analysts; graduate students

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define problematic mobile phone use as an impulsive choice; (2) describe how delay/probability/social discounting and demand analysis can be applied to problematic mobile phone use; (3) describe how behavior analysis can contribute to predicting and controlling problematic mobile phone use.
 
YUSUKE HAYASHI (Pennsylvania State University, Hazleton)

Yusuke Hayashi is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the Pennsylvania State University, Hazleton. His current research interests lie in understanding basic behavioral processes, such as sensitivity to delayed/probabilistic reinforcers and valuation of reinforcers, as well as translating basic principles to solve societal problems, such as problematic mobile phone use. He completed a pre-doctoral fellowship at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health as well as a post-doctoral training at the University of Kansas. He earned his Ph.D. in psychology from West Virginia University, his M.S. in behavior analysis from the University of North Texas, and his B.A. in history from Keio University in Tokyo, Japan (his unofficial minor was behavior analysis, though). He also enjoyed his carrier as an IT engineer before he crossed the ocean and headed toward Texas. Dr. Hayashi is currently an associate editor of European Journal of Behavior Analysis and an editorial board member of Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. He is active in publishing his work outside of behavior analysis, hoping to maximize the impact that behavior analysis can make on our society.

 
 
Invited Paper Session #224A
CE Offered: BACB
The Medical and Biological Complexity of Autism
Sunday, May 30, 2021
11:00 AM–11:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Doreen Granpeesheh (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
CE Instructor: Doreen Granpeesheh, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: RICHARD FRYE (Phoenix Children's Hospital)
Abstract:

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a behaviorally defined disorder. We are learning that ASD is associated with many medical co-occurring conditions such as sleep problems, gastrointestinal disorders, seizures, allergies, and anxiety, just to name a few. In addition, we are learning that there are underlying biological abnormalities with how the cells and body work. These medical and biological abnormalities may not only be related to ASD symptoms but, most importantly, may be impeding successful habilitation if they are not addressed. Thus, a multidisciplinary medical approach is necessary to evaluate and treat ASD in order to provide optimal outcomes.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Educational and behavior therapists.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) recognize that many children with autism are medically complex with many closely associated medical conditions; (2) understand that medical conditional that may co-occur with autism influence the individual response to educational and behavioral treatment; (3) understand that biological abnormalities in the way in which the cells in the body work can affect the way in which individuals respond to educational and behavioral treatment; (4) recognize that a multidisciplinary medical approach to the evaluation and treatment of autism may be needed to provide optimal outcomes; (5) recognize that there are medical treatments may be needed to complement educational and behavior therapy.
 
RICHARD FRYE (Phoenix Children's Hospital)

Dr. Richard Frye is a Child Neurologist with expertise in neurodevelopmental and neurometabolic disorders. He received an MD and Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University and completed his Child Neurology Residency and Fellowship in Behavioral Neurology and Learning Disabilities at Harvard University/Children’s Hospital Boston. He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and serves on several editorial boards. He has conducted several clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of safe and novel treatments that target underlying physiological abnormalities in children with ASD. He is the Chief of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

 
 
Invited Paper Session #241
CE Offered: BACB
Prompting, Stimulus Control, Error Correction: What’s Your Teaching Ritual?
Sunday, May 30, 2021
12:00 PM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: AUT
Chair: Kelly M. Schieltz (University of Iowa)
CE Instructor: Andy Bondy, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: ANDY BONDY (Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc.)
Abstract:

The terms stimulus, response, and stimulus control are derived from the experimental literature. The term "prompt" arose within the applied field. There are many conceptual and logical errors in how trainers use these terms that often lead to ineffectual lessons. Similar problems can be found regarding error correction strategies and those that are described as "errorless." We will review many popular teaching strategies, including fading, most-to-least, least-to-most, etc., several error-correction strategies and a host of strategies described as "errorless teaching." The goal is to shake up many long-held and cherished beliefs about common teaching strategies.

Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define stimulus control and its importance is lesson design; (2) distinguish between prompt and cue; (3) describe the logical difference between fading and most-to-least (or least-to-most) strategies; (4) describe how stimulus control is important for error correction; (5) describe advantages and disadvantages related to "errorless learning."
 
ANDY BONDY (Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc.)
Andy Bondy, Ph.D., has more than 40 years of experience working with children and adults with autism and related developmental disabilities. For more than a dozen years he served as the director of a statewide public school program for students with autism. He and his wife, Lori Frost, pioneered the development of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). He designed the Pyramid Approach to Education as a comprehensive combination of broad-spectrum behavior analysis and functional communication strategies. He is a co-founder of Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc., an internationally based team of specialists from many fields working together to promote integration of the principles of applied behavior analysis within functional activities and an emphasis on developing functional communication skills.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #292
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Alternating Treatments Designs: Interpretation Errors and Solutions
Sunday, May 30, 2021
4:00 PM–4:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: EDC; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Robin Codding (Northeastern University)
CE Instructor: Robin Codding, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: CHRISTOPHER SKINNER (The Univesity of Tennessee)
Abstract:

Alternating treatments designs can be used to evaluate multiple interventions and compare interventions. This presentation will address common interpretation errors that are associated with standard alternating treatments designs and propose solutions for each type of error. First, the presentation will focus on how researchers frequently conclude that an intervention or multiple interventions were effective, when changes may have been caused by uncontrolled threats to internal validity. A design solution to this problem, including a no-treatments series during the alternating treatments phase, will be described and analyzed. Next, the presentation will focus on misinterpretation associated with cumulative learning data. A proposed solution to this problem focus on supplementing repeated measures cumulative learning figures with figures that plot learning per session data. Discussion focuses on applied strengths of alternating treatments designs, effect size analysis, and how interpretation errors can adversely affect consumers of applied science.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

researchers, graduate students, consumers of research

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify similarities between A-B phase designs and standard alternating treatments design where both interventions are similarly effective; (2) employ a no-treatment control series during an alternating treatments phase can allow one to better control for threat to internal validity; (3) identify interpretation error associate with alternating treatment designs when cumulative learning is depicted on repeated measures graphs; (4) enhance their visual and effect size analysis by supplementing cumulative learning graphs with learning per sessions graphs.
 
CHRISTOPHER SKINNER (The Univesity of Tennessee)

Christopher H. Skinner received his Ph.D. in School Psychology program from Lehigh University in 1989. While at Lehigh, he served as a special education teaching assistant for elementary students with Autism and as a teacher for 10th grade students with emotional/behavioral disorders. After finishing his Ph.D., Skinner was an assistant professor at The University of Alabama (3 years) and coordinator of School Psychology Programs at Mississippi State University (7 years) and The University of Tennessee (15 years). Currently, he is Professor at The University of Tennessee and teaches graduate courses in the School Psychology and Behavior Analysis programs. Skinner has co-authored over 200 peer-refereed journal articles and earned three national research awards including the Fred S. Keller Award for empirically validating interventions. Skinner’s accomplishments can be directly traced to his work with exceptional graduate students and practitioners. He is happiest when he is partnering with his students to work with educational professional to remedy presenting behavior or academic problems, while also conducting applied research. To simultaneously accomplish these goals, Skinner and his collaborators have relied single-subject design procedures.

 

 
 
Invited Paper Session #301A
CE Offered: BACB
Don Baer Lecture: Common Purpose: Promoting Multisector Collaboration to Address Disparities Through a Behavioral Community Approach
Sunday, May 30, 2021
5:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Mychal Machado (University of Alaska Anchorage)
CE Instructor: Susan Wilczynski, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: JOMELLA WATSON-THOMPSON (University of Kansas)
Abstract:

There is increased attention to problems of societal concern that may disproportionately affect marginalized populations and communities. Disparities in access to services and cultural adaptations for underserved populations persists as a challenge in the field. The importance of addressing social determinants of health or common underlying factors that serve as setting events is discussed. Collaborative opportunities to address large-scale societal problems through cross-sector and multidisciplinary collaboration between applied behavior analysis and other disciplines including community psychology, prevention science, and public health are explored. As an example, a multisector collaboration to address youth violence using a behavioral community approach is presented. The presentation examines strengths, challenges, and opportunities to advance common goals for supporting change and improvements in population-level outcomes through multisector collaboration.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Those interested in addressing large-scale societal problems.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss the importance of multisector and cross-disciplinary collaboration to address large-scale problems of social significance; (2) discuss the importance of addressing social determinants and disparities related to large-scale societal problems through shared goals and agenda setting; (3) identify examples of the application of behavioral approaches to address social problems through cross-sector collaboration.
 
JOMELLA WATSON-THOMPSON (University of Kansas)
Dr. Jomella Watson-Thompson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science, and the Director of the Center for Service Learning at the University of Kansas. She is also affiliated with the Center for Community Health and Development. She attained a Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychology and a Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Kansas. She applies behavioral science methods and interventions to improve how communities address issues related to community health and development. Her research has focused on behavioral-community approaches to neighborhood development, substance abuse prevention, and youth and community violence prevention. Dr. Thompson supports community-engaged scholarship using participatory approaches to address social determinants or factors that may contribute to disparities, particularly for marginalized groups and communities. She has researched the effects of community-based processes and behavioral-community interventions to promote mobilization and change in communities. Dr. Thompson has received numerous funding awards and co-authored articles on community capacity-building, youth and neighborhood development, and adolescent substance abuse and youth and community violence prevention. She is as an Associate Editor with Behavior and Social Issues and serves on the ABAI Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Board.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #306
CE Offered: BACB
Translational OBM Research and Its Relevance for Practice
Sunday, May 30, 2021
5:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Byron J. Wine (The Faison Center)
CE Instructor: Florence DiGennaro Reed, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: FLORENCE DIGENNARO REED (University of Kansas)
Abstract:

The roles of basic and applied research have been the subject of much discussion in behavior analysis in recent years (e.g., Sidman, 2011). One view contends that innovation is possible through a translational research paradigm that synthesizes “basic and applied questions, literatures, and methods” (Mace & Critchfield, 2010, p. 293). This presentation will use Pasteur’s quadrant as a backdrop to describe the infrastructure of an OBM research laboratory designed to span the continuum of basic-to-applied research. To showcase the value of translational OBM research and its relevance for practice, data from use-inspired basic and applied research will be shared.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

scientists, researchers, graduate students, OBM practitioners

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define translational research; (2) describe the role of translational research in scientific discovery and addressing socially important problems in the workplace; (3) discuss results of studies using a translational research approach to inform practice issues.
 
FLORENCE DIGENNARO REED (University of Kansas)

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed, a board certified behavior analyst, received a doctorate in school psychology from Syracuse University. She also completed a clinical post-doctoral fellowship at the Institute for Child Development and a pre-doctoral internship in clinical psychology at the May Center for Education and Neurorehabilitation and the May Center for Child Development. Presently, Florence is an Associate Professor in and Chairperson of the Department of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas where she directs the Performance Management Laboratory. Her research examines effective and efficient staff training and performance improvement practices. Florence has published nearly 90 articles and book chapters and two edited books on a variety of topics including training, performance management, assessment, and intervention. Moreover, she has been an Associate Editor for Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Journal of Behavioral Education, and Behavior Analysis in Practice.

 

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