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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Paper Session #289
Establishing Operations and Consequences
Sunday, May 30, 2010
4:30 PM–5:50 PM
Lone Star Ballroom Salon C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EAB
Chair: Iver H. Iversen (University of North Florida)
Surrogate Establishing Operation: An Experimental Demonstration
Domain: Experimental Analysis
MATEUS BRASILEIRO PEREIRA (UNIP/PUC-SP), Tereza Maria Serio (Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Sao Paulo)
Abstract: Establishing operations (EOs) are environmental events defined by two effects: establishing a consequence as a reinforcer or a punisher and altering the frequency of any response that has been related to it. The EOs are divided in unconditioned (UEO) and conditioned (CEO), being the last ones sub-classified in surrogate, reflexive and transitive. This work had the objective of demonstrating empirically the surrogate CEO (something never done in a behavioral-analytic perspective). For this purpose, six male Wistar rats were submitted to four experimental phases: (1) determining ad lib. weight; (2) reducing daily food until subjects got to 80-85% ad lib., concomitantly with the presentation of lights during the restrained food periods; (3) VI 60s schedule at different deprivation conditions (named minimum, moderate and maximum); (4) testing the surrogate CEO. For four of six rats the rates of responding were consistently (within and among sessions) higher with lights on than with lights off, which is more visible in lower (minimum and moderate) than in higher (maximum) deprivation conditions. Data seems to suggest that, at lest for these subjects, the procedure was successful in establishing a surrogate CEO, and also that its effects interact with effects of the UEO it was paired with.
Effects of Feedback on Repeat Observations in a Detection Task
Domain: Experimental Analysis
BRENT L. ALSOP (University of Otago)
Abstract: The experiment used a signal-detection procedure analogous to a medical screening or quality control task. Three conditions arranged different feedback when observers made second observations of all of the stimuli. In each condition, some observers received feedback from their own previous performance, others received feedback from a different first observer. Feedback-type and the use of same versus different observers affected both accuracy and response bias during the repeat observations.
Schedules of Stimulus Control: Intermittent Reinforcement of the Discriminated Operant
Domain: Experimental Analysis
IVER H. IVERSEN (University of North Florida)
Abstract: Maintenance of stimulus control was explored when stimulus-response sequences are reinforced intermittently. First, rats were trained with food reinforcement to respond to a light; one response terminated the light and produced reinforcement. Trials were separated by variable intertrial intervals. Next, over several stages, the probability of reinforcement was reduced gradually in two procedures. Intertrial intervals were retained, and on trials without reinforcement, the response simply terminated the trial by light offset only. In one procedure, the probability of reinforcement was reduced to 0.1. In a second procedure, up to 50 unreinforced trials preceded one trial with 50 responses reinforced. With both procedures stimulus control was retained with very short latencies of responding to the light. Thus, stimulus control can be maintained with intermittent schedules of reinforcement. A test done in extinction assessed the extent to which the light could function as a conditioned reinforcer. A new response turned the light on, and the previous response turned the light off. Rats produced hundreds of trials without any food reinforcement by engaging the new response indicating that the light had become a powerful conditioned reinforcer. Schedules of stimulus control appear to be an understudied research area with a promise of interesting findings.



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