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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Poster Session #206
DEV Sun noon
Sunday, May 25, 2014
12:00 PM–2:00 PM
W375a-d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
63. The Effects of a Face Conditioning Procedure on Inducing Listener Behavior and Observing Responses in Children With Autism
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
Suzzanna Javed (Teachers College, Columbia University), Gabrielle Sweeney (Teachers College, Columbia University), MARIA GARCIA (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: We tested the effects of the face conditioning procedure on inducing listener behavior and observing responses in three children with autism. The experiment was conducted in a CABAS classroom using a non-concurrent multiple probe design across 3 participants who functioned at pre-listener/pre-speaker levels of verbal behavior. The first probe conducted was a checklist for 10 observing responses and the second probe conducted was a 5-min 5-s whole interval unconsequated talking probe to determine attention to adult presence. Both pre-probes demonstrated that the participants did not have faces or voices as a conditioned reinforcer. The independent variable was the acquisition of conditioned reinforcement for adult faces and/or listening to adult voices using conjugate reinforcement. The dependent variables were observing responses and listener behaviors. The results demonstrated that after the face conditioning protocol was implemented, observing responses and listener behaviors increased and learn units-to-criterion decreased for all three participants.
64. The Effects of Auditory Match to Sample on Echoics for Children diagnosed with Autism.
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
Suzzanna Javed (Teachers College, Columbia University), YOUNGBIN KIM (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: We tested the effects of Auditory Match-to-Sample on echoic responses in children diagnosed with autism. Four participants were selected because they did not have point-to-point correspondence for the target sounds and words provided on 80% of the pre-probes conducted. The participants functioned at an emergent-listener/emergent-speaker levels of verbal behavior.The design implemented for the study was a non-concurrent multiple probe design across participants. The independent variable was the basic auditory matching protocol. The auditory MTS Flash program was used during intervention sessions. The dependent variables were the full and partial echoics measured during pre-and post-probes. The results demonstrated an increase in full and partial echoics for all the participants.
65. Establishing the Behavioral Function of Video Game Addiction-Revised: Utilization of the Video Game Functional Assessment (VGFA-R)
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
FRANK D. BUONO (Southern Illinois University), Matthew E Sprong (Southern Illinois University), James Bordieri (Southern Illinois University-Carbondale)
Abstract: Abstract Video game addiction has been gaining attention over the last decade. Professionals in the behavioral sciences have been trying to define this addiction and increase literature in attempt to understand this phenomenon. Little research of understanding the behavioral functions of video game play has been conducted. The purpose of this study was to construct a revised edition of the Video Game Functional Assessment (VGFA-R), that will better will explain video game behaviors, including attention maintained, sensory maintained, escape maintained, and tangible maintained. An Exploratory Factor Analysis was utilized to identify four factors on 230 individuals who play video games. A Principal Components Analysis was utilized to represent the variance accounted for by each underlying factor. After factor loadings were performed, another Factor analysis was conducted utilizing equimax rotation and pattern matrix to observe the relationship between each factor and variable uncontaminated by the overlap between the factors. A correlation analysis revealed a range of positive correlations between .648 and .900. Discussion and implications are provided.
66. Participants in bullying and the Resource Control Theory
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
ANA DEL R. CERVANTES- HERRERA (Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes), Francisco Javier Pedroza Cabrera (Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes)
Abstract: The bullying behavior is in itself one of the topics of greatest growth in the field of psychology last decades, mostly because bullying arise from an early age and involves the issuance of aversive behavior of a particular subject to another in a school context. It is because of this boom that researches has identified the different participants and the variety of morphologies in which this problem can be presented. However, so far it has not managed to present a descriptive model of development. A job that can approach overcome this difficulty is the Resource Control Theory, which is based on principles of evolution postulates four basic strategies for obtaining resources. These strategies are developed as does the interaction style and are compatible with the behavior described in far different in the participants in bullyig episodes. This paper aims to show the feasibility of using this theory as an explanatory model of bullying behavior, through the results of the application of an experimental task based on this theory to 14 adolescents located as participants in bullying episodes. Differences in resource control styles presented by the different participants thereby supporting the use of theory as an explanatory model were found
67. Observation of Social Interaction in Bullying Adolescents
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
ANA DEL R. CERVANTES- HERRERA (Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes), Francisco Javier Pedroza Cabrera (Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes)
Abstract: Bullying is a category of aggressive behavior that occurs in school settings that often lasts for more than one stage of development, with consequences ranging from school dropouts to suicide . This is why it is important to know not only the morphology of the episodes themselves but comprehensively meet the social interactions of individuals who engage in such conduct. The present work shows the results of eight sessions of 15 minutes of direct classroom observation to 4 teens located as aggressors in bullying episodes . Data were collected through observation code with nine behaviors including academic activity, the beginnings of interaction from the focal subject or other participants, interactions and whether these are coercive or prosocial. The results show the emission of coercive conduct by all participants, as well as long periods of time away from academic activities. These results suggest that the emission of aggressive behavior by these adolescents are not limited to bullying episodes and which may involve a generalization of aggressive behavior in more than one setting, as well as its use in more than a morphology more for a particular purpose.
68. An Evolutionary-Behavioral-Developmental Theory of Stage Development Based on Knowledge of Tool Usage
Area: DEV; Domain: Basic Research
SAGUN GIRI (Dare Association, Inc.), Michael Lamport Commons (Harvard Medical School), William Joseph Harrigan (Harvard University)
Abstract: Participants were individuals in remote rural parts of Nepal with no schooling who were nonliterate adults. The study tested behavioral stage of development using an evolutionarily universal variable: knowledge on usage of kitchen, farm, and construction tools. The interviews about tool usage were scored using behavioral stage from the Hierarchical Complexity Scoring Scheme (HCSS). The traditional mentalistic stage measures, that are not free of cultural and educational bias, only found concrete behavioral stage performance. Many participant performed at the abstract, formal and systematic behavioral stages of development. At the abstract stage, one may identify classes of tools based on tool function. At the formal stage, one may provide a reason for the particular tool use. At the systematic stage, one may combine two or more formal relations, identifying multiple uses for tools and multiple reasons for the different uses. Participants performed at concrete, abstract, formal and systematic stages. Most of the participants gave answers that were scored to be at the abstract stage. Women performed better than men. The answers given by some women participants were scored at the formal and even systematic stage.
69. Literature Review of Stimulus Equivalence Research In Infants
Area: DEV; Domain: Theory
CHRISTIANA ALMEIDA GONCALVES MEIRA (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos), Graziele Thomasinho de Aguiar (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos), MariaStella C. Alcantara-Gil (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract: Researches with toddlers contribute to the understanding of the basic processes involved in symbolic behavior. This study analyzed methodological aspects of researches on simple and conditional discriminations and on stimulus equivalence with children up to 36 months. These databases were queried: PEPSIC, INDEXPSI, LILACS, CAPES and PsycINFO, between 1982-2012. To be included in this study, the research papers had at least one word in each one of these two set descriptors: 1) simple discrimination, conditional discrimination, relational responses, stimulus equivalence, matching-to-sample and 2) young children, babies, toddler and infants. Beyond these databases, Google scholar was consulted with the same criteria. The empirical studies about equivalence performances were organized according to: periodic/publication year; goals; methodological characteristics (age and verbal repertoire of participants; procedures features; taught relations; antecedent stimuli; consequences for correct and wrong responses; strategies to maintain the child task responding; learning criteria) and main results. Twenty-one studies have been found: nine about simple or conditional discriminations and twelve about stimulus equivalence. In most studies, the participants presented stimulus equivalence performances. The large methodological variety made difficult to compare the results. Although there are few researches, the comparative analyzes between studies may assist the development of improved procedures for this population.
70. Stability of Preschoolers' Preference for Edible and Leisure Items
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
ISAAC NZUKI (The University of Kansas), Marcella Hangen (The University of Kansas), Kelley L. Harrison (The University of Kansas), Courtney Moore (The University of Kansas), Brian D. Greer (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Pamela L. Neidert (The University of Kansas)
Abstract: Few applied studies have examined the stability of preference assessment data over long periods of time. In this study, two multiple stimulus without replacement (MSWO) preference assessments were conducted each week with 22 typically and atypically developing children. Preference was evaluated for edible and leisure items in separate MSWO preference assessments. The items used in each child's preference assessment remained constant across assessments. The total number of edible and leisure preference assessments conducted varied for each child. However, preference assessments were typically conducted for an extended period of time. Results from these preference assessments did not assess whether the preferred items functioned as reinforcers. Therefore, we are currently replicating the first experiment but also including reinforcer assessments, which are conducted twice a week for an extended period of time. Results will be discussed in terms of the stability of preschoolers' preference across time as well as differences in preference stability across children and assessment type (edible or leisure). Results will also be discussed in terms of whether items identified in preference assessments continue to predict items that can be used as reinforcers. Recommendations on how frequently to assess preschooler preference will also be discussed.
71. Validity of Indirect Versus Direct Preference Assessment Methods in Early Education Classrooms
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
KELLEY L. HARRISON (The University of Kansas), Courtney Moore (The University of Kansas), Pamela L. Neidert (The University of Kansas)
Abstract: This study is a replication and extension of Cote, Thompson, Hanley, and McKerchar (2007). In the current study, teachers were asked to identify and rank 10 preferred leisure items for 9 preschool children. A hierarchy for these items was identified via a multiple stimulus without replacement (MSWO) preference assessment. Rankings from the teacher assessments and the MSWO were compared. Results to date suggest that there is relatively poor correspondence between rankings generated by teacher-reported as compared to direct assessment. Subsequently, the reinforcing efficacy for both the highest preferred item and the lowest preferred item will be determined through a concurrent-operant reinforcer assessment. Results will be discussed in terms of the correspondence between teacher-report and direct preference assessments, the predictive ability of both types of assessments to identify reinforcers, the efficiency of the assessments, and the improvement of teacher-report over time.
72. The Effects of Gardening Activities on Preschoolers' Choices for Fruits and Vegetables
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
COURTNEY MOORE (The University of Kansas), Kyle Dorsey (The University of Kansas), Kelley L. Harrison (The University of Kansas), Pamela L. Neidert (The University of Kansas)
Abstract: Less than 10% of four- to eight-year-olds consume the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables (Guenther, Dodd, Reedy, & Krebs-Smith, 2006). A recent review published by Journal of the American Dietetic Association suggested that garden-based nutritional-intervention programs might increase children's preference for, and intake of, fruits and vegetables (Robinson-O'Brien, Story, & Heim, 2009). Previous studies have relied on self-report measures and provided limited data on the process. First, we empirically assessed preschoolers' relative food choices to determine child preference for healthier versus less-healthy foods across five food groups. Results showed that vegetables and fruits were ranked as one of the bottom-ranked categories for 21 of 21 children. Currently, we are directly assessing changes in individual children's fruit and vegetable preference and consumption. Multiple-stimulus-without replacement preference assessments and direct measures of consumption are being conducted before, during, and after children participate in a four-week gardening curriculum. Results will be discussed in regard to the individual and combined influence of repeated exposures and gardening activity participation on preschoolers' preferences for, and consumption of, fruits and vegetables.
73. A Component Analysis of Commonly Used Toilet-Training Procedures
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
COURTNEY MOORE (The University of Kansas), Brian D. Greer (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Pamela L. Neidert (The University of Kansas)
Abstract: Although systematic replications of Azrin and Foxxs (1971) procedures have proven extremely effective across a variety of populations and settings, the majority of behavioral toilet-training research has relied on complex multicomponent training packages (for a recent review, see Kroeger & Sorensen-Burnworth, 2009). Therefore, little is known regarding the effectiveness of individual toilet-training components. We investigated the combined and individual effects of three commonly used components: (a) underwear, (b) a dense schedule of sits on the toilet, and (c) differential reinforcement. When all three components were combined, we observed overall improvements in toileting performance for five of six children. We observed overall improvements for two of four children exposed to only the underwear component. Overall improvements were not observed for any child exposed to only the dense-sit schedule component or to only the differential-reinforcement component. Results suggest that underwear was sufficient for improving toileting performance for children whose performance improved during the toilet-training package. Future research examining why the underwear component was effective is recommended
74. An Affordance Analysis of an Arm Reaching Task with Younger and Older Adults
Area: DEV; Domain: Basic Research
ANGEL JIMENEZ (Universidad de Guadalajara), Felipe Cabrera (Universidad de Guadalajara), Pablo Covarrubias (Universidad de Guadalajara)
Abstract: Aging is associated with increasing biomechanical constraints that affect daily aspects of the life of older adults, such as when reaching for objects with the arms. In order to test this hypothesis, 16 younger and 16 older adults reached for a plastic block placed on a table at different distances. The distances to which the block was located were defined in relation to participant’s own arm length. Modes of action emerged orderly as a function of the distance of the block. When the distance of the block increased, the reaching mode changed from using only arm extension to twisting the upper torso. At farther distances, the mode of action changed to leaning the torso forward. Older adults changed the distribution of their reaching modes at closer distances than younger adults. These results suggest that the emergence of different modes of action depended on the relationship between the participant’s arm length and the dimensions of the environment (i.e., block distance), creating different possibilities of action for the participant along the distances assessed. Our findings also show that aging is associated with a change in the distribution of postural strategies of reach. These changes probably offset the biomechanical constraints arising by age.
75. On the Additive Effects of Differential Reinforcement on Underwear Use During Toilet Training
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
BRIAN D. GREER (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Pamela L. Neidert (The University of Kansas)
Abstract: In a component analysis of commonly used toilet-training procedures, Greer, Neidert, and Dozier (manuscript in preparation) found differential reinforcement to be ineffective with all children for whom it was implemented. In contrast, underwear use facilitated toilet training with multiple children. Interestingly, children who wore underwear were likely to improve toileting performance further when differential reinforcement was added. Unfortunately, these results were correlational and could have been attributed to delayed improvements in toileting performance as a function of underwear use alone. Alternatively, differential reinforcement may facilitate acquisition of toileting skills when used in conjunction with underwear. In the current evaluation, four children without disabilities were exposed to periods where underwear or underwear plus differential reinforcement was implemented. Results for all four children suggest that differential reinforcement did not facilitate toilet training above the effects of underwear use alone. Underwear use improved toileting performance for two of four children, replicating the results of Greer, Neidert, and Dozier.
76. Using Habit Reversal to Decrease Filled Pauses and Nervous Habits in Public Speaking
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
CAROLYN MANCUSO (University of South Florida ), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Public speaking is a challenge faced by people from all walks of life. Research in the area of public speaking has focused on examining techniques to reduce public speaking anxiety. Very little research, however, has focused on the acquisition of public speaking skills. While presenting speeches, many people engage in nervous habits that have the potential to decrease the effectiveness of the speech and their credibility as a speaker. This study evaluated the effectiveness of simplified habit reversal in reducing three of these nervous habits: filled pauses, tongue clicking, and inappropriate use of the word like. Following baseline, participants received simplified habit reversal training that consisted of awareness training and competing response training. During post-intervention assessments all 6 participants exhibited an immediate decrease in the target behaviors.
77. "Smiling" as a Reinforcer for Face-Looking Behavior: Automated Reinforcement Using Eye-Tracking Device
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
SOICHIRO MATSUDA (Keio University), Takahide Omori (Keio University), Joseph P. McCleery (Pyramid Educational Consultants), Jun'ichi Yamamoto (Keio University)
Abstract: Smiling face is important nonverbal cues in social interaction, and can function as conditioned reinforcer. However, there are few studies that have investigated the reinforcer value of the smiling face, and no study has compared smiles with other facial expressions. In this study, we examined whether facial expressions function as a reinforcer for face-looking behavior. Smiling face was compared to angry faces. Nine adults participated. Their face-looking behavior was recorded by eye-tracker. The picture of neutral expression was presented on each of the left and right side of a video monitor. When the participant looked at the left (right) picture, neutral face turned to be smiling face with VR 3 schedule. When the participant looked at the right (left) picture, neutral face turned to be angry face with VR 3 schedule. Positions of the smiling and angry face were fixed for each participant. The result showed that six participants were reinforced more by smile than angry face.
78. Matching to sample (MTS) with auditory stimuli as comparison
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
SABRINA OLIVEIRA (Universidade de São Paulo), Deisy das Graças De Souza (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos), Raquel Melo Golfeto (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Andreia Schmidt (University of Sao Paulo)
Abstract: Much research on stimulus equivalence work with auditory stimuli and not test symmetry, because is difficult to have auditory stimuli simultaneously as comparisons. The literature presents only auditory stimuli being presented successively as comparisons (Dube, Green & Serna, 1993). Moreover, computer programs does not provide control of presentation of these stimuli. The aim of this study was to describe composition and execution of simultaneous MTS trials with auditory stimuli as comparisons. Each auditory stimulus was programmed into a video, with overlapping narration and animation. The animation was a red sphere with circular motion used to indicate the location where the sound was being dictated. All videos had lasting six seconds, divided into three units of two seconds (inactive without narration and animation or active with both), organized as follows: (a) initial auditory stimulus (b) medial auditory stimulus and (c) final auditory stimulus. Each trial had a visual model and three videos as comparisons. Thus, every two seconds, a different word was dictated. This type of trial ensures that all stimuli appear simultaneously and eliminates the need for submission of sequences screens. Efforts like this have been used in Oliveira (2013) whose results have demonstrated the effectiveness of this solution.
79. Functional Analysis and Intervention for Perseverative Verbal Behavior of an Adult With Traumatic Brain Injury
Area: DEV; Domain: Service Delivery
AMY GARCIA (University of Central Missouri), Duane A. Lundervold (University of Central Missouri)
Abstract: Behavioral tutoring for undergraduate course work was provided to a 51-year-old female with a long standing traumatic brain injury. Perseverative verbal behavior (PVB) was frequent and competed with the delivery of tutoring and the acquisition of academic content. A functional analysis of behavior (FAB) was conducted to determine the controlling variables related to PBV. A reversal design was used to demonstrate the functional relation between task characteristics, social reinforcement and PVB duration. FAB results indicated that PVB was under reinforcement control. PVB was significantly reduced during extinction sessions; however, boot leg reinforcement in other situations limited complete cessation of the behavior. Results indicate that PVB following closed head injury may be strongly influenced by the social contingencies operating in various contexts.
80. Out of Line: Chows, Chicks and Epigenetic Behaviorist
Area: DEV; Domain: Theory
RYAN LEE O'DONNELL (Brohavior), Anita Li (Florida Institute of Technology), Nichole L Davis (Lodestone Academy)
Abstract: The main goal of an epigenetic behaviorist is to seek order out of complex behavioral phenomena in order to formulate laws of behavior without resorting to vitalism, either explicitly or implicitly (Kuo, 1967). In this poster we will highlight the contextualistic approach of behavior development from the work of a little known and undervalued behaviorist Zing Yang Kuo. Kuos system includes five groups of determining factors: morphological factors, biophysical and biochemical factors, stimulating objects, developmental history, and developmental context. Each of these items will be discussed in relation to the two main tasks of an epigenetic behaviorist, which include: to obtain a comprehensive picture of the behavioral repertoire of the individual and its causal factors from stage to stage during development; and to explore the potentials and limitations of new behavior patterns (Behavioral neo-phenotypes) that are not commonly observed or do not exist in nature so as to predict or control the evolution of behavior in the future (Kuo, 1967).
81. Research Examining Infant Moral Choices: Replication and Extension
Area: DEV; Domain: Basic Research
TYLER NIGHBOR (University of the Pacific), Katrina Bettencourt (University of the Pacific), Audrey Campbell (University of the Pacific), Brittany Olisar (University of the Pacific), Carolynn S. Kohn (University of the Pacific)
Abstract: Recent studies (e.g., Hamlin & Wynn, 2011; Hamlin, Wynn, & Bloom, 2007) suggest that infants possess an unlearned sense of morality. While their findings are interesting, no independent replications have been published, and use of group designs with a single measure of choice may inflate the probability of obtaining these results. The purpose of the current pilot investigation was to replicate Hamlin and Wynn (2011), and extend it utilizing a single subject design with repeated measures of choice. Infants (n = 3, ages 3-24 months) viewed a puppet show as described in Hamlin and Wynn (2011). Following the puppet show, an experimenter blind to the identities of the puppets asked the infant to choose a puppet. This occurred five times in contrast to the single choice in Hamlin and Wynn (2011). Results of the single choice measure were similar to Hamlin and Wynn (2011), with two of three infants (67%) choosing the helper puppet. However, the results of the repeated measures suggest a side preference for two of three infants, and no infant selected the same character on any consecutive choice trials. A more extensive examination will be conducted utilizing a larger sample size, similar to Hamlin and Wynn (2011).
82. Verbal Repertoire and Equivalence Performances in Infants.
Area: DEV; Domain: Basic Research
CHRISTIANA ALMEIDA GONCALVES MEIRA (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos, Brazil), Lara Rosa Cobucci (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos, Brazil), MariaStella C. Alcantara-Gil (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos, Brazil)
Abstract: The study of toddlers can provide important contributions into the role of language in the formation of stimuli equivalence classes. This study describes the relationships between toddler’s spontaneous vocalizations and their performances during conditional discriminations learning tasks and stimuli equivalence tests. The learning and the test trials consisted in auditory-visual matching-to-sample with two (Stage 1) and three comparisons stimuli (Stage 2). Six children aged 22 to 27 months participated in Stage 1. Three of these participated in Stage 2. Relations, AB and AC, between names (A) and objects (B and C) were taught and the relations between objects (BC and CB) were tested. In each trial, the toddlers’ vocalizations were recorded and then classified as echoic or tact responses. Participants who showed higher frequency of vocalizations also achieved the equivalence tests criteria. Participants who did not emit any vocalizations during learning trials did not reach conditional relations learning criteria. The present study’s data suggest the presence of a relationship between the frequency of toddler’s spontaneous vocalizations and their performance in learning conditional relations and equivalence test tasks.
83. Using Stimulus Equivalence to Teach Face and Relationship Recognition to Older Adults With Dementia
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
JELISA SCOTT (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Sarah A. Lechago (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Taylor Sweatt (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Tarah Bowser (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract: Older adults are a large population that have been neglected in contrast to children with developmental disabilities in the realm of Applied Behavior Analysis (Burgio & Burgio,1986). This study will target four older adults diagnosed with dementia and teach them how to recognize familiar faces and recognize how the participants know or are related to a familiar person. A stimulus equivalence preparation will be used to teach the older adults the different relations. Stimuli will be presented expressively, receptively and by using a matching to sample procedure. The purpose of this study is to assess whether using a stimulus equivalence preparation with older adults with dementia will result in their recognizing faces and remembering relationships between familiar faces as demonstrated through speaker responses such as saying the name or relation and listener responses such as pointing to the correct picture card. The expected results are that the participants will learn the relations and derive untaught relations.
Keyword(s): poster session



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