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.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Symposium #283
CE Offered: BACB — 
The Use of a ShaperSpace to Support the Development of Behavior-Analytic Identity
Monday, May 30, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Regency Ballroom D, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: TBA/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Lee L. Mason (University of Texas at San Antonio)
Discussant: Alicia Bravo (Victoria University at Wellington)
CE Instructor: Lee L. Mason, Ph.D.

In this symposium, we extend the use of the term makerspace to environments that allow for the contingency-shaping of behavior-analytic interventions and verbal repertoires. A makerspace is an informal establishments where makers gather to create science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) projects of their own devising. Concomitantly, an increasing number of educational researchers are dedicating substantive time to examining the affordances of makerspaces for supporting interest, engagement, and participation in STEM learning. A defining feature of a makerspace is the informal approach in which instructions are minimized to allow for maximal contingency-shaping. Extended to the science of behavior, we propose the term "shaperspace" to describe an environment in which ABA students are challenged with behavioral excesses and deficits, and learn to employ behavior-analytic interventions primarily through successive approximations. Additionally, shaperspaces offer a verbal behavior community to differentially reinforce tractable, pragmatic descriptions over explanatory fictions. The current state of shaperspace and project-based learning community research should not obfuscate the potential benefits of such environments for facilitating the acquisition of a behavior-analytic repertoire. Nor should the current state of shaperspace research, presented here, impede rigorous behavioral research into the educational affordances of such environments.

Keyword(s): behavioral phenomenology, makerspace, supervision, verbal community
Novice Behaviors in a MakerSpace: A Behavioral-Phenomenological Investigation
DON DAVIS (North East Independent School District)
Abstract: Given the substantive recent attention given to makerspaces and their potential for supporting learning, this researcher conducted a behavioral-phenomenological investigation of novice behaviors in a makerspace. The results presented here provide a behavioral-phenomenological analysis, similar to a “pre-treatment” functional analysis (Groden, 1989), in the style of Day (1977) and McCorkle (1978) among others (e.g., Dougher, 1989; Leigland, 1989) intended to inform future makerspace / maker research and design. Moreover, the methodology represents a reconciliation between past approaches (e.g., Lahren, 1978; McCorkle, 1978), methodological concerns, such as interrater reliability, and modern development in behavioral research such as derived relational responding (Hayes et al., 2001; Leigland, 1997). Similarly, the research focus on makerspaces and computer science participation highlights research areas of great contemporary interest commonly ignored by the community of behavioral researchers. The researcher will discuss discriminated relationships among participant-articulated relationships to computer science (CS) and related topics, researcher-discriminated participant relationships to CS and related topics, and behaviors observed in situ at the makerspace as well as in interviews.
The Effects of Fluency Building on Intraverbal Equivalence Formations
LEE L. MASON (University of Texas at San Antonio), Katherine Tyler (North East Independent School District), Victoria Escobedo (TEAM Autism Center), Rebecca Martinez (Northside Independent School District)
Abstract: The results of three interventions to address deficits in derived responding are presented here. Project-based learning was incorporated within the context of an intensive practicum for graduate students accruing supervised field experience hours. Three pre-service behavior analysts were charged with addressing the verbal behavior deficits of three children with autism spectrum disorder. Each behavior analyst employed a stimulus control ratio equation (SCoRE) to identify individual deficits in derived responding emitted from their assigned child. The results of the derived operant SCoRE served as a "judgmental aid" to more effectively control the behavior of the novice analyst throughout the duration field experience. Based on the results of their child's SCoRE, the behavior analysts then developed specific interventions that were conceptually-systematic with the behavior-analytic literature to address their child's deficits, and then experimentally-evaluated the effects of these interventions. The distinct behavioral deficits of the three children led to three different research questions that provided the context for each pre-service behavior analysts' field experience. One student evaluated different error correction techniques to address deficits in derived responding. Another examined the extent to which teaching reflexive sequelic responses to fluency led to increased transitive sequelic responding. The third researched the effects of transitive response training by assessing the concomitant outcomes of novel transitive responses and structurally-similar symmetrical responses.
Conditioning the Control of Reflexive Stimuli Over Derived Responses to Wh- Questions
ALONZO ANDREWS (University of Texas at San Antonio), Laura Joann (TEAM Autism Center), Melissa Kaplan (San Antonio State Supported Living Center)
Abstract: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder often have difficulty responding to Wh- questions. This may be due to a deficit in relational responding that prevents the individual from producing a response based on the class memberships of stimuli found in the question (Daar, Negrelli, & Dixon, 2015). Hall and Chase (1991) described how intraverbal responding may be analyzed within an equivalence framework. The present study attempted to apply this framework through an intervention designed to increase the responses to "who," "what," and "where" questions. A 6-year-old boy diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, who displayed deficits in responding to rotating wh- questions, served as the participant in this idiographic research. A concurrent mulitple-baseline across behaviors design was used to demonstrate a functional relationship between the explicit reinforcement of fill-in-the-blank symmetry relations and stimulus generalization to corresponding wh- questions. Additionally, the emergence of untrained responses to transitive Wh- questions were also assessed. Results indicate that correct responding to Wh- questions was functionally related to the reinforcement contingencies applied specifically to each type of Wh- question. Additionally, our data support the functional independence of symmetrical and transitive control over intraverbal relations.

Behavioral Hermeneutics: The Effects of Written Feedback on Special Educator's Use of Behavior-Analytic Terminology

Ernesto Salinas (University of Texas at San Antonio), Caleb Hood (North East Independent School District), Mariana De Los Santos (Bloom Childrens Center), LEE L. MASON (The University of Texas at San Antonio)

A significant obstacle towards developing the behavior-analytic perspective is penchants for using tautological "explanatory fictions" or "mentalisms,"which obfuscate the behavioral conceptualization necessary to effectively address clinical concerns. At a university-based center serving as a field-experience site, pre-service behavior analyst participating in verbal operant training with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders were trained to write a technical description of their interactions with their client subsequent to composing a daily therapy notes. The daily therapy notes were prepared to review with the children's caregivers, and so were specifically composed in common parlance. For the technical description, however, the pre-service behavior analysts were asked to precisely describe how their manipulation of the environment supported their clients' performance and contributed to reducing challenging behavior using the concepts and principles of applied behavior analysis. Specifically, the technical description asked:(a) Which of the childs behavior are you strengthening/weakening? (b) Under what circumstances are the childs behavior excesses/deficits present? And (c) How do you manipulate the childs environment? How does your behavior affect childs responding?The supervising BCBA reviewed this documentation tallying behavior-analytic terms for cumulative examination. This paper presents the results of a multiple-baseline across participants design employed to evaluate the contingent effects of written feedback on supervisees use of behavior-analytic terminology.




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