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 #214
Current Research on Self Control
Monday, May 30, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Zurich FG, Swissotel
Area: EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Fernanda Castanho Calixto (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)

Impulsive behavior is at the center of attention of educators and clinicians alike. Behavior analysts have a long tradition in the experimental study about the variables which yield impulsive behavior and the alternative and more socially acceptable and otherwise relevant behavior, known as self control. This symposium comprises three papers representing current research on self control and its controlling variables. One paper investigates the effects of equalization and non-equalization of inter trial intervals on self control performance of children. Another paper aims to study the effects of larger and smaller reinforcers chosen via a pre experimental assessment to investigate the effects of mediating responses on self control of small children. A third paper implemented a self-monitoring system as an intervention for inappropriate body movements along with a differential reinforcement of lower rates of responses component. All papers contribute to the understanding of the variables responsible for self control and bring important implications to the development of more effective educational procedures and to conceptual issues regarding the behavioral definition of self control.

Keyword(s): intertrial intervals, mediating responses, self-control, self-monitoring

The Effect of Equalization and Non-Equalization of Inter-Trial Intervals Over Self-Control Performance of Typical Children

FERNANDA CALIXTO (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Júlia Varoto (LAHMIEI, Psychology Department, UFSCar), Celso Goyos (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)

Under the paradigm of concurrent choices, self-control is understood as the choice of delayed and larger consequences in detriment of choices of immediate and smaller consequences. Previous research indicates that the duration of inter-trial intervals affect the choice behavior of delayed consequences, among other variables. A common procedure to increase experimental control over what determines choice consists of equalizing trial duration. The present study aims to investigate, in a single subject design, the effect of equalization and non-equalization of inter-trial intervals over self-control in four pre-scholar children with normal development, aged between 3 and 4 years. The study is structured in five phases: Simple Discrimination Training (SDT), Reinforcement Amount Training (RAT), Delay Reinforcement Training (DRT) and Interval Between Trials Equated with reversal of equalization (NE-EI). Results show that participants chose larger reinforcements in 100% of trials during RAT Phase. During DRT Phase, choices on delayed consequences stabilized on 33% along three sessions and the participant obtained 10 reinforcers per session (4 minutes each session). During NEI Phase, choices on delayed consequences stabilized on 50% and the participant obtained 12 reinforcers per session (5 minutes each session). Results suggest that on NEI phase occurred maximization of number of reinforcers per session time. Keywords: self-control, inter-trial intervals, delayed consequences.

Teaching Self-Control to Preschoolers
ERIN MCGUIRE (Caldwell College), April N. Kisamore (Caldwell University), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University), Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Previous researchers demonstrated the effectiveness of teaching mediating responses to increase self-control with typically developing children (Mischel, Ebbesen, & Ziess, 1972). Past research did not include data from normative assessments to inform the selection of mediating responses nor were baseline performances well documented. The purpose of this study was to complete a pre-experimental assessment with 4.5 to 5 year old preschool children to gather data about mediating responses during choice situations. Information from this assessment was used to inform the mediating responses taught to 3 to 4 year old children. Effects of mediating response training were evaluated in a multiple baseline across participants design. Results show that when children were first presented with a larger delayed reinforcer versus a smaller immediate reinforcer, they chose the smaller immediate reinforcer. Following mediating response training, participants chose the larger delayed reinforcer. Keywords: self-control, descriptive assessment, typically developing children

The Effects of a Self-Monitoring System and DRL on Inappropriate Body Movements in a Young Male With Autism

KATHRYN LOONEY (Alpine Learning Group), Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)

We used a reversal design to evaluate the effects of a DRL plus self-monitoring system on decreasing inappropriate body movements (IBM) in a young male with autism. Baseline data indicated that inappropriate body movements ranged between 14 and 34 occurrences each day. A trial- based functional analysis revealed IBM were multiply maintained by automatic reinforcement, access to tangibles, and attention. Thus self-monitoring would allow the implementation of an intervention when the participant was alone, as well as during instruction. First, discrimination training was used to teach the participant to score when IBM occurred while watching video segments of himself and then in-vivo. Self-monitoring training in-vivo showed that the self-monitoring system acquired stimulus control over IBM, in that IBM were more likely to occur in the absence of the system than in its presence. Therefore, we implemented the self-monitoring system across the day as an intervention for IBM along with a DRL component. We demonstrated the effectiveness of the DRL+ self-monitoring system within a reversal design when reliable changes in IBM occurred when the intervention was applied and removed. With the implementation of the intervention, IBM decreased to under five occurrences.




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