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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Symposium #295
Examining the Complexity of Feedback Dynamics
Sunday, May 30, 2010
4:30 PM–5:50 PM
Republic A (Grand Hyatt)
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Thomas Wade Brown (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Thomas Wade Brown (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Feedback interventions include complex variables that combine to often produce significant changes in behavior. The complexities of the feedback ‘packages’ vary as do the environments in which feedback is administered making optimization of feedback mechanisms a topic of continued research. This symposium examines feedback mechanisms in the context of three very different environments (e.g., an autism treatment program in the Middle East, a gasoline refinery in the Midwest USA and a public university in Southwest USA). Issues considered relate to the dynamics of feedback models and how analyses of feedback operations might include consideration of cultural issues (work and community) that factor in choices to optimize feedback parameters.
Observed Differences in Feedback Seeking Behavior as a Function of Feedback Structure in a Middle-Eastern Autism Treatment Center
DONNY NEWSOME (University of Nevada, Reno), Kendra L. Rickard (University of Nevada, Reno), Anam Saleh (Jordan University of Science and Technology), Alaa Y. Awad (Jordan University of Science and Technology), Mark P. Alavosius (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Feedback-related interventions are among the most common reported in the organizational behavior management literature, however the closely related behavior of feedback seeking is sparsely mentioned. Several I/O and cultural psychologists have posited that rates of feedback seeking can be understood as cultural features or bi-products. Alternatively, our observations from a teacher training initiative in an Autism treatment center in Amman, Jordan suggest that rates of feedback seeking behavior are sensitive to more proximate environmental features, namely feedback structure. Currently, behavioral accounts of why feedback is effective in changing organizational behavior lack conceptual coherence. In light of our findings, we suggest that a more thorough understanding of the instrumental behavior of feedback seeking may provide some inroads to solving the mysteries of organizational behavior.
Assessing the Effects of Feedback Loops on Safety Observations: A Large-Scale Evaluation of Interlocking Behavioral Contingencies
JOSEPH CHARLES DAGEN (University of Nevada, Reno), Mark P. Alavosius (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The pioneers of Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) can celebrate their truly remarkable success over the previous 40 years. BBS systems have resulted in immeasurable decreases in injuries, fatalities and related human suffering. One hallmark feature of comprehensive BBS systems is their reliance on direct, behavioral observations and routine feedback mechanisms. Ideally, an observation system functions to capture increasingly accurate and subtle sources of behavioral variability thereby allowing management to mitigate those sources of variability. Interlocking behavioral contingencies (IBCs) offer a potential unit of analysis for describing and programming the relationship between observing behavior and managerial responses to those observations. The present study evaluated the effects of interlocking the observing behavior of front-line employees with managerial responses to those observations in a Midwest Oil refinery. The results suggest that successful BBS programs may be further enhanced by the consideration of hierarchical feedback mechanisms.
Interlocking Silos: Systems Analyses to Design Feedback Loops to Link Multi-Campus Services for Crime Prevention and Victim Care
EMILY MICHELLE LEEMING (University of Nevada, Reno), Mark P. Alavosius (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The college environment, unlike many other community settings, provides distinctive challenges for environmental designers seeking organized services for victims of crime. The prevalent social contingencies occasion and maintain student risk-taking in ways not encountered in their home communities. As a consequence domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking on campuses are serious and prevalent problems. Service providers helping the campus victims of these crimes are also faced with unique challenges. Providing coordinated prevention training and victim services can be difficult given the transitory population of a university and its feeder colleges as students migrate from one campus to the other as they work towards graduation. Linkages among these campuses’ safety/security elements are often in silos and under-developed. Students encounter turbulence and ambiguity as they transition across sites within the university system. A behavioral systems analysis of the cultural environment of college campuses is underway to develop a coordinated service model and wide scale implementation of online instruction to teach students, staff, judicial boards and providers their roles in campus safety. At the core is an integrated dashboard to track key metrics and coordinate core elements.



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