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Association for Behavior Analysis International

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42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Symposium #408
CE Offered: BACB
Verbal Functions: From Learning Names to Writing Algorithms
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Crystal Ballroom A, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: R. Douglas Greer, Ph.D.
Chair: Kieva Sofia Hranchuk (Columbia University)
Discussant: R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Abstract: We present four papers related to the establishment of complex verbal functions. The papers will cover a range of learned verbal functions from learning the names of things to learning to write complex algorithms to solve math problems. The first paper traces the conditioning process that allows individuals to learn more stimuli relations. The second paper tests the presence of naming for Mandarin Chinese phonemes in monolingual English-speaking preschool children. The third paper tested the effects of a social learning condition on the acquisition of writing as both direct and indirect reinforcement. The fourth paper tests the effects of a writing and peer-editing package on the acquisition of problem-solving repertoires in fourth grade students. Together, these four papers show the reinforcement sources for function in verbal behavior.
Keyword(s): algorithm writing, naming, reinforcement sources, verbal functions
How the Presence of the Listener Half of Naming Leads to Multiple Stimulus Control
CRYSTAL LO (Teachers College, Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Abstract: I tested for the presence of Naming in six preschool students with developmental delays. Participants were presented with Naming experiences in which they had opportunities to observe a visual stimulus, an auditory non-spoken stimulus and an auditory spoken stimulus (i.e., the name of the stimulus). Probes were then conducted to test for the 1) presence of the listener half of Naming for visual stimuli, 2) the speaker half of Naming for visual stimuli, 3) the listener half of Naming for auditory stimuli, and 4) the speaker half of Naming for auditory stimuli. All participants demonstrated the listener half of Naming for visual stimuli. Next, I repeated the probe sequence in the same order, and participants emitted increasing numbers of correct responses. Following 3-4 sessions, all participants met criterion (80%) for each of the four responses.
The Effects of Echoic Training on the Emergence of Incidental Learning of Chinese by Monolingual English-Speaking Preschool Children
YU CAO (Teachers College Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Abstract: I conducted 3 experiments to investigate incidental language learning of Chinese by monolingual English-speaking preschool children who demonstrated Naming in English non-contrived stimuli. In Experiment 1, I tested for the presence of full echoic responses in Chinese with 30 monolingual English-speaking children. The participants were randomly assigned into two groups. Group I received echoic probes in Chinese phonemes with English approximations, while Group II received echoic probes in distinctive Chinese phonemes. Participants in both groups were probed for their echoic responses in English. Results showed that Group I outperformed Group II in the numbers of correct echoic responses in Chinese phonemes, suggesting that the numbers of correct echoic responses in Chinese were affected by the distinctiveness of the phonemes as well as participants’ echoic responses in English. Experiment II consisted of three probes to determine the presence of incidental learning of Chinese phonemes, Chinese non-contrived stimuli, and English contrived stimuli with 8 monolingual English-speaking preschool children who demonstrated Naming in English non-contrived stimuli. Results showed that none of the students demonstrated Naming in any of the probes. Three participants demonstrated listener component of Naming in Chinese phonemes, and 7 participants demonstrated listener component of Naming in Chinese non-contrived stimuli.
The Effect of Social Learning Conditions on the Establishment of Direct and Indirect Conditioned Reinforcement for Writing by Second Graders
JENNIFER LEE (Teachers College, Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Abstract: I used two designs where pre and post-intervention probes were used as a functional analysis of conditioned reinforcement for writing (indirect) and automatic (direct) reinforcement value of writing. Participants were exposed to a social learning condition where they were deprived of opportunities to write. I first used a concurrent alternating treatments design to determine if the opportunity to write reinforced 3 second graders’ responding to performance tasks. Next, I used a delayed multiple baseline across participants design to determine if opportunities to write reinforced learning and if a social learning procedure could condition writing as a new reinforcer. In the indirect reinforcement for performance test, 2 treatment conditions were implemented where a known reinforcer or opportunities to write were delivered. In the indirect reinforcement for learning test, participants were given immediate access an opportunity to write upon correct responses to tact presentations. Results showed writing did not reinforce performance behaviors. Following the social learning procedure, automatic reinforcement for writing increased and opportunities to write reinforced both performance and acquisition of new operants for 2 participants, with marginal increases for 1 participant. The ability to acquire new reinforcers via social learning as a prerequisite for some higher order operants is discussed.
The Effects of Mastery of Editing Peers' Written Math Algorithms on Producing Effective Problem-Solving Algorithms
JENNIFER WEBER (Teachers College, Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Abstract: I tested the effects of a writing and peer-editing package on the acquisition of problem solving, as measured by the outcome of how to solve a problem, with fourth grade students, using a delayed multiple probe design across dyads with counterbalanced stimuli. In Experiment 1, 4 participants in the fourth grade (ranging in age from 8 to 10 years) participated in the experiment and were selected because they could not write about solving multi-step word problems. Participants were placed in a dyad that consisted of a problem solver (writer) and a listener (peer editor as the target participant). The problem solver and listener interacted in a written topography in order to solve the problem. The writer produced an effective algorithm and the editor edited the algorithm using a checklist. Each dyad competed against a second dyad, using a peer yoked contingency game board as a motivating operation. The results of Experiment 1 demonstrated that a written dialogue, the role of peer editing (with the use of an algorithm), and the establishing operation of competition through the peer yoked contingency game board through peer editing (with the use of an algorithm), increased participant's writing about their word problem responses, which may be an indicator of problem solving.
 

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