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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.

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42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Poster Session #62
Sunday, May 29, 2016
12:00 PM–2:00 PM
Riverside Exhibit Hall, Hyatt Regency, Purple East
Chair: R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
66. Shaping Behavior: A Computer Simulation Study on Motivation
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
LUIS REYES (California State University, Northridge), Tara A. Fahmie (California State University, Northridge), Elizabeth Hernandez (California State University, Northridge)
Discussant: Darlene Crone-Todd (Salem State University)
Abstract: Contingency management is an efficient way to increase motivation by using conditioned reinforcers (e.g., points) that can later be exchanged for back-up reinforcers (e.g., goods). This procedure has been used to change the behavior of many populations including children, delinquent youth, and drug addicts. Many studies have evaluated the effects of contingent point deliveries on motivation, but few have compared the contingencies arranged solely for the back-up reinforcer. In addition, few studies have measured the effects of back-up reinforcement on the process of shaping. In the current study, undergraduate students experienced a computer simulation, in which a percentile schedule was used to shape their behavior towards a particular position on the computer screen by providing contingent points. The participants were assigned to two groups. One group received a point goal and the backup reinforcer (gift card) for meeting that goal. The other group received the back-up reinforcer regardless of the number of points accrued. Preliminary results show that contingent back-up reinforcers result in faster shaping compared to noncontingent back-up reinforcers. These research implications are directed towards practitioners who shape the behavior of children, adolescent youth, and adults through contingency management.
67. The Relationship Between Mother-Infant Visual Scanning Patterns to Face Stimuli
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
D. WAYNE MITCHELL (Missouri State University), Melissa Fallone (Missouri State University), Savanna Chojnacki (Missouri State University), Olivia Durbin (Missouri State University), Jessica Lafferty (Missouri State University), Allison Schmidt (Missouri State University), Sarah Cheyanne Ashe (Missouri State University), Jessica Maly (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Darlene Crone-Todd (Salem State University)
Abstract: The visual scanning patterns of 5 Mother-Infant dyads (4 biological; 1 adopted) were assessed while attending to pairs of face stimuli. The infants ages were 4 months (n = 2), 7 months (n = 1), and 10 months (n = 2). Each stimulus pair were of the same face, however one of the faces was manipulated so to represent infantile schema features (e.g., larger, more round). There were 6 stimulus face pairs; 2 adult male, 2 infant, and 2 inanimate faces. For the Mothers, each stimulus pair was presented for 5 seconds whereas for the Infants each stimulus pair was presented until the infant accumulated 5 seconds of attending to either or both of the faces. Although individual differences between the infants and between mothers were evident, there was a significant relationship between the Mother-Infant dyads scanning patterns. The number of fixations and the number visual shifts, within and between face stimuli, were correlated within the mother-infant dyads. It is argued that the similarity of an infants visual behavior to that of its mother is a function of what mother attends to in the environment, interprets, and transfers, via verbal and overt behaviors, to the infant during dyadic interactions.
68. Children's Disruptive Behavior Related to Parent's Characteristics
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
Danae Ramirez Arriaga (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Lissette Ramos (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Maricruz García (National Autonomous University of Mexico), SILVIA MORALES CHAINE (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
Discussant: Darlene Crone-Todd (Salem State University)
Abstract: There is a direct relationship between multiple parents characteristics and their context, such as stress in parenting, parents and children interaction, marital conflicts, poverty, unemployment, single parenthood, social exclusion and low educational levels (Salles & Ger, 2011) which determine disruptive behavior of children. The aim of the study is to compare the disruptive behavior of children in relation to parents characteristics, as socioeconomic status (poverty, poor class, lower middle class, middle class, upper class and wealthy class), scholar level (No education, Elementary school, Junior High School, High School and University) and sex. 332 caregivers between 18 and 71 years old participated. Participants answered the Child Behavior Inventory (CBI). The results show that parents without education report higher amount of aggressive behavior on their children (M: 26.6) compared to parents with university degree (M: 18.9). Parents without studies report children with many problems in school (M: 29.9) compared to parents with university degree (M: 18.3); moreover, the parents with extreme poverty reported children with less severe problems in school (M: 15.5) unlike rich class parents (M: 41.6). Therefore, sociodemographic variables can be interacting in more complex forms, it�s important to extend their study.
69. Predicting Success in Academia Using Behavioral Stage and Holland Interest Sores
Area: OBM; Domain: Basic Research
SARANYA RAMAKRISHNAN (Core Complexity Assessments ), Sarthak Giri (Caldwell University), Michael Lamport Commons (Harvard Medical School)
Discussant: Darlene Crone-Todd (Salem State University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to determine if there are differences in stage and Holland interest between researchers who are currently Principal Investigators (PIs) and those who aspire to be Principal Investigators, such as Postdoctoral fellows and Graduate Students. We hypothesize that there would be significant differences between researchers, who become PIs and those that dont. We further hypothesis that these differences would be detectable even at an incipient stage. We hope to investigate these differences by examining the reasoning and perspective taking skills of these researchers and their Holland interests. The relevance of such a study is manifold. Understanding the unique combination of the variables of what it takes to be a successful Principal investigator would help graduate students make better life choices, hone their tangential skills and significantly improve their planning as well as long and short term goal setting. Furthermore such knowledge would enable companies to build products that would help researchers achieve fulfilling careers, both in and outside academia.
70. Career Transition to Academia
Domain: Basic Research
SARTHAK GIRI (Caldwell University), Saranya Ramakrishnan (Core Complexity Assessments ), Michael Lamport Commons (Harvard Medical School)
Discussant: Darlene Crone-Todd (Salem State University)
Abstract: In the past it was atypical to transition into another career after spending considerable time in a certain industry or profession. However, in today’s complex work environment, career transition has become a regularly observed phenomenon. In this study, we explore why professionals with 10+ years of experience in any field of work choose to transition to academia. We postulate that the professional who seeks to make a transition would possess the following characteristics: a need for constant intellectual stimulation, desire to learn and improve, desire for autonomy, and desire to seek high reward and novelty in cognitive domain. We further postulate that the person would be in transition between systematic and Metasystematic stage, less averse to change, more forward thinking, a better planner and have high Investigative score in Holland’s interests scale. The purpose of the study is to understand factors associated with transition of people from other field to academia. We believe that this would be useful for organizations to design in-built reward systems that incorporate these “transition factors”. This would reduce employee turnover and boost employee satisfaction.
71. Effects of Intensive Tact Instruction on Preschoolers’ Emission of Functional and Self-Stimulatory Verbal Behavior
Domain: Applied Research
MELISSA BENINSIG (Teachers College, Columbia University), Yu Cao (Teachers College Columbia University)
Discussant: Darlene Crone-Todd (Salem State University)
Abstract: We tested the effects of intensive tact instruction on the increased emission of pure tacts and mands (functional verbal behavior) and the decreased emission of self-stimulatory verbal behavior by 3 preschool students. The participants emitted low numbers of vocal verbal operants and high numbers of self-stimulatory verbal behaviors in three non-instructional settings. The dependent variables measured in this study were pure tacts, pure mands, stereotypy, and non-functional vocal emissions measured prior to and following mastery of 5 sets of intensive tact stimuli. Non-instructional settings included the play area of the classroom, lunchtime, and group table-top activities. Probe sessions were conducted in three 5-min periods of non-instructional settings over the course of 3 consecutive days. Intensive tact instruction adds 100 tact learn units to the participants’ average daily learn units.
72. The Rooting Reflex as an Infant Feeding Cue
Domain: Applied Research
KATHRYN GLODOWSKI (Western New England University), Rachel H. Thompson (Western New England University)
Discussant: Darlene Crone-Todd (Salem State University)
Abstract: Many professionals consider the rooting reflex to be an infant hunger cue and suggest the caregiver feed the baby when this reflex occurs. However, there is no research documenting the extent to which the probability of the rooting reflex is influenced by food deprivation and satiation. The rooting reflex involves the baby turning towards a touch on the cheek or corner of the mouth. Our project is on-going and involves parents testing and documenting their newborn's rooting reflex and palmar grasp reflex (the control reflex) immediately before and after a feeding and every 15 min until the next feeding. The parents collect 10 samples of these reflex checks within their newborn's first month. The results thus far demonstrate rooting occurs most frequently prior to a feeding relative to after a feeding or between feedings; the palmar grasp reflex occurred equally regardless of the time of the reflex check. These results provide some evidence to support the claim that the rooting reflex may be one cue to help the caregiver determine when feeding is appropriate.
73. Discounting Changes When Children Move from the Sentential Behavioral Stage (2–3 Years) to the Preoperational Stage (3.5–6 Years)
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
MICHAEL LAMPORT COMMONS (Harvard Medical School), Kyle Featherston (The College of William & Mary)
Discussant: Darlene Crone-Todd (Salem State University)
Abstract: Behavioral Developmental stage is shown to interact with how discounting value of reinforcers works. Before the age of three and when children enter the preoperational behavioral stage 6, children will choose 1 M&M over getting 5 a few minutes later. At the preoperational stage, children will wait 5 minutes to get 5 M&M's as opposed to getting one immediately. This because they comprehend a two part story with one part being the not wanting the outcome of just 1 M&M and the other part being the waiting and getting 5 M&Ms. This demonstrates transition from Sentential Behavioral Stage 5 to Preoperational Behavioral Stage in children. This observation allows for understanding of a key transition between Stages. By understanding behavioral developmental stage and value of reinforcers, it can be possible to observe all sorts of key behaviors that indicate the successful completion of a Stage. Using this methodology can lead to better understanding of one's place in a behavioral development sequence and an increased ability to train new behaviors.
74. The Role of Understanding Large Numbers in Non-Human Animals and Human Children
Domain: Theory
KYLE FEATHERSTON (The College of William & Mary), Patrice Marie Miller (Salem State University), Michael Lamport Commons (Harvard Medical School)
Discussant: Darlene Crone-Todd (Salem State University)
Abstract: While children seem to progress with relative ease from rudimentary counting to true counting, the literature on animals suggests that even primates struggle in this transition and may not ever progress to true counting. Due to the manner in which studies on animals have been conducted, it is difficult to ascertain the Stage of different species. Whether or not any species besides humans has the capability of true counting is unclear, but a review of the evidence indicates that there is nothing that suggests that they can. The difficulty lies with the fact that they cannot get to big numbers. Illiterates can also not count high, which demonstrates that there may be a correlation between symbolic language use and counting to high numbers. One point that will be addressed is at what behavioral development stage can human children count to higher numbers. This will help understand the behavioral developmental stage that other animal species have reached.


Modifed by Eddie Soh