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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 #254
Monday, May 30, 2016
12:00 PM–2:00 PM
Riverside Exhibit Hall, Hyatt Regency, Purple East
Chair: Barbara E. Esch (Esch Behavior Consultants, LLC)
61. The Effects of a Speaker Immersion Procedure on the Emission of Vocal Verbal Operants for Individuals Diagnosed With Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Allyson Abrams (Teachers College, Columbia University), SHAHAD ALSHARIF (Teacher College, Columbia University ), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Discussant: Joyce Tu (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Abstract: We tested the effects of a speaker immersion procedure on the emission of vocal verbal operants in non-instructional settings for four 7-year old males diagnosed with Autism. Data were collected on vocal verbal operants in three non-instructional settings (group table top activity, snack time, and lunch time) for 5 minutes in each setting. Furthermore, data were collected on the emission of mands under 30 establishing operations (EO) probe opportunities. The four participants received a 15-minute speaker immersion session daily until they responded to criterion. During speaker immersion sessions, the experimenter completed 60 learn units of interrupting ongoing activities to increase establishing operations for mands. Using a multiple baseline design across participants, the results showed that speaker immersion was effective in increasing verbal operants across all participants, as well as increasing mand production in the target form for each participant after the completion of the intervention. Follow up probes were conducted a month later and the data show that the participants verbal vocal operants and responses to EO opportunities maintained using the target form of the mand.
62. A Review of the Efficacy of Lag Schedules and Verbal Behavior Variability
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
KAITLYNN GOKEY (Florida Institute of Technology), Joshua K. Pritchard (Florida Institute of Technology), Alison M. Betz (Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Joyce Tu (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Abstract: A common feature of autism is rote or stereotypic responding. Variation in verbal behavior is critical to successful conversations and naturalistic repertoires. Recent research suggests that lag schedules, in which a response is only reinforced if it varies from a set number of prior responses, may be able to promote variation in responding and the production of novel responses. However, there may be limitations to the application and efficacy of the lag schedule in clinical practice, including the creation of higher order stereotypy and rigid patterns in speech. The present paper reviews recent literature on lag schedules in verbal behavior training, identifies areas of the greatest potential, , and identifies avenues for future research with lag schedules. In addition, the authors will suggest alternatives to make lag schedules more effective, or alternate strategies that may be more successful.
63. The Effect of an Auditory Match-to-Sample Protocol on Echoics, the Emergence of Advanced Listener Literacy and Induction of the Naming Capability
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
REBECCA HOTCHKISS (Teacher's College at Columbia University), Leanna Mellon (Teacher's College at Columbia University)
Discussant: Joyce Tu (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Abstract: The discrimination between positive and negative exemplars of the phonemic combinations in words result in more accurate speaker behavior as well as fluent listener behavior (Chavez-Brown, 2005; Choi, 2012; Greer & Ross, 2008). The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic replication of the auditory match-to-sample (MTS) intervention developed by Choi (2012) and evaluate its effect on echoic responding, advanced listener literacy and the induction of Naming. Two kindergarten students in a self-contained special education classroom were chosen to participate in the study because they emitted a high number of echoics that lacked point-to-point correspondence between hearing and saying, as well as a low number of correct responses to instructions requiring responses to spoken antecedents in the presence of visual distractors. The auditory MTS protocol was used to teach the students to discriminate between positive and negative exemplars of different sounds and words by matching the target sound to the matching exemplar in the presence of a rotating-non-exemplar. The basic auditory MTS focuses on discriminations between sounds and words as well as discriminations between single words while the advanced auditory MTS was utilized for finer discriminations between rhyming words and phrases with only one word differences. The results from the study found that the auditory MTS protocol was effective in enhancing echoic responding to one to four-syllable common English words, developing advanced listener literacy when presented with visual distractors, and inducing the listener component of the Naming capability for novel stimuli.
64. Derived Relational Responding and the Emergence of the Elementary Verbal Operants: The Relationship Between PEAK-E and the VB-MAPP
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
JORDAN BELISLE (Southern Illinois University), Caleb Stanley (Southern Illinois University), Jomi Hirata (SIU), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Joyce Tu (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Abstract: Contemporary approaches to human language and cognitive development present an opportunity for a synthesis of new data emergent from stimulus equivalence and relational frame theories with existing theories of verbal behavior proposed by Skinner. The present study evaluated the derived relational abilities of 86 individuals with autism between the ages of 5 and 22 using the Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge Equivalence Module (PEAK-E) pre-assessment, as well as their corresponding results on the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) as a measure of elementary verbal operant behavior. The results of the study suggested that participant results on the PEAK-E pre-assessments were strongly related to their results on the VB-MAPP. Further, most participants achieved the highest possible score on the VB-MAPP once they demonstrated transitive relational responding. The implications of the results both in terms of a theory of language development in children with autism and the treatment of associated limitations experienced by this population is discussed.
65. The Emergence of the Listener and Speaker Components of Naming in Typical-Developing Toddlers in an Early Intervention Classroom
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Jeanne Marie Speckman (Fred S. Keller School Teachers College Columbia University), CESIRA K. FARRELL (Fred S. Keller School/Teachers College Columbia University), Stavra Romas (Fred S. Keller School)
Discussant: Joyce Tu (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Abstract: We tested the effects of a stimulus pairing Naming experience on the emergence of the listener and speaker components of Naming in 1 to 3 year old students in an Early Intervention Integrated classroom. We conducted a concurrent multiple probe design counterbalanced across 2 different conditions (book and iPad) and 2 different target sets (food and animals). Participants included 4 typically developing females who were selected for the study because they did not possess the listener or speaker components of Naming. Furthermore, we conducted our study in order to investigate how typically developing toddlers acquire language. Each participant was exposed to 4 sets of 4 stimuli each. During the stimulus pairing procedure the experimenter tacted and pointed to the stimulus on either the I-Pad or book and the participant shared in joint attention for 1-sec or more. Following 2-hours probes were conducted to test for the emergence of listener and speaker components for the target stimuli. Results showed no significant differences across conditions or stimuli. However, the stimulus pairing Naming experience was effective in inducing the listener component of Naming for 3 of the 4 participants and the speaker component in 1 participant. Increases in speaker responses differed across conditions; however speaker responses generally emerged following the second session. We conducted another probe post-3 weeks using the original condition for each participant. Results demonstrated that all 4 participants met criterion for the listener component and 1 participant met criterion for the speaker component.
66. Relational Training of Contextual Cues and Self-Rule Formation in Simulated Slot Machines
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Discussant: Joyce Tu (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Abstract: Between 1% and 1.4% of people who engage in gambling behaviors lead to disordered or pathological gambling (Whiting & Dixon, 2015), while 44% of all money spent on legal gambling is done so with slot machines (Choliz, 2010). Various behavioral concepts have been theorized as a possible source of gambling addition such as losses disguised as wins (LDWs), near-miss, gamblers’ fallacy, illusions of control, and verbally constructed self-rules related to these topics. The current study sought to extend the previous research on condition discrimination in altering slot machine preference while also analyzing the effects of vocalized self-rules during slot machine selection. Conclusions are drawn regarding results comparing cumulative selection to various vocal statement categories. Limitations are expressed and future research is suggested. This study was an initial step into a behaviorally complex concept in an effort to observe the verbal behavior of its participants as they responded to the on-screen stimuli.
67. Teaching Sustained Referential Behavior to a Young Child With Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
VANESSA WILLMOTH (University of Nevada, Reno), Kristen Green (University of Nevada, Reno), Ainsley B. Lewon (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Joyce Tu (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Abstract: J.R. Kantors Psychological Linguistics describes a natural science approach to studying linguistic behavior and interactions. The current study utilizes this theoretical approach to examine the development of referential linguistic interactions in a young child with autism enrolled in an early intensive behavioral intervention program. Specifically, tutors were first trained in a procedure to teach the child to initiate a referent. Then, a changing criterion design was used to teach the child to sustain referential behavior for an increasing number of interactions. On the basis of Kantors Psychological Linguistics, Bijou et al.s set of procedures developed for identifying and analyzing referential interactions was used to train tutors to identify referential linguistic behavior, and record and measure the interactions between the tutor and child. Generalization probes were also conducted to determine the extent to which improvements in referential interactions observed in treatment occurred in other settings and with other people.
70. Exploring a Sentence-Completion Strategy With the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
LISA LOGTERMAN (Southern Illinois University), Andrea Davidson (Southern Illinois University), Sunni Primeaux (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Chad Drake (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Kate La Londe (Michigan State University)
Abstract: Perceptions of race have generated an extensive amount of empirical attention in psychology, mostly through the use of self-report measures that involve well-known shortcomings when a behavioral approach is desired. In recent years, racial evaluations have been addressed with a variety of behavioral tasks that are otherwise known as implicit measures, including the Implicit Association Test. A recently-developed implicit measure known as the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) is a behavior analytic alternative that has demonstrated utility in measuring racially stigmatizing attitudes. To date, the stimulus selection strategy for the IRAP has followed a straightforward approach involving response options for trials such as true/false, similar/different, and agree/disagree. The current study examined a modified IRAP configuration designed to assess racial attitudes with a new and unique approach to response options. More specifically, the IRAP was designed to present trials that omitted response options and instead relied on a sentence-completion approach to trials. This IRAP was administered along with established self-report measures of racial attitudes, providing a basis for re-evaluating convergent validity in comparison to the results obtained with existing studies.
71. Effect of the Autoclitic Training in Stimulus Equivalence Tasks
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
MARCIO FELIPE TARDEM (Universidade de São Paulo/ Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico), Marcos Roberto Garcia (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná), Joao Juliani (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná), Caio Cavazzani (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná), Maicon Almeida (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná), Henrique Silva Ferreira (Instituto de Psicologia e Análise do Comportamento)
Discussant: Kate La Londe (Michigan State University)
Abstract: Several researches have suggested a relation between verbal behavior and stimulus equivalence. For instance, verbal behavior may act as a facilitator in class formation of stimuli equivalence. We aimed to verify if autoclitics training facilitate the formation of the stimulus equivalence classes and its speed. Two experiments were conducted. During Experiment I, six participants (4 to 5 years old) were asked to talk about a set of daily pictures that could be combined, then, during pre-test, three of them, experimental group, were taught to use the autoclitic goes with when describing a new set of pictures, the other half, control group, was not taught to use autoclitics. Finally, all of them have gone through stimuli equivalence tests with familiar pictures and a post-test describing the same set of pictures from pre-test. Experiment II followed the same procedure, but, arbitrary stimuli were used during stimulus equivalence test. All participants from the experimental group formed stimuli equivalence classes (requiring 4 to 8 blocks, in Experiment I and 8 to 13 blocks in Experiment II). But, only two participants from the control group formed equivalence classes (8 blocks on Experiment I, 17 blocks on Experiment II). The data indicates that autoclitic may increase equivalence class formation and its speed.
72. Effects of Dictation Taking and Spelling Responses in Children
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
ANDREA MAZO (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Samuel Nathan Krus (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Samantha Smalley (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Stephanie Ann Lo (Southern IL University Carbondale), Ruth Anne Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Kate La Londe (Michigan State University)
Abstract: Several studies have demonstrated that conditions can be arranged to promote increases in a nontargeted verbal operant following instruction of another verbal operant. Furthermore, Palmer (2010), stated that in order to fully understand behavior at the covert level, we must expand our repertoire of experimental and analytical tools. One way to expand our experimental procedures is to use covert indicators to measure overt processes. In this study we will use a multiple baseline design with embedded probes to evaluate the effects of an instructional protocol on 2 nontargeted verbal repertoires (taking dictation and vocal spelling) in children ages 6-7. The children will be divided into two groups. The first group will be instructed in taking dictation with vocal probes to test for the emergence of vocal spelling of the words. The second group will be instructed in vocally spelling the words with written probes to test for the emergence of written responses. In addition, covert indicators will be operationally defined and measured throughout the study for each child. We hypothesize that each child will demonstrate the emergence of nontargeted verbal operants. In addition, we hypothesize that we will develop a measure to indicate covert thinking at the overt level.
73. Examination of Auditory and Visual Stimuli on the Accuracy and Latency to Respond in a Mental Arithmetic Task
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
BRITTANY BENITEZ (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee), Tiffany Kodak (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee), Samantha Bergmann (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee ), Brittany LeBlanc (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee), Mike Harman (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Maryam Ayazi (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee), Ella M Gorgan (UW-Milwaukee), Zhanxu Liu (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee)
Discussant: Kate La Londe (Michigan State University)
Abstract: According to Skinner (1957), the time period between the statement of a math problem and the overt response to the problem is comprised of covert behavior. A speaker must serve as his/her own listener in order to edit his/her verbal behavior and produce a response. The introduction of competing stimuli may interrupt self-editing and covert problem solving and influence the accuracy or latency of a response due to deficient or defective feedback (p. 179; p. 384). The purpose of the current study was to provide preliminary support for this hypothesis. We presented mental arithmetic tasks in this study, and undergraduate students served as participants. The experimenter presented 20 trials of addition problems vocally in Experiment 1 and both vocally and visually in Experiment 2. Ten trials were accompanied by the presentation of an audio recording of numbers (experimental), and 10 were not (control). The results of Experiment 1 showed decreased accuracy and longer latencies to respond during experimental trials compared to control trials. The presence of visual stimuli in Experiment 2 was associated with improved accuracy. Accuracy was higher in control trials in Experiment 1 and overall in Experiment 2, providing evidence for Skinner’s hypotheses related to verbal thinking.
74. Shaping Verbal Behavior Increases the Use of Specific Praise by General Educators
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
MARNIE NICOLE SHAPIRO (The Ohio State University), Ziwei Xu (The Ohio State University), A. Charles Catania (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Nancy A. Neef (The Ohio State University), Michael Kranak (The Ohio State University), Elle Smith (The Ohio State University)
Discussant: Kate La Londe (Michigan State University)
Abstract: Shaping verbal behavior can impact not only verbal behavior (i.e., what people say about what they do), but also nonverbal behavior (i.e., what people actually do). We extended this line of inquiry to socially significant behaviors in applied settings. A multiple-baseline design across participants examined the effect of the verbal shaping of questionnaire responses on general education teachers’ responses to that questionnaire and the collateral effects on their spoken interactions with their students. We differentially reinforced questionnaire statements favoring teachers’ behavior-specific praise and found that specific praise increased while reprimands decreased as teachers interacted with their students. Shaping verbal behavior therefore appears to be a viable option for adding desired behaviors to teachers’ repertoires. Our findings imply that practitioners should arrange contingencies for teachers’ verbal behavior about how they interact with their students rather than for the interactions themselves. This issue provides a direction for future research related to verbal shaping in applied settings.
75. Calculating the Verbal Behavior Stimulus Control Ratio Equation
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
LEE L. MASON (University of Texas at San Antonio), Alonzo Alfredo Andrews (University of Texas at San Antonio), Stephanie Curtis (University of Texas at San Antonio)
Discussant: Kate La Londe (Michigan State University)
Abstract: The verbal behavior stimulus control ratio evaluation (VB-SCoRE) is a novel outcome measure to analyze the convergence of stimulus control over functional speech. Lerman, Parten, Addison, Vorndran, Volkert, and Kodak (2005) described the use of an analog verbal operant analysis to identify the antecedents and consequences controlling the verbal behavior of children with language deficits. As with functional analyses of problem behavior, pre-intervention verbal operant analyses are increasingly being employed to help identify deficits in verbal behavior and guide treatment. Spawned from this line of research, the VB-SCoRE is a novel behavior metric that is sensitive to change over time. The VB-SCoRE posits each of the four primary verbal operant assessed through such analyses (mands, echoics, tacts, and sequelics) against one another for a comparison of relative response rates. The aggregate ratio is then converted into a single statistic to quantify the individual's verbal repertoire, therefore allowing SCoRE data to be collected and analyzed repeatedly over time. Accordingly, the VB-SCoRE may be employed to monitor performance and assess treatment efficacy of individuals with autism and other language disorders.



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