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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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Poster Session #353
Monday, May 30, 2016
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
Riverside Exhibit Hall, Hyatt Regency, Purple East
TPC
Chair: Edward K. Morris (University of Kansas)
21. The Face Validity Fallacy in Animal Models of Human Behavior
Area: EAB; Domain: Theory
ESPEN SJOBERG (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)
Discussant: Marlene Cohen (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: When establishing validity for an animal model of a human condition, there exists a high risk of false positives. This occurs because an animal model consists of both an experimental group and a control group. When interpreting the results, either group’s performance relative to the other group’s performance can be compared to the original human behaviour. This means that any result other than a null result will establish validity with one of the two groups acting as the post-hoc experimental group. Thus, with random data, there is a 2/3 probability that an animal model is supported. Considering that null results are less likely, both when published (file drawer problem), and when visual graph analysis is employed, this creates a very high probability that any animal experiment conducted with at least two strains will gain empirical support and face validity as a model of a human condition. This problem is labelled as the face validity fallacy. It is proposed that research on animal models must strongly emphasize a priori predictions in order to increase the falsifiability of their hypothesis, as well as reliability, mechanistic validity, and effect size comparisons.
 
22. Assessing the Use of Automated Data Collection Systems in Applied Behavior Analytic Research
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
ADDAM J WAWRZONEK (Michigan State University), M. Y. Savana Bak (Michigan State University), Josh Plavnick (Michigan State University)
Discussant: Marlene Cohen (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Automated data collection systems have the potential to remove much of the human error involved in data collection and preserve the reliability and accuracy of measures in behavioral analysis. The most recent review to determine how much automated data collection is used was a 1977 study which found that 16% of JABA articles utilized automated systems. The present study systematically reviewed the literature of three applied behavior analytic journals in order to determine how many published studies are using automated data collection. It also examined the most recent issue of JEAB in order to compare use of the technology in experimental research relative to applied research. The results demonstrated that while technology has increased over the past 40 years, the use of it to record data in applied research is still limited. In applied journals, less than 12% of published studies utilized automated systems. In JEAB, however, 85% of studies used automated data collection. Implications for future directions in the application of technology in data collection and types of automated systems available will be discussed.
 
23. Data Collection and Measurement Assessment in Behavioral Research: 1958-2013
Domain: Theory
SETH KING (Tennessee Technological University)
Discussant: Marlene Cohen (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: The measurement of behavior plays an integral role in behavior analysis. Behavior analysts, as with all scientists, must establish a clear and concise link between observed measures and the actual phenomena under observation. Three measures help establish the link – interobserver agreement, reliability, and accuracy. Authors in the current review surveyed over 2,000 studies from behavioral journals published between 1958-2013. Guiding questions covered how behavior analysts collect data and to what extent and how do they conduct assessments of the dependent variables. Results indicated that the collection of data across behavior analytic research occurs equitably between direct observation, permanent product, and automated recording. Additionally, only a third of studies include dependent measure assessment with the vast majority occurring at the interobserver agreement level. The discussion centers on issues surrounding the reliance on interobserver agreement within our science and the potential of future technological advancements to improve the link between measurement and the natural world.
 
24. A Review of Human Lab Experiments in Recent Behavior Analytic Journals: How Many Participants Were Run at a Time?
Domain: Theory
MICHAEL PALMER (Central Michigan University), Luke Lubbers (Central Michigan University), Carl Merle Johnson (Central Michigan University)
Discussant: Marlene Cohen (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Scientific works must be precise and thorough to allow for both systematic and direct replication. However, when attempting to replicate experiments researchers may not find details in published studies, such as number of participants run in each session. Decades of research in social psychology has demonstrated that group size can influence the performance of participants. Reviews of 30 years of three behavior analytic journals, The Psychological Record, Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, were conducted and a total of 692 articles were found to be human lab studies. Approximately 48% of these articles did not specify the number of participants run at a time. Of that 48%, approximately 91% provided descriptive statistics of number of participants run at a time. Little behavior analytic research has systematically explored the presence of observers on performance of participants. Due to decades of research showing consistent effects in social psychology, authors of human behavior analytic research should begin to specify these variables to facilitate both direct and systematic replications and further the field.
 
25. Experimenter Presence in Human Laboratory Studies in Behavior Analysis Journals
Domain: Theory
LUKE LUBBERS (Central Michigan University), Michael Palmer (Central Michigan University), Carl Merle Johnson (Central Michigan University)
Discussant: Marlene Cohen (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: There has been a push in psychology to reproduce results from published studies. The replication project (Nosek et al., 2015) found that only 26% of studies replicated produced statistically significant results. Factors not reported in the original article’s method section could have led to these failures to replicate. For example, whether researchers were in the lab room with participants during the experiment could have influenced outcomes. Social psychology research has demonstrated that experimenter presence can influence outcomes of human lab studies. Reviews of 30 years of three behavior analytic journals, The Psychological Record, Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, were conducted. A total of 692 articles were found to be human lab studies and these were reviewed. Approximately 70% of articles across these peer-reviewed journals did not specify experimenter presence. Authors should begin to specify this variable to facilitate both direct and systematic replications and further the field of behavior analysis.
 
26. Utility of Standard Measurement as a Means of Decision Making in Functional Analytic Psychotherapy
Domain: Theory
ABIGAIL LEWIS (University of Nevada, Reno), Elinor Waite (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Marlene Cohen (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: A literature review was conducted to evaluate how research methods have been used historically in Functional Analytic Psychotherapy. Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) uses a variety of therapeutic techniques grounded in behavioral science to enhance the therapist-client relationship. Data collected from the literature review suggests that Functional Analytic Psychotherapy primarily uses self-report surveys and measures based on topography rather than function. The authors of the poster suggest that directly observable outcomes would be preferred to self-report surveys and may lead to favorable results, especially when looked at in the context of therapy. The authors also propose that in order for Functional Analytic Psychotherapy to be successful, target behavior should be classified into functional classes instead of topographical, as functional classes will provide a stronger therapeutic alliance. Furthermore, authors advise that data ought to be collected during therapy using a standard measurement system. A more reliable method of therapeutic decision-making and data collection will be discussed.
 
27. Believability of Experimental Effects: The Problem of Chance Reliability in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 1980-2015
Domain: Basic Research
Xiafei Xue (Missouri State University), MICHAEL C. CLAYTON (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Marlene Cohen (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: The collection of observational data in applied behavior analysis requires a method of determining the how “believable” the data from human observers can be. In order to ensure that the data collected by the observer are similar to those that would be obtained by other competent observers, researchers conduct reliability checks. A second observer independently records the same target behavior during the same experimental session and then the records generated by the two observers are compared. Reliability checks are used to summarize the results and are reported as interobserver agreement (IOA). The most common methods of calculating IOA have weaknesses when it comes to establishing the believability of the data. Interval by interval (I x I) reliability is the most frequently used and involves dividing the number of agreements by the total number of occasions in which observers agreed and disagreed. I x I has been criticized for inflating the percentage of agreement estimate when response rates are low by including cases of agreement which involve the observers agreeing the behavior has not occurred. In response, scored interval (S-I) and unscored interval (U-I) methods have been suggested, but also have problems. Thirty-five years ago, Birkimer and Brown (1979) and Hopkins (1979) put forward an elegant solution to the problems associated with other methods of calculating IOA and offered a graphical judgment aid to summarize obtained and chance reliability data to assess the believability of experimental effects. Adoption of these recommendations has been unimpressive and is summarized for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis in the years since the solution was first proposed. Possible reasons for this oversight and analysis of the strengths of the graphical aid are also discussed.
 
28. Sampling Error Based on Number of Trials in Acquisition Research
Area: PRA; Domain: Theory
MARIANA I. CASTILLO (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Shuyan Sun (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Amber E. Mendres-Smith (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Barbara J. Davis (University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Little Leaves Behavioral Services), Jessica Becraft (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), John C. Borrero (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Discussant: Marlene Cohen (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Percentage is a measure of responding that is commonly used in applied research, particularly involving skill acquisition and discrete trial training. When calculating percentages, ideally we would use 100 trials because any percentage calculated with less than 100 is subject to sampling error and should be interpreted with caution. If conducting 100 trials is not a feasible option, what is the ideal number of trials that should be completed when attempting to estimate a participant’s true score? In addition to the number of trials used, a participant’s true ability can also influence the magnitude of the average measurement error observed. In this study we (a) highlight the variation associated with the number of trials conducted, (b) determine the average measurement error associated with the number of trials used and the level of performance, and (c) make recommendations for researchers and clinicians to follow based on an acceptable level of error.
 
29. Using Correlation Notation to Represent Behavioral Phenomena
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
SHELDON ROBERT EBBELER (Quest Kids, Inc.)
Discussant: Marlene Cohen (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Across scientific disciplines, including behavior analysis, fundamental principles related to the natural world are found by direct analysis of phenomena. However, “everyday language about behavior is not generally precise enough for technical or scientific description of behavior” (J. Michael, 1995). Since the 17th century, precise notations for symbolizing such complex relationships have facilitated not only the communication and refinement of these ideas but also the development of that field. The field of behavior analysis is without such a system. Correlation Notation provides a comprehensive means to systematically depict even complex behavioral phenomena. With just over a handful of symbols, the notation is parsimonious without being simplistic. This system is not aligned with any particular theory but rather simply describes interrelations—as those found between the environment and behavior. The notation constitutes an easy-to-use but powerful technology, for not only newcomers to behavior analysis but also scholars.
 
30. What is Being Produced and Published About Procrastination Recently? A Literature Eeview in Psycinfo Database
Domain: Theory
FANNY SILVA (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Fernanda Castanho Calixto (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Mariana Panosso (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Discussant: Marlene Cohen (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: A literature review was developed using PsycINFO database about procrastination studies, regarding procedure, dependent and independent variables, and participants. It was considered english or portuguese papers, in which procrastination was the main object of investigation, and in the period from 2010 to 2015. From 114 papers, 64 were selected and categorized according to participant characteristics; procedures; independent and dependent variables. Participants were more frequently undergraduate students (59.4%) followed by high school students (14.1%). Procrastination was measured using scales or tests (indirect behavior measures) (n=58; 90.6%), and/or through direct measure of a procrastination behavior (n=17; 26.6%). In most studies (n = 53, 82.8%), procrastination was correlated with personality traits or personal beliefs, measured directly (n = 11; 17.2%) or indirectly (n = 42; 65.6%). Only 6 studies developed an intervention seeking procrastination decrease. Of these, one of them had indirect measure and five had procrastination direct measure, but just one was from Behavior Analysis perspective, through contingence manipulation in responding tests. These results showed that major of studies correlate procrastination with some personality characteristic and assessed procrastination by indirect measures. Behavior Analysis may contribute to this research field with variable control, direct measures and contingencies analysis, expanding dialogue with others disciplines.
 
31. Tracking Frequencies of Inner Behavior Using the Standard Celeration Chart
Domain: Theory
ELINOR WAITE (University of Nevada, Reno), Hilary Sanotsky (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Marlene Cohen (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Private events, such as thoughts, feelings, and recurring dreams, are often referred to as inner behavior. Precision teaching is a series of guiding principles and tools used to count and record behavior, primarily using the Standard Celeration Chart (SCC). Precision Teachers have historically not limited their scope to behaviors which are directly observable to more than one person, and have often placed self-observed inner behavior onto the Standard Celeration Chart. In the following discussion, a literature review was conducted to analyze patterns regarding the years and months in which researchers and practitioners have demonstrated an active interest observing and counting inner behavior. Following a discussion of how much interest has historically been shown towards treating inner behavior as countable units--authors will discuss the future implications and potential directions for the counting and interacting with graphically represented counts of inner behavior including self monitoring, and improving therapeutic outcomes. Authors also suggest that more applied examples of charting inner behavior be made available for more broad academic audiences.
 
32. Publication Trends in the Research of Pediatric Feeding Disorders
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
MEARA MCMAHON (University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Kennedy Krieger Institute), Carrie S. W. Borrero (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Marlene Cohen (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: The assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding disorders is multifaceted and a growing area within the field of applied behavior analysis. Negative reinforcement has shown to be a primary component in the maintenance of pediatric feeding disorders (Piazza et al., 2003; Borrero et al., 2010) with escape extinction (EE) used as a common treatment component to decrease food refusal and increase food acceptance. However, this treatment has perhaps consequentially directed research away from additional assessment or alternatives to treating the complexities of a feeding disorder. The present study evaluated the past 5 years of pediatric feeding literature published in behavior analytic journals. To date, 22 articles from the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis were reviewed. Results showed that 82% of the recent literature has focused heavily on treatment, specifically of food refusal (62%) and selectivity (25%), compared to assessment & reviews (18%). In articles addressing treatment, EE alone was most commonly used, as seen in 56% of articles, followed by EE with noncontingent access to reinforcement at 39%. These treatments frequently target increases in food volume and variety. Antecedent and reinforcement interventions were used infrequently. Considerations for topics within pediatric feeding that might benefit from future research will be discussed.
 
33. Assessing Social Validity of Treatment Using Comparative Probe Data
Domain: Applied Research
LAUREN WITHHART (Marcus Autism Center/Children's Healthcare of Atla), Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center/Emory University/Children's H), Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center/Emory University/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta)
Abstract: Social validity of behavioral treatments is an essential component in ensuring outcomes of behavioral treatments result in meaningful changes in the lives of the consumers. Social validity is often difficult to measure objectively, relying on subjective evaluation or normative comparisons (Armstrong, Ernhardt, Cool, & Poling, 1997; Kendall, Marrs-Garcia, Nath, & Sheldrick, 1999). In the current study, consumer goals were developed with caregivers, followed by pre-treatment caregiver probes, collected in the context of the goals under natural occurring antecedents with no structured consequences. Multiple post-treatment probes were collected following a functional analysis, treatment development, and caregiver training. Post-treatment probes were conducted in the home and clinic settings under the same antecedent contingencies as pre-treatment probes. Results show that problem behavior was reduced and maintained at low rates during post-treatment caregiver probes across 10 of 11 participants, demonstrating that caregiver goals can translate into an objective measure of treatment success that is socially valid.
 
34. Desensitization Techniques: Development, Pioneers and Milestones
Area: PRA; Domain: Theory
KINGA WOLOS-ZACHMEIER (ABRITE)
Abstract: Desensitization techniques are powerful and effective tools in the hands of behavior analysts. They have the potential to greatly improve quality of life, especially for individuals whose aversions impact their everyday functioning. While many ABA practitioners use desensitization techniques in their practice, certain aspects of the history of this approach and some of the major contributors to its development are not widely known. This poster will present a timeline with the most important milestones in the development of the desensitization techniques that are in wide use today. The timeline begins with Pavlov’s basic research on pairing neutral stimuli with reinforcement; it continues with Watson’s work on conditioning fear of previously neutral stimuli; Wolpe’s systematic desensitization approach to the treatment of simple phobias; and Stampfl’s flooding therapy. Additionally, connections between these milestones will be highlighted. This poster will be of interest to behavior analysts who work with individuals who may benefit from desensitization techniques, as it will direct them to the most relevant literature on the subject.
 
35. The Concept of The 'Whole' Organism in Behavioral Neuroscience
Area: BPN; Domain: Theory
DANIELE ORTU (University of North Texas), April M. Becker (The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center)
Abstract: Although it seems clear that a hippocampal slice does not constitute a whole organism while an unmolested lab rat does, the intuitive distinction blurs somewhere in the continuous changes and variations that an organism may undergo during a lifetime or within an experimental procedure. Genetically modified organisms, organisms with brain damage or lesions (including injured humans), or even organisms with missing limbs/body parts constitute a challenge to the behavioral community; our verbal behavior categorizing them as whole or not will likely be varied from person to person. We must then challenge ourselves to discover more precisely what function this distinction serves in the behavior of the scientist. As a possible solution, we may expect that behavioral principles will apply differentially to the two categories (a functional definition). If so, differential behavior by the scientist could come in the form of separating mechanism from behavior and studying whole/not-whole organisms separately, expecting whole-part relationships rather than horizontal generality. Yet if we do adopt such a functional definition of intact, we are forced to make that category more inclusive than we have in the past. If activity measured in some part of a body is considered behavior if it acts according to behavioral principles (it is sensitive to antecedents and consequences), then some subset of neural responses must be considered behavior since a number of experimental findings have indeed described how they can enter functional relationships with antecedent and consequential stimulation (e.g., Sommer, 1987; Miltner, Larbig, & Braun, 1986). However, this exclusively functional definition would not rule out some extreme examples, such as of neural responses measured in isolated hippocampal slices. Yet we propose that a truly scientifically useful concept of the whole organism requires this or another functional definition, even if the resulting lines of fracture offend our intuition.
 
36. On Skinner's Philosophy of Technology
Area: CSE; Domain: Theory
CESAR ANTONIO ALVES DA ROCHA (Universidade Federal de São Carlos (Federal University of Sao Carlos - Brazil))
Abstract: As stated by contemporary philosophers of science, theories can hardly apply to scientific acceptance without anticipating some of their potential technological developments. Behavior analysis is no exception: the two-way street between behavioral basic science and behavioral technologies represents this reciprocal feedback circuit. But when we are to talk about technology in the context of behavior analysis, on what exactly are we talking about? Skinners work encompasses not only the detailed proposal for a science of behavior and its philosophical grounds, but also a particular view on the issue of technology. This work aims to explore Skinners philosophy of technology, with special focus on its view about the relations between science, technology and society. Given the growing trend in applying behavioral technologies in the field of public policy a possible realization of what Skinner envisioned as cultural design this is an effort that deserves to be conducted, as it should be made clear what is meant by technology in general, and by behavioral technologies and their application in society, in particular.
 
37. Feminist Behavior Analysis a Compatible Theoretical Basis for Advancement
Area: CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
ELIZABETH BENEDICKT (Capella University)
Abstract: Over the years feminist scholars have had difficulty finding a solid and compatible theoretical framework in which they could operate in order to further progress the feminist agenda. In her 1995 publication on radical behaviorism and a feminist reconstruction, Maria Ruiz asks the following; is radical behaviorism conceptually compatible with the feminist agenda and can radical behaviorism serve as a framework for feminists to accomplish their goals? (Ruiz, 1995). One of the criticisms of other theoretical perspectives that have been used in feminism, is that those perspectives are male dominated and highly subjective. Statistics show that the field of applied behavior analysis is dominated by females not only in numbers but also in pay scale. In 2004 56% of all Board Certified Behavior Analysts were female, and 78% of all Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts were female (Behavior Analyst Certification Board, 2004). For this reason radical behaviorism would be a natural theoretical framework for feminists to operate under for simple gender accountability and social validity reasons. Additionally radical behaviorism's founding principles would lend scientific validity to the feminist agenda. Providing measurable and observable goals enacting real world solutions to the subjugation of females.
 
38. Applied Behavior Analysis and Positive Behavior Support
Domain: Theory
KATHRYN M. ROOSE (University of Nevada, Reno), Ashley Eden Greenwald (University of Nevada, Reno), Jodie Soracco (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Foundations of ABA and PBS The foundations of ABA and PBS will be explored from a vantage point of a classically trained Behavior Analyst who practices in Positive Behavior Support. Early history of ABA influencing the application of PBS will be discussed and arguments over the past few decades will be presented from both sides of the debate. Concluding remarks from the author will be provided as to the present day status of the relationship between ABA and PBS how clinicians in each domain can best address it. Opportunity for renewed collaboration will be discussed. ABA and PBS in Practice A review of common PBS practices and terminology will be provided, highlighting how the practices are rooted to behavior analytic principles. Tier I and Tier II practices will be examined from the perspective of behavior analysis and PBS terminology will be presented in behavior analytic verbal behavior. Additionally, basic behavior analytic principles will be described and application of the principles will be discussed through examples, specifically with regard to Tier III supports. This section of the presentation will enlighten attendees to the different language used within ABA and PBS and demonstrate that the foundational principles are the same. Debunking Myths of PBS In light of the great benefits to conducting interdisciplinary work, it is not uncommon for practitioners to harbor misconceptions without a rich understanding of each contributing discipline. PBS is no stranger to ABA, yet many practitioners of ABA maintain common misinterpretations and misunderstandings of PBS concepts and practices. Common myths of PBS will be presented and addressed.
 
39. Adapt to Survive: Applied Behavior Analysis or Applied Behavioral Science?
Domain: Theory
RUTH-ANNE E. POLI (Virginia Tech), Micah Roediger (Virginia Tech), Keenan Twohig (Virginia Tech), Jeana Herring (Center for Applied Behavior Systems), Devin Carter (Virginia Tech), Trevin Glasgow (Virginia Tech), Alexandra Bazdar (Center for Applied Behavior Systems), E. Scott Geller (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: The term applied behavior analysis has become part of common vernacular in the professional community, but does not sit as well with non-behavioral analysts. Applied behavior science is a more fitting term for a discipline that applies behavioral principles to make positive social changes through structured intervention procedures. Unfortunately, applied behavior analysis has been plagued with a dissemination disadvantage, partially due to the term analysis. For this study, an in-depth examination will be conducted on a population unfamiliar with either applied behavior analysis or applied behavioral science. Perceptions of the terms will be systematically assessed. A preliminary study of 32 research assistants was conducted in a research center focusing on community-based behavioral interventions. Despite a strong understanding of applied behavior analysis, most of these participants still showed a preference for applied behavioral science. For example, on average students reported believing applied behavioral scientists earned more money than applied behavior analysts. Considering these results are from individuals with a strong understanding of applied behavior analysis, the results from a large non-academic sample are expected to be even more extreme. Albeit painful, these findings suggest a shift from the term analysis to science to promote a more prestigious discipline and profession.
 
40. An Analysis of Connotations in Scientific Terminology Following "On Terms" Publications
Domain: Theory
HILARY SANOTSKY (University of Nevada, Reno), Abigail Lewis (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: On Terms have been developed in order to foster similar connotations amongst central terms within Behavior Analysis. On Terms pieces have historically presented a term with multiple definitions, then suggested one to use in the future. In the present discussion a literature review of these articles will provide information on changes in how terms are used in research following publication of a given On Terms. The authors of this poster suggest that terms within research should adopt the idea that On Terms advise, however, it is noted that On Terms might not yield effective outcomes in creating a common language amongst practitioners and researchers. Authors, further suggest new systems and means of making common terms clear and unified. Lastly, authors will discuss whether or not there is a need to improve the function of On Terms or if they are currently being used successfully. If terms are not being used successfully, an analysis of the articles, and connotations used following their publication will speak to whether or not provided definitions were appropriate or not for the use in behavior analysis.
 
41. The Problem of Technical Drift in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Domain: Basic Research
STEPHANIE AHOLT (Missouri State University), Brandy Davis (Missouri State University), Michael C. Clayton (Missouri State University)
Abstract: The problem of technical drift in applied behavior analysis was first described by Hayes. Rincover, and Solnick in 1980. The authors surveyed the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis over 10 years and found that the field was becoming more purely technical and focusing more on maintenance, but less on other forms of generality. The current study surveyed experimental articles in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis from 1980 to 2015. Two of the earlier dimensions (applied, generality) were retained. The journal continues to publish fewer analogue studies and data on generality across time, settings, behaviors, and individuals is mixed. There is some evidence for maintenance over time, but maintenance across settings, behaviors, and persons remains rare. These trends are discussed in terms of a technical drift in the field of applied behavior analysis.
 
42. What Kind of Function Are We Talking About?
Area: TBA; Domain: Theory
HENRIQUE POMPERMAIER (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Abstract: In his critics to causal thought, Merleau-Ponty criticizes the analyses of psychological phenomena in terms of functional relations between variables, in a sense borrowed from Math and Logic, accusing this approach of maintaining the analyses in an external and mechanical level. On the other hand, Merleau-Ponty defends a sense of functioning to functional approach the elements get their meaning considering their role on the functioning dynamic of the phenomena. Merleau-Pontys arguments are challenging to Behavior Analyses, considering that functional analysis of variables is the way indicated by Skinner, inspired on Ernest Machs work, to overlap the mechanical linear causal approach. This work aimed to discuss the critical thesis of Merleau-Ponty and explore its impact in a Behavior Analytic approach. Some exerts of Skinners work about functional analysis was analyzed, showing that in spite of functional be predominantly used in a sense of relation between variables, it is possible to find a comprehension of functional related to functioning. Some implications of this discussion to questions on the explanation model in Radical Behaviorism are pointed out.
 
43. Self-Generated Contingencies in Addiction: Verbal Behavior as a Mediating Variable of Maintenance
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
TYLER GLASSFORD (Saint Louis University), Alyssa N. Wilson (Saint Louis University)
Abstract: Behavior analytic therapies are effective at treating addiction, but continued behavior change during follow-up is limited. Theoretical explanations of the behavioral mechanisms that affect addiction when treatment is removed have been limited. Thus, the purpose of this paper to discuss the role verbal behavior plays as a mediator of healthy behaviors and can influence healthy choices during addiction treatment. Contingency contracting has proven to be an effective treatment, however there is little demonstration of control in maintenance or follow up probes. According to the principle of extinction, it is unlikely that participants that achieve maintenance are not contacting any reinforcement; thus it behooves the field to attempt to identify the mediating variables of maintenance. Verbal behavior also allows humans to respond to reinforcement that are remote, and accrue incrementally through time. Differential negative reinforcement of other behavior occurs verbally, which allows subjects to continue to access reinforcement for continued healthy behaviors. It is hypothesized that if participants were taught to self-generate verbal stimuli that reinforce healthy choices, maintenance of healthy behaviors would increase once treatment is removed. Researchers can benefit from this analysis by analyzing components of treatments that are geared towards teaching participants to verbally self-reinforce their own behaviors.
 
44. Whatever Happened to the Study of Rule-Governed Behavior? The Rise and Fall of a Fundamental Concept
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
ANDRES H. GARCIA-PENAGOS (University of Tennessee)
Abstract: In the rise of cognitive psychology in the 1970's, Skinner struggled to defend the thesis that the experimental analysis of behavior could indeed address the study of so-called higher mental processes, including knowledge and thinking. To do so he introduced the notorious concept of rule-governed behavior (interestingly, only remotely related to his analysis of verbal behavior): behavior under the control of a particular type of discriminative stimuli that specify contingencies. This conceptual introduction went relatively unnoticed until in the late 70's and early 80's special interest was placed on the extent and nature of the differences between human and nonhuman subjects in operant experiments. The experimental and conceptual analysis of control by rules became an important research topic in the analysis of behavior during the 80's and the early 90's, to only fade in prevalence and interest in later years. The rise and fall of this experimental tradition is explored, paying particular attention to unsolved issues, and using this history to critically illustrate the difficulties and struggles of our discipline to deal with the social behavior of normal-developing, verbal adults.
 

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