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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 #355
Monday, May 30, 2016
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
Riverside Exhibit Hall, Hyatt Regency, Purple East
Chair: Angela Sanguinetti (University of California, Davis)
63. Naturalistic Study of College Drinking
Area: BPN; Domain: Applied Research
SKYLER RUEB (University of North Texas), Jonathan W. Pinkston (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Scott Geller (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: The prevalence of Alcohol Use Disorders is increasing among college students. Contingency management procedures have been developed to treat alcohol addiction, but their implementation has been hampered by the relatively brief time alcohol remains in the body. Proper management of drinking requires the ability to sample blood-alcohol levels several times per day. The purpose of the present study was to learn more about natural patterns of alcohol consumption in college-aged adults to determine optimal parameters for monitoring drinking. A second goal was to evaluate a novel, handheld technology for obtaining reliable samples remotely over extended time periods. College students were given a SoberLink SL2 breathalyzer for eight weeks to monitor their drinking behaviors and asked to self-report the number of drinks consumed each day. Participants received one to three text messages per day to provide breath samples and earned monetary rewards for submitting samples within the allotted time. The results of this study showed that college students tend to consume alcohol during the evening hours and mostly on the weekends. Compliance with prompts ranged between 77 and 84 percent. Naturalistic observations of college drinking may aid in the development of interventions to prevent excessive drinking and the SL2 breathalyzer may have great potential to be used in a number of therapeutic approaches.
64. Effects of Technology on Social Communication: Is Socially Withdrawn Becoming Socially Acceptable?
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
HEIDI L. HILLMAN (Quincy University), Carey McDermott (Quincy University)
Discussant: Scott Geller (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: Youth and young adults use technology such as the internet more than any other method through which to communicate. Since smartphones and social media (Facebook, Snap Chat, Twitter) is a mainstay of our social world, how we communicate has changed. However, concern exists among researchers regarding the effects of the Internet on skill development (Mishna, McLuckie, & Saini, 2009; Selfhout, Branje, Delsing, Bogt & Meeus, 2009). We used an ABAB design to study the effects of technology (e.g., smartphones, social media) on communication. Before conducting the study we developed a survey consisting of 11 questions. The purpose of the survey was to ask a group of college students to rate their attitudes involving the use of smartphones, tablets, and social media. Other items on the survey consisted of listing estimated time spent using social media and preference for communicating with others. For the survey, participants included 22 college aged students between the ages of 18-35. For the study, participants included 8 college aged students between the ages of 18-22. Participants were chosen because their RA (dorm residence advisor) complained how many college students don't interact when in the presence of others. Observations were conducted at a small university cafeteria during dinner. Two observers, seated on the same side of the cafeteria, observed the students social behaviors as they ate. Each observation period was 20 minutes in length or until students began to leave the table. During the baseline sessions students were observed and no comments about smartphones were given. During the experimental sessions the college student's RA ate with the students and said he wanted all phones put away during dinner. Results showed a lower rate of social communication between the students during both baseline sessions than during the RA prompt session.
65. Developing Intercultural Beliefs and Behaviours Through International Service Trips
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
MICHELLE TURAN (Mohawk College)
Discussant: Scott Geller (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: The researcher investigated the "intercultural skills" and "intercultural sensitivity" that are developed in students and faculty through international service learning. That is, students and faculty of Mohawk and Fanshawe College in the Autism and Behavioural Science graduate certificate program and the Child and Youth Worker diploma program have previously travelled to international destinations such as Costa Rica and India, and have had rich experiences that have affected them personally and professionally, however this has yet to be documented in a measurable way, and the way in which their behaviour has been altered has yet to be defined. This year these students travelled to India and Guatemala alongside their faculty and several assessment tools were used to measure the effects that these service trips had on their intercultural beliefs and their intercultural behaviour. This poster will outline the results of this research project as well as provide a behaviour analytic frame for speaking about intercultural skills and their development.
66. Real-Time Energy Dashboards: Key to Behavior Change or Waste of Money?
Domain: Applied Research
KATHERINE BINDER (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Scott Geller (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: Real-time energy dashboards display electricity use for individual buildings and entire building networks. They were developed under the premise that if occupants see how much they’re consuming, they will alter their behavior to use less. There is a small body of research touting their effectiveness, but given the recent popularity of these dashboards, more rigorous research is warranted. A literature review is presented that provides arguments against the potential for long-term effectiveness of these interventions, despite the existence of publications claiming significant reductions in electricity use following dashboard installation. An effort to replicate these findings was attempted. The study took place on a university campus and included a number of academic and residential buildings. The intervention included the installation of physical and internet based real-time energy dashboards along with an energy reduction competition. When comparing the results to findings from previous research, it becomes apparent that the efficacy of interventions designed to alter electricity-related behavior must be evaluated against a backdrop of cyclicity in each building’s yearly electricity patterns. The findings from this study contrast those from previous research and a call for critique of the methods typically used to evaluate similar interventions is made.
67. The Student Alliance: An Initiative by British Columbia's Association for Applied Behavior Analysis to Increase Student Membership Using a Student Special Interest Group
Domain: Service Delivery
Harley Lang (British Columbia's Association for Applied Behavior Analysis), MARIA TURNER (British Columbia's Association for Applied Behavior Analysis)
Discussant: Scott Geller (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: British Columbias Association for Applied Behaviour Analysis (BC-ABA) undertook an initiative to increase student membership. BC-ABAs Student Representatives promptly established the Student Alliance (SA): a BC-ABA special interest group that is mandated to increase student membership and provide workshops and behaviour analytic education opportunities for their peers. First, student representatives presented talks at each behaviour analytic academic program in British Columbia (N=4) regarding membership with BC-ABA and the SA at the beginning of each academic year. Then, professors at each institution were asked to distribute candidacy forms for students to nominate and elect a representative from their school sit on the SA counsel. The SA counsel officially assembled in January 2015. The counsel met 10 times throughout the calendar year to coordinate student-led events. Three different free events were organized between January 2015 and March 2016. The average student membership count prior to establishing the SA was 71. The average student membership count after establishing the SA was 93. The results indicate that establishing a student special interest group that is mandated to increase student membership and stimulate students to host free workshops for their peers may be a reasonable tactic to increase student membership for associations affiliated with ABAI.
68. Reducing Student Food Waste in a University Cafeteria
Domain: Applied Research
Allyson Salzer (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), ANNA HAMER (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Carla H. Lagorio (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)
Discussant: Scott Geller (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: Environmental and social justice movements have emphasized the importance of reducing food waste. In the United States, food is the number one landfill material, producing harmful atmospheric pollutants. Restaurants generate excessive consumer waste from unfinished meals but also serve thousands daily and therefore hold potential for addressing this large-scale issue. This study targeted a University’s primary buffet-style cafeteria, in which students experience no adverse contingencies for taking more than they consume. Researchers weighed compost bins twice daily to assess weight of leftover food from 7am-9pm. Upon stability, several interventions were parametrically assessed. First, infographics were displayed, providing facts about environmental impacts of food waste and encouraging students to only take food they can consume. This produced a fairly immediate waste reduction, with an ultimate return to baseline levels. A second manipulation introduced a competition, challenging students to “beat” their prior week’s food waste number. This intervention was subsequently replicated and both times food waste was reduced, equating to a projected annual reduction in waste of 30,236 and 17,252 lbs. Given the promise of this manipulation, future research could examine how to implement similar interventions in other locations with ease.
69. The Effect of Product Characteristics on Recycling Behavior
Domain: Applied Research
Audrey Campbell (University of the Pacific), MOLLY HANKLA (University of the Pacific), Amir Cruz-Khalili (University of the Pacific), Katrina Michele Ruiz Bettencourt (University of the Pacific), Carolynn S. Kohn (University of the Pacific)
Discussant: Scott Geller (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: The United States generated 251 million tons of municipal solid waste in 2012 (EPA), half of which entered landfills; paper and paperboard comprised the largest portion. Recycling paper should reduce waste and its negative environmental impact. Although most research has focused on antecedent and consequent interventions or individual characteristics associated with recycling (e.g., attitudes, knowledge), Trudel and Argo (2013) examined product characteristics. They found size of paper affected whether individuals recycled (e.g., approximately 40% recycled small pieces of paper and 80% recycled large paper). We partially replicated their methods, but conducted individual rather than group sessions, in which all participants (N = 60 typically-developing adults) were asked to dispose of all sizes and conditions of paper (twice, for a total of two trials) rather than only one piece of paper once. Results indicated nearly all participants (93%) recycled all pieces of paper (small, medium, standard, crumpled) when recycling and trash bins were concurrently available. These results are unlike those obtained by Trudel and Argo (2013). Factors including reactivity and increased awareness of recycling may account for these observed differences. We should continue to extend our knowledge regarding how packaging and other stimulus characteristics affect individuals’ recycling.
70. Increasing Recycling in Elementary School Classrooms Using Interdependent Group-Oriented Contingencies
Domain: Applied Research
KACIE A ROBLES (California State University, Fresno), Marianne L. Jackson (California State University, Fresno), Steven W. Payne (California State University, Fresno), Criss Wilhite (Fresno State)
Discussant: Scott Geller (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: Recycling is one of the simplest yet most impactful methods for reducing the environmental impact of consumer products. However, there is little research on the most effective methods of increasing recycling behavior. The current study analyzed the effects of an interdependent group-oriented contingency targeting recycling behavior of students in general elementary school classrooms. Two classrooms participated in the study. Dependent variables included the percentages of a) all items properly disposed, b) the percentage of properly recycled items, and c) the percentage of properly disposed non-recyclables. Frequency data on student interactions were also collected. A multiple baseline across classrooms design was used. The results demonstrated that there was an immediate increase in performance when the interdependent group-oriented contingency was implemented, but the effect did not maintain for one classroom. Positive and neutral statements regarding recycling and potential prizes gradually increased throughout the three phases for one classroom. For the other classroom, social interactions decreased during the instructions phase and increased during the interdependent contingency condition. Overall, interdependent group-oriented contingencies may be an effective method for schools to modify student recycling behaviors and increase student collaboration. Possible implications and limitations are discussed and suggestions to extend the current study are made.
71. Poor Correspondence Between Self-Report and Behavior: College Students' Definitions and Free-Pours of Standard Alcohol Servings
Domain: Applied Research
NICOLE SCHULTZ (Auburn University), Carolynn S. Kohn (University of the Pacific), Katrina Michele Ruiz Bettencourt (University of the Pacific), Heather Dunn Carlton (University of the Pacific)
Discussant: Scott Geller (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: College students have difficulty defining a standard drink of alcohol, calling into question the reliability and validity of aggregated college student drinking self-report surveys. The current study compared 192 college students self-reported definitions of standard portions of beer, wine, and hard liquor to their behavior (free-pours). Aggregated data suggest participants were fairly accurate at defining a standard drink of beer (M=10.8 oz, SD=3.8 oz), but not wine (M=7.7 oz, SD=6.4 oz) or liquor (M=2.6 oz, SD=2.3 oz). Aggregated free-pour data suggest participants were fairly accurate at pouring a standard serving of beer (M=10.7 oz, SD=2.5 oz), wine (M=4.9 oz, SD=1.4 oz), and liquor (M=1.27 oz, SD=0.52 oz). Correlations between individual standard drink definitions and corresponding free-pours of beer, wine, and liquor were low (r=.193, p<01, r=.377, p<.001, and r=.134, p=.13, respectively). When each individuals pour was plotted against his or her definition, there was virtually no correspondence between their definition and their free-pour for all three alcohol types (Figure 1). Aggregate results mirror data from group studies, but single-subject analyses highlight the potential low reliability and validity of self-reported drinking, often the only data used to inform intervention, prevention, and policy decisions. Recommendations and suggestions for future research are discussed.
72. Behaviorists for Social Responsibility: The Matrix Project
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
MARK A. MATTAINI (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago; Behaviorists for Social Responsibility), Molli Luke (Behavior Analyst Certification Board/Behaviorists for Social Responsibility), Tara M. Grant (Brohavior/Behaviorists for Social Responsibility), Richard F. Rakos (Cleveland State University; Behaviorists for Social Responsibility)
Discussant: Scott Geller (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: Many behavior analysts came to the fieldoften inspired by Skinner and others sincebecause they wanted to contribute to addressing the enormous challenges faced by human societies. Many find themselves frustrated by limited preparation and opportunities for applying our science to such challenges. Behavioral systems science (cultural analysis) now has reached a point where real potential exists for promoting progressive social change, in close partnership with related disciplines, in areas like climate change and sustainability, poverty and income inequality, human rights and violence, among others. A committee of the BFSR SIG and the SIG Board of Planners spent the past year conducting an analysis of practices across 26 sectors (e.g., behavior analysis education, behavior analytic organizations, several levels of government, business, NGOs, foundations and research institutes, religious and political community organizations). This poster will offer examples of the analyses that have been completed, and outline next steps toward advocating for a discipline-wide commitment to expanding preparation and opportunities for behavioral systems science contributions consistent with the mission of the SIG. Portions of the Matrix Project Analysis and Advocacy Report being prepared by BFSR will be available for review.
73. A Design-Behavior Theory of Eco-Feedback
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
ANGELA SANGUINETTI (University of California, Davis)
Discussant: Scott Geller (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: Eco-feedback is feedback on individual or group behavior that aims to mitigate environmental impacts. Behavior analysts began studying energy feedback in the 1970s. This early eco-feedback typically involved the provision of information about household electricity consumption to the member(s) of that household via private interfaces, e.g., bills, personal devices. Applications of eco-feedback have since expanded to the commercial sector, to other types of resources (e.g., water) and processes (e.g., generation and waste), and to public interfaces targeting the behavior of whole communities. Relatively scant behavioral theory has been advanced to explain the effects of these diverse eco-feedback applications and to guide successful eco-feedback designs. This poster will present a comprehensive, interdisciplinary account of the behavioral functions of eco-feedback and their relationship to various dimensions of eco-feedback design. Specifically, we delineate characteristics of the timing, data, and design of eco-feedback that have implications for its effectiveness as a consequence, discriminative stimulus, or motiving operation with respect to environmentally-relevant behavior.


Modifed by Eddie Soh