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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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43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #453
CE Offered: BACB
The Verbal Behavior Stimulus Control Ratio Equation (SCoRE): A Quantification of Language
Monday, May 29, 2017
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 3A
Area: VRB/AUT
CE Instructor: Lee L. Mason, Ph.D.
Chair: Don Davis (University of Texas at San Antonio)
Abstract: Language is a much sought after, yet elusive subject matter for scientific investigation. Entire fields of study have evolved to address the complexities of language, with most employing a structural analysis as the framework for examination. Skinner (1957) proposed that language fell within the scope of a science of behavior, and was therefore open to functional analysis and interpretation. Over the past 60 years, much has been done to further the scientific explanation, prediction, and control of verbal behavior as a function of environmental variables. However, there remains a need to more accurately describe the subject matter of investigation. The Stimulus Control Ratio Equation (SCoRE) is a metric to summarize a behavioral repertoire by comparing the relative frequency of its component parts. The verbal behavior SCoRE compares observed proportions of responding against the null hypothesis to yield a statistic to describe the present level of functional performance. Such information may be useful for measuring change over time and comparing treatment effects within individuals and across groups. This symposium provides a conceptualization of the interdependence of the verbal operants identified by Skinner (1957), a model for analyzing the entirety of the verbal repertoire, and implications for research and practice.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): autism, control ratio, multiple control, verbal behavior
A Review of Participant Descriptions in the Verbal Behavior Literature
(Applied Research)
GABRIELA RIVERA (University of Texas at San Antonio), Victoria Rodriguez Garcia (Utah State University)
Abstract: The purpose of Skinner's (1957) text was "...to be a better was of talking about verbal behavior" (p. 456). Verbal behavior research over the past five years was reviewed to examine the methods authors use to describe the verbal deficits of their participants. Across behavior-analytic journals, research in which at least one of the verbal operants was used as the dependent variable to measures the effect(s) of an independent variable were included in this review. Measures of the participants' verbal behavior deficits were coded according to procedures employed by each author. Results indicate no systematic assessment of verbal behavior deficits, with the majority of authors relying on simple descriptions.
The Verbal Behavior Stimulus Control Ratio Equation (SCoRE): A Quantification of Language
(Applied Research)
LEE L. MASON (Univ of Texas at San Antonio)
Abstract: The Stimulus Control Ratio Equation (SCoRE) is a metric to summarize a behavioral repertoire by comparing the relative frequency of its component parts. The SCoRE compares observed proportions of responding against the null hypothesis to yield a statistic to describe the present level of functional performance. Such information may be useful for measuring change over time and comparing treatment effects within individuals and across groups. The SCoRE is a pragmatic methodology for summarizing composite verbal repertoire by comparing the relative frequency of its component parts. Summarizing the relative response rates of individual verbal operants through the SCoRE provides a statistic for comparison within and across individuals. In addition to idiographic progress monitoring, the SCoRE has applications for use in clinical trials or other group comparisons for demonstrating treatment efficacy as a pre- and post-measure of verbal behavior change.
Referent-Based Verbal Behavior Instruction: Errorless Language Learning
(Service Delivery)
ALONZO ALFREDO ANDREWS (University of Texas at San Antonio)
Abstract: Verbal behavior references its controlling relations over temporally-extended patterns of responding. To the extent that listeners share this history of conditioning, they are positioned to mediate the speaker’s verbal behavior. The verbal behavior that references its source of stimulation is always an iterative function of both prior conditioning and current context. Using referents as a hub for developing verbal behavior provides an efficient and effective method of developing an individualized treatment plan that is functional for children with autism and other language disorders. Here we describe how a verbal behavior SCoRE can be employed as the basis for making data-based instructional decisions, as well as a method of most-to-least prompting based on multiple, convergent control.
 

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