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43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Poster Session #56
Saturday, May 27, 2017
12:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall D
EAB
Chair: Eric S. Murphy (University of Alaska Anchorage)
1. An Evaluation of Temporal Discounting in a Hypothetical Money Scenario: Effects of Four Common Parameters of Reinforcement Magnitude
Domain: Basic Research
MIKE HARMAN (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Tiffany Kodak (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee), Todd L. McKerchar (Jacksonville State University)
Discussant: Albert Malkin (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which four common parameters of reinforcement magnitude (quantity, quality, duration of access, and volume) influenced the rate at which participants discounted the subjective value of a delayed reinforcer. Though these parameters of magnitude are common, no single study has directly investigated this parameter as a determinant to discounting rates. This study used a hypothetical scenarios and participants were prompted to input magnitudes of immediately available reinforcement subjectively equal to a delayed magnitude of reinforcement. Each scenario incorporated a monetary measurement as reinforcement and was phrased according to a particular reinforcement magnitude parameter. The main goal of this study was to determine if these four parameters of reinforcement magnitude differential affected discounting rates even though the molar magnitude of reinforcement was equivocal. The results suggest that the parameter of reinforcement magnitude significantly affected the rate at which participants discounted delayed rewards: each parameter occasioned fundamentally different patterns of responding. From a basic research perspective, these results should be used to hone a more precise explanation of delay discounting and the variables that affect this behavioral phenomenon. From an applied perspective, the outcomes of the current study may aide in the creation of a brief assessment procedure to measure idiosyncratic differences in discounting rates across the four parameters of magnitude. Such idiosyncratic information may help to develop an effective learning procedure that incorporates delays to reinforcement for appropriate behavior.
 
2. Effects Of The Emotional Sates Induction In Delay Discounting
Domain: Basic Research
PAULO SERGIO SÉRGIO DILLON DILLON SOARES FILHO (University of San Buenaventura), Diana Cortés- Patiño (University of San Buenaventura), Alvaro A. Clavijo Alvarez Alvarez (Universidad Nacional de Colombia)
Discussant: Albert Malkin (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Delay discounting refers to option value decrements that result from increments in delay to reinforcement. Different variables affect the amount of delay discounting. Transient states seem to be one of those variables. Data on how some transient states, like emotional ones, affect delay discounting are controversial. This study evaluated the effect of induced emotional states on delay discounting. Three groups from a total of 120 undergraduate students performed a delay-discounting task in which they had to choose between different amounts of immediate or delayed hypothetical monetary rewards. A computer presented each group with pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) before and during the task. The images were selected based on its dimensions of arousal and valence. Results showed no difference in delay discounting (k and AUC values) between groups (p = .88 and .99, respectively), which suggests that the induction of emotional states in this experiment did not affect the participant’s performance in the delay-discounting task.
 
3. Parametric Analyses of the Delay-of-Gratification Procedure in Humans
Domain: Basic Research
Brenda Estela Ortega (National Autonomus University of Mexico), Karina Jardines (National Autonomous University of Mexico ), RAUL AVILA (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
Discussant: Albert Malkin (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: In the typical delay-of-gratification procedure, humans are exposed to a single session with only one choice between rewards that differ in magnitude or quality. Its generality has been proved with pigeons and rats exposed to several sessions of many trials each one. However, there is a lack of similar studies with humans as subjects. Therefore, in this study three parametric extensions of the delay-of-gratification procedure were implemented with humans as subjects. In the first experiment, 15 adults were exposed to one session of 30 choice trials between a TV-video of 32 s delayed for 32 s and another one of 8 s delayed for 2 s. In the next two experiments, eight subjects were exposed to the same procedure in which the delay was lengthened in geometric steps from 0 to 64 s. As Figure 1 shows, the number of delayed-reward choices, defections and the latency of defections were relatively variable in the first experiment and decreased slightly as the delay was lengthened in the next two experiments. These results contribute to the generality from animals to humans of the delay-of-gratification procedure.
 
4. Sociometric Measures as Parameters of Social Discounting
Domain: Basic Research
RAUL AVILA (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Jorge Fernandez (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Cesar Corona (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
Discussant: Albert Malkin (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: In social discounting research, it is common to ask the participants to imagine a list of people with whom they would share a reward (e.g., money). This way of defining the variable is an ordinal scale, which could limit the generality of the discounting procedure. A different strategy to make the list of people to share with may be the measures of the sociometric-status research known as social impact and social preference that can be analyzed at least in an interval scale. In this study, these measures were determined with 60 undergraduate students. Thereafter, the participants indicated their social discounting rate with the typical procedure described in the literature. As Figure 1 shows, the area under the curve of the discounting task was a U-function of social impact (upper panel) and it slightly increased as the social preference increased (lower panel). Globally, these findings suggest that the sociometric measures could be a viable alternative for the imaginary list of people in the studies of social discounting.
 
5. Doing it Faster: A Shorter Sexual Partners Discounting Task
Domain: Basic Research
TADD SCHNEIDER (University of Kansas), Shea M. Lemley (The University of Kansas), David P. Jarmolowicz (The University of Kansas)
Discussant: Albert Malkin (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Engaging in sexual activity places individuals at risk, particularly when that sexual activity occurs with uncommitted partners. Sexual discounting rates, representing devaluation of a sexual outcome due to increased delay or decreased probability, are related to a range of sexual risk behaviors. Most studies have examined discounting of sexual outcomes with the same partner, but previous research has also shown discounting of sexual partners. Such sexual partners discounting procedures are time consuming, potentially limiting their feasibility for some experimental manipulations. Within-subject comparisons of college students’ sexual partners delay and probability discounting rates were determined using two titration methods: a 56-trial titration procedure that progressed +/-1 rank per trial and a 28-trial titration procedure that adjusted the rank of the immediate partner by 50% of the previous titration value on each trial (initially four ranks). Partner options were determined from a preference assessment, and choices were presented between sex with the most-preferred partner (after a delay or with some probability) or an immediate/certain partner (initially the median-ranked partner). The ranking of the immediate/certain partner was titrated across trials (for seven delays and seven probabilities). Results for the two titration procedures were highly correlated for both delay and probability discounting sexual partners.
 
7. Further Reliability Assessments of Several Abbreviated Delay Discounting Measures in Rodents
Domain: Basic Research
ALLYSON RAE SALZER (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire), Eric Markham (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire), Janel Balsavich (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire), Carla H. Lagorio (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire)
Discussant: Albert Malkin (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Delay discounting describes how the value of an outcome is affected by how quickly it is delivered, and has been widely studied over the past 30 years using a variety of approaches. The current research compares the reliability of several brief delay discounting methods, including one developed by Evenden and Ryan (1996) and two methodological variants developed out of our lab that have been effective in achieving orderly discounting curves in one or two weeks. The novel procedures increase the delay to the larger reinforcer option each one or two days rather than across trial blocks. Different groups of rats (n = 6) were repeatedly exposed to the three procedures, and points of subjective equality (PSE) were calculated to assess indifference points between one food pellet available immediately and two, four, or eight pellets delivered after a delay. The Evenden and Ryan procedure periodically generated lower PSE values in higher reinforcer amount conditions (i.e., subjects would wait longer for 2 pellets than 4 or 8), whereas the procedures incrementing delays across sessions produced systematic results. Our continued research is further examining whether the new methods may produce more systematic discounting curves more rapidly than other commonly used assays.
 
8. The Relation between Discounting and Texting While Walking : Effects of Impulsiveness and Selfishness on the Frequency of Texting While Walking
Domain: Basic Research
TAKEHARU IGAKI (Ryutsu Keizai University), Naoki Yamagishi (Ryutsu Keizai University)
Discussant: Albert Malkin (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Hayashi, Russoa, & Wirth (2015) showed that the participants who frequently text while driving discounted delayed rewards more steeply than the controlled participants. In Japan, texting while "walking" has become a social problem because the number of accident due to it is on the rise. So, the purpose of the present study is to examine whether the same results as Hayashi et al. (2015) are obtained for texting while walking and furthermore to investigate the relation between social discounting and the frequency of texting while walking. Texting while walking may be influenced not only by delay discounting which is the measure of impulsiveness but also by social discounting which is the measure of selfishness. That is, the person who frequently text while walking may discount more steeply both for delay and for share. College students (N=206) completed two types of discounting task (delay and social). The results showed that the participants who frequently text while walking showed a greater degree of delay discounting than the controlled participants, consistent with the results of Hayashi et al. (2015). However, there was no correlation between social discounting and the frequency of texting while walking. These results suggested that the frequency of texting while walking depends not on selfishness shown by social discounting but on impulsiveness shown by delay discounting.
 
9. Delay, but not Probability, Discounting is Related to Positive Urgency and Stress
Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
COLIN MAHONEY (Idaho State University), Steven R. Lawyer (Idaho State University)
Discussant: Albert Malkin (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Delay discounting (DD) and probability discounting (PD) are two behavioral measures of impulsive choice that are often thought to reflect different underlying processes (Green & Myerson, 2004), and are related to health-related issues such as addiction and obesity (Bickel et al., 2012). The UPPS Impulsiveness Behavior Scale (UPPS) assesses facets of personality related to impulsive behavior including positive and negative urgency, the tendency to act impulsively when experiencing positive or negative affect. Both behavioral and self-report measures of impulsivity offer unique opportunities to examine transdiagnostic processes, yet corroboration is often impeded by inconsistent relationships between these measures. In this study, 296 community-dwelling participants between the ages of 18 and 30 completed delay and probability discounting tasks for hypothetical money, the UPPS, and the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS). Rates of discounting were derived from the hyperbolic decay function. Correlational analyses revealed that delay discounting rates were significantly related to probability discounting rates, positive urgency, and stress. Probability discounting rates were not significantly associated with positive urgency, negative urgency, or stress. These findings provide further evidence that DD and PD may be measuring different components of impulsivity, and suggest that stress and positive affect are linked to increased impulsive behavior.
 
10. A Three-Dimensional Model of Delay and Social Discounting: Comparing Discounting of Own and Other’s Commodities over Time
Area: CSS; Domain: Basic Research
JORDAN BELISLE (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Dana Paliliunas (Southern Illinois University), Caleb Stanley (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Albert Malkin (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Traditional discounting models have been used a measure of impulsivity (delay and probability discounting), as well as a behavioral model of altruistic responding (social discounting), where the reinforcing value of commodities have been shown to systematically decrease over temporal, probabilistic, or social distance. Discounting, however, rarely occurs in a vacuum, where several interacting factors participate in complex choice behavior. The present study provides a combined model incorporating both social distance as well as temporal distance as predictors of choice behavior. An interactive hyperboloid function was fit to the three-dimensional model and provided a strong fit for the data. In addition, volume under the curve values were determined when delay was framed in the context of the participant, as well as when delay was framed in the context of the hypothetical other. Results suggest that there was a significant difference between the probability of altruistic choice behavior given differential framing of the delay parameter. Together, these results have implications for understanding complex choice behavior, as well as a more complex model of altruistic responding.
 
11. Academic Effort Discounting in College Students
Area: EDC; Domain: Basic Research
SHERRY L. SERDIKOFF (Savannah State University), Destinee Todd (Savannah State University)
Discussant: Albert Malkin (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Effort discounting refers to our tendency to devalue outcomes that require more response effort to obtain. Just as delay discounting can be viewed as a measure of impulsivity, effort discounting can be viewed as a measure of indolence. This study measured indolence in a college setting using an academic effort discounting task with college students. Specifically, we examined the discounting of a hypothetical amount of academic credit (15 extra credit points) that required differing amounts of effort to achieve (2, 3, 5, 8, 11, or 15 extra credit assignments). We estimate the degree to which the effortful outcomes were discounted with two non-linear decay models: an exponential model and a hyperbolic model. Our data show the extent to which academic effort discounting is similar to temporal and probability discounting as measured by these two models. We will discuss the potential usefulness of academic discounting tasks for exploring variables that might be related to academic success, including behavioral variables such as drug use, which has been shown to be related to temporal and probability discounting.
 
12. Temporal Discounting of Future and Past: Hyperbolic Discounting of Past Events is Similar to Discounting of Future Events
Area: PCH; Domain: Basic Research
AYLA SCHMICK (Southern Illinois University), Jordan Belisle (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Holly Seniuk (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Delay discounting has provided a behavioral account of impulsive choice behavior that evaluates how the value of a commodity or event decreases as a function of time. Traditionally, delay discounting has evaluated the decrement in value of a future commodity (i.e., the further in the future that a commodity will be accessed, the less valuable the commodity). A first study was conducted to not only replicate these findings in terms of future commodities, but also to evaluate how the value of commodities decrease as a function of past temporal distance. A total of 40 participants completed both the future and past temporal discounting surveys. In this arrangement, participants were asked if they would rather a smaller sum of money now, versus a larger sum of money at a given time in the past. The results suggest that the hyperbolic curve provides a good fit for discounting of past commodities, similar to discounting of future commodities. The purpose of the second study was to replicate the results of the first study, where the discounted event included time spent on a vacation, where participants were asked if they would rather a shorter vacation now, or a longer vacation either in the past or the future. The results extend upon the findings in the first study, suggesting that participants discount events similar to commodities given temporal distance framed both in terms of the past or future.
 
13. Discounting and Level of Analysis
Domain: Theory
XIAOJIE JOHAN LIU (Boston University), Michael Lamport Commons (Harvard Medical School)
Discussant: Holly Seniuk (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Historically, some explanations of discounting are molar, some are molecular, and some are an integration of both. A micro view looks at behavior in terms of individual events. Micro studies stand in contrast to molecular studies because they use discrimination procedures instead of preference procedures. Discrimination procedure were used to examine samples from reinforcement schedules that varied in reinforcement density or some other property. In a discrimination procedure a samples from two schedules are presented as stimuli to be discriminated. In preference situations, the reinforcer is the consequence of a choice. Three simple advantages of discrimination procedures are: a) perceived value of each possible reinforcing event is studied directly; b) discrimination procedure bypasses the difficulty of assessing the contribution of a large number of patterns of reinforcement; c) Easy to study the effect what changing the rate of reinforcement has on perceived value. A molecular view may look at local rates of reinforcement that do not extend over an entire condition. Melioration is a representation of a molecular analysis. A molar view includes a whole or a number of sessions. New analysis will show how the micro, molecular and macro levels informs the macro level
 
14. Discounting and Risk Equations
Domain: Theory
Patrice Marie Miller (Salem State University), Xiaojie Johan Liu (Boston University), Michael Lamport Commons (Harvard Medical School), KYLE FEATHERSTON (Washington University St. Louis)
Discussant: Holly Seniuk (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: In this paper, equations that best describe discounting and risk are presented. Equation 1 addresses the total value of a long sequence of reinforcers. It posits that the total value (molar) of this long sequence of reinforcers is equal to the sum of the values of the individual events in the sequence. This is represented as: A = SAm. The next two difference equations produced simpler equations than differential equations. Equation 2 is a simple difference equation of overall value, A, with respect to time relates overall value. It yields the hyperbolic discounting model of Commons with the sensitivity parameter k1, Woodford and Ducheny (1982), Commons, Woodford and Trudeau (1991), and Mazur (1987). ?V = ?Ai /?ti = ?Ai/(1 + k1di). The second difference Equation 3 is the quantification of Vaughan?s (1976; 1981; Herrnstein & Vaughan, 1980) melioration concept and is also risk (see also, Herrnstein & Prelec, 1991) It is obtained. by taking the difference of Equation 2 and is hyperbolic also, ?(?V)/?di = ?(?Ai /(1 + k2di))/?di. The parameter k2 is an organism?s sensitivity to risk. It is important to note that Equation 3 is also a hyperbolic equation.
 
15. Transformation of Function and Prior Derived Relations Testing
Domain: Basic Research
LAUREN BEST (College of Charleston), Adam H. Doughty (College of Charleston)
Discussant: Holly Seniuk (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Recent findings from our laboratory suggest that the emergence of derived stimulus relations sometimes requires their previous testing. The literature involving the role of prior derived-relations testing on transformation of function is minimal. The present study assessed transformation of function in stimulus-equivalence classes without prior derived-relations testing. Eight college students first learned AB and BC discriminations in baseline such that three, three-member equivalence classes could have been established. Importantly, however, derived-relations testing involving BC and CB did not occur. Instead, the participants were trained to respond differently in the presence of the B1 and B2 stimuli to avoid money loss. Finally, responding in the presence of C1 and C2 was measured in the absence of differential consequences. Only four of the eight participants responded in a manner consistent with transformation of function. These findings are consistent with the claim that prior derived-relations testing is critical to observing transformation of function.
 
16. Comparison of Different Training Structures in the Emergence of Equivalence Relations
Domain: Basic Research
ADRIANA GABRIELA QUEZADA VELÁZQUEZ (Universidad de Guadalajara), Maria Antonia Padilla Vargas (University of Guadalajara), Carlos Javier Flores Aguirre (Universidad de Guadalajara)
Discussant: Holly Seniuk (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Several studies have compared the effectiveness of training structures to enable equivalence, but there is no parsimony about which is the most effective: Many To One (MTO) or One To Many (OTM). The objectives of this work were: to compare the effectiveness of MTO and OTM, assess the effect of presenting just test trials or alternate them with Base Line (BL) trials, and evaluate the effect of reduced feedback. 40 college students were divided in eight groups and trained in three 3-member classes. Groups 1 and 2 were trained with MTO and 3 and 4 with OTM. Groups 1 and 3 were exposed to test trials, while 2 and 4 were exposed to test trials mixed with BL trials; these groups received 100% of feedback. Groups 5, 6, 7, and 8 replicated those groups, but feedback was reduced from 100% to 0%. The results show that groups 7 and 8 obtained highest scores in equivalence test. A generalized linear model was run to identify if difference observed between training structures was statistically significant; the result was X2 of Wald=3.31, p=.069. The results of this study provide information that could help to clarify why differences between MTO and OTM are observed.
 
17. Comparing Limited Hold Levels
Domain: Basic Research
FELIX HOGNASON (ICEABA and NAFO), Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Discussant: Holly Seniuk (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Nine adult participants, age 21 to 24 years, participated in Experiment 1, and one participant, age 22 years, participated in Experiment 2. We will extend the number of particpants within the next 3-4 weeks. The limited hold contingencies for responding to sample and comparison in the conditional discrimination in trainig, were set to 0.7 s and 1.2 s respectively, in both experiments. However, the limited hold contingencies in the tests were set to 0.7 s for the sample and 1.2 s for the comparisons in Experiment 1, and 0.7 for the sample and 6.2 s for the comparisons in Experiment 2. After training identity matching with three colors in Phase I, the participant trained three classes of potentially 5 members with arbitrary stimuli in a LS training structure in Phase II. After reaching the training criterion with at least 90% accuracy, two tests for derived relations were implemented in Phase III. None of the participant responded in accordance to stimulus equivalence in Experiment I, while one participant formed equivalence classes in Experiment 2, indicating that the levels of time restriction used in the conditional discrimination training, is not sufficient to yeald positive class consistent outcome when applied in the tests (see Table 1).
 
18. Stimulus Equivalence in University Students after Go/No-Go Successive Matching Training
Domain: Basic Research
MASAKI ISHIZUKA (Tokiwa University), Tetsumi Moriyama (Tokiwa University)
Discussant: Holly Seniuk (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Stimulus equivalence is typically examined using n-alternative matching-to-sample procedures. Unlike humans, pigeons and other nonhuman animals typically do not show evidence for equivalence, especially symmetry relations. When trained and tested on go/no-go procedures, pigeons have shown evidence for symmetry (Urcuioli, 2008). The purpose of this study was to investigate whether human participants demonstrate equivalence relations using the go/no-go successive matching like that in Urcuioli’s study. Two university students were trained A→B and B→C conditional discriminations based on the go/no-go procedures with Sanskrit letters. In the training sessions, variable-ratio (VR) 5 schedules with 5 s limited-hold were arranged for four types of positive trials and extinction (EXT) was arranged for four types of negative trials. After five training sessions, the testing for emergent relations began. Three types of emergent relations (symmetry, transitivity, and equivalence) were investigated under EXT. Figure 1 shows results of the training and the tests for two participants. The participant A emitted more responses in the positive trials than in the negative ones and demonstrated all three emergent relations. By contrast, the participant B did not show them. The results confirm the differential responding in the training is necessary for emergent relations between stimuli.
 
19. Do Contingency Manipulations Impact Conditional Discrimination Responding and Observing Patterns on Baseline and Equivalence Probe Trials?
Domain: Basic Research
ANNA TILLERY (University of North Carolina at Wilmington), Carol Pilgrim (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Holly Seniuk (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Stimulus equivalence, which provides a methodology for generating new behavior, allows many relations to emerge after teaching only a few (Sidman & Tailby, 1982). It is important to study how contingency manipulations and higher order contextual control impact baseline and emergent probe performance, to determine the stability of established equivalence classes when baseline conditional discriminations are manipulated, and whether the same stimuli can belong to multiple independent equivalence classes (Sidman, 1994.) Participants included 60 undergraduate students from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. This match-to-sample procedure included AB/AC conditional discrimination training and tests for equivalence, an AC contingency reversal and tests for equivalence, return to the original training contingency and tests for equivalence, AB/AC conditional discrimination training with contextual stimuli, and tests for equivalence under contextual control. Results indicate that altered contingencies disrupt established equivalence classes for most individuals, while some continue to respond consistently with the original training contingency, and that the same stimuli can function as members of two independent equivalence classes under contextual control. Teaching efficiency increases as stimulus classes increase, therefore generating classes that are modifiable to reflect contingency manipulations, and bringing classes under contextual control extends the utility of stimulus equivalence for many applications.
 
20. Can Conditional Stimuli Come to Function as Conditioned Reinforcers Based on Equivalence Class Membership?
Domain: Basic Research
CASEY OGBURN (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Carol Pilgrim (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Connor Sheehan (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Astrid La Cruz Montilla (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Holly Seniuk (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Stimulus equivalence is an approach to the study of symbolic behavior from a behavior-analytic approach. In equivalence training, only a small number of relations are trained, after which, numerous relations emerge without specific training (Sidman & Tailby, 1982). Research on conditioned reinforcement has addressed the processes necessary to create conditioned reinforcers (Gollub, 1977). The present study evaluated stimulus equivalence as an operation for producing conditioned reinforcers. Participants were six children, ages 7-10. They were first taught A and B simple discriminations using class-specific consequences, after which, all participants demonstrated three three-member equivalence classes. CD conditional discriminations were then taught using the same class-specific reinforcers, after which, some children showed the emergence of three five-member equivalence classes. The C stimuli were then used as class-specific consequences in E simple discrimination training to test whether, based on class membership with the reinforcing stimuli, the C stimuli would now function as conditioned reinforcers. Thus far, three subjects have shown these emergent relations, expanding the equivalence classes to six members. Two generalization tests were conducted and the reinforcing function of the C stimuli generalized to a novel testing procedure. Results provide evidence for an approach to creating and demonstrating conditioned reinforcers through MTS training and testing procedures. APPROVED
 
21. Will Stimulus Classes Established by Simple Discrimination Training Meet the Formal Definitions of Stimulus Equivalence?
Domain: Basic Research
ASHLEIGH LEUCK (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Carol Pilgrim (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Connor Sheehan (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Astrid La Cruz Montilla (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Holly Seniuk (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The current study was a systematic continuation of Williams (2016), designed to incorporate an experimental strategy from Sidman et al. (1989). Subjects had mastered simple discrimination training with AB and CD compounds with class-specific reinforcer compounds (CSRC). However, the emergent conditional relations in that study did not meet the formal definitions of the equivalence properties, because the trained baseline relations consisted of simple discriminations only. The current study established relations between an existing member of the classes established in Williams (2016) and a new stimulus; specifically, conditional discriminations DE and DF were trained through differential reinforcement with the same CSRC from Williams (2016). It was of interest to see if training new conditional discriminations provided formal evidence of equivalence, as originally defined. The final phase consisted of simple discrimination probe trials with novel compounds testing for emergent discriminative control in the three-term contingency arrangement. These probes evaluated whether the E and F stimuli functioned similarly to the other members of the class in the originally trained simple discrimination task, even though the stimuli were never presented in simple discrimination training or as part of a training compound. Results spoke to the possibility that functional and equivalence classes are overlapping phenomena.
 
22. On the Role of Test Trials in Classes with Meaningful Stimuli
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
Justice Mensah (Oslo and Akershus University College), ERIK ARNTZEN (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Discussant: Holly Seniuk (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The interest in stimulus equivalence research has been substantial since Sidmans (1971) documentation of emergent relations. Past experiments have found that, the inclusion of at least one meaningful stimulus in a class of abstract stimuli influences the probability of equivalence class formation. Experiments so far have tested the effect of meaningful stimuli on equivalence class formation by training and testing emergent relations with the inclusion of meaningful stimuli. This study therefore seeks to find out the effect of the inclusion of meaningful stimuli in training but without it in emergent relations testing on equivalence class formation. The study has three experimental conditions: Abstract Group, Picture Group, and No-Picture-in-Test Group. The findings so far show that, one of seven participants formed classes in the Abstract Group, six of seven participants formed classes in the Picture Group, and five of seven participants formed classes in the No-Picture-in-Test Group (See Figure 3). Also, the findings show a significant difference in equivalence class formation between the Abstract Group and the Picture Group, as well as between the Abstract Group and the No-Picture-in Test Group. Furthermore, the findings show no significant difference between the Picture Group, and No-Picture-in Test Group.
 
23. Many-to-One Versus One-to-Many: Training Structures and the Emergence of Three Seven-Member Equivalence Classes
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
VANESSA AYRES PEREIRA AIRES (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences), Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Discussant: Camilo Hurtado-Parrado (Konrad Lorenz Fundación Universitaria)
Abstract: The main purpose of the present experiment was to compare the outcomes of two training structures in producing three 7-member equivalence classes. Participants were 30 typical adults. Fifteen were exposed to the Many-to-One (MTO) training structure, and the other fifteen were exposed to the One-to-Many (OTM) training structure. The MTO group trained the baseline relations, BA, CA, DA, EA, FA, and GA; and the OTM group trained AB, AC, AD, AE, AF, and AG, thereby, the A stimuli functioned as nodes in both training structures After learning baseline relations, participants were tested for equivalence class formation (i.e., the emergence of equivalent and symmetric relations, and the maintenance of baselines). As result, 12 of 15 participants exposed to the MTO formed classes, and 13 of 15 did so after exposed to the OTM. On average, the MTO group presented significant less correct responses to baseline trials in the test than the OTM group. Therefore, although training structures did not produce significant differences on the emergence of equivalence classes, analysis suggest their impact over the learning process of baseline relations.
 
24. The Effect of Including Reflexivity Trials in Test for Equivalence Class Formation
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
HANNA STEINUNN STEINGRIMSDOTTIR (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sc), Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Discussant: Camilo Hurtado-Parrado (Konrad Lorenz Fundación Universitaria)
Abstract: The three defining properties of stimulus equivalence relation are reflexivity, symmetry and transitivity (Sidman & Tailby, 1982). According to Sidman (1994) all three properties must be present in order to state that an equivalence class has been established. However, tests for equivalence class formation seldom include reflexivity test trials. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to investigate the effect of including the reflexivity, symmetry, and transitivity trials in a mixed test block. We used the linear-series training structure to form three 5-member stimulus equivalence classes. The results showed that, the likelihood of establishing the stimulus equivalence classes was low. The results from the reflexivity test trials showed that half of the participants responded in accordance to reflexivity, which, if taken for granted that these relations are given, is lower than anticipated. The results will be discussed along with providing suggestions to future studies.
 
25. Effects of Serialized and Concurrent Training on Equivalence Class Formation
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
CHRISTOFFER K. EILIFSEN (Oslo and Akershus University College), Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Discussant: Camilo Hurtado-Parrado (Konrad Lorenz Fundación Universitaria)
Abstract: The current study compared two procedures for establishing prerequisite conditional discriminations for stimulus equivalence performance. In serialized training, sets of conditional discriminations were established before more trial types were introduced, while in concurrent training all conditional discriminations were introduced from the beginning of the procedure. Both procedures were followed by a concurrently arranged test for stimulus equivalence. Twenty adult participants experienced both procedures, with 10 participants in Group 1 experiencing the serialized training first with stimulus set 1, subsequently followed by concurrent training with the novel stimulus set 2. Participants in Group 2 experienced concurrent training with stimulus set 2 first, followed by serialized training with stimulus set 1. Findings show that more participants responded in accordance to stimulus equivalence following serialized training compared to concurrent training, regardless of the order of these training arrangements. The experiment will be expanded by two additional conditions where stimulus sets assigned to serialized and concurrent procedure will be reversed. Participants in Group 3 will experience serialized training first with stimulus set 2, followed by concurrent training with stimulus set 1. Participants in Group 4 will experience the concurrent training with stimulus set 1 first, followed by serialized training with stimulus set 2.
 
26. Symbolic Behavior in Children With Autism: Are Non-Arbitrary Relational Responding of Size and Quantity Necessary for Deriving Comparative Relations Between Bank Notes?
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
ANDRÉ A B VARELLA (Universidade Catolica Dom Bosco), Deisy Das Graças De Souza (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Discussant: Camilo Hurtado-Parrado (Konrad Lorenz Fundación Universitaria)
Abstract: Emergent comparative relations has been studied in behavior analysis especially by Relational Frame Theory (RFT). According to RFT, derived comparative relations (an arbitrarily applicable relational response, AARR) is possible due to a specific pattern of responding, abstracted after a learning history of multiple exemplars involving non-arbitrary relational responding (NARR). However, it is not yet clear if NARR is a prerequisite for deriving AARR, as conceptualized by RFT. In the current study, we investigated if autistic children who did not show conceptual behavior of size and quantity (NARR) would derive comparative relations (AARR) between five Brazilian Real banknotes, and evaluated if the overlapping conditional discrimination procedure could be used to engender comparative relations. Seven children failed in pretests of conceptual behavior, baseline and targeted comparative relations. A 2-choice matching task established four overlapping conditional discriminations, in the following sequence: D1-D2 (R$50-R$20), D2-D3 (R$20-R$10), D3-D4 (R$10-R$5) and D4-D5 (R$5-R$2) relations. Sample stimuli consisted in show me the smaller and show me the larger instructions, whereas comparison stimuli consisted in the two banknote replicas. For example, during D1-D2 training, the experimenter presented D1 (R$50) and D2 (R$20) as comparisons. Selecting D1 when the sample was show me the larger and selecting D2 after the instruction show me the smaller were defined as correct and reinforced. After mastering baseline training, the participants were exposed to the comparative relation probes (D2-D4 and D1-D5 probes). Two of the seven participants learned all baseline relations and demonstrated the emergence of all tested relations. The results suggest that NARR is not a prerequisite for emerging AARR and the overlapping conditional discrimination procedure could establish derived comparative relations. Also, the results suggest that the expansion of the stimulus equivalence paradigm proposed by Green, Stromer and Mackay (1993), developed to study ordinal relations, may account for what RFT defines as comparative relations.
 
27. Effects of Lag Schedules on Behavioral Variability: Targeting Different Portions of Response Sequences
Domain: Basic Research
CASEY MCKOY IRWIN (College of Charleston), Nicholas Van Zandt (College of Charleston), Kelly Roughgarden (University of the Pacific), Adam H. Doughty (College of Charleston)
Discussant: Camilo Hurtado-Parrado (Konrad Lorenz Fundación Universitaria)
Abstract: Behavioral variation can be acquired and maintained under a Lag schedule. For example, variation in 4-peck sequences of pigeons is observed under a Lag 5 schedule, which entails the delivery of a reinforcer only if the current 4-peck sequence is different than each of the previous five 4-peck sequences. The present research investigated whether variation under a Lag schedule is affected when it targets only a portion of a 4-peck sequence. In two experiments, pigeons were required to vary some portion of their final responses in a sequence, whereas in one experiment, they were required to vary some portion of their initial responses in a sequence. Different values of the Lag schedule were studied in each experiment. The findings suggested that there were some differences in variation when the Lag schedule targeted the final, compared to the initial, responses of the sequences. However, despite these differences, behavioral variation primarily was influenced by the value of the Lag schedule and not by the portion of the sequence targeted. Discussed are the implications of the results for our understanding of isolating the functional unit in reinforced variation.
 
28. Quantifying Behavioral Variability During a Virtual Risk-Taking Task
Domain: Basic Research
ERIC STEPHEN KRUGER (The University of New Mexico), Jeremy Dean (The University of New Mexico), Jacob Vigil (The University of New Mexico)
Discussant: Camilo Hurtado-Parrado (Konrad Lorenz Fundación Universitaria)
Abstract: Behavioral risk-taking tasks are frequently used in psychological research. These tasks measure when a subjects behavior changes from approaching reward to avoiding punishment. Typically, behavior is quantified on a unidimensional scale. In this study, a task was developed in a three-dimensional virtual environment in order to capture a multidimensional response class. In this task, exploration leads to increased reward (money), but too much exploration lead to loss of accrued rewards. Using multivariate dynamic time warping, behavioral variability was quantified by the degree to which the subjects path of exploration in one trial was similar/dissimilar to other trials. It was hypothesized that behavioral variability would decrease across trials as contact with reinforcement increased. Each subject completed a total of 60 trials between two sessions and each session was composed of two blocks of 15 trials. A mixed-effects ANCOVA compared behavioral variability between blocks. Early indication (study is ongoing) from 30 undergraduate subjects, is that this may be partially true. Blocks 2 and 3 show a decrease in variability but an increase in Block 4. This study describes a novel behavioral risk task in a virtual environment and also describes temporal shifts in a multidimensional response class across time.
 
29. Behavioral Variability and Resistance to Change: A Study With Humans
Domain: Basic Research
MIKE PERFILLON (University of Lille), Vinca Riviere (University of Lille )
Discussant: Camilo Hurtado-Parrado (Konrad Lorenz Fundación Universitaria)
Abstract: Previous studies have shown that behavioral variability can be controlled by environmental contingencies (Page & Neuringer, 1985). Furthermore, some animal studies compared how behavioral variability and stereotyped behavior are resistant to change when using extinction or non-contingent schedule (Arantes et al., 2012). We propose a study to compare resistance to change in behavioral variability and stereotyped behavior in humans. The experiment was divided into training and a perturbation phase. In the first phase, participants are trained to emit either variable or stereotyped letters sequences on a computer. Behavioral variability was operationalized through a lag contingency in which, to be reinforced, the last sequence had to be different from a previous n sequences. Once the criterion of stability was reached, the second phase starts. Perturbation was operationalized using an extinction phase and a non-contingent reinforcement schedule. First results show that behavioral variability is more resistant to change than variable behaviors in extinction phase. There are no significant differences in the non-contingent schedule
 
30. Search for Symmetry in Rats Using Multiple Exemplar Training
Area: AAB; Domain: Basic Research
TIFFANY PHASUKKAN (UNC-Wilmington), Madeleine Mason (University of North Carolina - Wilmington ), Haily Kelliher (University of North Carolina Wilmington ), Katherine Ely Bruce (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Mark Galizio (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Camilo Hurtado-Parrado (Konrad Lorenz Fundación Universitaria)
Abstract: Multiple Exemplar Training (MET) is thought to have been critical to the successful demonstration of symmetry in a sea lion. The present study used MET with rats, which generally do not show symmetry, in a successive conditional discrimination procedure using odor stimuli. Rats were trained on an arbitrary matching-to-sample procedure with a nose-poke response in operant chambers equipped with olfactometers. When high levels of accuracy were attained, symmetry was tested via measuring subjects response rates with the order of the odor stimuli reversed (i.e., originally trained comparison was presented in sample position with originally trained sample as comparison). As symmetry was not observed in any of the rats, the next step was to directly train the symmetry relations. Subjects were trained on a second set of arbitrary conditional discriminations and tested for the symmetrical relation with those respective odors, followed by direct training of symmetry. This procedure was repeated for a third discrimination. However, even after this MET none of the rats have shown evidence of emergent symmetry.
 
31. Two Modes of Instructions for Solving a Task in Adults and Children
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
MARIA LUISA CEPEDA ISLAS ISLAS (FES Iztacala UNAM), Hortensia Hickman (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, FES-Iztacala), Diana Moreno Rodriguez (FES Iztacala Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Rosalinda Arroyo (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)
Discussant: Camilo Hurtado-Parrado (Konrad Lorenz Fundación Universitaria)
Abstract: Several studies have identified how the instructions compete with the contingencies of reinforcement for control of behavior, however has not been investigated systematically how the instructions affect the resulting behaviors, such as solving an experimental task, and taking into account the linguistic aspects (verbal reports) nonlinguistic (execution). Under this view, the functional interaction of two forms of instruction was compared, with and without the rule for the solution of the Tower of London task in children and adults. Twenty universities participated between 18 and 21 years and twenty children between 11 and 12 years. 2x2 group design was used. The experimental sessions were divided into: one training and test session. The results show statistically significant differences between the performance of children and adults in training and latency during testing. In adults differences between the types of instructions were observed. As for the verbal reports, only significant differences were found in the group of adults.
 
32. Self-Control, Impulsivity, and Delay Discounting in Elementary School Children
Domain: Basic Research
LORI-ANN B. FORZANO (The College at Brockport, State University of New York), Tara Kelly (The College at Brockport, SUNY ), Sarah Hoefer (The College at Brockport, SUNY), Michiko Sorama (Kyoto Notre Dame University), Alyssa Button (The College at Brockport, SUNY)
Discussant: Camilo Hurtado-Parrado (Konrad Lorenz Fundación Universitaria)
Abstract: Impulsivity, which can be conceptualized as lack of self-control, is implicated in many childhood disorders. Many measures exist to define the construct of impulsivity. In the delay discounting task, a child decides between hypothetical rewards available immediately or delayed in time. The self-control task involves reinforcer alternatives differing in amount and delay and having a child repeatedly choose between larger, more delayed and smaller, less delayed reinforcers. The first objective of this research is to establish concurrent validity of three impulsivity measures: Childrens Delay Discounting Questionnaire (Sorama & Forzano, 2012), the Self-Control in Daily Life Questionnaire (Sorama & Forzano, 2012), and the SC Video Software task using cartoons (Forzano & Schunk, 2008) previously only used with adults (Forzano et al., 2014). The second objective is to examine the relationship between impulsivity, age, and gender. Preliminary analyses of 141 children (ages 5-12 years) demonstrate no significant relationships. Further research is currently being conducted. The results suggest that concurrent validity of these impulsivity measures should be reexamined.
 

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