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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #302
CE Offered: BACB
Walking, Punching, and Eating: Approaches to Studying Health Behaviors
Sunday, May 27, 2018
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, America's Cup A-D
Area: CBM/EAB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Erin B. Rasmussen (Idaho State University)
Discussant: Christine E. Hughes (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
CE Instructor: Neil Deochand, Ph.D.

Behavioral medicine has become a fertile ground for research in behavior analysis. Health related operant behaviors, such as walking, exercising, and eating have been shown to be sensitive to experimental manipulations. Altering the frequency, intensity and topography of health behaviors have been shown to impact serious health conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers (CDC, 2015). Additionally, 'impulsive' behaviors, like those measured by delay discounting, have been correlated with unhealthy behavior patterns. This symposium addresses many important factors to consider when undertaking a health behavior intervention: how to best measure and set goals for the target behavior, how to use contingency management to alter the frequency or intensity of the target behavior, and how to examine natural environmental variables, like time of day, that could alter the frequency or topography of health-related behavior. Finally, a discussant will summarize the contributions of behavior analysis to behavior medicine, and offer suggestions for further explorations

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): contingency management, eating, health, physical activity
Target Audience:

Behavioral researchers and practitioners interested in behavioral medicine and health related behavior change

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to: 1. Identify appropriate health behavior targets 2. Describe the use of contingency management to increase health behavior 3. Describe the use of delay discounting to study health behavior
Force to Volume and Speed to Beats per Minute: What Happens When Music is Tied to Punching Performance?
NEIL DEOCHAND (University of Cincinnati), Richard Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: There are limitations to using only visual feedback (e.g., visual depictions of heart rate, speed, distance traveled, duration of workout, or calories burned etc.) to track, or improve exercise performance, especially for some sports, such as boxing. This issue could be addressed by incorporating real-time audio feedback along with visual feedback on crucial dimensions of a boxing workout. Previous research has demonstrated that music synchronized to the cadence of the activity can improve physical performance. Therefore, embedding that audio feedback within a user’s preferred music individualizes the intervention, while enhancing physical performance. However, no research to this date has examined what happens when boxing performance alters dimensions of the music, such as speed or volume. Using a multiple baseline design across eight subjects, this study evaluates if our music/ visual feedback package results in better workouts and improved exercise performance, when compared to a standard punching bag workout with unaltered music.
Time of Day and Monetary and Food Discounting
YAEEUN LEE (Idaho State University), Darian Carter (Idaho State University), Luis Rodriguez (Idaho State University), Erin B. Rasmussen (Idaho State University)
Abstract: Research suggests that time of day affects human behavior, with individuals who prefer evenings over mornings displaying greater trait impulsivity, sensation-seeking, and lack of response inhibition. Few studies have investigated time of day effects with impulsivity measured through delay discounting (DD). The present study examined the relationship between DD for food and money and the time of day the DD task was administered. Data from an ongoing study with 262 college-age participants were examined. Delay discounting (i.e., k rates) was regressed against time of day categories (morning, early afternoon, late afternoon, and evening). Participants displayed no time-related significant differences in delay discounting for food or monetary discounting, though there was a great deal of variability across time of day. Time of day does not seem to significantly affect individuals’ level impulsivity.
Are the CDC's Recommendations for Physical Activity Adequate? The Relationship Between Reinforced Step Counts and Sedentary Behavior
WENDY DONLIN WASHINGTON (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Sydney Batchelder (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: Several behavioral studies have been successful in increasing average daily step counts in adults. Many of these studies used criteria recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as the ultimate goal: 10,000 steps per day. Newer research published by the American Medical Association has argued that minutes of inactivity may be a better behavioral target to lower health risks associated with cardiovascular disease. They suggest that individuals should try to limit sitting and inactivity to fewer than 10 hours a day while awake (Pandey et. al, 2016). In this presentation, data from at least 140 people enrolled in several contingency management interventions will be used to examine the relationship of daily step counts to sedentary behavior. Preliminary analysis reveals that 10,000 steps a day may be an inadequate target to reduce sedentary behavior to less than 10 hours a day. Approaches to specifically target inactivity in behavior change interventions will be discussed.
Using Freely and Commercially Available Apps and Pedometers to Examine Contingency Management for Physical Activity
MACK S. COSTELLO (Rider University)
Abstract: Behavioral health problems such as inactivity, overeating, and obesity are risk factors for serious outcomes such as mortality. Behavioral procedures that utilize contingency management have been useful for a variety of behavioral health problems, and are increasingly shown to be successful with physical activity while delivered through mobile applications and other technological modalities. Mobile and computer software applications (apps) and pedometers were used in these studies to examine areas relevant to increasing physical activity. Physical activity was measured as steps taken per day. Areas studied included use of competition contingencies on physical activity, and access to online media as reinforcement with goal-setting. Participants were recruited from community and online samples and were included if interested in increasing physical activity for a health related reason. Some studies involved participants with overweight Body Mass Index. Data indicated that widely available apps and tools could be useful in contingency management for physical activity.



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