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 #59
Assisted Observation: Using Technology to Better Measure Effective Responding to Aversive or Delayed Consequences
Saturday, May 26, 2018
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, America's Cup A-D
Area: CBM/OBM; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Melissa Morgan Miller (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)

Basic and applied research in clinical behavior analysis identifies the control of behavior by distal, positive reinforcers as central to psychological well-being. On the other hand, both psychological inflexibility (i.e., dominance of aversive control) and heavy delay discounting are associated with a number of problematic behaviors. Recently developed technologies allow us to study these extended behavior patterns more effectively. This symposium focuses on the application of technology to better assess responding to acute aversive and/or delayed consequences across three studies. The first presentation examines data from the second iteration of a computer-based, behavioral assessment of delay discounting, where participants engage in behaviors that result either in fewer, immediate points or more points awarded after an experiential delay. The second presentation reviews a series of studies examining the relative effects of brief psychological flexibility interventions on behavioral manifestations of body image inflexibility using technology. The third presentation examines the impact of a series of values interventions in the workplace using an ecological momentary assessment mobile application. Implications of methods and consequences of each intervention and the role of technology in behavior analytic research will also be discussed.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Assessment, Body Image, Delay Discounting, Technology

Continuing Validation of a Computerized Behavioral Measure of Body Image Flexibility

JONAH DAVID MCMANUS (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Kyla Zimmerman (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)

Psychological flexibility is of central importance in one approach to clinical behavior analysis—Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Psychological flexibility involves a pattern of responding where verbally-established values are able to influence effective appetitive behavior in the presence of previously aversive stimulation. Body image flexibility is a special case of psychological flexibility that refers to values-directed behavior in the presence of aversive body experiences. The Body Image Flexibility Assessment Procedure (BIFAP) was developed to assess body image flexibility. It is does so measuring the responses to compound stimuli comprised of a derived values stimulus and a derived body stimulus. Previous validation studies have demonstrated convergence between performance on the BIFAP and other assessments of body image flexibility including: self-report questionnaires, established tests of verbal inflexibility, and experience sampling probes. Over the past year, a series of studies have been conducted examining changes in BIFAP performance following different flexibility-based interventions. Results suggest that body image flexibility, as assessed by performance the BIFAP, is differentially impacted by brief interventions. Implications for assessment and treatment will be discussed.

The Choice Game: Preliminary Evaluations of a Computer-Based, Behavioral Assessment of Delay Discounting
DARYL RACHAL (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Jessica Auzenne (University of North Texas), Patrick Rappold (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Madison Gamble (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: Impulsivity often leads to high-risk behavior due to its focus on immediate gratification in lieu of long-term gains. Delay discounting is the phenomenon through which a larger, delayed reward is discounted to the extent that the individual displays a preference for a smaller, immediate reward. Most human delay discounting procedures involve choices between two hypothetical outcomes involving various types of reinforcers. In these procedures, participants are provided with multiple trials where two hypothetical outcomes (e.g., $10 now or $20 after some delay) are presented and a choice is made between the two. The validity of such tasks is limited, however, as participants never directly experience the relevant contingencies (i.e., reinforcers and delays) of the task. This paper will introduce and present pilot data on the second iteration of the Choice Game, a computer-based, behavioral assessment of delay discounting, in which participants directly contact both the reinforcers and the delays. Similar to previous findings, new data suggest slightly different processes of delay discounting when contingencies are directly experienced. Implications for analysis of and intervention on impulsivity will be discussed.
There Should Be An App For That: Facilitating Large-Scale, Self-Administered Behavioral Interventions In Business Settings
HAWK DUNCAN (Duncan Enterprises), Daryl Rachal (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: Behavioral interventions can be extremely successful at generating positive change in an individual’s life. Generating that same positive change in a community requires incredible scale, which may be difficult to accomplish using human interventionists. Technologies available today have the potential to solve some of the problems that emerge with scale, while the absence of human interventionists creates new ones. Within the context of a business organization, certain behavior changes are viewed as important for improved and sustained performance, as well as quality of life in the work environment. This paper will present pilot data from a series of values interventions in the workplace using an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) mobile application designed to improve large-scale employee performance on aversive tasks. The mobile application, funded by the company in which it was developed and tested, went through a series of iterations in search of a design that collected the desired behavioral data while facilitating values-consistent behavior change. Preliminary data suggests the application did not succeed in producing significant behavior change. Implications and possible explanations of these findings will be discussed, along with some challenges of doing applied work in a business environment and possible ways to address these problems going forward.



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