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 #435
CE Offered: BACB
Technology and Verbal Behavior
Monday, May 28, 2018
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Grand Hall B
Area: VRB/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: William F. Potter (California State University, Stanislaus)
CE Instructor: William F. Potter, Ph.D.

Investigating Verbal Behavior can be challenging due to its speed of emission, complex topography and the multiple controlling variables that often summates into a single response. Various technologies have been successfully used by many branches of science to further investigations within those fields. This symposium will examine the use of some readily available technology for research conducted in Behavior Analysis, but with particular emphasis in the area of Verbal Behavior. Speech to Text recognition, eye-trackers and computers in general will be three technologies discussed, among others. Some examples of these technologies being used for research purposes will be presented, as well as potential use of each of them. Over the years these tools have become inexpensive, ubiquitous and more accessible to people unfamiliar with the technology used to develop and deploy them. Some of these advances, and methods used to implement them in behavioral research will be examined. In addition, several of these technologies will be demonstrated in the symposium.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Experimental Analysis, Technology, Verbal Behavior
Target Audience:

All Behavior Analysts who are interested in research or application.

Learning Objectives: 1. To learn about types of technology available for Behavior Analytic research and application 2. To see the possible application of these technologies - with examples. 3. To come to understand the ease of access now inherent in these technologies.
Speech to Text Recognition and Other Technologies for Behavior Analysts
(Applied Research)
WILLIAM F. POTTER (California State University, Stanislaus)
Abstract: This presentation will show some simple to implement technologies that can provide interesting and revealing data in both experimental and applied settings. Using standard speech to text recognition software, some data will be displayed showing how this technology can enhance our understanding of verbal behavior. An example software package will be demonstrated, and the process used to create and implement it will also be demonstrated. This real-time demonstration will show the power of this technology in reducing the time needed to conduct research in this area (for instance greatly reducing the time needed to transcribe audio tapes) and providing a much easier way to conduct IOAs. In addition, since the computer can track time easily it introduces more data about the temporal dimensions of verbal behavior, including how conversations overlap, potentially the size of verbal operants, etc. Finally, several other uses of technology will be demonstrated – for both applied and experimental work.
Application of Technology for Behavior Analysis
(Applied Research)
SHANNON AUDRAIN BIANCHI (California State University, Stanislaus)
Abstract: Technology can improve the accuracy and quantity of data gathering in applied settings. In addition, such technology can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of behavior analysts while on the job. Some simple examples of applied technology include discrete-trial-training delivered by computers where possible (for instance simple tact training), and using computers, tablets or phones to take data – including using simple software to take time and frequency data. That same software can easily and quickly calculate the inter-observer agreement percentages. This presentation will cover some uses of technology in several applied settings, and will present some data the researchers gathered from classroom and research settings using some of the technologies described in this symposium. Part of the presentation will include an analysis of the challenges a non-tech person might encounter when trying to use these technologies. Finally, some estimates of the time savings that one might expect in applied settings will be explored.

Eye-Trackers and Behavior Analysis

(Basic Research)
RYAN N. REDNER (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)

In 2010 David Palmer proposed that eye movement could be measured as an observable dependent variable and may complement existing measures of complex behavior. A brief review of eye tracking research as utilized in nicotine and tobacco research will be provided. Eye-movement tracking has been utilized to study standard tobacco marketing as well as a response to interventions that reduce the likelihood of purchasing tobacco products (e.g., graphic health displays). Palmer (2010) also proposed that eye movement may be the relevant stimulus in tacts of relation among visual stimuli (e.g., "Above," as in Above the refrigerator). It has been assumed that the stimulus positions control the tact of relation, but it is possible that this tact may be controlled as a response to the behavior of the eye movement as the eye orients towards the space above the refrigerator. The second part of this presentation will focus on a review of the behavioral literature on eye-movement tracking following Palmer's (2010) call for additional research on eye-movement tracking. This review will emphasize the conceptual position of eye movement as the relevant stimulus in the tact of relation among visual stimuli.




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