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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Paper Session #396
Setting Standards: Guidelines for Treatment Effects and Publishing
Monday, May 28, 2018
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, San Diego Ballroom A
Area: PCH
Instruction Level: Advanced
Chair: Matthew Tincani (Temple University)
Publishing ABA Research That Does Not Demonstrate Experimental Control: Rationale, Considerations, and Tentative Guidelines
Domain: Applied Research
Matthew Tincani (Temple University), JASON TRAVERS (University of Kansas)
Abstract: The file drawer effect is a broadly recognized problem in the social and behavioral sciences. It occurs when studies that fail to demonstrate positive effects are disproportionately unpublished. Historically, applied behavior analysts have viewed experimental control as a necessary feature of high quality research. Consequently, the large majority of published ABA studies demonstrate strong experimental control. However, it is possible that otherwise high quality studies, including failures to replicate, remain unpublished due to the file drawer effect, resulting in a research literature that is biased towards positive findings. Applied behavior analysts who rely on this literature may attempt to apply "evidenced-based" interventions that are actually contraindicated for specific individuals, skills, and clinical situations, fail to produce desired therapeutic outcomes, and contribute to consumer rejection of ABA interventions. In this paper presentation, we discuss how experimental control evolved as the standard for high-quality ABA research; why, in the era of evidence-based practice, rigorous studies that fail to fully demonstrate experimental control are important to include in the body of published ABA intervention research; the role of non-replication studies in discovering intervention boundaries; and considerations for researchers who wish to conduct and appraise ABA studies that fail to yield full experimental control.
Standard Setting in Determining the Effectiveness of Treatment
Domain: Theory
Ray Brogan (Kaplan University), NELLY DIXON (Kaplan University)
Abstract: Standard setting is the essential step in identifying the achievement of desired change in behavior or academic performance. The issues surrounding standard setting are similar whether in the academic or behavioral field. The process of setting a standard is essentially judgmental; there is no equation that can produce an unquestionable result. To reduce the effects of bias and subjectivity, the process has to be based on evidence from previously reported interventions and comparable observations. The standard has to be justified through addressing the questions: 1) why the specified point demarcating success was chosen; 2) what traditional method was used; 3) how any innovation could be an improvement on traditional methods; 4) where the determination of the standard is similar to or different from similar approaches. Ultimately, standard setting represents a prediction that needs to be tested. Therefore, continued monitoring is recommended. Using ?lessons learned? from archival studies in the classroom and college entrance, this study will identify essential points that can be analyzed in studies of behavior change. New ways to determine change in behavior associated with maintained levels of performance will be addressed. Recommendations will encourage professionals from academic and behavioral fields to learn standard-setting approaches from the other.



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