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44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Poster Session #75
Saturday, May 26, 2018
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Marriott Marquis, Grand Ballroom 1-6
Chair: Elizabeth Kyonka (University of New England)
25. The Problematic Inter-Trial-Interval in Delay Discounting Experiments on Animals
Area: AAB; Domain: Basic Research
ESPEN SJOBERG (Oslo and Akershus University College), Per Holth (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences), Hans Martin Ottåsen (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences), Ricardo Pellon (Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia), Espen Borgå Johansen Johansen (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Abstract: In a delay discounting experiment, an organism is subjected to two choices: a small, immediate reinforcer and a larger, delayed reinforcer. Following the delivery of the reinforcer, an inter-trial-interval (ITI) occurs. Despite its delay, the large reinforcer is optimal as it produces the highest amount of rewards, and expressing a preference for the small reinforcer is therefore considered a measure of impulsivity. We tested the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat, an animal model of ADHD, on a modified version of this approach in a pilot experiment. The rats were split into two groups: in one group, the response-reinforcer delay was increased for each session, while in another group the ITI increased instead, corresponding in length to the delay in the first group. We found that the rats in the Delay group showed a decreased preference for the larger reinforcer as the trial length increased, but the rats in the ITI group did not show this pattern. This suggests that the rats were sensitive to response-reinforcer delays, but not the length of the inter-trial-interval or the trial length as a whole. This suggests that using compensating designs on animals in delay discounting is problematic.
26. Altruism and Self-Control in Children and Adolescents
Domain: Basic Research
MICHIKO SORAMA (Kyoto Notre Dame University), Masato Ito (Osaka City University), Daisuke Saeki (Osaka City University), Howard Rachlin (Stony Brook University)
Abstract: Recent research with adult humans indicates that selfish choice in a social dilemma task is correlated with degree of social discounting (Jones & Rachlin, 2009). The present study extends this research to children and adolescents by modifying both the social dilemma and social discounting tasks. In the social dilemma task, participants were presented with a choice between their wallet and their friend’s piggy bank. A participant who chose the wallet received either (a) 100 yen or (b) 300 yen; a participant who chose the piggy bank received either (a) 0 yen or (b) 200 yen. Choosing the wallet is regarded as selfish, whereas choosing the piggy bank is regarded as altruistic. The amount a participant received (a or b) was determined by their friend’s choice. If the friend’s choice was selfish, amount-a was received; if the friend’s choice was altruistic, amount-b was received. In the social discounting task, participants were presented with a series of choices between hypothetical rewards of their own or sharing with other people. In the delay discounting task, participants were presented with a series of choices between hypothetical rewards of immediate or delayed. Preliminary analysis of 1076 participants, ages 6-14 years, suggests that the selfishness in the social dilemma task, social discounting rate, and delay discounting rate decreased as a function of age. Results of the participants' social-discounting and delay-discounting tasks are also discussed.
27. Independent Effects of Ideal Body Image Valuation and Delay Discounting on Acute and Chronic Levels of Physical Activity
Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
ROBERT SCOTT LECOMTE (The University of Kansas), Michael Sofis (The University of Kansas), Shea M. Lemley (The University of Kansas), David P. Jarmolowicz (The University of Kansas)
Abstract: College students are exhibiting decreasing patterns of physical activity; and in turn, a greater rate of negative health outcomes after college. Interestingly, the degree to which one discounts the subjective value of delayed rewards (i.e. delay discounting) is related to physical activity and healthy dieting. Efforts to improve one's physical appearance, a subcategory of body image investment, is also linked to greater levels of physical activity and healthy dieting. To our knowledge, no research has evaluated how delay discounting and body image may jointly relate to physical activity. In the current study, forty-six undergraduates reported physical activity, completed a delay discounting task, and indicated the percentage of a hypothetical cash allotment ($1,000) that they would spend on achieving their own ideal body image. Results showed that lower rates of delay discounting and a higher percentage valuation of ideal body image independently predicted PA during the previous week and during a typical week. The current study suggests the importance of examining motivational factors such as body image in conjunction with delay discounting to better understand the initiation and maintenance of physical activity.
28. An Investigation into the Factors Which Affect Decision-Making Processes
Domain: Basic Research
TEGAN ANDREWS (University Of Waikato, New Zealand), Therese Mary Foster (University Of Waikato, New Zealand), Nicola J. Starkey (University Of Waikato, New Zealand)
Abstract: Understanding factors that influence impulsivity in young people is important in reducing risky decision making and behavior. Impulsivity can be measured through direct measures (behavioral tasks), and indirect measures (self-report scales). This study investigated the relationship between direct and indirect measures of impulsivity and their association with age. Participants (67 females, 27 males; M= 24.38 years, range= 16-71 years) completed the Barratt Impulsivity Scale (BIS-11), the Brief Sensation Seeking Scale (BSSS) and a delay discounting task. Data showed that scores on the BIS-11 or the BSSS were not significantly correlated with the indifference points from the delay discounting task at any of the six delays. Age was not significantly correlated with the indifference points, or with the BIS-11. Sensation seeking (BSSS) was negatively correlated with age (r(92)=-.259, p=.013). Thus, direct and indirect measures of impulsivity do not give the same results. The next phase will examine the influence of peers on decisions in the delay discounting task.
29. Can Rats Perform The Marshmallow Test?
Domain: Basic Research
ERIKA WINNIE (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Christine E. Hughes (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: In delay-discounting (DD) procedures, when presented with a choice between a smaller, sooner reinforcer (SSR) and a larger, later reinforcer (LLR), committing to the SSR choice is considered impulsive. In delay-of-gratification (DG) procedures, when presented with this same choice, the inability to sustain that initial choice of the LLR is considered impulsive. If an organism is unable to sustain the LLR choice, it may defect (i.e., switch) to the SSR. In Experiment 1, analysis of discounting functions (using a hyperbolic equation) showed that across DD and DG procedures, the rate of discounting was comparable. However, some rats showed steeper functions in the DG group. Increases in per-opportunity defections as a function of increasing delay were also found. Latencies to defections were short across all delays for most rats. Experiment 2 will be conducted in a similar manner with rats that have no previous history of responding according to DD procedures.
30. Reactive Aggression and Coping Strategies Related to Temporary Discount in University Students
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
AGUSTÍN JAIME NEGRETE (Universidad Autónoma de Baja California), Maria García (Universidad Autónoma de Baja California), Pedro Fernandez (Universidad Autónoma de Baja California), Lidia castro (Universidad Autónoma de Baja California)
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the hyperbolic temporal discounting function in university students and to evaluate the effect of stress coping strategies and social skills in the form of the hyperbolic function of the temporary discount. The sample consisted of 98 students enrolled in the psychology program of Health Sciences, with a mean age of 21.5 years (SD = 3.22), 75 women (76.5%). The following instruments were administered: Modified Coping Strategies Scale (Londoo et al., 2006), Reactive and Proactive Aggression Questionnaire (Andreu, Pea and Ramrez, 2009). The adjusting amount discounting task consisted of presenting to the participants two hypothetical rewards options, one immediately available (adjustable condition with initial value of $ 2000) and another larger reward (fixed condition of $ 4000) available after delays that ranged from one month to eight years. Students who employ stress coping strategies such as tolerating the stressful situation through the control of emotions present smaller discount rate. Students who indicate concern about the expression of positive feelings and the initiation of interactions with the opposite sex present a higher discount rate. Similarly, students who are more afraid of expressing positive feelings present a higher rate of discount to future rewards.
31. Body-Weight Indexes and Delay Discounting in Teenagers
Domain: Basic Research
CESAR CORONA (School of Psychology, National Autonomous University of Mexico), Raul Avila (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
Abstract: Delay discounting refers to the decrease in the subjective value of a reward as a function of the time to its receipt, and steeper discounting rates have been shown to be related to obesity. It has been argued that delay-discounting rates of consumable rewards depend on their caloric value and on the participants body mass index (BMI) or body-fat percentage (BFP). To assess the contribution of reward type and health indexes, 64 teenagers chose between pairs of various hypothetical amounts of money, water, soda, healthy food, and fast food, one amount of each that was smaller but would be received immediately and another, larger amount of that reward that would be received later. An adjusting-amount procedure was used to determine the indifference point at each of seven delays to each of the larger reward amounts. We obtained participants BMI and BFP and divided them in low-weight, normal-weight, overweight, and obesity groups, and low-BFP, acceptable-BFP, high-acceptable-BFP and very-high-BFP groups, respectively. Globally, the AuCs were low and similar for money and water, and higher for fast food, healthy food, and soda, for the two lower health indexes. However, the AuC was variable and not related with the two higher health indexes.
32. Social Discounting and Altruism: A Parametric Extension
Domain: Basic Research
ALDO TOLEDO (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Raul Avila (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
Abstract: Social discounting refers to the decrease in the willingness of an individual to give a reward to another person as the social distance between them increases. As a parametric extension to social discounting, we evaluated the degree of social discounting in which the person can choose to forego a given amount of money in order to give it to one of two persons who are at different social distances from each other and at different social distances from the choosing person. One-hundred seventeen participants were exposed to four conditions of a social-discounting task which consisted of a series of choices between a smaller reward for a socially closer person and a larger reward for a socially farther person. The social distance between both persons, as well as that between the participant and the closer person, was manipulated within and between conditions. Participants showed higher social-discounting rates as the social distance between the nearer and the farther persons increased. These findings extend the study of social discounting and suggest that altruistic and selfish behaviors depend on the social distance between the choosing person and the receivers of the benefit, as well as on the distance between possible receivers.
33. Effects of Relative Magnitude in Probability Discounting
Domain: Basic Research
MOLLY A BARLOW (University of Florida), David J. Cox (University of Florida), Jesse Dallery (University of Florida)
Abstract: Previous researchers have investigated how choices change based on the absolute magnitude of an outcome (e.g. Green et al., 1999). However, no studies have investigated how choices change as a function of magnitude relative to the amount in a participant's bank. We investigated how endowing participants with a bank of varying amounts influenced choice within probability discounting tasks. 60 undergraduate psychology students completed four discounting tasks. Each task presented one of two absolute magnitudes for the uncertain alternative (i.e., $3,000 and $500,000). Additionally, each task presented one of four bank amounts (i.e., 1/4 or 4 times the absolute magnitude). This resulted in four magnitude combinations: small absolute magnitude/small relative to the bank (SA/SR); small absolute magnitude/large relative to the bank (SA/LR); large absolute magnitude/small relative to the bank (LA/LR); large absolute magnitude/large relative to the bank (LA/LR). In the ascending condition, participants prioritized the magnitude relative to the bank amount (i.e., discounting small outcomes relative to bank amount less steeply than large outcomes relative to bank amount). In the descending condition, participants prioritized the absolute magnitude (i.e. discounting small absolute outcomes less steeply than large absolute outcomes). Our results suggest endowed bank amounts can influence participants' choices under uncertain conditions.
34. Translational Effects of Choice Between Fixed- and Mixed-Delays to Reinforcement Among Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CAYENNE SHPALL (University of Texas at Austin), Terry S. Falcomata (University of Texas at Austin), Fabiola Vargas Londoño (University of Texas at Austin), Andrea Ramirez-Cristoforo (University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: Delays to reinforcement are often a necessary component during treatments of challenging behavior (e.g., Functional Communication Training; FCT). In the absence of programmed delay training, the utility and generality of FCT may be limited. Despite the importance of delays to reinforcement during FCT, few studies have empirically isolated and investigated the parameters pertaining to the implementation of delays to reinforcement. Results from basic empirical studies have shown that variable delays, or bi-valued mixed delays to reinforcement, are preferred in humans and nonhuman studies. The current research examined response allocation between fixed and mixed delays to reinforcement using a concurrent schedule of reinforcement. Results showed a preference for mixed delays to reinforcement with 2 out of 6 participants and no preference between delay arrangements for the remaining 4 participants. Potential avenues of future research on the use of mixed delays to reinforcement, such as the application within FCT and maintenance of socially appropriate behaviors, are discussed.
35. Specifying Consequences of Unprotected Sex Affects Condom Use Likelihood in the Sexual Probability Discounting Task
Domain: Basic Research
PATRICK S. JOHNSON (California State University, Chico), Grace Garberson (California State University, Chico)
Abstract: Significant negative health consequences are associated with unprotected sex (i.e., sex without a condom), including sexually transmitted infection (STI) contraction and unwanted pregnancy. Especially at risk for experiencing these negative consequences are college students, who are particularly vulnerable given high rates of casual sexual encounters. The present study used a discounting framework to examine the relative effects of these negative consequences on likelihood of engaging in condom-protected sex in the hypothetical Sexual Probability Discounting Task. Participants (N = 32, 16 male/female college students) viewed a photoset of diverse, clothed individuals and selected two individuals they most and least wanted to have sex with. Next, across a series of event probabilities, participants indicated their likelihood of having condom-protected sex with each partner if the consequence of unprotected sex were pregnancy, STI contraction, or unspecified. Both male and female participants were significantly less likely to use a condom with their more preferred partner (p < .001), and when the consequence of unprotected sex was STI contraction vs. unwanted pregnancy vs. an unspecified consequence (linear contrast, p < .001). These findings suggest preventive efforts emphasizing unwanted pregnancy and/or uncertainty surrounding negative consequences of unprotected sex may maximize condom use likelihood among college students.
36. Effect of the Order of Exposure on Three Self-Control Procedures in Humans
Domain: Basic Research
MEZTLI ROCIO MIRANDA (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Brenda Estela Ortega (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Raul Avila (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
Abstract: To study self-controlled behavior, three main procedures have been used: choice, resistance to "temptation," and delay of gratification. In general, these procedures involve choosing between pairs of rewards of different magnitude and delay of delivery, or refraining from taking an available reward until a predetermined waiting criterion is met. These procedures capture three apparently different aspects or dimensions of self-controlled behavior. Therefore, to examine the interaction between these procedures would be useful to advance our understanding of the dimensions of self-controlled behavior. With this purpose, 18 undergraduate students were exposed to each procedure following different sequences of exposure to them. The participants were exposed to each procedure for three consecutive sessions; the main dependent variable was the obtention of the delayed rewards (SR2). The participants initially exposed to the choice procedure virtually obtained all the SR2 programmed in the three procedures. Participants initially exposed to resistance to "temptation" showed more self-controlled behavior compared to participants initially exposed to delay of gratification. It is suggested that the initial exposure to a procedure may act as a "training" for the following procedure.
37. Music and Social Discounting
Domain: Basic Research
ANTHONY NATHAN NIST (University of Nevada, Reno), Matt Locey (University of Nevada, Reno), Emily Ruff (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Altruism, in a behavioral sense, can be defined as "costly acts that confer economic benefits on other individuals" (Fehr & Fischbacher, 2003). One factor that seems to impact the likelihood of an individual behaving altruistically is what is known as social distance. Jones and Rachlin (2006) found that people will forgo an amount of money to keep for themselves in order to give a larger amount of money to another person, with the amounts of money forgone varying systematically as a function of social distance. There is limited research suggesting music could influence altruistic behavior, but nothing that directly examines altruism through a social discounting paradigm. The goal of the present study was to determine if music could indeed have some impact on altruistic behavior, and more specifically, if an individual's particular music preferences could have an impact on their respective rates of social discounting. Participants were undergraduates at the University of Nevada, Reno. To obtain individual music preferences, two questionnaire tasks were utilized. Each participant experienced three conditions: 1) no music, 2) preferred music, and 3) non-preferred music followed by three versions of a social discounting questionnaire. Results indicate that music does seem to have an impact on rates of social discounting. Participants were more likely to confer hypothetical money to those further away in social distance, rather than keep it for themselves, after hearing a song that they indicated as preferred. The order of music presentation was also a factor. Those who heard their non-preferred song first, were less likely to give away money to someone more socially distant than those participants that heard their preferred song first.
38. Effects of Exercise on Impulsivity Among College Students Using Delay Discounting Task
Domain: Applied Research
SUNGHYUN CHO (Yonsei University), Seung-ah Lee (Yonsei University)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that performing repetitive tasks requiring self-control, such as regular exercise, is an effective strategy for improving impulsivity. This study compared the changes in impulsivity among college students across three fitness classes, which were different in terms of type and total time of exercise. In the high intensity fitness class (n=38), students engaged in muscular exercise at least 3 times a week for an hour and a half per day. In the moderate intensity class (n=25), students had to exercise once a week for 2 hours. In the low intensity class (n=27), students participated in any sports activities including basketball, tennis or squash once a week for an hour and a half. A delay discounting task was administered at the beginning and the end of a semester to measure the changes in impulsivity. The differences among three classes were evaluated by repeated measures analysis of variance. Results revealed no significant difference in changes of impulsivity across three classes. The results suggest that exercise does not improve impulsivity, which is not consistent with early findings. Further studies with larger sample sizes or randomized controlled trials are needed to explore how exercise influences impulsivity.
39. Delay Discounting, Academic Constraints and Demand for Alcoholic Drinks
Area: BPN; Domain: Basic Research
Nate David Popodi (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Catlyn Li Volsi (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Jolee Marie Zizzo (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Kane Poad (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Abigail Schmidt (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Neil Graupner (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Jessica Sklenar (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), MATTHEW E. ANDRZEJEWSKI (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater)
Abstract: The Alcohol Purchasing Task (APT) is a validated measure of demand for alcoholic beverages. It asks participants to hypothetically purchase alcoholic beverages at escalating prices. Hypothetical academic constraints (e.g. an exam the next day at 8:30 am) have been shown to decrease certain measures such as break point (the price that suppresses alcohol purchases to zero) and Pmax (the price associated with maximum alcohol expenditure). Previously, we found that self-reported binge drinkers were less sensitive to the prospect of academic constraints the following day than non-binge drinkers. In this experiment, participants were administered a within-subject version of the APT where they hypothetically purchased drinks under 2 different scenarios: 1) with an exam the next day (EXT) or 2) with no academic constraints the following day (CTRL). The order of the version was counterbalanced across subjects. In addition, each participant completed the 27-item Monetary Choice Questionnaire (MCQ) from Kirby et al. (1999), which is used to estimate k, a discounting parameter. A total of fifty-nine (n=59) subjects have completed this experiment and directly replicated earlier findings. Measures of discounting from the MCQ are going to be related demand functions obtained on the APT in the hopes of assessing the role of impulsivity on sensitivity to academic constraints in the context of alcohol purchasing.
40. Translational research on problems related to the delay and reinforcement magnitude
Area: PRA; Domain: Basic Research
FELIPE DIAZ (Guadalajara University), Jonnathan Gudiño (Guadalajara University), Karina Franco (Guadalajara University)
Abstract: The purpose of the present work was to study the effects of varying delay and reinforcement magnitude in ascending and descending order on response rate. Three studies were conducted to explore the possibility that varying the order of exposure to reinforcement magnitude and delay of reinforcement modulate self-controlled or impulsive behavior. Two studies included experimental subjects and one with a teenager engaged in problem behavior. Experiment 1 examined the joint effects of delay of reinforcement and reinforcement magnitude on response rate in rats. Subjects exposed to reinforcement delays in ascending order showed greater self-controlled behavior than those in descending order. Experiment 2 showed the well-known effect of delayed reinforcement on the response rate, as delay of reinforcement was greater response rate decreased. Experiment 3 was a study included the participation of an adolescent who had been referred for the functional analysis and treatment of problem behavior (i.e., aggression, disruption and substance abuse). The general procedure included reduce reinforcement magnitude if any problem behavior persists. Response rate for aggression, disruption and substance abuse decreased significantly compared to base line. The findings are discussed in the relevance of interaction between experimental analysis of behavior and applied behavior analysis.
41. Behavioral Measures of Impulsivity: Delay and Effort Discounting of Hypothetical Monetary Rewards
Domain: Basic Research
Julyse Migan-Gandonou (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), JULIE A. ACKERLUND BRANDT (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Impulsive behavior (aka, impulsivity) has been defined as a preference for smaller-immediate rewards over larger-delayed rewards. Impulsivity is a hallmark of many behavioral and psychiatric disorders including ADHD, pathological gambling, substance abuse, bipolar disorder, and others. A common variable in impulsive behavior across the lifespan is the inability to forego immediate consequences for delayed consequences. Delay discounting refers to the decrease in the subjective value of a reward based on delays, and provides an empirically-validated framework for assessing and measuring impulsive behavior in humans as well as non-humans. In a typical delay-discounting experiment, individuals are asked to choose between a smaller reward available immediately and a larger reward available after a delay. Effort discounting refers to the decrease in the subjective value of rewards as the effort required to obtain the rewards increases. In a typical effort discounting task, individuals are asked to choose between a low-effort reward and a high-effort reward. The present study assessed impulsive behavior using both the delay and effort discounting frameworks. Preliminary results include similar patterns of responding between the two behavioral measures, and a positive correlation between effort and delay discounting. However, more data will be needed for more conclusive results.
42. The Effect of Delay Discounting Across the Lifespan: An Analysis of Correlated Factors
Domain: Basic Research
LAURA A. KRUSE (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Julie A. Ackerlund Brandt (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology ), Brittney Farley (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Annette Griffith (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Amanda Mahoney (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: There has been much research looking at various disorders and diseases considered to be “impulse” driven; for example, additions (e.g., alcohol, gambling, cigarette, etc.) or mental health (e.g., depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, etc.). However, there has been less research looking at more-simple characteristics such as home ownership, education, or income level. The current study will evaluate at various demographic factors and their relation to the k-value, or degree of discounting. Based on prior research, it is known that overall degree of discounting decreases with age, but the current study will also evaluate whether this change is due to simple maturation or other variables that correlate with changes in age. Based on preliminary results, there appear to be decreases in the k-value based on additional variables (i.e., income, education, children, and home ownership); however, more data will be needed to make more conclusive inferences. One application of these results includes helping employers to design more attractive benefits package to fit their employees based on relevant demographics.
43. Effects of Food Deprivation and Pre-training on Delay Discounting in Male Wistar Rats
Domain: Basic Research
Alaina Prince (University of Alaska Anchorage), Gwen Lupfer-Johnson (University of Alaska Anchorage), Kailey Tobin (University of Alaska Anchorage), Cassandra Anderson (University of Alaska Anchorage), ERIC S. MURPHY (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Abstract: Delay discounting procedures developed by Evenden and Ryan (1996) were manipulated to examine the effects of food deprivation and extent of pre-training on impulsive choices. Eight rats completed a discounting task both while deprived to 85% of their free-feeding weights and also under ad libitum feeding conditions, in counterbalanced order. Additionally, half of the subjects completed 13 days of pre-training, in which no delays to the larger, later reinforcer were present while the other half completed pre-training once reaching a criterion of selecting the 5-pellet lever over the 1-pellet lever on at least 80% of trials for 2 consecutive days. Subjects met this criterion in 4 days or fewer. Shorter exposure to pre-training did not affect impulsivity as measured by k values during the test phase, suggesting that the extended 13-day pre-training phase may be unnecessary. Individual subject k values were highly correlated across deprivation conditions, r (7) = .74, p = .04. On average, subjects discounted more steeply when allowed to feed freely (M = .034, SD = .045) than when food deprived (M = .012, SD = .013), consistent with the magnitude effect.
44. Temporal Discrimination and Delay Discounting
Domain: Basic Research
LINDA MUCKEY (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Temporal discrimination involves adjunctive behaviour which is correlated with specific states of the organism (Killeen & Fetterman, 1988). The behavioural theory of timing asserts that this correlated adjunctive behavior then acts as a discriminative stimulus which occasions the temporally discriminative responding. The following study will assess the interaction between temporal discrimination, contextual conditions, and delay discounting. Undergraduate and graduate students acted as participants in the following study. Participants completed automatically adjusting delay discounting questionnaires presented on the computer through a software program written in VB.NET. Monetary delay discounting questionnaires included several temporal horizons. The resulting area under the curve (AUC) of each participant along with the k parameter were calculated. Psychophysical temporal discrimination tasks were also completed by participants to assess temporal discrimination under differing contextual conditions. These results suggest that temporal discrimination can be modulated by contextual conditions. The effects of such on delay discounting and further implications will be discussed.
45. Preferences for Accumulated and Distributed Token Exchange-Production Schedules: A Unit-Price Analysis
Area: DDA; Domain: Basic Research
JOHN FALLIGANT (Auburn University), Sacha T. Pence (Drake University)
Abstract: Organisms tend to allocate behavior to simultaneously available schedules of reinforcement as a function of the magnitude, frequency, and quality of reinforcement associated with each schedule (DeLeon et al., 2014). DeLeon et al. (2014) suggested that accumulated exchange-production schedules promote increased work completion and are higher preferred than distributed exchange-production schedules despite associated delays to reinforcement. The present study sought to identify whether other variables, such as the schedules of reinforcement associated with token delivery and the unit price (i.e., the work-reinforcer ratio) associated with token-production schedules would influence preferences for exchange-production schedules using a series of concurrent-operant evaluations. Preliminary results indicate that accumulated exchange-production schedules were preferred to distributed exchange-production schedules when the schedules of reinforcement are relatively dense (e.g., FR 1, VR 2), but not under leaner schedules of reinforcement (e.g., VR 5, VR 10) when the unit price associated with each token-production schedule was not held constant. However, preferences for accumulated exchange-production schedules increased across all token-production schedules when the unit-price and the response requirements associated with the token exchange period are held constant (even across uneven unit prices). Applied implications and areas for future research will be discussed.
46. Translating a Suboptimal Choice Paradigm From Basic Research to Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
MOLLY M. CONWAY (Central Autism Assessment and Treatment Center, Central Michigan University), Danielle Piggott (Central Autism Assessment and Treatment Center, Central Michigan University), Annemarie Brenner (Central Autism Assessment and Treatment Center, Central Michigan University), Seth W. Whiting (Central Autism Assessment and Treatment Center, Central Michigan University)
Abstract: Basic animal research in choice has shown clear biases toward response options resulting in suboptimal low-rate, high magnitude reinforcement over more optimal response options with consistent, lower magnitude reinforcement when the outcomes are signaled. The present study tested this paradigm in the treatment of three participants (aged 3-18) diagnosed with autism. After completing requirements for reinforcement during a treatment task, participants chose between two cards with arbitrary shapes signaling either optimal (100% chance to earn 50% reinforcement magnitude) or suboptimal function-based reinforcement (80% chance to earn 10% reinforcement or 20% chance to earn 100% reinforcement), and colors as a terminal link. Participants were run on a multiple baseline with a reversal of reinforcement outcome contingencies to account for bias. Preliminary results suggest participants' choices closely mirror the choice models of non-human subjects: choices are biased toward suboptimal choice, extending basic research to this population. Implications for practice and translational science are discussed.
47. Effect of Relative Reinforcement Duration in Concurrent Schedules With Different Reinforcement Densities: A Replication of Davison (1988)
Domain: Basic Research
JOÃO CLAUDIO TODOROV (Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil), Elenice Seixas Hanna (Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil), Cristiano Coelho (Pontifícia Universidade Catolica de Goias, Brazil)
Abstract: Davison (1988) suggested that concurrent-schedule preference between different reinforcer durations may not be independent of the overall frequency with which the reinforcers are produced. However, in the experiment that provided the data substantiating this suggestion, deviations from programmed equal reinforcer frequencies resulted in unscheduled obtained unequal relative reinforcement rates. The present experiment replicated Davisons procedure, correcting the programming of dependent concurrent variable-interval schedules. Six pigeons were exposed to concurrent variable-interval schedules with unequal reinforcer durations associated with the response alternatives (10s versus 3s). Programmed reinforcement frequency was kept equal for the competing responses, while the absolute reinforcement value was varied. In order to avoid systematic deviations between scheduled and obtained relative reinforcement rates, the order and number of reinforcers associated with each schedule were predetermined by a computer program. Both response ratios and time ratios showed preference for the larger duration alternative and that preference did not change systematically with changes in absolute reinforcer frequency. Present results support the relativity assumption of the Matching Law. It is suggested that Davisons results were due to uncontrolled variations in obtained reinforcement frequency. Key-words: choice, preference, reinforcer frequency, reinforcer magnitude, pigeons
48. The Relation Between Apparatus Size and Preference in Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches
Domain: Basic Research
HANNAH PLANINSHECK (St. Cloud State University), Kyle Pollard (St. Cloud State University), Vanessa Garcia Bodin (St. Cloud State University), Benjamin N. Witts (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: The current study examined the preference selection of three male and three female Madagascar hissing cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa) using a multiple stimulus with replacement assessment. In the assessment, four types of baby food were used as stimuli, three different apparatuses were used, and the results were compared to determine whether or not the layout of the apparatuses may have had some correlation to the choices that were made. Once an 80% preference was determined, the subject was moved onto another apparatus and the sessions were ran again. Although the data may be variable, the subjects had overall shown a higher preference for carbohydrate rich stimuli as well as the outside bays of the apparatuses. Further implications as well as possible limitations of the study are presented; the knowledge obtained however, can be used to conduct other experiments in which carbohydrate based edible stimuli are used to reinforce the behavior completed by Madagascar hissing cockroaches.
49. Evaluating Effects of Signals on Risky Choices in Pigeons and Humans
Domain: Basic Research
JAMES W. DILLER (Eastern Connecticut State University), Maggie A. McDevitt (McDaniel College), Malvina Pietrzykowski (Eastern Connecticut State University)
Abstract: When choosing between options whose payouts differ in both probability and amount, selecting the more frequent but lower-payout option is sometimes the rational choice. When stimuli signal that a risky choice will pay out, pigeons show increased preference for that alternative; removing signals decreases this preference (McDevitt et al., 2016). Two studies were conducted using a similar procedure with human and pigeon subjects. In a replication of a study by Zentall and Stagner (2011), pigeons were presented with a choice between two options. One led to 3 s of mixed grain 100% of the time. The riskier (suboptimal) alternative led to 10 s of grain 20% of the time and no food 80% of the time. Pigeons strongly preferred the suboptimal alternative when stimuli signaled the risky payouts. However, when signals were absent, preference reversed. In study 2, an experiment by Molet and colleagues (2012) was replicated. College students chose between two options in a computer game format. One option was associated with earning 10 points 20% of the time, or 0 points 80% of the time. The other option was always associated with earning 3 points. The students reliably chose the less risky alternative, independent of signals.
50. Chasing Ghosts: Human Performance on Concurrent Schedules
Domain: Basic Research
DEBRA J. SPEAR (South Dakota State University), McKenna Dennstedt (South Dakota State University), Aspen Bechen (South Dakota State University)
Abstract: This study explored parameters of schedules of reinforcement in human behavioral research to evaluate influences on differential sensitivity to immediate contingencies of behavior. College-student participants played a computer game to ffind ghosts" hiding in a haunted house. Ghosts were available on a Conc FR FI schedule, although participants were not verbally told these contingencies. The FR contingency was operative on the left side of the haunted house, while the FI contingency was operative on the right side of the house. When a "ghost" was found, feedback was provided on the screen. Contingencies were changed across the session to determine if responding correspondingly changed (FR 20 FI 1; FR 35 FI 1; FR 50 FI 1). The ratio and interval based schedules produce different contingencies, but historically humans are the only organism to not show this sensitivity. Although some participants showed sensitivity to the contingencies and/or the change in values, this was not consistent across participants. Most participants responded about equally in both components of the concurrent schedule, with responses increasing as FR values increased.
51. Choice and Timing: Pigeons Performance on FI Schedules
Area: DEV; Domain: Basic Research
ZIRAHUEN VILCHEZ (University of Guadalajara), Óscar García-Leal (University of Guadalajara)
Abstract: During fixed-interval (FI) schedules of reinforcement the first response after a certain time makes the delivery of a reinforcing stimulus available. These programs have been classically used to evaluate the adaptation of subjects to environmental events that fluctuate in the range of minutes or seconds. The variables that can influence this adaptation have typically been related to motivational and environmental changes. Recently it has been reported that giving subjects the opportunity to choose can also generate changes in the patterns typically observed in these programs. The present experiment aims to evaluate for the first time the performance during FI schedules of four pigeons (Columba livia) that were exposed to free-choice and forced-choice trials within the same session. The task consisted in 6 cycles of 12 trials. Half of the trials represented a concurrent-chained schedule whereas the rest where a simple-chained schedule. Two trials of each half represented a peak trial. The analysis of timing measures revealed a higher index of curvature, a higher quarter life, and higher start times during free-choice trials than in forced-choice trials. Results suggest that, at least in timing tasks where pigeons experience both type of trials, the opportunity to choose may improve their performance.
52. Assessing Behavioral Stability in Choices of Uncertainty with Gains and Losses of Money Using a Concurrent-operants Method
Domain: Basic Research
MARCIA VENTURA (BYU), Diego Flores (Brigham Young University), Harold and JaNeal Miller . (Brigham Young University), Ammon Aston (Brigham Young University), Maile Ashdown (Brigham Young University)
Abstract: This study uses a behavior-analytic, operant conditioning method to directly observe and measure participants’ behavior as they respond to systematically varied conditions of reinforcement and punishment. Specifically, participants will play a computer game, Subsearch© (Garnica, 2016) in which they unpredictably earn or lose small amounts of money. The purpose is twofold, first, to investigate the capabilities of the experimental design and system to assess behavioral stability of participants’ choice behavior in conditions with a range of contingencies, and second. Second, to investigate the conditions under which performance stability is reached, how long it takes participants to achieve it, and once achieved, how durable performance stability is over time. This investigation consists of 3 studies and 10 experimental groups. The participants will all play The SubSearch© game which will be programmed to utilize pairs of interdependent, concurrent, variable interval (VI) schedules of reinforcements and punishers that operate conjointly. In each group the following variables will be systematically varied to investigate the goals stated above: length of experimental sessions (exposure), length of subconditions (exposure), rates of reinforcement and punishments within subconditions (ratios and frequencies of distribution), periods of time between experimental sessions (latency, durability of stability). Study 1: N=20, 4 groups, n= 5. Investigate exposure requirements to achieve stability, controlling for exposure to punishers. Reinforcements ratios in choice alternatives will be held constant while length of subconditions will be varied. Study 2: N=15, 3 groups, n=5. Investigate durability of performance stability over time. Exposure to punishers, reinforcement ratios, session length and subcondition length will all be held constant while time between sessions will be varied systematically. Study 3: N=15, 3 groups, n=5. Investigates the effects of varying reinforcement ratios in choice alternatives on performance stability while holding all other variables constant.
53. Do Near Misses Influence Slot Machine Choice?
Domain: Basic Research
JOSHUA YONG (University of Alberta), Jeffrey Pisklak (University of Alberta), Marcia Spetch (University of Alberta)
Abstract: In games of chance, a near miss occurs when an outcome approximates win feedback. This happens in slot machines when all but the last reel line up: e.g., cherry-cherry-lemon. Near misses are presumed to reinforce gambling behavior but experimental analyses to date have been inconclusive. Using two concurrently available simulated slot machines, we tested whether the presence of near misses would reinforce people's choice behaviour. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups that varied the rate of reinforcement (RR4 versus RR7) and the presence of near-miss feedback during losses. Each person could choose between two machines that differed in terms of reinforcement rate or the presence of near-miss feedback; one of these variables was held constant depending on the assigned group. Participants began with 2500 points. Betting on machines cost 10 points and wins awarded 38 points. The session ended after 300 choice trials. Participants were paid up to $5 CAD depending on their points at the end. Our results suggest that participants are biased towards the machine that reinforces at a higher rate, but the presence or lack of near misses does not appear to meaningfully influence their behavior.
54. Conditioning and Deconditioning Rule-Governed Gambling Behavior
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
JORDAN BELISLE (Southern Illinois University), Dana Paliliunas (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: We extended upon prior research demonstrating that gambling behavior can be verbally mediated through the transformation of verbal stimulus functions of within-game features. In a first study, we conducted a randomized control trial evaluation in which a control group received relational training establishing the color BLACK as GREATER-THAN the color RED, and a treatment group received the same relational training immediately followed by a series of defusion exercises. In an analogue gambling arrangement, participants in the control group demonstrated greater response bias towards the black machine following relational training; however, the experimental group did not demonstrate a response bias, but instead demonstrated responding more consistent with the experiences contingencies. In a second study, we attempted to isolate relational expansion as a component in defusion in decreasing the control of arbitrarily established rules. Our results showed that, although the relational expansion appeared to decrease response bias towards a given target machine, we did not observe overall increases in matching following the exercise. Taken together, our results provide translational support for the use of gambling treatments that target verbal relations that contribute to disordered gambling.
55. Social and game-structural effects on gambling in the laboratory
Area: CSS; Domain: Basic Research
Abstract: Gambling is a socially relevant activity of interest to behavior analysts and behavioral psychologists. Behavioral approaches to understanding gambling involve a number of strategies. In these data sets, some variables that putatively influence gambling were examined in the laboratory. Social variables (praise and ceasing complaining contingent on betting or progressive betting) and structural variables of gambling games were examined for effects on gambling in single subject designs.
56. Implications of Verbal Stimuli on Patterns of Responding in Gambling
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
LINDA MUCKEY (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Much of socially significant human behaviour can be considered to be controlled by a combination of direct contingencies and rule governance. The interaction between these processes is especially relevant in gambling behaviour where rule governance may maintain suboptimal responding. Graduate and undergraduate university students participated in the study which included engagement in simulated slot machine gambling tasks on a computer. Two concurrently available simulated slot machines programmed in VB.NET were presented on the screen. The present study involved the manipulation of stimulus relations to assess the possible effects on patterns of responding. Specifically, the effects of stimulus relations and the development of verbal rules along with their subsequent believability will be considered. Other measures of choice behaviour such as response allocation will also be included. The interaction between contingency shaped behaviour and verbal rules as they occur in a gambling context will be discussed, with the current results suggesting that stimulus relations may alter patterns of responding.
57. Molar analysis of behavioral dynamics in a modified transposition task with children
Area: DEV; Domain: Basic Research
ALEJANDRO LEON (Universidad Veracruzana), Emilio Ribes (Universidad Veracruzana), Diana Andrade (Universidad Veracruzana)
Abstract: In a "comparison functional contact" there is a set of objects that occupy an absolute position or value within a continuum, establishing a gradient of at least three values, at least in a relevant modality (e.g., size). The individual interacts with at least two objects in terms of the relationship between their values ​​within the continuum, and not in terms of the absolute values ​​of such objects. An experiment was carried out with the objective of identifying, from a molar analysis, the behavioral dynamics of a comparison contact in a modified transposition task. Five literate children participated, between 10 and 11 years of age, with no experience in the task used. A design N = 1, BA with four phases was used. Each phase consisted of one training (three sessions of 36 corrective tests) and one test (one session of 36 tests without correction), the phases differed among themselves by the current comparison rule. The molar analysis was based on different qualities of the observed behavioral sequences, such as the permutability of the selected objects, the variation / stereotyping of the sequences, among others. The relevance and usefulness of the type of analysis used to study the functional contacts of interest is discussed.



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