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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #426
CE Offered: BACB
Further Consideration of Variables Related to Skill Acquisition: A Review of the Literature
Monday, May 27, 2019
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Swissôtel, Event Center Second Floor, Montreux 1-3
Area: DEV; Domain: Theory
Chair: Kimberly Sloman (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment/ Florida Institute of Technology )
CE Instructor: Kimberly Sloman, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium includes three literature reviews aimed at identifying critical variables affecting skill acquisition. In the first presentation, Alexandra Knerr will provide a summary of peer-reviewed literature and component analysis of the TAGteach procedure. In the second presentation, Dr. April Michele Williams will provide an overview of stimulus-stimulus pairing procedures and discuss parallels to autoshaping literature. In the third presentation, Hannah MacNaul will summarize the results of a meta-analysis of preference stability over repeated administrations. Presenters will also provide recommendations for practice and future research.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Literature Review, Preference Assessments, Stimulus-stimulus Pairing, TAGteach
Target Audience: The target audience are researchers and practitioners who implement skill acquisition procedures.
TAGteach: A Critical Evaluation and Component Analysis of the Peer-Reviewed Research
ALEXANDRA KNERR (Rollins College), April Michele Williams (Rollins College)
Abstract: TAGteach is a systematic procedure for presenting immediate auditory feedback (e.g., via a clicker) to train a new skill or enhance a skill that already exists within an individual’s behavioral repertoire. It is grounded in operant conditioning principles and, according to TAGteach International (, is able to be applied in diverse areas including business management, occupational safety, sports, special education, and for teaching animal trainers. Although there are myriad examples of thesis projects and refereed conference presentations describing TAGteach research, only 9 studies utilizing the technique have been published in peer-reviewed journals. Moreover, these studies vary widely regarding the degree to which the researchers adhered to the proscribed method of TAGteach. For this paper we analyzed the procedural components of each of the aforementioned published studies in an attempt to identify which components, if any, are most crucial for success. We also attempted to determine whether adherence to the TAGteach protocol itself is necessary for a successful outcome, or if the apparent success of TAGteach lies in the behavioral principles themselves rather than any single, formalized procedure.
Translations in Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing: Autoshaping of Learner Vocalizations
Stephanie P. da Silva (Columbus State University), APRIL MICHELE WILLIAMS (Rollins College)
Abstract: Stimulus-stimulus pairing (SSP) is a procedure used by behavior analysis practitioners that capitalizes on respondent conditioning principles to elicit vocalizations. These procedures usually are implemented only after other, more customary methods (e.g., standard echoic training via modeling) have been exhausted. Unfortunately, SSP itself has mixed research support, likely because certain as-yet-unidentified procedural variations are more effective than others. Even when SSP produces (increased) vocalizations its effects can be short-lived. Although specific features of SSP differ across published accounts, fundamental characteristics include presentation of a vocal stimulus proximal with presentation of a preferred item. In the present paper, we draw parallels between SSP procedures and autoshaping, review factors shown to impact autoshaping, and translate the body of autoshaping research into recommendations for SSP applications. We then call for additional reporting, testing, and extended use of SSP in behavior-analytic treatments. Finally, three translational bridges created by this paper are identified: basic-applied, respondent-operant, and behavior analysis with other sciences.

Preference Stability Across Repeated Administrations: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

HANNAH LYNN MACNAUL (University of South Florida ), Shannon Wilson (University of South Florida ), Catia Cividini-Motta Cividini (University of South Florida)

A key component to any successful intervention aimed at increasing appropriate behavior for individuals with disabilities is the identification of potential reinforcers to be delivered upon the occurrence of appropriate target responses (Verriden & Roscoe, 2016). It has been noted in the literature that shifts in preferences may occur due to a multitude of reasons and these changes may hinder performance (Hanley, Iwata, Roscoe, 2006). Therefore, the purpose of this meta-analysis was to synthesize results from nine studies that conducted at least two preference assessments, 24 hours or more apart from each other, and analyze the stability of preference across repeated administrations. This paper investigated the impact of the inter-assessment interval (i.e., how often preference assessments are conducted), preference assessment format, and stimulus type (i.e., tangibles, edibles, social interaction) on preference stability. Based on the analysis of correlation coefficients, results suggest that preference is most stable at brief inter-assessment intervals (one week or less) and when using the paired-stimulus format (PS; Fisher et al., 1992). In addition, preference assessments completed with edibles had greater correlation coefficients than those completed with tangible items. Implications for practitioners and future research is discussed.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh