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.

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45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Poster Session #493
Monday, May 27, 2019
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Hyatt Regency East, Exhibit Level, Riverside Exhibit Hall
Chair: Weizhi Wu (Florida Institute of Technology)
1.

Assessment and Treatment of Problem Behavior Displayed by an Individual With Autism and Obesity

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
FAHAD ALRESHEED (Center for Behavioral Sciences inc.), Shaji Haq (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.), Joyce C. Tu (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.), Justin Chan (Center for Behavioral Sciences Inc.)
Discussant: Weizhi Wu (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Individualized assessment and treatment is a hallmark of applied behavior analysis. First, we conducted a functional analysis (Iwata et al., 1994/1982) of severe problem behavior displayed by a female with autism. Then, a subsequent analysis was added to evaluate whether response effort (i.e., ambulation) associated with tasks in the escape condition would influence the results. Finally, the effects of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (i.e., task completion) using edible and leisure reinforcers were compared to an escape condition in a preliminary treatment evaluation. The functional analysis indicated that problem behavior only occurred in the escape condition if tasks involved ambulation, and the treatment package appeared promising to reduce escape-maintained problem behavior for this individual. Implications for research and clinical practice will be discussed.

 
2.

Asymmetry of Token Gain and Loss in an Individual Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
MOLLY K MCNULTY (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Griffin Rooker (Kennedy Krieger Institute; the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Alexander Rodolfo Arevalo (Kennedy Krieger Institute ), Drew Elizabeth Piersma (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jennifer N. Haddock (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Kennedy Krieger Institute ), Michelle A. Frank-Crawford (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Weizhi Wu (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Matching (Herrnstein, 1961) has been demonstrated with appetitive and aversive stimuli, as well as when appetitive and aversive stimuli are simultaneously presented (Farley & Fantino, 1978). Interestingly, in contexts where a single response produces both reinforcement and punishment, some research has demonstrated that a punisher subtracted more value than a reinforcer added (Rasmussen & Newland, 2008). This purported asymmetry in the effects of reinforcement and punishment was assessed in one individual with autism spectrum disorder, a population for whom the effects of simultaneous reinforcement and punishment has not been evaluated. To do so, we established tokens as reinforcers and evaluated the effects of a progressive token gain/loss schedule where losses gradually became denser to identify a schedule at which the individual would not respond. We then compared responding at the identified token gain/loss schedule where the participant stopped responding to a schedule in which an equal density of reinforcement was available for gain without the loss contingency. This was done to demonstrate that the loss contingency was directly responsible for the cessation of responding. Responding persisted when an equal density of reinforcement was available for gain (when the loss contingency was removed). Results are consistent with some previous findings suggesting that the punisher subtracted more value than the reinforcer added.

 
3. Dishabituation of Operant Responding in Preschool-Aged Children
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
NICHOLAS L VITALE (California State University, Fresno), Marianne L. Jackson (California State University, Fresno), Breanna Bower (California State University, Fresno), Simryn Franco (California State University, Fresno)
Discussant: Weizhi Wu (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: In clinical settings, reinforcement is often presented over long periods during which reinforcers may lose their effectiveness, resulting in response decrements. This may be particularly troubling for those working with individuals with limited ranges of identified reinforcers. Within-session decrements are often attributed to satiation; however, basic research has demonstrated that habituation to the sensory properties of reinforcers may be a more accurate explanation (McSweeney & Murphy, 2009). Dishabituation, the recovery of responding to a habituated stimulus following a novel stimulus change, is the primary test for habituation, and has been observed in studies of both human and non-human operant responding (Lloyd et al., 2014). The current study examined the effects of a dishabituation procedure on a simple operant task performed by 3 typically developing females, ages 4 and 5 years old, using antecedent and consequent stimulus changes that might be practical to implement in a clinical setting. Results indicated dishabituation patterns were reliably observed for 2 out of 3 participants in experimental conditions versus control (no change) conditions where no recovery was observed. More research is necessary; however, these results may provide practitioners with some options for actions to take in order to prolong, or temporarily recover, the effectiveness of a waning reinforcer.
 
4.

Behavioral Analysis and Cooperation in a Prisoner's Dilemma: Effects of Communication in Different Cost-Benefit Relations

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MARESSA PRISCILA NEGRÃO CARDOSO BRAGA (Universidade de Brasilia), Miriã Cristina da Silva Carvalho (Universidade de Brasília), Mayana Borges da Cunha (Universidade de Brasília), Laércia Abreu Vasconcelos (Universidade de Brasília (UnB))
Discussant: Weizhi Wu (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Communication is a prominent variable in studies of social dilemmas which affects the selection and maintenance of cooperation between individuals who interact. The Prisoner's Dilemma, an imaginary situation employed in Game Theory, is the most famous game in investigations of cooperation. The Behavioral Analysis of Culture uses such games as experimental tasks, due to the possibility of reproduction of social phenomena in laboratory. This study analyzed the interaction and communication of two groups with four participants each in an Iterated Prisoner Dilemma. Different opportunity costs and benefits to cooperate were manipulated. The results replicated some findings of the literature, that is communication facilitated cooperation between individuals. However, communication may not a sufficient condition for the emergence of cooperation, especially in situations where opportunity costs to cooperate and benefits to compete are high. Moreover, correspondence between verbal agreements and choices made by the participants might be a necessary condition for the selection and maintenance of cooperative behaviors.

 
5. Chasing Ghosts: Sensitivity to Concurrent Schedules in a Computer Game
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
DEBRA J. SPEAR (South Dakota State University)
Discussant: Weizhi Wu (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: In similar conditions, human participants have not shown the same sensitivity to behavioral contingencies as other organisms. There is sparse research on this topic. This study extends a previous study with college students engaged in ‘chasing ghosts’ in a computer game. Ghosts were ‘available’ on a Conc FR (left side of a haunted house) FI (right side). Previously, three consecutive components were presented: FR 20 FI 1, FR 35 FI 1, and FR 50 FI 1. Each component was in effect for 10 min, in three different houses. There was no visual delineation between the sides of the houses (i.e., to separate FR and FI contingencies), and instructions did not mention the sides of the house or schedules of reinforcement. Although the number of ghosts found decreased as the FR values increased, there was little difference in responding on the sides of the house. In the current study, Conc FR 35 FI 30”, FR 35 FI 1’, and FR 35 FI 2’ schedules were presented. The number of ghosts found in the FI component decreased markedly across components, but again, there was little effect on responding. Several reasons are discussed.
 
6.

Inequity Aversion in ABA Reversal Design: Effect of Different Expositions and the Opportunity to Learn About Another Person's Behavior

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CARLA JORDÃO SUAREZ (University Of São Paulo), Marcelo Frota Lobato Benvenuti (USP), Kalliu Couto (Oslo Metropolitan University)
Discussant: Weizhi Wu (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Inequity aversion may be defined as refusal reinforcement when there is an unequal distribution of reinforcements. The literature on inequity aversion shows that humans experience both, aversion to disadvantageous inequity (DI) and advantageous inequity (AI). However, few researches have reported how DI and AI aversion are learned or can be modified by individual experience in multiple conditions. The present study investigates DI and AI through an ABA reversal design, each phase consisting of sixteen trials in a computer game. Participants picked between blue or green card. The combination of blue-blue choices resulted in unequal distribution of reinforcement. AI and DI reinforcers were delivered by computer software, according to each experimental phase. In Group DI (n=10), participants were exposed to DI (phase1), AI (phase 2), and DI (phase three), and Group AI (n=10) to AI, DI, and AI. The results showed that 5 participants present aversion to DI and only 2 to AI. The second phase programmed interaction modulated the aversion to inequity for 8 and 2 participants in the DI and AI aversion, respectively. Confounding variables, such as cultural differences may have influenced aversion to AI and should be addressed in future research.

 
7. The Role of Response Effort on Preference Reversals in a Soft Commitment Paradigm
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
LUSINEH GHARAPETIAN (California State University, Los Angeles), Henry D. Schlinger (California State University, LA)
Discussant: Weizhi Wu (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Commitment is defined as a form of self-control in which a current choice restricts the range of future choices (Rachlin, 2000). However, in soft commitment, future choices are not restricted, and changeovers between two schedules, in which one offers a smaller immediate reward and the other a larger delayed reward, are possible. Experiment 1 evaluated commitment to a course of action with varied response requirements to assess the role of response effort on such changeovers in a soft commitment paradigm. Commitment responses were evaluated under mixed (n=7) and multiple (n=6) schedules of reinforcement. Participants completed a computerized protocol to earn real-time monetary rewards. Results indicated that 11 out of 13 participants completed all commitments fully. Given that sensitivity to increasing response requirement was not observed, a second experiment (n=6) was conducted with modified reward amounts to increase the likelihood of preference reversals. Results were consistent with the original data in that all participants completed their commitments fully. Lastly, the use of mixed and multiple schedules did not produce significant variability in responding.
 
8.

Investigating the Effects of Choice on Human Behavior

Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
KACEY RENEE FINCH (West Virginia University ), Kathryn M. Kestner (West Virginia University), Jennifer M Owsiany (West Virginia University), Cody McPhail (West Virginia University )
Discussant: Weizhi Wu (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Following the treatment of problem behavior, resurgence may occur when a response-reinforcer relation is discontinued. Implementing differential reinforcement of alternative behavior can address resurgence of the target problem behavior by making it less valuable compared to a more desirable, alternative behavior. Previous research has shown that concurrent schedules of reinforcement can be used to treat problem behavior and its resurgence (Peterson et al., 2012). In the present study, a computer task involving three phases (1, 2, and 3) with different schedules of reinforcement was in effect. Phase 1 consisted of points delivered contingent on making the low quality target response. Phase 2 consisted of points available for all three response options, where five points were delivered contingent on the low quality target response, ten points were available contingent on the medium quality response, and 15 points were delivered contingent on the high quality alternative response. In Phase 3, all response options were on extinction. The goal of the study was to investigate whether target responding would increase briefly at the start of the Phase 3.

 
9.

Effects of Daily Exposition to an Experienced Choice Task in the Response Rate of the Self-Controlled Option

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
JUAN PABLO PABLO MOLANO GALLARDO (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), Cristian Yesid Urbano Mejia (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), Julian Zanguña (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), Santiago Rojas (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), Paula Lara Caicedo (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), Daniel Combita (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), Alvaro A. Clavijo Alvarez Alvarez (Universidad Nacional de Colombia)
Discussant: Weizhi Wu (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Searching for variables that affect the rate of temporal discounting is important to understand better how delay discounting (DD) phenomena works. We want to know if the daily exposure to a DD experienced task could reduce the number of impulsive choices in the task. Six students of twenty years on average from a Colombian University have done a procedure for sixteen sessions. In each session, six blocks of ten concurrent-chains choice trials were presented. The participants could choose between the smaller-sooner outcome and a larger-delayed outcome, two and six candy balls respectively. In each block, the delay of larger outcome varied from 0.1, 5, 10, 20, 40 and 80 seconds. Every 4 sessions the condition changed, the order of presentation of delays of larger outcome varied in each condition (ascending, descending, random and re-ascending). We found two things. First, participants made exclusive preference choices by block after some sessions. Second, the exposure reduces the discounting rate in three participants with a degree of confidence of 0,05. A post-experiment interview shows that the perceived time of the experiment is lower than elapsed time. A version of the experiment with time of a video game as a outcome is well underway.

 
10.

Are “Mexican Tacos” Coming?: Differences of Pavlovian and Differential Inhibition on Outcome Prediction

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
FELIPE ERNESTO PARRADO (Universidad de Guadalajara), Óscar García-Leal (University of Guadalajara)
Discussant: Weizhi Wu (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Conditioned inhibition can be trained in different ways. In differential inhibition training a cue X is presented by itself, interspersed with another cue Y that is paired with the outcome. In Pavlovian inhibition training X and Y are presented together without the outcome, intermixed with trials where Y is presented with the outcome. In both cases, X becomes an inhibitor. In this experiment, participants were presented a computer task to compare the effects of both types of training on the prediction of food (an image of mexican tacos), as well as the effects of using the word (“Nothing”) or a blank screen on trials where the outcome was not shown (No image of mexican tacos). We ran both summation and retardation tests, to compare which training cue becomes a better conditioned inhibitor. The results are that the differential inhibition procedure was more effective than the Pavlovian procedure on training inhibition. Also, the summation and retardation tests showed that the blank screen was more effective than the word “Nothing”. The results are discussed with the comparator theory of associative learning.

 
11.

Searching for a Craving Human Model: Verbal and Physiological Measures of Renewal, a Pilot Study

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ANDRE A. BRAVIN (Universidade Federal de Goias at Jatai), Weytel de Oliveira (Universidade Federal de Goias at Jatai), Izadora do Vale (Universidade Federal de Goias at Jatai), Diego Lima (Universidade Federal de Goias at Jatai / Universidade de Sao Paulo )
Discussant: Laércia Abreu Vasconcelos (Universidade de Brasília (UnB))
Abstract:

Renewal is a process related to craving in humans, and effort is been made to build a human model. Van Gucht et al. (2008) used chocolates (Unconditioned Stimulus, US) and a tray (Conditioned Stimulus, CS) to investigate the effects of context on chocolate craving. They ran an experiment where chocolate craving was acquired–extinct–put on test. AAA group ran the three phases on the same room light condition, while ABA group ran it with the lights on–off–on. Visual Analogic Scales (VAS) gave the US-Expectancy and US-Craving they would receive/eat chocolate. We suggest the use of physiological data to enhance the validity of their model. This pilot study used two women allocated each one in one group. The same procedure was kept, while sensors were attached to the participant (electromyography; skin conductance – SC; electrocardiography and temperature). The data show ABA acquisitions and extinction on both US-Expectancy and US-Craving, but no renewal. AAA doesn’t show learning. ABA SC follow her VASs acquisition and extinction patter, and it also shown renewal. Other physiological measures doesn’t show consistency. AAA shown no patter on all her physiological measures. Data discussion compares VAS and SC renewal for ABA, and argues about methodological improvements.

 
12.

Evaluation of Slot Machine Outcomes on Post-Reinforcement Pauses

Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA M HINMAN (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Erin Bily-Luton (Southern Illinois University), Caleb Stanley (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Laércia Abreu Vasconcelos (Universidade de Brasília (UnB))
Abstract:

Post-reinforcement pauses are a common behavioral measure utilized within the behavior analytic literature to evaluate the effect of different slot machine outcomes on gambling. Previous research has reported differences in post-reinforcement pauses demonstrated by gamblers as a function of slot machine outcomes (Barton et al., 2017). Most of the studies incorporating post-reinforcement pauses as the primary dependent measure have been conducted utilizing computerized simulations of slot machines, with limited research on post-reinforcement pauses being conducted in a naturalistic gambling setting. The current study evaluated the effect of three different slot machine outcomes, wins, losses disguised as wins (LDW), and losses, on post-reinforcement pause in a Midwestern casino. Post-reinforcement pauses were collected for each of the three different of outcomes across 18 participants, which were compared to determine if a difference existed between the outcomes. Preliminary data suggest that the post-reinforcement pause following a win (M = 3.492) is longer than that of an LDW (M = 1.688) or a loss (M = 0.833), which supports the existing gambling research.

 
15. A Comparison of the Effects of Loss Avoidance and Positive Reinforcement Contingencies
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
DERIC E. TONEY (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Laércia Abreu Vasconcelos (Universidade de Brasília (UnB))
Abstract: Two experiments were conducted with undergraduate students to compare the effects of reinforcement and extinction in gain (positive reinforcement) and loss avoidance (negative reinforcement) contingencies. In experiment #1, participants were assigned to one of three groups: Loss, Gain, or Control (N = 36 per group). Participants completed math worksheets during the session. Reinforcement (positive or negative) was contingent upon the duration in which participants completed each worksheet with respect to a changing criterion. In the Loss group, participants lost $1 for each trial in which the trial duration exceeded the current criterion, while participants in the Gain condition earned $1 for each trial in which the trial duration was less than the current criterion. Data were collected on the change in relative duration following instances of both reinforcement and extinction in each contingency. Results indicated that the effects of extinction in the loss avoidance contingency (Losses) were nearly identical to those of extinction in the gain contingency (No-Gains). The same results were obtained in comparing the effects of instances of reinforcement in the loss avoidance contingency (No-Losses) and the gain contingency (Gains). In experiment #2, a within-subject (N = 43) comparison of the effects of loss avoidance and gain contingencies was conducted across Loss-Gain and Gain-Loss groups. Results indicated that no significant difference existed between the effects of reinforcement and those of extinction across the two contingencies, as with experiment #1. Results are discussed in terms of how they may contribute to an understanding of the loss avoidance contingency, and further, to provide a behavior-analytic investigation of behavioral economics’ concept of loss aversion.
 
16.

Let Me Pick! A PORTL Replication of Thompson, Fisher, and Contrucci (1998)

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
EVAN SCHLEIFER-KATZ (University of North Texas), Marla Baltazar (University of North Texas), Valeria Laddaga Gavidia ( University of North Texas), Samantha Bergmann (University of North Texas ), Mary Elizabeth Hunter (The Art and Science of Animal Training), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Laércia Abreu Vasconcelos (Universidade de Brasília (UnB))
Abstract:

Previous studies have suggested that compared to contingent delivery of reinforcers by others, self-selection of the same stimuli may increase reinforcer effectiveness. To evaluate preference for choice versus no-choice, we replicated a study by Thompson, Fisher, and Contrucci (1998) using the Portable Operant Research and Teaching Lab (PORTL). First, typically-developing adults learned a choice/no-choice discrimination via shaping using playing cards as initial links within a concurrent-operant arrangement. Next, we evaluated preference for choice vs. no-choice when (a) selection of choice and no-choice initial links produced equal, continuous rates of reinforcement (FR1) and (b) selection of choice was placed on a progressive ratio schedule (PR). During the FR schedule, all participants allocated more selections to the choice link. When the choice link was placed on a PR schedule, all participants shifted selections to the no-choice link. Unlike results from Thompson et al., initial evaluations of choice preference under equal conditions did not predict whether the preference would maintain when the conditions were no longer reinforced on the same schedule. Ultimately, this study allowed for further development of previous applied work on choice and preference.

 
17.

A Parametric Analysis of Percentile and Progressive Schedules of Reinforcement: Increasing the Rate of Dribbling a Basketball

Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
ALEX NIETO (University of Nevada, Reno), Gino Granzella (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick Ghezzi (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Laércia Abreu Vasconcelos (Universidade de Brasília (UnB))
Abstract:

The present study is a parametric analysis of the effects of percentile and progressive schedules of reinforcement on the accuracy and rate at which individual youngsters dribble a basketball. A percentile schedule of reinforcement provides a systematic and arithmetic procedure for response shaping. The equation for percentile reinforcement is k = (m+1) (1-w), where m is the distribution of observations, w is the probability of reinforcement, and k is the rank the current response must exceed to deliver a reinforcement. A progressive schedule of reinforcement, also used in response shaping, utilizes ongoing assessment and calculation of the incremental effects of differential reinforcement alone. Performance data are displayed on the Standard Celeration Chart. Changes in the accuracy and rates of dribbling over time are portrayed as celeration values, which pertain to response differentiation in the w value of the percentile schedule and the values of the progressive schedule over time.

 
19.

The Effects of Timeout Duration on a Concurrent Progressive-Interval Schedule

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
TIFFANY KRONENWETTER (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Christine E. Hughes (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Laércia Abreu Vasconcelos (Universidade de Brasília (UnB))
Abstract:

Timeout from positive reinforcement is widely used as a punishment procedure however, there are still many unanswered questions about the controlling variables that influence the punishing effects of timeout. Two reinforcement variables that influence punishment effects include the schedule of reinforcement and the availability of an unpunished alternative. The present study is a systematic replication of Dardano and Sauerbrunn (1964), using TO as a punishment procedure instead of electric shock. The purpose of replicating Dardano and Sauerbrunn was to investigate the effects of TO under two variables: schedule of reinforcement and availability of a non-punished alternative. Investigating TO under these two variables provided information on both the TO and time-in environment. In the current study, pigeons responded under a Findley-switching-key concurrent schedule with equal schedules of positive reinforcement. Response-contingent TO was added to one of the alternatives. If TO is aversive, it was expected that pigeons would switch to the other alternative even though the time-in environment progressively became leaner. TOs from positive reinforcement necessarily result in a decrease in the overall reinforcement rate in the environment; that is, TO presentation is confounded with a decrease in overall reinforcement. Shifts in preference to the nonpunished alternative may result from the decrease in reinforcement rate, not from the punishing effects of TO per se. Therefore, in the current study, a progressive-interval (PI) schedule was used on both alternatives. Using a PI schedule, allowed overall reinforcement rates to be equated across the alternatives.

 
 

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