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 #76
Saturday, May 25, 2019
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Hyatt Regency East, Exhibit Level, Riverside Exhibit Hall
Chair: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
35. The Development and Validation of an Ethics Measure for Punishment-Based Interventions
Area: PCH; Domain: Applied Research
ELIZABETH POKORSKI (Vanderbilt University), Erin E. Barton (Vanderbilt University )
Discussant: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: This presentation will describe the process used to create and validate a measure for analyzing the adherence of researchers to BACB and CEC ethics codes related to the use of punishment. Minimal research has analyzed the extent to which studies comply with these ethical standards, and none have done so specifically related to the BACB and CEC codes. Thus, a code was created to capture the level to which researchers applying punishment adhered to ethical standards of these organizations. This process involved three steps: code development, validation, and application. First, a code was created by synthesizing the BACB and CEC ethics codes. Next, a survey was created to determine the extent to which practitioners (special education teachers and behavior analysts) agreed with standards. 107 surveys were completed and analyzed. Finally, the code was used within a systematic review to measure the extent to which 22 studies utilizing punishment adhered to standards. Results indicated an average adherence to standards of 49%, with no improved adherence over time, suggesting a general lack of focus on the ethics of punishment-based interventions in research. Recommendations include the continued refinement of this code and the development of tools to assist practitioners in choosing/implementing ethical interventions.
 
36.

A Comparison of Twelve Nonoverlap Methods to Estimate Treatment Effect in Single-Subject Experimental Research

Area: PCH; Domain: Basic Research
Serife Yucesoy-Ozkan (Anadolu University), SALIH RAKAP (Ondokuz Mayis University ), Emrah Gulboy (Anadolu University )
Discussant: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract:

A number of nonoverlap methods to calculate treatment effect estimates have been developed for single-subject experimental research studies. Although extant literature contains several studies comparing some of these methods with each other and visual analysis, there is no study in the literature investigating most of the available nonoverlap methods in a single study using same graphs and visual analysts. Purpose of our study was to compare 12 commonly-used nonoverlap methods with each other and visual analysis. Data were obtained from 25 studies focused on embedded instruction and schema-based instruction and included a total of 101 graphs. Treatment effect estimates using 12 nonoverlap methods were calculated for each graph by hand or using an online calculator. Five experts conducted visual analysis of each graph. Results showed that strong agreements existed between visual analysis and Percentage of Nonoverlapping Data (PND), TauNOVLAP, and Tau-U when raw data were analyzed, and PND, Percentage Of Non-Overlapping Corrected Data (PNCD), and Percentage of Data Exceeding a Median Trend (PEM-T) when categorized data were analyzed. Among 12 methods investigated, PND had the highest agreement rate with visual analysis, followed by PEM-T, Percentage of All Nonoverlapping Data (PAND), PNCD, Improvement Rate Difference, Nonoverlap of All Pairs, and TauNOVLAP. Overall, visual analysis appeared to be more conservative as most nonoverlap methods overestimated treatment effect. Additional research is needed to replicate findings of the present study.

 
37.

Are Causes of Schizophrenia Just in Our Head?: A Behavioral Conceptualization of Schizophrenia

Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
EFTHYMIA ORKOPOULOU (Eastern Michigan University), Michael Jon Vriesman (Eastern Michigan University), Leah Rose LaLonde (Eastern Michigan University), Alexandros Maragakis (Eastern Michigan University)
Discussant: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract:

Schizophrenia involves debilitating and pervasive symptoms that can cause the persons manifesting them significant functional impairments in nearly every aspect of their lives. Traditionally, schizophrenia is considered a primarily biological presentation, which is reflected in the use of antipsychotics as the most preferred therapeutic intervention. Alternative to the biomedical model, “psychotic” behavior patterns can be conceptualized as the presence of behavioral excesses and/or deficits that are maintained by social positive, negative, and/or automatic-sensory reinforcement rather than relevant neurochemical, neuroanatomical or gene abnormalities. By contextualizing an individual’s verbal or motoric bizarre behavior, oppositional responses, perseverative or hallucinatory speech, and stereotypies employing functional analytic methodology, behavior analysts can destigmatize the persons behavior and develop effective interventions, such as social skills training, that improve the impairments while simultaneously addressing limitations of the pharmacotherapeutic treatments. Functionally-based treatments support the idea that the primary goal should not be reducing symptomatology, but rather increasing the frequency of alternative more functional behaviors. Most importantly, they reinforce the view that schizophrenia can be sufficiently understood when considering the purpose behaviors serve in the person’s environment.

 
38.

Editors as Authors: Publication Trends of Articles Authored by JABA Editors, 1997–2017

Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
MICHAEL C. CLAYTON (Missouri State University), Julie Blaskewicz Boron (University of Nebraska, Omaha), Yilin Wang (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract:

The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) periodically publishes articles meant to summarize an aspect of the journal as it relates to the broad mission of “publishing research about applications of the experimental analysis of behavior to problems of social importance.” Journal editors review and shape the work of authors, and in so doing, influence the journal’s direction and quality. They also serve as authors themselves contributing to the body of knowledge within a field. Mathews (1997) illuminated the role of editors of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis by analyzing the annual publication rates of 55 editors and associate editors, which showed an increasing trend of postdoctoral experience and greater number of publications prior to appointment as editors. The current paper extends the previous analysis over the subsequent two decades, including 44 editors, adds editor alma mater and gender, and allows multiple comparisons between the original work and current project.

 
39. BFSR Matrix Project: Conceptual Framework and Current Implementations
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
JOSE ARDILA (University of Nevada; Behaviorists For Social Responsibility ), Traci M. Cihon (University of North Texas; Behaviorists For Social Responsibility), Kendra Combs (Behaviorists For Social Responsibility), Molli Luke (Behavior Analyst Certification Board; Behaviorists For Social Responsibility), Mark A. Mattaini (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago; Behaviorists For Social Responsibility), Richard F. Rakos (Cleveland State University; Behaviorists For Social Responsibility), Holly Seniuk (University of Nevada, Reno; Behaviorists For Social Responsibility )
Discussant: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: Meaningful applications of behavioral systems science to social and global issues have been limited, largely due to lack of preparation and access to critical systems and limited conceptual guidance. In the Matrix Project, Behaviorists for Social Responsibility has worked for four years to address these limitations, emphasizing the potential for behavioral systems analysis to advance the underlying science. The Project currently includes active work groups in four areas: (a) development of a draft training and mentorship directory; syllabi and course units in the areas of sustainability, resilience, and other areas of social importance; (b) development of state (and national, in the case of Brazil) BFSR chapters, with strong emphasis on student involvement, and supporting individual student engagement in socially significant efforts; (c) examining options for increasing integration of behavior analytic data into state and federal policy; and (d) encouraging and disseminating information related to behaviorists’ involvement in activism and advocacy. These projects offer exemplars of the conceptual framework underlying and structuring all of these projects—a systemic integration of Goldiamond’s constructional approach and Lutzker’s ecobehavioral work, relying primarily on shifting interlocking and recursive patterns of antecedents (particularly SDs and motivative operations), reducing response effort, and accessing already established reinforcers.
 
40. Radical Behaviorist Epistemology: A Literature Review and Suggestions for Future Development
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
MONICA PATEL (New England Center for Children; Western New England University), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: To thoroughly apply a science of behavior to the development of scientific behavior, a well-developed epistemology is needed. Behavior analysts largely agree that the science relies on a contextualistic explanatory model; however, contextualism relies on a pragmatic truth criterion and a debate exists regarding the extent to which pragmatism affords an adequate evaluation of scientific beliefs. Specifically, one point of contention appears to be correspondence relations and the notion of truth in a radical behaviorist science. Some behavior analysts argue that pragmatism ultimately relies on a correspondence truth criterion and is, therefore, insufficient in determining truth (Hayes, 1993), whereas some argue against considering correspondence in a science of behavior altogether (Barnes-Holmes, 2000). Others suggest that certain assumptions may be made in order to account for some degree of correspondence within a pragmatic truth criterion (Hackenberg, 2009; Zuriff, 1980; Schoneberger, 2016). An analysis of the role of correspondence in pragmatism may be an important step in the development of a cohesive radical behaviorist epistemology. The purpose of this poster is to parse out the similarities and differences in current views on radical behaviorist epistemology and discuss these views in the context of developing an empirical epistemology in accordance with radical behaviorism.
 
41.

A Functional Analysis of Terms: What Are Generalized Operant Classes?

Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
STEPHANIE BONFONTE (The New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract:

Behavior analysts employ a function-based approach to the analysis of behavior. Responses are defined not by their topography, but by the relations that exist between individual responses and environmental variables. This kind of functional categorization has been fundamental to the development of an effective science of behavior. Although behavior analysts have established a conceptual system that allows for the categorization of many behavioral responses, some classes of behavior require further examination. Of specific interest is the notion of generalized operant classes. Typically defined by the observation of responding in untrained contexts, it appears that this term has been used in a variety of ways. A review of published literature shows that generalized response classes are invoked in the explanation of complex behavior (imitation, match-to-sample, language) for which first-order environmental variables may provide a more precise account. To begin, this poster will analyze the functional use of the terms “generalized” and “higher-order” response class. In addition, the poster will provide alternative accounts based on the concepts of atomic behavioral repertoires and abstracted stimulus dimensions.

 
42. A Review of Methods Used to Establish Conditioned Reinforcers
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
MORGAN SCULLY (The New England Center for Children ), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children), stephanie bonfonte (The New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: Conditioned reinforcers are commonly used in behavior-analytic interventions, but little research has been conducted to determine the optimal methods to establish a neutral stimulus as a conditioned reinforcer. Throughout the literature there have been two dominant approaches to establish conditioned reinforcers, stimulus-stimulus pairing and establishing a stimulus as a discriminative stimulus. The stimulus-stimulus pairing method operates under the assumption that, through the temporal pairing of a neutral stimulus with a primary or already conditioned reinforcer, the neutral stimulus will acquire the capacity to establish or maintain responding. In the discriminative stimulus method, a previously neutral stimulus is established as a discriminative stimulus for a response that produces a reinforcer. Few studies have directly compared the two procedures to determine their relative effectiveness. Of the studies that have, results have shown that the discriminative stimulus approach was differentially effective and stimulus-stimulus methods were either less effective or not effective at conditioning neutral stimuli as reinforcers. This poster will review and summarize the research on these methods.
 
43.

Is JEAB Reporting of Null Hypothesis Statistical Testing Still Retreating From Tactics?A Follow-Up Study

Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
ABDULRAZAQ A. IMAM (John Carroll University), Alison Carey (John Carroll University), Hannah Lenze (John Carroll University), Julia Navratil (John Carroll University)
Discussant: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract:

One of the eminent standards set by Sidman’s (1960) Tactics of Scientific Research for behavioral research was to avoid inferential statistics in the form of null hypothesis statistical testing (NHST). Foster, Jarema, and Poling (1999) documented a growing trend in reporting of such inferential statistics in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (JEAB) through 1995. Zimmermann, Watkins, and Poling (2015) confirmed the trends into the 2010s. The present study examined articles appearing in JEAB volumes from 2011 to 2018 for use and reporting of NHST, species, and experimental design. Results show continued high reporting of between-subject designs (8-38% across the years), experiments with human participants (17-50%), and increasingly high reporting of NHST in Small-N design studies (24-60%). Whereas the former findings are consistent with previous predictions by Foster et al. and Zimmermann et al., the latter finding has not been reported previously. As we did not examine their appropriateness, it remains unclear what is behind this new trend of combining NHST with Small-N designs.

 
44.

Conceptual Analysis of Precurrent Behavior

Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
EMMA JEHLE (New England Center for Children; Western New England University), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Discussant: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract:

Skinner discussed a type of controlling response that has an effect on the probability response that follows. In his work The Technology of Teaching (1968), he termed this response as precurrent behavior, which he describes as a type of behavior that functions to make subsequent behavior more effective. Polson & Parsons (1994) further emphasized that this type of behavior does not produce the reinforcer itself but produces stimuli that affect the likelihood of behavior that follows, and therefore increases the likelihood of behavior resulting in reinforcement. Though most research about this operant pertains to precurrent behavior in the acquisition of problem solving skills, it can also play an important role in the acquisition and maintenance of precursor behavior that precedes problem behavior. In this conceptual analysis, we will review empirical literature on the topic as well as define the core features of precurrent behavior, discuss the altering effects precurrent behavior has on the current operant being observed, and discuss how precursor behavior that precedes problem behavior may be maintained by a precurrent operant contingency.

 
45.

Operant Chamber Design in the Positive Reinforcement of D. melanogaster

Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
LUKE ANDREW WHITEHOUSE (Northern Michigan University), Paul Thomas Thomas Andronis (Northern Michigan University), Erin Elizabeth Wylie (Northern Michigan University), Monica Jones (Northern Michigan University), Hannah Wainright (Northern Michigan University)
Discussant: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract:

Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) has long been a model organism in genetics research. Behavioral genetics research with these organisms has relied on the use of neural activation or negative reinforcement by use of aversive stimulation (heat) to analyze behavioral contingencies and the effects of organisms’ phylogenetic endowments. Additionally existent research has required the constraint of the organism in a flight chamber. Optical neural activation of reward pathways has been demonstrated. However both of these paradigms prevent evaluation of naturalistic responding in the context of positive reinforcement contingencies. Drosophila melanogaster’s status as model organism in other fields like genetics means the ability to demonstrate positive reinforcement and schedule control with this organism will help to contextualize modern behavior analytic models alongside her sister sciences. Presented will be this laboratories initial designs, successes and failures at designing an operant chamber which permits free response to positive reinforcement. While the organism’s size and lifespan and present problems for traditional operant chamber design we hope that our designs open avenues for positive reinforcement research.

 
46.

Inventing a Supercage for Rats

Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
GRAYSON BUTCHER (University of North Texas), April M. Becker (University of North Texas and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center), Alex Davidson (University of North Texas), Marla Baltazar (University of North Texas), Jared Thomas Armshaw (University of North Texas), Selena Cruz (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract:

A large constraint placed on operant research with nonhuman organisms is the existing apparatuses which investigators use. These constraints may be purposeful, as with Skinner’s boxes, which were originally meant to control for confounding variables as best as possible. But many experiments are ran with prototypical Skinner boxes simply out of convention, instead of out of sensitivity towards the potential influence of confounding variables. An unfortunate side-effect of this is that many researchers—at least those fortunate enough to still have animal laboratories—feel obligated to spend a large amount of money on pre-made chambers to ask any number of research questions. The time and effort it would take to create one’s own chamber—or variations on it—may seem immense and overwhelming. However, work within the NRRL laboratory at the University of North Texas over the past year has indicated that it is feasible to build and program one’s own chamber cheaply. Additionally, our lab has created a “supercage” capable of housing at least a dozen rats that allows for social enrichment and the examination of nonlinear contingencies.

 
47. Explaining Verbal Interactions: An Evolutionary Approach
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
CARSTA SIMON (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)
Discussant: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: The behavior of organisms results from environmental events that have partly occurred during the history of their species, and partly during the lifetime of the organism. Natural selection explains how physiological and behavioral characteristics of organisms are across generations tailored to the environment. It has produced ontogenetic selection processes that, within each generation, tailor the behavior of organisms to their environment. This poster discusses how these ontogenetic processes of selection by environmental events affect verbal behavior, how they relate to natural selection, and why this connection is relevant. The poster connects these conceptual analyses to empirical studies on verbal interactions between conversational partners, which demonstrate experimental procedures investigating variables that select topic (word) choice, duration of talk, and allocation of talk and gaze to two conversational partners. The latter is investigated in a study on matching in conversations, which expands on the (molar) multiscale approach to an analysis of behavior by suggesting that allocation of conversational partners’ talk and gaze is more likely an example of induction than of strengthening by reinforcement.
 
 

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