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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #484
CE Offered: BACB
Pushing Language Relations to the Edge: Advanced Investigations of Derived Relational Responding as a Generalized Operant
Monday, May 25, 2020
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 1, Salon I
Area: VRB/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Amanda Chastain (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
Discussant: Seth W. Whiting (Central Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Ryan C. Speelman, Ph.D.

An overwhelming evidence base exists in support of derived relational responding as an overarching generalized operant. To date, however, fewer investigations of the extent to which frames of coordination serve as a foundation upon which other relational responding occurs has not been thoroughly explored. Further, the degree to which relational training approaches catalyze derived relational responding across sensory modalities, frame types, and non-linear training approaches has yet to be explored. To that end, the present symposium sought to expand the reach of derived relational responding as a generalized operant to more complex relational frames and investigates the ways in which we might both train and test for derived relational responding across sensory modalities and frame types.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): DRR, PEAK, RFT
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: Attendees will be able to describe and utilize different testing procedures within relational instruction. Define and provide examples of derived stimulus relations. Attendees will be able to better understand stimulus equivalence procedures as they relate to derived stimulus relations
PEAK Establishes Derived Relational Responding as an Overarching Operant
(Applied Research)
RYAN C. SPEELMAN (Pittsburg State University)
Abstract: This talk explores the Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge (PEAK) curriculum’s capability in establishing derived relational responding as a generalized operant in young children. Training established frames of coordination, comparison, and distinction using non – arbitrary and arbitrary stimuli while emergent untrained mutual and combinatorial mutually entailed responses were observed within and across stimulus sets. Stimuli varied along both non-arbitrary (identity matching number of items/written numbers, identifying non-matching numbers of items/written numbers, sequencing amounts, identifying more/less given visual frequencies) and arbitrary (tacting written numbers/quantities, identifying non-matching written/spoken number combinations, matching quantities to written/spoken numbers, identifying more/less written/spoken numbers, sequencing written/spoken numbers) numerical quantitative dimensions. Preliminary results reveal acquisition of coordinated framing within a stimulus set facilitates coordinated framing in other unrelated arbitrary stimulus sets. Mastery of coordinated framing appeared to promote the emergence of more complex frames including distinction and comparison suggesting a commonality among relational frame families. The findings highlight the ubiquity of relational responding and broad potential application to math concepts and other general curriculum.
A Comparison of Embedded and Withheld Tests Derived Language Relations During the Acquisition Trained Relations in Children
(Applied Research)
CHANTAL RAINFORD (Autism Care West, LLC), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University), Charles Marriott (Autism Care West, LLC)
Abstract: This study sought to test the generality of previous findings that showed embedded entailed and transformation probes resulted in faster acquisition of train and test relations across a greater sample size, relational frames, sensory modalities, and a non-linear training approach. We compared the use of embedded and withheld test trials as methods of increasing relational responding in children with developmental disabilities using the PEAK-T curriculum across 16 participants. A first procedure presented test probes for combinatory entailment and transformation of function probes throughout the acquisition of directly trained relations. In the second procedure, test probes were withheld until the learner demonstrated the mastery criteria across all directly trained relations. The differential results across the participants can inform practitioners conducting PEAK or other programs emphasizing derived relational responding. Implication and results of this research are discussed specifically and broadly.



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