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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Poster Session #89
Saturday, May 23, 2020
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 2, Hall D
Chair: Genevieve M DeBernardis (University of Nevada, Reno)
57. Classifications of Lying: Conceptual Development for Experimental Research
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
JAMIIKA THOMAS (University of Nevada, Reno), Will Fleming (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Genevieve M DeBernardis (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Lying, as in deception, has recently received increased attention as a behavioral subject matter, particularly in relation to child development, gambling, and cultural practices. Most experimental analyses of lying seem to refer to it as a distorted tact (Skinner, 1957), but few explicitly offer an operational definition. When lying is defined, procedures are often insufficient to isolate lying and differentiate it from other classes of behavior. Furthermore, not all instances of lying are under control by the same variables; when lying is not defined, many various classes of events may be referenced. The purpose of this project is to both clarify general properties of lying and classify its variations to foster experimental research. Definitions of lying identified through historiographical analyses of behavior analytic literature are outlined and expanded (1) to sub-classify variations in lying and (2) to guide experimental procedures. Classifications specific to different scientific systems—behavior analysis, contextual behavior science, and interbehavioral psychology—are juxtaposed to highlight differences and similarities in procedures required to demonstrate experimental control of lying across systems. Avenues of experimental research are offered that are most inclusive to and compatible with interpretations across behavioral systems.
58. Are Behavior Analysts Behaviorists?
Area: PCH; Domain: Basic Research
MEGAN AVERY (Eastern Connecticut State University), James W. Diller (Eastern Connecticut State University), Olivia Hammond (Eastern Connecticut State University)
Discussant: Genevieve M DeBernardis (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The field of applied behavior analysis grew out of Skinner’s philosophy of radical behaviorism. To evaluate if behavior analysts espoused this philosophy, a survey was administered to 245 individuals (87 undergraduate students, 9 with bachelor’s degrees, 94 with master’s degrees, 50 with doctorates, and 5 with other degrees). Questions asked about agreement (as measured on a 5-point scale, from strongly disagree to strongly agree) with key components of behaviorism (e.g., behavior as a natural event, possessing free will, influence of the environment on behavior). Differences were observed as a function of the level of training an individual has received. Master’s and doctorate holders were more likely to identify as a behaviorist than others, and were more likely to indicate interest in behaviorism than others. Also, people with more training were more likely to indicate that radical in radical behaviorism did not mean extreme, and were less likely to indicate that they possessed free will. While there was some variability in responding to most items, the overall picture of the data indicates that many behavior analysts are behaviorists.
59. On the Use of “Unbreakable” Resolutions to Enhance Self-Control: A Behavioral Analysis
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
RUSSELL A. POWELL (MacEwan University), Rodney Schmaltz (MacEwan University), Jade Radke (MacEwan University)
Discussant: Genevieve M DeBernardis (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Although people often use personal resolutions when trying to change their behavior, this tactic is frequently ineffective. Skinner regarded resolutions as a type of mand, the efficacy of which depends on past experiences in which failure to do what was promised resulted in aversive social consequences and feelings of guilt. Thus, a common recommendation is to inform others about one’s resolutions to enhance their effectiveness. In this study, we examined two individuals, Mahatma Gandhi and Prince Pückler-Muskau, who seemed capable of using personal resolutions, even those that were private, to reliably accomplish difficult tasks. An examination of their writings suggest that they regarded these “unbreakable” resolutions as a tool that, if carefully maintained, could be employed to attain a variety of highly valued outcomes. Hence, in terms of Rachlin’s teleological approach to self-control, such resolutions could be construed as a type of commitment device, the efficacy of which is largely dependent on its association with temporally extended contingencies of reinforcement, or what Ainslie refers to as “choice bundling." Based especially on Gandhi’s writings, we also derived a set of guidelines for the effective use of unbreakable resolutions, which preliminary evidence suggests may be highly effective for some individuals.

An Evaluation of Trends of Adherence to the Seven Dimensions Within Research Published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis,1968-2018

Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
DANIELLE WATSON (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Julie A. Brandt (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology ), Lyret Carrasquillo (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and Florida Institute Of Technology ), dimitrios V. makridis (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Kozue Matsuda (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; Children Center Inc), Tanya Hough (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Jennifer Bellotti (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Genevieve M DeBernardis (University of Nevada, Reno)

Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968) identified and described seven dimensions of applied behavior analysis (ABA): applied, behavioral, analytic, technological, conceptual systems, effective, and generality. These dimensions are what separates applied behavior analysis from the experimental analysis of behavior, and provides practitioners with the information necessary to deliver effective and ethical treatments and services to their clients. Using specific definitions of the seven dimensions and a coding tool, we evaluated and assessed various elements of these seven dimensions across 47 volumes of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA), from 1968 to 2014. The data suggest that research articles generally satisfy the requirements for being behavioral, analytic, and conceptually systematic. In recent years, research in JABA has been gradually improving in the technological dimension. The data also suggest that the research articles in JABA could improve in the applied, effective, and generality dimensions. The trends in the use of the seven dimensions of ABA should be taken into consideration when planning future applied research and future directions in the field. Are the seven dimensions still current and relevant to applied research? If so, researchers would benefit from building their research methodologies with generalization, technology, and efficacy in mind.




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