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.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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Symposium #223
CE Offered: BACB
The Application of Behavior Analysis to Sports and Exercise
Sunday, May 30, 2021
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Area: CSS/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Mariah Mussetter (University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Thomas L. Zane, Ph.D.

Behavioral principles explain all operant behavior, and sports and exercise has been studied within our science. Individual exercise routines, collegiate and professional sports performance, and enhancement of coaching effectiveness has been empirically studied within our science. The proposed symposium will further that research by providing theoretical as well as research-based presentations on this topic. The matching law, as applied to sports and exercise, will be described. A study investigating the effect of an intervention to increase recess play in the public schools will be described as well. Lastly, a component analysis of the TAGTeach form of instruction - as applied to teaching volleyball skills - will be presented.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): exercise, matching law, sports, TAGteach
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the relevance of the matching law to sports behavior;(2) give an example of the matching law explaining a specific sports performance; (3) explain the general procedures of the TAGTeach procedure; (4) explain the application of group contingencies to increasing group exercise.

A Brief Review of the Application of Matching Law in Sports

KY CLIFTON KANAMAN (University of Kansas), Robin Kuhn (University of Kansas)

The importance of sports in America is reiterated annually on the first Sunday of February when more viewers tune in for the Super Bowl than those who vote in our presidential election (Schlanger, 2015). Sports play an integral role in our society and for the past two decades behavior analysts have utilized the matching law to analyze this cultural phenomenon. The matching law has traditionally been applied as a quantitative analysis tool in the experimental analysis of behavior; however, applications of the generalized matching equation (GME) have been translated to athletic performance. GME has been utilized to predict various operant choices in sports (e.g., shot type or play type) at both the individual and team level. In addition to further demonstrating the relevance of applied behavioral science outside of the classroom or laboratory, this review provides a summary of the application and utility of the matching law in sports, discusses limitations of the current literature, and provides recommendations for future research.

Comparing an Interdependent and Dependent Group Contingency to Increase Physical Activity in Students During Recess
(Applied Research)
MADELINE MARIE ASARO (Brock University), Kimberley L. M. Zonneveld (Brock University)
Abstract: Physical activity is defined as any body movement that requires energy expenditure. It has important physiological, mental health, academic, and cognitive benefits for children and youth. Despite these advantages, a large proportion of this population does not meet the minimum recommended amount of physical activity. Recent studies have shown that the interdependent group contingency (IGC) and dependent group contingency (DGC) improve physical activity; however, no comparison of the effects of these group contingencies on physical activity has been conducted. We used a multielement within a concurrent multiple baseline across classes design to compare the effectiveness of these group contingencies on the physical activity of two classes of Grade 5 students. Both group contingencies increased physical activity in both classes, with the IGC producing slightly higher overall levels of physical activity than the DGC at the class-wide and individual level of analyses. Side effect data suggested that reward delivery influenced the amount of positive and negative statements more so than the group contingency arrangement. Results are discussed within the context of treatment decisions and suggestions for future research.
Efficacy of TAGteach® Interventions: Comparing the Effects of Verbal and Audible Feedback
(Applied Research)
MARIAH MUSSETTER (University of Kansas), Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas), Derek D. Reed (University of Kansas), Kimberley L. M. Zonneveld (Brock University), Robin Arnall (The Sage Colleges, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Nova Southeastern University)
Abstract: TAGteach® (based on principles of teaching with acoustical guidance) is an emerging behavioral coaching strategy that utilizes verbal instructions, visual models, and audible feedback to promote skill acquisition of a variety of skills (e.g., sports, activities of daily living, and occupational skills). Extending the findings of previous research, the current study compared the effects of audible feedback (inherent in TAGteach and verbal feedback on the skill acquisition of two volleyball skills. Five female adolescents participated in the study. Results indicated that, for all participants, implementation of TAGteach procedures (regardless of the topography of feedback), produced increases in task analysis steps performed correctly, and those increases maintained for up to two weeks. Results further indicate that performance inconsistently generalized to the natural setting (i.e., inclusion of a volleyball). Results are discussed in terms of crucial components of TAGteach and the analysis of efficient behavioral instruction.



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