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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47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

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

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Poster Session #91
Saturday, May 29, 2021
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Online
47.

Let’s Save the World With Applied Behaviour Analysis: A Closer Look at the Climate Crisis and What We Can Do About It

Area: CSS; Domain: Theory
MEAGHEN SHAVER (Centre for Behavioural Studies, St. Lawrence College), Pamela Shea (Centre for Behavioural Studies, St. Lawrence College), Jori Bird (Centre for Behavioural Studies, St. Lawrence College)
Discussant: Tanya Hough (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract:

Scientific evidence clearly supports the existence of climate change, attributes this change largely to human behaviour, and warns that these changes will produce rapid and potentially catastrophic changes (Houmanfar, & Mattaini, 2015, Lehman & Geller, 2004; Luke, Roose, Rakos, & Mattaini, 2017; Thompson, 2010). Research has provided insight into changing individual’s pro-environmental choices using both consequence and antecedent strategies (Bacon & Krpan, 2018; Wansink & Love, 2014; Kongsbac et al., 2015; Baca-Motes, Brown, Gneezy, Keenan, & Nelson, 2012; Arieley, Bracha, & Meier, 2009). One area of research involves nudges, which are a collection of tools which make purposeful changes in the choice architecture and influence the behaviour of individuals (Lehner, Mont, & Heiskanen, 2015). In reviewing the literature, there are at least eight strategies that can be employed to increase the probability that people will engage in pro-environmental behaviours. These strategies can be implemented at the individual, community and governmental levels to move societies towards a sustainable and livable future.

 
Diversity submission 48. Student Views on Racial Diversity in Behavior Analysis Graduate Programs: Resources and Atmosphere
Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
CASEY IRWIN HELVEY (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Richelle Elizabeth Hurtado (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Sydney Batchelder (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Ryan Charles Blejewski (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Carol Pilgrim (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Tanya Hough (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: The Association for Behavior Analysis International’s recent development of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) board highlights the field’s growing commitment to such topics, with special funding and training opportunities available. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board also recently released updated information about the demographic distribution of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), with the large majority being White and only small percentages across all minority groups represented (BACB, 2020). Accordingly, it seems important to assess the current racial composition of students and faculty in behavior-analytic and related graduate programs, as well as the extent to which topics of DEI are included in behavior-analytic curricula and other program activities. The current poster will present data from a survey on racial diversity within and across behavior analysis graduate programs in the United States. Questions were asked about the availability of resources for supporting and promoting racial diversity on campus and the overall atmosphere of the program in general. While data collection is ongoing, results to date indicate a lack of information about existing resources, a range of opinions on comfort levels relative to DEI issues within the program, and an endorsement of a need for more resources to support students of color.
 
Diversity submission 49. Student Views on Racial Diversity in Behavior Analysis Graduate Programs: Curriculum, Composition, and Application Process
Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
RYAN CHARLES BLEJEWSKI (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Sydney Batchelder (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Richelle Elizabeth Hurtado (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Casey Irwin Helvey (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Carol Pilgrim (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Tanya Hough (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: The Association for Behavior Analysis International’s recent development of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) board highlights the field’s growing commitment to such topics, with special funding and training opportunities available. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board also recently released updated information about the demographic distribution of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), with the large majority being White and only small percentages across all minority groups represented (BACB, 2020). Accordingly, it seems important to assess the current racial composition of students and faculty in behavior-analytic and related graduate programs, as well as the extent to which topics of DEI are included in behavior-analytic curricula and other program activities. The current poster will present data from a survey on racial diversity within and across behavior analysis graduate programs in the United States. Questions were asked about the racial diversity within the behavior analysis program population, curriculum, application, and interview process. While data collection is ongoing, results to date indicate a lack of diversity in program composition, a lack of attention to such issues during the application and interview process, and a strong endorsement of more DEI instruction.
 
Diversity submission 50. What Would Skinner Say? A Critique of Colonization and Modern Aid in Africa
Area: CSS; Domain: Theory
NICOLE RENEE SMILAK (Encompass International; Endicott College)
Discussant: Tanya Hough (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: In Skinner’s chapter titled The Ethics of Helping People, he states, “By giving too much help, we postpone the acquisition of effective behavior and perpetuate the need for help.” Through years living cross-culturally in various African countries, I have seen this demonstrated not only in organizations, but also as part of the very fabric of society. The detrimental effects of helping as described by Skinner are especially evident in African countries that were recently colonized by western, developed countries. Not only do strong reinforcement contingencies surround the helper, but also the helped, which creates and maintains a reciprocal dominating/dependent relationship that has stifled growth in the past and continues to do so in the present. Since the field of behavior analysis was born in the developed world, any dissemination efforts to developing countries will naturally perpetuate the power dynamic that was born out of colonial ‘helping’ practices. In this paper, I outline suggestions for behavior analysts interested in international dissemination; specifically looking at the role participatory community development can play in alleviating colonial relations between developed and developing countries.
 
Sustainability submission 51. Reducing Electricity Consumption in College Classrooms Using Low-Tech Visual Prompts
Area: CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
RACHEL LEE (University of Detroit Mercy), Linda Slowik (University of Detroit Mercy), Erin Watts (University of Detroit Mercy)
Discussant: Tanya Hough (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Sustainability and energy consumption have become important topics, and the field of behavior analysis can make significant contributions in helping society reach its goals in these areas. For organizations such as universities and colleges seeking to reduce energy consumption, it is important that they have a wide variety of strategies and techniques at their disposal, particularly interventions that require little initial investment but yield significant energy savings. The current study was designed to extend prior studies examining the effects of low-tech visual prompts on electricity consumption at a small, urban, Midwestern university. A multiple baseline design was used to determine whether visual prompts placed in immediate proximity to light switches resulted in fewer college classrooms remaining lit by overhead lights while unoccupied. Preliminary results of this study are promising and indicate significant improvement when compared to baseline. Final results and analysis will be presented in conjunction with limitations, implications, recommendations, and additional resources.
 
Diversity submission 52. Meaningful Applications of Culturo-Behavior Systems Science to Social and Global Issues
Area: CSS; Domain: Theory
JOSE ARDILA (University of Nevada, Reno), Traci M. Cihon (University of North Texas), Holly Seniuk (Behavior Analyst Certification Board), Sarah M. Richling (Auburn University), Richard F. Rakos (Cleveland State University), Kendra Combs (Sparks Behavioral Services), Mark A. Mattaini (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago)
Discussant: Tanya Hough (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
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 six 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 two general areas: (a) subcommittees that focus on particular issues and (b) working groups that create resources for specific sectors.These groups have developed a training directory; syllabi and course units in the areas of sustainability, resilience, diversity, and of social importance; (b) and developed 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. The role of volunteers is increasingly emphasized for the advancement of the Project and training procedures for measuring volunteerism are being developed. 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.
 
Diversity submission 53.

Performance of Human Rights in the School Environment

Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
AGUSTIN DANIEL GOMEZ FUENTES (Universidad Veracruzana), Paola Alejandra Reyes (Universidad Veracruzana), Minerva Perez Juarez (University of Veracruz, Mexico), Alejandro Francisco Reyes (Universidad Veracruzana)
Discussant: Tanya Hough (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract:

The education of values as competencies for life is one of the current challenges of the school. The values can be analyzed as a psychological phenomenon, based on the behavior of an individual in relation to the functional changes of the individual or object before whom he behaves. The conditional relationships are analyzed based on the taxonomy proposed by Ribes (2018). An experimental design with Baseline, Intervention Phase and Follow-up Phase was used. Twelve preschoolers from a Kindergarten in the city of Xalapa, Veracruz participated. The study suggests that the performance of children's rights during the intervention phase was high on average in the three behaviors under study in the five functional levels: higher in promoting the “common good” and “tolerance” and a little lower in “equality between people”. However, in the follow-up phase, under natural conditions, the level of functional aptitude was identified more frequently in the first levels of functional aptitude; higher in “tolerance”, then in "equality between people" and lower in promotion of “the common good”. The results suggest that children's rights are learned and performing as life practices and that they can be studied from the Analysis of Behavior Theory.

 
Diversity submission 54. Truancy Prevention and Diversion Program: An Analysis of Student Absences Before and During COVID-19
Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
Kelsey Dachman (University of Kansas), MADISON GRAHAM (University of Kansas), Alicia Morgan (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Tanya Hough (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: School absenteeism is correlated with academic failure, school dropout, delinquency, and problems in adulthood (e.g., unemployment and incarceration). The US Department of Education declared school absenteeism a national crisis in 2017-18 after reporting over 8 million students missed 10% or more of school. Although we are awaiting the official 2020-21 report, state-wide data suggest lower attendance rates during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to before the pandemic (2019-20). Our country needs programs dedicated to combating school absenteeism now more than ever. The Truancy Prevention and Diversion Program (TPDP) is a comprehensive model that operates under a behavioral framework and includes environmental engineering, attendance monitoring, mentoring, and behavioral contracting to decrease unexcused absences in truant youth and divert them from the formal court system. Analyses of the TPDP’s effects across 10 yr (August 2008-May 2018) demonstrated that 75% of the total 450 students reduced their unexcused absences to zero during participation in the program. However, we adapted several TPDP procedures to abide by health guidelines in light of COVID-19. This study will analyze the effects of these adaptations on unexcused absences and compare the outcomes to those immediately before the pandemic. Descriptive and inferential statistics will be conducted.
 
55.

Evaluating Behavioral Skills Training to Teach College Students to Pour a Standard Serving of Alcohol

Area: CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
EMILY WORMAN (University of the Pacific), Alondra Del Real (University of the Pacific), Samantha Crooks (University of the Pacific), Margaret Brock (University of the Pacific), Mark Matz (University of the Pacific), Angel Zhong (University of the Pacific), Carolynn S. Kohn (University of the Pacific)
Discussant: Tanya Hough (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract:

Binge drinking is prevalent among college students. Students who count drinks and set limits are less likely to binge drink; however, these tactics require knowledge of standard servings. Unfortunately, most students are unable to identify or pour standard servings of alcohol. Although Behavioral Skills Training (BST) has been used to teach this skill, researchers have not evaluated the generality of this skill across different types of cups and across time. We used a nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants design to examine whether students (N=6) can acquire the skill and whether this skill generalized across untrained cups and a 5 -10 day follow-up. After receiving BST, most participants poured accurately into the trained cup and into one of the untrained cups. At follow-up, three participants poured accurately into all cups without needing additional BST. Two participants poured accurately into all cups after an additional round of BST for one cup. One participant continued to pour inaccurately. Because most participants poured accurately into at least one untrained cup after receiving BST, this suggests that some skill generalization and maintenance occurred. The time investment of BST may be worthwhile, and college administrators may want to incorporate BST into college alcohol education courses.

 
56. The Ubiquity of Social Reinforcement: A Nudging Exploratory Study to Reduce the Overuse of Smartphones in Social Contexts
Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
Massimo Cesareo (IESCUM (Istituto Europeo per lo Studio del Comportamento Umano)), MARCO TAGLIABUE (OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University), Annalisa Oppo (Sigmund Freud University IESCUM (Istituto Europeo per lo Studio del Comportamento Umano)), Paolo Moderato (IULM - University of Languages and Communication IESCUM (Istituto Europeo per lo Studio del Comportamento Umano))
Discussant: Tanya Hough (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: In this study, we analyze the interaction between smartphones and their users as contingencies of reinforcement underpinning social behavior. We posit the intro-duction of a nudge: an environmental intervention meant to guide behavior that can be easily avoided in a social context. Our experiment takes us to an Italian pub with the hypothesis that a simple environmental factor (a basket featuring a social cue) will contribute to a reduction in digital social interactions in favor of physical social interactions. Data were collected employing a momentary time sampling where we recorded an increase of estimated time with no smartphone interactions and a decrease of estimated time with all the customers seated at one table using their smartphones in the experimental condition. These results were significant and suggest that the nudge was effective at reducing smartphone use among the pa-trons. Moreover, the estimates of these digital interactions were shorter for the statistical unit when compared to the control. Together, the results of study demonstrate that a nudge can reduce smartphone use in contexts of social interac-tion. However, it may be difficult to sustain alternative behavior without provid-ing consequences that reinforce its future occurrences.
 
57. Implicit Bias and Systemic Racism: A Model-Dependent Review of the Literature
Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
ELANA KEISSA SICKMAN (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University), Dana Paliliunas (Missouri State University), Lindsey Audrey Marie Dennis (Missouri State University), Ashley Payne (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Tanya Hough (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Racism and anti-racism are an increasing topic of social and research interest in the United States corresponding to recent instances of police brutality and systemic discrimination. Belisle, Payne, and Paliliunas (under review) proposed a nested model of racial bias against the black community that combines advances in our understanding of Relational Frame Theory, Critical Race Theory, and Meta-contingencies. We evaluated peer-reviewed experimental research related to implicit bias and meta-contingencies and relate the research to the nested model. Research is also evaluated in terms of theory-to-impact levels (Dixon, Belisle, Rehfeldt, & Root, 2018). Results suggest that considerable basic and translational research has been conducted on implicit bias against people of color along with some applied work to reduce implicit bias. Minimal research has evaluated the impact of these interventions as applied at a social level. Minimal research has approached systemic racism by evaluating potential meta-contingencies that operate within racist systems, necessitating more research in this area. Avenues for future research are discussed with an emphasis on implementation and impact research to develop affect technologies to combat individualistic, systemic, and systematic racism.
 
 

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