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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Poster Session #428
Monday, May 31, 2021
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
16. Behavior Analysis, Religion, and Religious Behavior: A Review
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
SADIE L. LOVETT (Brock University)
Discussant: Albert Malkin (Southern Illinois University / Western University)
Abstract: In several publications, Skinner provided a conceptual analysis of religion as an institution as well as the contingencies that support religious behavior at the level of the individual. Since these seminal works, several authors have provided additional analyses of various aspects of religion and religious behavior. This review analyzes these papers and identifies the basic themes evident in the analysis of religion from a behavior analytic perspective. The first major theme relates to religion as a cultural institution and its influence on the behavior of a social group. Secondly, several papers provide analyses of the behavioral processes that influence religious behavior, such as martyrdom, and spiritual experiences, such as transcendence, at the level of the individual religious adherent. The third theme relates to an identification of commonalities between the science of behavior analysis and certain religious systems. Lastly, implications of the behavioral analysis of religion on the advancement of the science of behavior analysis are explored.
17. Exploring the Utility of Differing Methodological Approaches to Measure Meaningful Change in Treatment and Intervention Scenarios
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
BAILEY ROSS (Brock University), Jan Frijters (Brock University), Tricia Corinne Vause (Brock University), Alison Cox (Brock University)
Discussant: Albert Malkin (Southern Illinois University / Western University)
Abstract: To disseminate important findings and support evidence-based practice and policy, findings from studies are synthesized in reviews and meta-analyses; however, due to differing metrics to describe effects found, single-case designs (SCD) have commonly been excluded. The present study employs a unique dataset to exemplify differing methodological approaches to measure meaningful change from a treatment. The dataset contained both a group-based design in the form of a randomized controlled trial and SCD methodologies on the same participants undergoing treatment. With the SCD data, a statistical technique was applied to calculate a d-statistic referred to as a between-case standardized mean difference effect size (ESBC). The ESBC across all behaviors (g = 1.22) was compared with the average effect from the original group-based analyses (g = 0.99). Additionally, the ESBC was found per participant to compare individual effects. The results provided the opportunity to generate a forest plot and view the outcomes in a different perspective than what is normally available to SCD researchers. Furthermore, the most valuable benefit to note is the acquisition of the ESBC that results in the form of hedges’ g which can be included in meta-analyses and compared across SCDs and between-group experimental designs.
18. A Radical Reformulation of Psychology as a Theory-Laden Experimental Science: A Review of Emilio Ribes-Iñesta’s, “The Scientific Study of Individual Behavior: An Introduction to the Theory of Psychology”
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
JOSE ARDILA (University of Nevada, Reno), Mitch Fryling (California State University, Los Angeles), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Albert Malkin (Southern Illinois University / Western University)

E. Ribes-Iñesta’s analytic scope of psychology is vast and warrants attention by behavior analysts. The contents of this book are not limited to a description of psychology as a scientific system. The topics covered in the twelve chapters of this book are diverse, ranging from historical remarks about general psychological assumptions (such as descriptions, causes, and explanations of behavior), overviews of concepts and their origin in other sciences (such as molecular versus molar notions in chemistry and the concept of the field in physics), defining ways in which psychology relates to other disciplines (such as in interdisciplinary studies or creating multidisciplines), offering a re-interpretation of psychological problems in terms of moral problems and, in doing so, proposing the nonexistence of actual ‘psychological problems’. This review describes the content of the first nine chapters focusing on the main taxonomy of psychological events in terms of molar contingencies. For the most part, Ribes-Iñesta’s main thoughts about psychology have remained in their original form (Spanish), warranting a translation and not just a review. Thus, we present a hybrid between translation and commentary, emphasizing what seems to be more indicative of a line of thought, the skeleton of this book.


Bridging the Gap Between Basic and Applied Behavior Analysis: Human Operant Research in the Twenty-First Century

Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
ASHLEY BAGWELL (University of Texas at Austin), Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin), Samantha Brooke Swinnea (University of Texas at Austin)
Discussant: Albert Malkin (Southern Illinois University / Western University)

In the study of behavior, the degree to which research questions directly address challenges with a clinical population varies. This variation can be conceptualized as a continuum. On one end of this continuum is “applied” research. Applied research includes intervention studies with participants who are members of the population for whom the treatment might later be implemented. In applied studies the participants are intervened upon within the study. On the other end of this continuum is “basic” research, conducted in a highly-controlled lab setting, typically with non-human subjects. The goal of furthering our understanding of behavior does not vary across this continuum. However, generalizability of basic findings to clinically relevant applications may vary, especially for areas in which the mechanisms of action are not particularly well understood. Research that falls between the basic and applied ends of the continuum, translational research, seeks in part to bridge the gap between the two ends of the continuum. One type of translational research is human operant-based experimental preparations. The goal of this synthesis was to explore and identify the various contributions of human operant research to the study of behavior. Specifically, studies in which participants were typically developing adults are examined.


An Akaike and Bayesian Information Criterion Analysis of Aperiodic and Periodic Concurrent-Chains Research.

Area: PCH; Domain: Basic Research
JAY HINNENKAMP (Middle Tennessee State University)
Discussant: Albert Malkin (Southern Illinois University / Western University)

Stimuli which, during the life of an organism, acquire the ability to increase the probability of behavior that they follow are called conditioned reinforcers. The concurrent-chains procedure has been used to study conditioned reinforcement for over 60 years. During this time, several different models have been proposed to explain how stimuli become conditioned reinforcers. This poster will use the Akaike Information Criterion (AICc) and Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC) to analyze the necessity and role of free parameters in several prominent models (Contextual Choice, Cumulative Decision, Delay Reduction, Hyperbolic Value Addition) of conditioned reinforcement. In particular, this poster will focus on concurrent-chains research that has studied choice between one aperiodic and one periodic terminal link schedule of reinforcement. For all calculations, programmed initial-link durations, terminal-link durations, and rates of reinforcement were used. This poster will discuss the implications of the AIC and BIC analyses and provide suggestions for future research and analyses.


An Analysis of Variables Influencing Visual Analysis Objectivity

Area: PCH; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA M HINMAN (University of Illinois at Chicago), Mark R. Dixon (University of Illinois at Chicago), Zhihui Yi (Univeristy of Illinois at Chicago)
Discussant: Albert Malkin (Southern Illinois University / Western University)

Within the field of behavior analysis, visual analysis is a skill used frequently by behavior analysts in the clinical setting. Although the interpretation of data is intended to be objective, there are several factors which may influence a behavior analyst’s interpretation. One such factor may be the context under which the data is presented. In the current study, BCBAs were asked to evaluate the efficacy of treatment based on data which was presented to them either blinded or with the empirical citation. Although not statistically significant, preliminary data suggest that behavior analysts rated blinded data to have larger effect sizes compared to empirical data after balancing between-subject variabilities. This data suggests there may be slight differences between how behavior analysts interpret data taken from empirical journal articles compared to clinical data. Our findings suggest that visual analysis as a stand-along method may not yield the most accurate interpretation of the obtained data. Practitioners should consider additional analysis modalities (descriptive statistics, effect size, percentage of non-overlapping data, etc.) to aid the process of synthesizing the obtained results.




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