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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #449
CE Offered: BACB
Using Outcomes of Systematic Literature Reviews to Guide Clinical Practice and Future Research
Monday, May 30, 2022
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 257B
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Natalie Mandel (May Institute)
CE Instructor: Natalie Mandel, Ph.D.

Systematic literature reviews aim to answer specific research questions by identifying and synthesizing the literature basis related to a particular topic using clearly defined search procedures and inclusion and exclusion criteria. This symposium includes three systematic reviews of the literature synthesizing research related to skill acquisition. The first paper focused on the acquisition of mands for information, particularly studies that manipulated motivating operations. This paper identified a shortage of research investigating the autoclitic frame “why.” The second paper includes empirical studies assessing the emergence of intraverbal repertoires. Across the studies reviewed by this paper, intraverbal responding was the most common specific operant directly trained. The final paper comprises of studies that evaluated the impact of differential reinforcement on acquisition of a variety of skills. The paper identified numerous procedurals variations related to the reinforcer parameters manipulated and the onset of differential reinforcement. These papers will discuss results of the studies included in their reviews, procedural variations, recommendations for clinical practice, and/or recommendations for future research.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Entry level/any

Learning Objectives: 1) Understand procedures commonly used to teach mands for information 2) Understand procedures commonly used to teach intraverbal responding 3) Differentiate between various iterations of differential reinforcement
A Systematic Review of the Mands for Information Literature
MIRELA CENGHER (UMBC), Matthew David Bowman (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Lesley A. Shawler (Southern Illinois University), Meghan Ceribo-Singh (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Abstract: This talk will describe a systematic review of studies that manipulated motivating operations to teach mands for information. We used a combination of keywords to search for articles through PsycINFO® and then conducted reference and citation searches for all articles that met our inclusion criteria. In total, we identified 27 studies. The most commonly investigated autoclitic frames when teaching mands for information were “where” and “who,” and the least investigated was “why.” Over half of the studies included an evocative scenario that served as a test condition, but did not include a control condition; however, there was an overall increasing trend toward including both conditions starting in 2007. In most studies, the experimenter taught the participants vocal responses, with a few recent examples targeting a combination of modalities (e.g., vocal and sign language) and communication devices. We discuss recommendations for clinical practice, limitations of existing research, and directions for future research.
A Systematic Review of Empirical Research on Emergent Intraverbals
DANIEL E CONINE (Georgia State University), Sarah Frampton (Simmons College/May Institute, Inc. ), Kyrsten Buote (Georgia State University)
Abstract: For decades, Skinner’s (1957) analysis of verbal behavior has been applied in a variety of contexts. One critically important topic in this area is the extent to which some verbal operants may be learned indirectly, as a result of learning other verbal operants. This phenomenon is often referred to as emergent verbal behavior, and is critical to our understanding of how language is learned in a generative fashion across the lifespan. Emergence is especially important to understanding how intraverbal repertoires are established, as responses under intraverbal control may constitute a majority of responses in a fully-formed verbal repertoire. Recent literature reviews have highlighted that there are many published empirical studies on emergent intraverbals, but no systematic literature review has yet been conducted to unify this specific literature base. The current study is a systematic literature review, which identified 74 total experiments on emergent intraverbals contained in 57 total articles. Results will be presented in terms of populations and independent variables studied, procedural variations, and recommendations for future basic research, applied research, and practice in the area of emergent intraverbal behavior.
Review of the Use of Differential Reinforcement in Skill Acquisition
CYNTHIA P. LIVINGSTON (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Hannah Efaw (University of South Florida), Catia Cividini-Motta Cividini (University of South Florida)
Abstract: The purpose of this paper was to review and summarize the literature investigating the impact of differential reinforcement on skill acquisition. Researchers synthesized data from 13 articles for the following categories: (a) participant characteristics (b) target behavior information, (c) pre-evaluation assessments (d) teaching procedures, (e) reinforcer parameters manipulated and class of reinforcers (f) reinforcement conditions, (g) outcomes, and (h) social validity and generalization measures. Results indicated the majority of the participants were male, had an ASD diagnosis, and communicated vocally. The differential reinforcement condition in which reinforcement favored independent responses resulted in the quickest acquisition for the majority of participants. When compared across reinforcer parameters, skill acquisition was quicker when the quality of the reinforcer was manipulated within the differential reinforcement procedure relative to other reinforcer parameters. Limitations of the previous research, recommendation for future research, and implications for clinical practice are discussed.



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