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 #499
CE Offered: BACB — 
Recent Research on Performance Feedback: Preference and Efficacy
Monday, May 30, 2022
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 153B
Area: OBM/TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Cory Toegel (Northern Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Cory Toegel, Ph.D.

Performance feedback is one of the most common strategies used to improve performance within organizational settings. The present symposium arranges three recent research projects that evaluate the use of performance feedback. The first presentation will discuss laboratory research designed to evaluate the effects of and preference for numerical and narrative variations of performance feedback. The second presentation investigated preference for various feedback modalities (e.g., paper and pencil, verbal feedback). The third presentation evaluated the effects of the number and type of feedback statements provided by a supervisor on participant’s procedural integrity. The goals of this symposium are to bring interested practitioners and researchers up to date with current research involving performance feedback, highlight areas in which performance feedback research is needed, and describe the utility of feedback strategies to enhance the practice of clinical supervisors and the performance of individuals receiving feedback.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): feedback modalities, performance feedback, supervisory feedback
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the purpose of performance feedback and its relevance to supervision; (2) describe different methods for delivering effective performance feedback to trainees; (3) describe different methods for assessing trainee preference for various forms of performance feedback.
A Comparison of Narrative and Numerical Feedback for Teaching Clinical Tasks
CORY TOEGEL (Northern Michigan University), Alexis Humphreys (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Across 3 experiments, we compared the effectiveness of and preference for different feedback strategies for training undergraduate participants to complete common clinical tasks. Experiments had two phases. In Phase 1 of all experiments, participants received exposure to various forms of narrative and numerical feedback while learning to implement two different types of preference assessments. By the end of Phase 1, all participants mastered the implementation of the assessments. In Phase 2, participants could choose the type of feedback they would receive from the experimenter while learning to implement discrete-trial teaching procedures. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants could choose to receive only one type of feedback: narrative or numerical feedback. Most participants preferred the numerical feedback. In Experiment 3, participants could choose any combination of the various types of narrative and numerical feedback. Although all participants preferred a specific feedback combination, the preferences were not systematic across participants. Given that all participants acquired the skills regardless of feedback type, the results may have implications for permitting choice of feedback type when training clinical skills.

CANCELED: Assessing Therapist Preferences for Feedback

STEPHANIE L. KINCAID (Rollins College), Sabrina Veilleux (Acorn Health of Florida), Maddison Holland (Rollins College)

In the organizational behavior management literature, several methods for identifying potential reinforcers in workplace settings have been explored. One empirically supported approach is analogous to stimulus preference assessments in clinical settings (e.g., ranking and paired-choice assessments), with the modification the choices between stimuli are presented in survey form. The present study applied such methods to identify therapist preferences for different modalities of supervisory feedback. We conducted preference assessment surveys for several organizations providing behavior-analytic services. Assessments were administered to 10 supervisees to assess their preferred feedback modality (e.g., paper and pencil form, verbal feedback, text message, etc.). In addition, 8 supervisors completed the assessment from the perspective of their supervisee to assess the degree to which they were able to predict their supervisee’s preferences. Preferences for feedback were somewhat idiosyncratic across participants, though verbal feedback emerged as generally high preferred relative to other feedback modalities. Consistency in preferences across supervisees and ability of supervisors to predict supervisee preference will be considered. Furthermore, barriers to applying feedback preference assessment in the context of supervision and implications for the supervisory relationship will be discussed.

Effects of Feedback Statements Delivered Via Telehealth on Staff Procedural Integrity
LYNETTE JOHNSON (University of Kansas), Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (University of Kansas)
Abstract: The current study contributes to the development of more effective supervision of direct care staff. Effective supervision is an important topic due lack of information regarding the essential components of supervisor feedback. Supervisor feedback is a powerful and effective tool that can be used to increase employee performance. Staff training and staff supervision directly relates to the quality of staff intervention implementation. This study investigated the effects of the number and type of feedback statements provided by a supervisor on participant’s procedural integrity. Participants included two registered behavior technicians (RBTs) who implemented applied behavior analysis (ABA) procedures with children in the home setting. Verbal corrective-corrective (CC), corrective-corrective-corrective (CCC), positive-positive (PP), and positive-positive-positive (PPP), were provided as consequences during the implementation of a receptive identification two-dimensional (2-D) picture card program. Overall, results showed that all conditions increased procedural integrity, with the PPP conditioned producing a slightly greater influence. Research, such as the current study, is needed to identify ways of providing feedback that are most effective in changing behavior that it follows. Feedback is a powerful tool for a supervisor, but like any power, needs to be used correctly and responsibly.



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