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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Poster Session #79
AAB Saturday Poster Session: Odd-Numbered Posters
Saturday, May 28, 2022
1:00 PM–2:00 PM
Exhibit Level; Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Veronica J. Howard (University of Alaska Anchorage)
1. Consent and Coercion in Positive Reinforcement Animal Training
Area: AAB; Domain: Applied Research
HANNAH DAVIS MCGEE (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Veronica J. Howard (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Abstract: The use of positive reinforcement-based training techniques with captive animals is widely considered non-aversive. In recent years, the use of differential positive reinforcement to teach animals to consent to training and husbandry behaviors has gained popularity among animal trainers and pet owners. The animal receives a reinforcer when desired behavior is offered, creating the appearance that the animal is both consenting and benefiting from this procedure. However, if we take into account the contingencies available to the captive animal, the animal may be choosing to participate because the animal has limited alternatives. This experiment showed that manipulating the contingencies available to a captive animal changed the allocation of behaviors. When a rat’s access to different reinforcement contingencies was restricted, the rat was more likely to participate in training sessions, perform certain behaviors, and participate in sessions for a longer duration. These results support the idea that true consent cannot be obtained from a participant when the participant has limited alternatives for obtaining reinforcement and these options are controlled by the individual seeking consent.
3. Developing Stimulus Control of a Border Collie's Vocalizations
Area: AAB; Domain: Applied Research
ASHLEY HOGAN (ABC Group Hawai'i)
Discussant: Veronica J. Howard (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Abstract: According to the American Kennel Club, barking is the most common pet complaint and a behavior that often leaves pet owners stressed. Owners may seek out advice on how to eliminate this noisy behavior. However, vocalizations are a completely normal and expected part of dog behavior. Border Collies are known for their energy, drive, and intelligence. They are likely to vocalize when they are under-stimulated or without attention for long periods of time. Instead of suppressing communication attempts, owners can respond and address their dog’s needs. However, excessive vocalizations can occur when a dog’s needs are not immediately met. In these situations, a signal to the dog may help keep vocalizations manageable for the owner. The current study examines if the use of a visual stimulus (e.g., colored bandana) paired with a vocal command (e.g.,“rest”) to signal that work, play, or attention from the owner is not currently available will reduce rates of whining in a two-year old Border Collie. A single-subject, multiple baseline across environments design was used. A review of the data, and potential Implications for pet owners will be discussed.



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