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 #276
VRB Sunday Poster Session: Odd-Numbered Posters
Sunday, May 29, 2022
1:00 PM–2:00 PM
Exhibit Level; Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Kara LaCroix (TACT, LLC)
87. Relational Density Theory: Further Exploration of Coherence between Relational Classes
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
CALEB STANLEY (Utah Valley University), Sydney Jensen (Utah Valley University), Sarah Makenzie Lindemann (Utah Valley University), Mikayla Campbell (Utah Valley University)
Discussant: Kara LaCroix (TACT, LLC)
Abstract: Relational Density Theory (RDT) is an extension on Relational Frame Theory that attempts to provide a quantitative model to predict non-linearity and self-organization of relational classes. Recent research on RDT has evaluated the degree to which pre-experimental coherence among relational classes influences the development of merged classes. Specifically, research has shown successful mergers with coherent relational classes, whereas mergers were not demonstrated with non-coherent relational classes. The current study sought to extend previous research on RDT by evaluating whether differences exist between coherent and non-coherent relational classes when both classes are exposed to coherence training. Coherent and non-coherent relational classes were established with participants using a Stimulus Pairing Observation Procedure. The Multidimensional Scaling Procedure was administered prior to and following coherence training to obtain a quantitative measure of distance between relational classes which were modeled geometrically. Overall, the results show that both the coherent and non-coherent relational classes showed changes in geometric space following coherence training, however, the coherent relational class showed less fractionation than the non-coherent relational class. This finding supports previous research which suggests coherence is likely a variable that influences the self-organization of relational class development. Implications and considerations of the findings are discussed.
89. Evaluating the LIFE Curriculum: The Effect of Relational Training on Stimulus Substitution in Behavior Chains
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
AMANDA N. CHASTAIN (University of Illinois, Chicago), Zhihui Yi (Univeristy of Illinois at Chicago), Palak Jha (University of Illinois, Chicago), Mark R. Dixon (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Discussant: Kara LaCroix (TACT, LLC)
Abstract: Previous research has clearly demonstrated that derived relational responding plays a critical role in the development of complex human behavior. Despite this, there remains a significant gap in applied research regarding the use of relational responding in teaching complex behavior chains, such as those involved with many social and adaptive living skills. The current study evaluated the effectiveness of relational training on stimulus substitutability within a behavior chain for children diagnosed with autism. Following baseline probes, researchers used a forward chain to teach three children with autism a sequencing task. Participants were then taught to relate the stimuli which made up the behavior chain to arbitrary images using equivalence-based instruction. Tests were conducted to determine whether participants would substitute the arbitrary stimuli for missing steps of the behavior chain following relational training. Results indicate that adding relational training to our commonly used task analysis methodologies could increase variability in responding when stimuli included within the task analysis are absent.

The Effects of Echoic Response Requirement During Auditory Visual Discrimination Training on the Emergence of Tacts in Children Diagnosed With Autism

Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
ANNE CAROLINE COSTA CARNEIRO (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Mariele Cortez (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
Discussant: Kara LaCroix (TACT, LLC)

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of an auditory visual discrimination training with and without echoic response requirement in the emergence of tacts and evaluate if the moment in which the response was required (e.g., after the auditory stimulus was presented meanwhile children attempted to the visual stimulus) could lead to the emergence of tact responses. Three children diagnosed with ASD participated in the study and were exposed to the following experimental conditions: 1) Pretest tact probe; 2) Auditory visual discrimination training with echoic response requirement to one set of stimulus in which the participant was required to emit the echoic response after the auditory stimulus was presented meanwhile children attempted to the visual stimulus, 3) Auditory visual discrimination training without echoic response requirement to another set of stimuli, and, 4) posttest tact probe to evaluate the effects of echoic responses requirement in the emergence of tacts. An alterned treatment design was implemented and the results demonstrate high levels of tact emergence for all participants suggesting that echoic responses requirement in an specific moment in which it is emitted could play an important role in the emergence of tacts in an auditory visual discrimination training procedure.


Effects of Autoclitics on Cold Water Tolerance

Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
PAULA TEIXEIRA ANDRADE SOUSA (Department of Experimental Psychology, Institute of Psychology at the University of São Paulo. ), Martha Costa Hübner (Affiliation One: University of São Paulo (USP) Affiliation Two: Universitary Hospital of USP)
Discussant: Kara LaCroix (TACT, LLC)

A biobehavioral phenomenon, pain can be studied from a behavior analysis perspective. The present research assessed the effects of antecedent verbal stimuli on pain tolerance using the Cold Pressor Task (CPT). In such a task, participants put a hand inside water at body temperature (calibration phase) and afterwards inside a cold water (39,2 ºF), which functions as an aversive stimulus (experimental phase). We used a mixed-design, with the antecedent verbal stimulus as a within-subject factor, and the order of exposure as the between-subjects factor. We exposed the 12 participants to two verbal antecedent stimuli describing the temperature of the water at experimental phase. A tact with the quantifier autoclitic “very cold” (condition A); and a tact with a qualifying autoclitic “good” (condition B). The dependent variable was the time participants remained in contact with the water. Out of twelve participants, eight showed greater tolerance in condition A, two in condition B, and two maintained the same tolerance across conditions. Also, we found an order effect, as shown by a mixed Anova with random effect per participant (p=0.003). We concluded that the accuracy of verbal stimuli of previous episodes, rather than the content of descriptions, modulates pain tolerance.




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