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 #288
VRB Sunday Poster Session: Even-Numbered Posters
Sunday, May 29, 2022
2:00 PM–3:00 PM
Exhibit Level; Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Daniel E Conine (Georgia State University)
Diversity submission 88. Relational Density Theory and the Self-Organization of Racial Prejudice
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
BRITTANY A SELLERS (Missouri State University), Elana Keissa Sickman (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University), Ashley Payne (Missouri State University), Lauren Rose Hutchison (Missouri State University )
Discussant: Daniel E Conine (Georgia State University)
Abstract: Fewer than 50 articles relating to racial discrimination research have been published in major behavior analytic journals in the last 20 years. Relational Density Theory (RDT; Belisle & Dixon, 2020) provides an extension on Relational Frame Theory (Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, & Roche, 2001) that could allow for an analysis of complex relational patterns that could influence racial discrimination. We obtained sample stimuli from four studies utilizing implicit bias assessment tools (IRAP and IAT) and developed a multidimensional scaling procedure to evaluate the interrelations of 30 stimuli. The stimuli included images of Black men and women, white men and women, people with firearms, positive affective terms, and negative affective terms. A geospatial analysis of the relational frames showed the formation of distinct classes along the dimensions of race. Whereas both groups were viewed as equally positive and negative, Black images were viewed as more dangerous whereas negative affective statements associated with character flaws occured with white images. Moreover, relations associated with "freedom" revealed stronger relations with white images. These results provide a first demonstration of large and complex relational networks that could influence racist beliefs and prejudice against the Black community.
Diversity submission 90.

The Effects of Contingent Motherese Speech and Vocal Imitations on the Vocalizations of Typically Developing Infants and an Infant At-Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Comparison of Research

Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
MARTHA PELAEZ (Florida International University), Rebeca Pelaez (Florida International University), Elisa Lage (Florida International University)
Discussant: Daniel E Conine (Georgia State University)

Caregivers interact with their young infants using infant directed speech (otherwise known as motherese speech) and vocal imitations. Motherese resembles “baby” talk which uses words and sentences in high-pitched tones, a songlike rhythm and inflections on verbs and nouns. This contingent vocal stimulation often makes a key difference in young infant’s vocalization rates as demonstrated in previous research (Pelaez, 2011a, Pelaez et. al, 2018; Poulson, 1983). Our aim is to compare the findings of two studies that used contingent reinforcements of motherese speech and vocal imitation on the frequency of vocalizations of infants who are typically developing and one infant identified at-risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The first study (a single-subject design) explored the use of contingent and non-contingent bilingual motherese provided to a 6-month-old infant using a withdrawal design A-B-C-D-E. The second study explored the effects of motherese and vocal imitations on the frequency of infant vocalizations of a typically developing 8-month-old infant and a 12-month-old infant at-risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Reinforcement conditions for each infant were provided by their two caregivers (mother and father) using an alternating treatment design A-B-C-B-C. Results from both studies replicated previous findings that contingent motherese can increase the frequency of infant vocalizations. In addition, results from study 1 suggest that the use of contingent motherese provided in the home language of the infant (in this case Spanish) produced slightly more vocalizations on average. Furthermore, study 2 found that both contingent vocal imitations and motherese increased vocalizations well above the baseline for both infants regardless of developmental trajectory and caregiver providing the reinforcement conditions, with vocal imitations producing slightly higher average vocalizations.


What’s in a Name? Naming, Echoic Behavior, and Conditioned Sensory Responses

Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
DEREK JACOB SHANMAN (Nicholls State University), Grant Gautreaux (Nicholls State University), Madison Kate Stelly (Behavioral Intervention Group)
Discussant: Daniel E Conine (Georgia State University)

Over the last 25 years, dozens of studies on the Naming capability have advanced the theory proposed by Horne and Lowe. While there is much agreement on the significance of Naming, our field continues to unpeel the layers of the onion regarding what Naming is, how it can change behaviors, and what establishes it. Various lines of research have demonstrated the role of multiple exemplar instruction in the establishment of naming as well as the role of the echoic as the source of reinforcement for naming. The current study attempts to further our understanding of the relationship between echoic behavior during the establishment of the naming capability as well as beginning to look at the role of conditioned sensory responses, in particular, conditioned or operant seeing, during the establishment process. Implications and further research will be discussed.


Matched vs. Unmatched Mands Within the Negative Reinforcement Paradigm: An Analysis of Motivating Operations

Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
CHELSEA E. CARR (The University of Arizona ), Andrew W. Gardner (University of Arizona - College of Medicine - Department of Psychiatry)
Discussant: Daniel E Conine (Georgia State University)

We conducted a brief assessment within a multielement design to identify motivating operations (MOs) that increased or decreased the value of negative reinforcement for children with a history of challenging behavior when presented with tasks or demands. For two of the three participants, we identified specific MOs that increased the value of negative reinforcement in the form of escape from nonpreferred tasks. The results demonstrated that the demands themselves were not aversive; rather particular dimensions of the demand (e.g., difficulty, amount). The third participant engaged in challenging behavior regardless of the MOs present, suggesting that the demands were aversive. Based on the results of the assessment of MOs, each participant was provided an individualized and matched mand to use that abolished the value of negative reinforcement. The mands were provided on picture cards and the contingencies of reinforcement were explained to the participants. Within a multi-element design, we then assessed the reinforcers associated with the mand to show their relation to challenging behavior. The individualized mands had the same abolishing effect across all participants, demonstrating that the assessment had identified functionally relevant MOs for each participant. Additionally, increases were observed across task engagement, task completion, and accuracy for all participants when matched mands were utilized.




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