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.


11th International Conference; Dublin, Ireland; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #137
CE Offered: BACB
Exploring Circumstantial Factors That Influence the Impact of Tailoring Variables During Systematic Instruction
Saturday, September 3, 2022
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Meeting level 2; Wicklow Hall 1
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Bailey Copeland (Vanderbilt University)
CE Instructor: Bailey Copeland, M.Ed.
Abstract: Decades of research have demonstrated the ways in which systematic instruction can improve the learning outcomes of individuals exposed to those methods. Despite clear direct effects, a myriad of circumstantial factors can and should influence the tailoring variables which ultimately render an instructional program effective or ineffective. In this symposium, we present the research of three scientists who have empirically established the value and impact of a number of such factors. The first talk demonstrates how the relative efficiency of and child preference for different systematic prompting systems (i.e., time delay and system of least prompts) can and does vary by child, and explores the variables which might implicate one approach over the other as the superior method. The second talk demonstrates the generative impact that logically organized instructional progressions can have on stimulus equivalence, transformation of stimulus function, and derived rule following. The final talk explores the potential prevalence and impact of a poorly understood phenomenon (i.e., behavioral contrast) in applied clinical programming. In all cases, the value and importance of conceptual systems to effective programming and decision making is discussed.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience: Audience members fluent with principles of systematic instruction are most likely to benefit from the content of this symposium.
Learning Objectives: 1) Audience members will consider the variables which might influence the impact and preference for various prompting systems 2) Audience members will learn instructional methods capable of promoting derived rule following and contextually controlled transformation of stimulus functions 3) Audience members will describe difficulties associated with measuring behavioral contrast, and will estimate the potential prevalence of this phenomenon across typically unmeasured domains prior to and following behavior analytic service delivery.
Efficiency and Child Preference for Specific Prompting Procedures
BRITTANY PAIGE BENNETT (Vanderbilt ), Jennifer Ledford (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: Prompting procedures are often used for teaching discrete skills, but limited comparative data exists to help guide practitioners to select a specific procedure for a given child. Chazin and Ledford (2020) asserted that comparisons were needed in contexts where participants had prerequisite skills required for all procedures and could differentiate between procedural variations (e.g., understood when to use which strategy). For example, guessing is not detrimental when the system of least prompts (SLP) is used, but it is typically punished when time delay {TD) is used. We used an adapted alternating treatments designs and simultaneous treatments designs to assess the efficiency of and preference for TD and SLP when teaching expressive and receptive identification of discrete targets to participants who (a) could wait for a prompt, and (b) demonstrated ability to determine when they should wait for assistance or make a guess. Children were young children (aged 3-8) with autism (n = 2), developmental concerns but no diagnoses (n = 1), and typical development (n = 1). Data collection is ongoing, but preliminary data suggest efficiency and preference varies according to participant characteristics.

Arranging Instruction to Promote Derived Rule-Following and Transformation of Stimulus Functions

JESSICA LEE PARANCZAK (Vanderbilt University), Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University), Bailey Copeland (Vanderbilt University)

Derived relational responding in traditional match-to-sample (MTS) tasks has a rich history, but less is known regarding derived rule-following and corresponding transformations of stimulus function. The present evaluation includes two experiments conducted with young children (i.e., 5-8 years old) within the context of a common board game (i.e., Candyland). In Experiment 1, a multiple probe across participants design was used to evaluate the effects of MTS training on (a) derived responding (i.e., C-A relations) and (b) transformation of stimulus function (i.e., correct responses in game play). In Experiment 2, frames of opposition were trained and subsequently, a participant’s ability to relate relations and engage in transformation of stimulus function (i.e., respond correctly in game play) was evaluated. Results from both experiments demonstrate that instruction can be arranged to promote derived rule following in young children. These results expand upon existing literature by (a) demonstrating derived responding through rigorous experimental design, (b) evaluating transformation of stimulus function for complex relations (e.g., relating relations) and (c) involving frames other than coordination (e.g., opposition).

Behavioral Contrast: A Survey of Practitioner Experiences
MEGAN A. BOYLE (Upstate Cerebral Palsy)
Abstract: Behavioral contrast occurs when a change in reinforcement conditions in one context causes a change in behavior in the opposite direction in an unchanged context. Contrast has implications for practitioners of behavior analysis in their ability to be effective clinicians. However, there is lack of applied or clinically driven research on contrast, and the extent to which contrast occurs in clinical settings is unknown. We conducted a survey of certified behavior analysts to identify (a) The prevalence of behavioral contrast as reported by stakeholders to board certified behavior analysts, (b) The impact/ramifications of behavioral contrast, and (c) Approaches used by clinicians in responding to contrast effects. The survey was sent to all certificants via the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and was disseminated via social-media platforms. Of 137 respondents, 87% responded that, at some point during their career, contrast had been a concern of stakeholders. Further, when contrast was reported, about 50% of respondents reported that contrast had resulted in at least some damage in rapport between the clinician and the stakeholder. Results will be discussed in terms of additional themes, approaches to managing contrast and retaining therapeutic relationships with stakeholders, and importance and directions of applied and clinically driven research.



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