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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Paper Session #40
Experimental Studies of Learning and Behavior
Friday, September 2, 2022
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Wicklow Hall 2B
Area: EAB
Instruction Level: Advanced
Chair: Josele Abreu-Rodrigues (Universidade de Brasilia)

Learning Difficult Behaviors: Do Variability Requirements Matter?

Domain: Basic Research
JOSELE ABREU-RODRIGUES (Universidade de Brasília), Lucas Ribeiro (Universidade de Brasília), Laura Medeiros (Universidade de Brasília)

Studies on the contribution of behavioral variation to the learning of difficult behaviors have obtained discrepant results. The goal of the present study was twofold: (a) to evaluate whether such discrepancies are related to methodological issues, and (b) to evaluate the effects of variability requirements on learning difficult target sequences. Twenty university students emitted five-response sequences. For the experimental groups, nontarget sequences were reinforced with 3 points according to the Lag-10 variation criterion or the Lag-3 repetition criterion. For the control groups, reinforcement probability for nontarget sequences was yoked to that obtained by the experimental groups. For both groups, difficult target sequences were continuously reinforced with 12 points. U values were higher with the Lag-10 criterion than with the Lag-3 criterion for the experimental groups and were unsystematic for the control groups. Higher levels of variability, regardless of whether they were produced by reinforcement of variation or were contingency induced, facilitated learning of target sequences. When comparing the present results with those in the literature, it is observed that a long exposure to experimental contingencies makes the use of different magnitudes of reinforcers irrelevant. With a short exposure, the use of different magnitudes contributes to target-sequence learning, regardless of species.


Effect of Spatiotemporal Contiguity and its Place of Occurrence on Learning of Position Sequences

Domain: Basic Research
Fabiola Mercado Rodríguez (Universidad de Guadalajara), Jairo Ernesto Tamayo Tamayo Tamayo (Universidad Veracruzana), MARIA ELENA ELENA RODRIGUEZ PEREZ (University of Guadalajara)

The effect of presenting groups of positions in four different conditions of spatial and temporal contiguity was evaluated by analyzing its effect on the learning of sequences. For this, two sequences of 16 and 25 positions were used, presented in two 4x4 and 5x5 matrices respectively. Within each matrix, a group of positions was presented contiguously in space and time, varying the place in the sequence in which it occurred. Thus, the conditions evaluated were, spatiotemporal contiguity at the beginning of the sequence (Group 1), in the middle part (Group 2), at the end of the sequence (Group 3) or without spatial contiguity (Group 4). Twenty eight undergraduate students participated. The results showed that the condition that most facilitated the learning of the sequences was the one in which the spatiotemporal contiguity was presented at the beginning. Results are discussed in terms of a possible additive effect of contiguity and space primacy. Additionally, it is argued that these types of tasks involve some type of verbal or linguistic behavior for their resolution and that they are also linked to the study of relational behavior.




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