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.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Symposium #225
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission All Appetitives All The Time: The Case for Centering Freedom In Behavior Analysis
Sunday, May 28, 2023
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom H
Area: PCH/CSS; Domain: Theory
Chair: Hannah Kaplan-Reimer (Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group, reSOURCE)
Discussant: Teresa Camille Kolu (Cusp Emergence)
CE Instructor: Emily Kennison Sandoz, Ph.D.

The field of behavior analysis has rightfully received troubling criticism since its application, particularly around the use of aversives for exerting stimulus control, instructional and otherwise. The practices in question emerge from analyzing the functions of discrete units of behavior, that do not capture the various context-behavior relations at any given moment that may be salient to an individual’s repertoire. However, some behavior analytic perspectives converge to focus on complex, nonlinear, and dynamic functional relations that can be characterized as aversive or appetitive to some degree. The present symposium will demonstrate the analysis of some socially significant practices necessary in the field of behavior analysis to mitigate harm. The first paper will introduce appetitive functional relations and their implementation in behavior analytic practice. The second paper will demonstrate the application of appetitive learning via an implementation of the enhanced choice model (Rajaraman, 2020). The third paper will provide an analysis of masking behaviors utilizing Goldiamond’s nonlinear contingency analysis (Layng et al., 2021). The final paper will discuss the development of a repertoire of cultural humility (Tervalon & Murray-Garcia, 1998) that embodies appetitive learning.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Appetitives, Assent, Cultural Humility, Freedom
Target Audience:

The audience must be familiar with basic behavior analytic concepts and principles. The audience must be able to understand behavior analytic terminology utilized in the talks.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Define and discriminate between appetitive and aversive control 2. Define the critical features of an appetitives-based choice model, assent and assent withdrawal response classes, and a repertoire of cultural humility 3. Identify the implications of an appetitive learning paradigm.
Diversity submission Convolving Breadth and Flexibility: Exploring Appetitive Functional Relations
EMILY KENNISON SANDOZ (University of Louisiana Lafayette), Karen Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group LCSRG (University of Louisiana, Lafayette)
Abstract: Functional relationships among context and behavior have been conceptualized in a number of ways across different behavioral perspectives. One way to evaluate these conceptualizations, and the terms associated with them is functionally - that is, in terms of (1) sociocultural contexts that evoke their use, and (2) their impact in particular contexts of interest. A recent approach to conceptualizing functional relations involves their characterization in terms of breadth, flexibility, and direction: that is, as appetitive or aversive to a particular degree. This approach may be most useful as part of an extension of the interbehavioral field construct, where appetitive describes the breadth, flexibility, and direction of the convolving field. This approach to characterizing functional relationships has been applied to events of such sociocultural significance such as privilege (LCSRG, 2022) and affirmative sexual consent (LCSRG, 2021), and such clinical significance as the psychotherapy process (Sandoz et al., 2022). In fact, it may be particularly well suited to addressing some of the social and clinical challenges that face behavior analysis today. This paper will explore the concept of appetitive functional relations, and how commitment to interventions that limit programmed consequences to those that function appetitively (i.e., all-appetitive, all-the-time; AAAT) might serve this time and place in our field.
Diversity submission Programming For Autonomy With The Enhanced Choice Model: Two Case Studies
MELISA SANTACROCE (Balance Speech and Behavior; PFA and SBT Community; Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group), Jayven J. Encarnacion (Touchstone ABA), Janani Vaidya (National Louis University; Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group; Assent Lab), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana Lafayette; Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group (LCSRG))
Abstract: Physical management procedures such as restraint or seclusion come with both psychological and physical risks to both the client and treatment team. The Enhanced Choice Model (ECM) as described by Rajaraman et al. (2020) attempts to mitigate the need for such invasive strategies. In the following case studies, ECM was utilized with an adolescent and an adult client in the home and community settings over the course of one year. Dangerous escalation and physical management procedures were eliminated while increasing skill development and quality of life. Participating individuals were given three ongoing choices: (a) “practice” by participating in treatment tasks (b) “hangout” with noncontingent access to reinforcement or (c) “leave” by ending the session. For both individuals, safety was maintained within the treatment sessions over the course of one year while time spent in “practice” increased leading to improvements in community access and participation. Standardized and criterion-referenced assessment tools demonstrated gains in all areas across both clients over the course of treatment. Therapy sessions expanded to include community-based activities with peers, vocational tasks, and an increase in activities of daily living both inside and outside of the home. Both individuals participated to a greater extent in educational activities than they did at baseline without direct support from the ABA team. Implications for using the enhanced choice model to emphasize shared-governance, appetitive functional relations (Sandoz et al., 2022), rapport, and assent while maximizing safety for both adolescent and adult clients are discussed.
Diversity submission Creating Space to Receive Authenticity: Assent, Appetitives, and the Absence of Coercion
WORNER LELAND (Sex Ed Continuing Ed)
Abstract: Skinner conceptualized tacting of private events as an operant behavior acquired through the cultural contingencies of one’s verbal community. One form of hypothesized learning was that of response reduction, meaning that verbal behavior initially acquired as an overt operant may contact punishment such that responding is reduced to an undetectable magnitude, one which we may colloquially label as covert (Skinner, 1945) or subtle (Hayes & Fryling, 2009). With this, we see the possibility for a divergence between simultaneously occurring overt behavior and covert behavior. This phenomenon may be conceptualized as a component of “masking” (Pearson & Rose, 2021; Miller, Rees, & Pearson, 2021). This talk will consider a conceptual analysis of masking, and will utilize Goldiamond’s non-linear contingency analysis approach (Layng et al., 2021) to describe how response reduction may be differentially and contextually shaped across time. This talk will also present putative critical components for environments that foster authenticity and learning environments that foster authentic assent.
Diversity submission Field of (Appetitive) Dreams: Rooting Cultural Humility in Appetitive Learning
JANANI VAIDYA (National Louis University; Lousiana Contextual Science Research Group (LCSRG); Assent Lab), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana Lafayette; Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group), Michael C May (Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group; Compassionate Behavioral Healthcare, LLC)
Abstract: Contemporary behavior analysis touts the importance of training cultural awareness skills (BACB, 2020) and developing cultural competence for researchers and practitioners (Fong, 2013). However, the field has recently begun evolving towards encouraging cultural humility (Foronda, 2020; Wright, 2019), an ongoing process of self-reflection and lifelong commitment to learning clinical and research practices that are mutually beneficial with diverse communities and populations (Tervalon & Murray-Garcia, 1998). This evolution, may, however, be maintained more by the avoidance of criticism than the benefits of a culturally humble science. The present paper will conceptualize cultural humility from a contextual behavioral perspective in terms of learning patterns that foster growth and expansion of one’s repertoire specifically via repeated exposure to diverse contexts. This conceptualization will discuss the shift from developing cultural humility that is rule-governed and aversively controlled to a repertoire built as a function of an individual’s valuing behaviors. Finally, the paper will utilize this conceptualization to discuss implications for behavior analysts to develop a culturally humble repertoire while operating in a variety of domains.



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