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.

42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Program by : Sunday, May 29, 2016


 

Symposium #22
CE Offered: BACB
Current Applications of Applied Behavior Analysis in the Military and Veteran Community
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Montreux, Swissotel
Area: CSE/CBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Kent A. Corso (NCR Behavioral Health, LLC)
CE Instructor: Kent A. Corso, Psy.D.
Abstract: The current applications of applied behavior analysis (ABA) discussed in this symposium call attention to many of the social issues inherent in the practice of ABA with members of the military and veteran population. All presenters address the social significance of each problem they discuss, while explaining the potential benefits that ABA poses in understanding these problems and deriving potential behavioral solutions. The proposed solutions and future directions are intended to improve human social functioning within the military and veteran community, while also improving how those outside the community understand this population. Each author discusses issues ranging from the assessment and intervention of traumatic brain injury to the functional analysis of gambling within this population. Finally, there is a discussion about the greater civilian community’s perceptions of the military and law enforcement community and how this is influenced by recent controversial media reports of lethal use of force among police officers.
Keyword(s): gambling, law enforcement, military/veteran, TBI
 

Investigating Relationships Among Veterans' Service Experiences, Functions of Behavior, and Problem Gambling

SETH W. WHITING (Yale University), Marc Potenza (Yale University), Sherry McKee (Yale University), Carolyn Mazure (Yale University), Rani Hoff (Department of Veterans Affairs)
Abstract:

Gambling disorder is more common in military veterans than in the general population, but little is known about how military experiences affect gambling behavior. The present study investigated relationships among military service factors, problem gambling, and functions of gambling behavior in veterans. Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn (n=738) completed the Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory which measured environmental factors and experiences pre-, peri-, and post-deployment, and other clinical assessments. A subset (N=156) completed the Gambling Functional Assessment (GFA). Approximately 4.2% of veterans indicated at-risk or probable pathological gambling (ARPG) and showed greater probabilities of escape-related conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder, substance dependence, panic disorder, and depression. For service experiences, those with ARPG reported higher general harassment during deployment, and lower social support and more stressful life events post-deployment. The GFA most frequently identified attention and tangible functions for gambling, and the rate of escape-maintained gambling mirrored the rate of ARPG. The study suggests problem gambling is a significant concern among veterans is related to several aspects of veteran experiences. How behavior analysis can contribute to treatment in this population via functional analyses and function-based interventions will be discussed.

 

Further Development of a Verbal Behavior-Based Assessment Instrument for Military and Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injury

THEODORE A. HOCH (George Mason University), Kent A. Corso (NCR Behavioral Health, LLC)
Abstract:

To date there have been 327,299 diagnoses of traumatic brain injury (TBI) since the wars began in 2001 (Congressional Research Report, 2015). Current methods of assessing TBI include neuropsychological assessment batteries which adequately reveal areas of deficit in language functioning. Yet these methods are not closely tied to the therapies used during rehabilitation, which include: speech and language pathology services; rest, relaxation, and avoidance of stress and substances. By contrast, verbal behavior assessments have been used to measure the functioning of operant learning channels in other populations and yield more specific information about possible interventions for rehabilitation. Given the absence of verbal behavior assessment and intervention tools for typically developing individuals, the authors present data on the first phase of development of the Verbal Operant Channel Assessment of Learning for Military and Veterans (VOCAL-MilVet). The authors connect current neuropsychological diagnostic terms with verbal behavior terminology. Next, the authors explain the results of administering the pilot instrument to a sample of veterans with and without TBI, while presenting specific items which characterize the various channels assessed by the instrument. Finally, implications for future instrument development and intervention for TBI are discussed.

 

Law Enforcement and Media Reports: Discrepancies and Social Implications

Amy D. Wiech (ABC Group, Inc. Hawaii), JAMES MEADOR (Grand Canyon University), Kent A. Corso (NCR Behavioral Health, LLC)
Abstract:

Police force occurs in less than 1.5% of police-citizen contacts (Miller, 2015). Yet, high profile deadly force incidents such as the Michael Brown and Freddie Gray shootings have sparked national debates and public outcry. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) includes the human behaviors of media consumption and opinion formation, which bear social relevance on other behaviors such as voting, political activism, and other social behavior (Cooper, Heron and Heward, 2007). This study examines the recent trends in media coverage of lethal use of force and the known patterns of police lethal use of force using the standard celeration chart. The authors contend that media reports of lethal conflict between law enforcement and suspects are discrepant from the raw data of these trends. These same relationships are observed on celeration charts as many media reports erroneously portray these lethal encounters as unlawful. The authors discuss the negative impact that these media reports bear on the social exchanges and overall perception between the police and the public (Bolgiano, Banks, and Patterson, 2015). The authors suggest several behavior analytic solutions to improve perceptions, encourage objective assessment of media coverage, and improve relations between police and the community at large.

 
 
Panel #24
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
An Inquisition of Facilitated Communication
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Regency Ballroom A, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC/PRA; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Jason Travers, Ph.D.
Chair: Jason Travers (University of Kansas)
JAMES T. TODD (Eastern Michigan University)
GINA GREEN (Association of Professional Behavior Analysts)
CHRISTOPHER HURLEY (Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C.)
Abstract: Facilitated communication, also known as "supported typing" and "rapid prompting method”, are becoming increasingly popular. To date, no evidence exists for the validity of either of these methods and facilitated communication remains clearly refuted. Despite proclamations to the contrary, no person has become an independent author of thoughts via these methods. Nonetheless, both methods have been endorsed by various professionals, parents, advocacy groups, government agencies, and university faculty. A growing anti-ABA sentiment stems largely from allegations made by users of these methods and have been disseminated by academic journals, professional and research conferences, and online media. Given facilitated communication is classified as potentially harmful, simply listing it (and others) as a method for professionals to avoid appears only a partially effective prophylactic. Professional behavior analysts may better adhere to their ethical obligation to abstain from unproven practices if prepared to recognize and respond to arguments from proponents of pseudoscientific and disproven interventions. Accordingly, an inquisition of panelists will be conducted to reveal common tactics used by proponents of facilitated communication. Panelists will respond to unrehearsed lines of questioning to demonstrate ways to respond to arguments for this and other disproven or controversial interventions.
Keyword(s): Autism, Communication, Developmental Disabilities, Ethics
 
 
Panel #27
CE Offered: BACB — 
Supervision
Gateway Back Into the Community: Using ABA to Transition Institutionalized Individuals to Community-Based Care
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Columbus Hall CD, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: PRA/DDA; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Rishi Chelminski, M.S.
Chair: Rishi Chelminski (Services for the UnderServed)
VIVIAN A. ATTANASIO (Service for the UnderServed)
JOSEPH O'KEEFE (Services for the UnderServed)
JAYRESA SASS (Services for the UnderServed)
Abstract:

Starting with the Olmstead decision of 1999, and accelerated by the nationwide transition to Managed Care, mental health institutions across the country are shuttering. States are under increasing pressure to move individuals out of such institutions and into community-based settings. If an individual engages in severe challenging behavior, executing this transition can be prohibitively difficult and dangerous. In 2014, one New York City agency was awarded a federal grant to integrate advanced care coordination and ABA-based practices into adult residential services. The agency applied this grant to assist the state of New York in the closure of a large mental health institution. Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Registered Behavioral Technicians were tapped to support the work of a newly-assigned interdisciplinary clinical team. In many cases, results were immediate; Challenging behaviors that had persisted for decades under the mental institution's previous auspices were drastically reduced in both frequency and intensity. Over the course of the next 15 months, the individuals in this facility were gradually moved to community-based housing. The discussants will reflect on the strengths and pitfalls of this approach to transition, as well as the overall potential for generalizing these results to other treatment settings.

Keyword(s): Adult Services, Care Coordination, Developmental Disabilities, Implementation
 
 
Symposium #30
CE Offered: BACB
An Evaluation of Prompting and Error Correction Procedures
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Grand Ballroom EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Sandra L. Harris (Rutgers University)
Discussant: John James McEachin (Autism Partnership)
CE Instructor: Joseph H. Cihon, M.S.
Abstract: Prompting and error correction are two essential components of teaching which can result in rapid behavior change. Despite the effectiveness of these procedures, there are numerous questions which remain to be addressed by researchers. These questions include what variables make error correction the most effective, how effective are various prompt types, and what is the most effective prompting systems. This symposium includes four different papers which examine several variables affecting the effectiveness of prompting and/or error correction. The first presentation explores parameters of error correction as it relates to learning. The second presentation discusses the comparison of two different prompting procedures to teach expressive labels to individuals diagnosed with ASD. The third presentation evaluated the effectiveness of positional prompts on increasing receptive labeling. The final presentation includes data from a randomized control trial comparing three different prompt systems for teaching expressive labels. Practical implications and future research will be discussed. The discussant will provide further considerations on how this research can be used in clinical settings and what is needed in future research.
Keyword(s): error correction, multiple prompts, positional prompt
 
Using an Abbreviated Assessment to Compare the Effectiveness of Different Error-Correction Procedures on Skill Acquisition
JENNIFER OWSIANY (West Virginia University), Regina A. Carroll (West Virginia University), Jessica Cheatham (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Previous research supports the use of a variety of error-correction procedures to facilitate skill acquisition during discrete trial instruction. At present there is no quick and easy way for caregivers to determine which error-correction procedure is most effective for an individual learner. In the current study we used an abbreviated assessment to rapidly compare the effects of error-correction procedures on skill acquisition for three children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. First, we conducted an abbreviated assessment exposing participants to 36 to 60 trials of each error correction procedure. Next, we conducted validation assessments and compared the effectiveness of the different error-correction procedures. Finally, we assessed participants’ preference for the different error-correction procedures using a concurrent-chains assessment. Overall these findings suggest that an abbreviated assessment consisting of 36 to 60 trials may be a useful tool for identifying the most effective error-correction procedure for individual learners diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
 
Evaluation of Multiple Alternative Prompts During Tact Training
ADITT ALCALAY (Autism Partnership), Joseph H. Cihon (Autism Partnership Foundation), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership)
Abstract: Prompting is an essential component of discrete trial teaching and can be used to help promote language development. Today, there are multiple prompt types teachers can use to promote language and can include full vocal prompts, partial vocal prompts, and written prompts. This study compared two methods of fading prompts while teaching expressive labels to three children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The first method involved use of an echoic prompt and prompt fading procedure. The second method involved providing multiple alternative answers and fading by increasing the difficulty of the discrimination. The results of an adapted alternating-treatments design indicated that both procedures were effective relative to a no-intervention control condition. The use of multiple alternatives did not increase error rates or teaching time compared to using an echoic prompt. Furthermore, all of the children responded more accurately during maintenance probes for labels taught using the multiple-alternative prompt. Both clinical implications and areas for future research will be discussed during the presentation.
 
An Evaluation of Various Prompting Systems: A Randomized Control Trial
JOSEPH H. CIHON (Autism Partnership Foundation), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership)
Abstract: Prompting is an essential component of discrete trial teaching. Researchers have developed prompting systems which essentially act as rules for when a teacher should provide and/or fade a prompt. To date, there are multiple prompting systems which have been evaluated in empirical research and implemented within clinical practice. These prompting systems include: no-no prompting, simultaneous prompting, least to most prompting, most to least prompting, constant time delay, and flexible prompt fading. This study we compared the use of three prompting systems (i.e., most-to-least prompting, constant time delay, and flexible prompt fading) to teach expressive labels of cartoon characters for 30 individuals diagnosed with ASD. The researchers utilized a randomized control group design to evaluate the effectiveness and the efficiency of the three prompting procedures. The data will be discussed in terms of statistical significance of effectiveness and efficiency between the three prompting strategies. Additionally, single-subject data will also be presented to provide an analysis of individual performance. Both clinical implications and areas for future research will be discussed during the presentation.
 

The Effectiveness of Positional Prompts for Teaching Receptive Labels to Individuals Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

KEVIN MILLER (Autism Partnership Foundation ), Joseph H. Cihon (Autism Partnership Foundation), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership)
Abstract:

There are multiple prompting methods with which a teacher can use to teach children diagnosed with autism to correctly label pictures. These can include, but are not limited to, full physical, partial physical, gestural, and reduction of the field prompts. Teachers can also utilize positional prompts to promote correct responding by placing the correct target closer to the learner. Positional prompts have been described by professionals in curriculum books and explored within various clinical studies. Despite the widespread use of positional prompts several professionals have recommended against their use citing the possibility of establishing faulty stimulus control. The current study evaluated the effectiveness of positional prompts to teach six children diagnosed with autism receptive labels (i.e., nine cartoon or comic book characters). The results of a multiple baseline across behaviors indicated that positional prompts were effective for some participants and ineffective for others. The potential variables responsible for the outcomes will be discussed when analyzing the data collected for each participant. Both practical implications and future areas of research will be described.

 
 
Symposium #32
CE Offered: BACB
Non-Vocal to Verbal: Improving Verbal Behavior in Children With Autism
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Randolph, Hyatt Regency, Bronze East
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Joyce C. Tu (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Discussant: Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
CE Instructor: Vincent Joseph Carbone, Ph.D.
Abstract:

A typically developing 2 year old would be saying sentences with 2 to 4 words. A 4 year old would have a vocabulary of over 1000 words and be able to put together sentences of 4 or 5 words (Mannheim, 2015) . Significant proportions of children with autism do not acquire functional speech and remain non vocal even until age 9 or later. The studies in this symposium demosntrate effectiveness of specific behavioral technologies, namely sign mand training with prompts with and without delays and intraverbal training in inducing first instances of speech and in increasing vocal responding in children with autism. An additional study assessed tact-mand transfer in 7 early learners with autism, established this abstract relation in participants for whom it was initially absent, and concluded that functional independence (absence of tact-mand transfer) may often be a temporary aspect of an early learner's repertoire.

Keyword(s): Inducing vocalization, Prompt Delay, sign-mand, Tact-mand transfer
 

Inducing Vocalization in Non-Vocal Children With Autism

SMITA AWASTHI (Queen's University Belfast), Sridhar Aravamudhan (Behavior Momentum India), Karola Dillenburger (Queen's University Belfast)
Abstract:

The current study spanning 5 years examines the effectiveness of sign mand training with vocal prompts and intraverbal training in inducing first instances of speech in non-vocal children on the autism spectrum. These technologies leverage the power of motivating operations. A total of 91 non-vocal children between the ages of 1.5 to 13 years participated in the study that uses several multiple baseline design sub-studies across subjects. The interventions were carried out in 6 centers across 4 cities in India. 81.6% of children below the age of 6 years became vocal and the success rate was 87% in children between 6-13 years. Vocals emerged as mands, echoics and intraverbals in 23%, 24% and 21% respectively of the 75 who acquired vocals. 64% of the children acquired their first vocal within 180 days. Both the technologies were effective in inducing first instances of speech in 82.4% of the participants. The time to vocalization and the stimulus conditions under which they emerged are explored.

 

Increasing the Vocal Responding of Children With Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities

VINCENT JOSEPH CARBONE (Carbone Clinic)
Abstract:

Some reports estimate that approximately one-third to one-half of individuals with autism do not use speech functionally (National Research Council, 2001). The high incidence of non-vocal persons with autism has lead parents, educators, and clinicians to search for procedures that may facilitate the development of vocal responding and potentially lead to effective vocal verbal behavior repertoires. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of manual sign mand training combined with time delay and vocal prompting procedures on the production of vocal responses in non-vocal children with developmental disabilities. A multiple baseline design across participants was used to verify the effectiveness of this intervention. All participants showed increases in vocal production following the implementation of the independent variables.

 

Assessing and Establishing an Abstract Relation Between Tacts and Mands in Early Learners With Autism

GENAE HALL (Behavior Analysis and Intervention Services), Jennifer Elia (Behavior Analysis Center for Autism), Mark L. Sundberg (Sundberg and Associates)
Abstract:

The present study replicated and extended Hall & Sundberg (1987) by first assessing tact-mand transfer in 7 early learners with autism (4 vocal, 3 signing plus vocal), ranging from 3.6-5.8 years of age. All participants met VB MAPP entry criteria of tacting at least 4 items and manding at least 4 visible, but 0 missing items via the interrupted chain procedure. For each participant, the study targeted 3 tact-mand response forms for each of 3 chains of behavior (9 total) and probed mands after all tacts were trained to criterion. If 0/9 untrained mands emerged, a participant was considered nave with respect to tact-mand transfer and received mand training on targets previously trained as tacts--a version of multiple exemplar instruction. After each mand was trained, remaining untrained mands were probed to assess the point of transfer. Results showed that untrained mands emerged after direct mand training on 4-5 targets with 2 participants, 1 target with 3 participants and 0 targets with 2 participants. Findings from participants requiring multiple exemplar instruction replicate those of Hall & Sundberg, and suggest that functional independence (absence of tact-mand transfer) is a temporary aspect of the learners repertoire rather than a static entity.

 

Role of Intraverbal Training in Inducing First Instances of Speech in Non-Vocal Children With Autism

SRIDHAR ARAVAMUDHAN (Behavior Momentum India), Smita Awasthi (Association for Behavior Analysis of India), Karola Dillenburger (Queen's University Belfast)
Abstract:

A variety of technologies such as Echoic training, Shaping, Antecedent Rapid Motor Imitation sequence, Stimulus Stimulus Pairing (SSP) procedures and Mand training with and without time delay continue to be studied for their effectiveness in increasing vocalizations in children with autism. Intraverbal fill-in training with rhymes, fun and contextual fill-ins builds anticipation and excitement creating opportunities for vocals to be emitted under the control of specific verbal stimuli. In the current study spanning 5 years involving simultaneous administration of sign mand training with vocal prompts and intraverbal fill in training to children with no vocal-verbal repertoire, the latter was found valuable in inducing first instances of speech in non-vocal children with autism. Of the 91 children, each serving as a single subject, first instances of speech were induced successfully in 75 and of these, 51 had at least one vocal emerge during intraverbal training. 16 participants had vocals emerge predominantly under intraverbal fill- in training. Inter observer agreement was taken for every specific vocal acquired for every participant and was at 100% throughout the study. The role of motivating operations in intraverbal fill-in training and comparisons with vocals emerging as echoics and mands during implementation of intervention package are explored

 
 
Symposium #33
CE Offered: BACB
Translational Investigations With Individuals With Autism: Token Economies, Resurgence, and Response Variability
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Columbus Hall EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Megan A. Boyle (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Chata A. Dickson (New England Center for Children)
CE Instructor: Megan A. Boyle, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium will present investigations that incorporated findings from basic research to design evaluations of clinical interventions with individuals with autism. Findings from basic research have recently begun to be recognized as valuable sources of information to researchers interested in applied problems. Procedures and results from basic research are interpreted in ways that further the conceptual understanding of behavior change. Using procedures from basic research may allow translational and applied researchers to determine how to increase the effectiveness of clinical interventions. The first investigation incorporates basic-research findings on token and tandem schedules of reinforcement to compare methods of increasing compliance and decreasing escape-maintained problem behavior. Two investigations in this symposium incorporate basic-research findings on resurgence to investigate methods to decrease the likelihood that problem behavior will recur following successful implementation of FCT. The fourth study incorporates basic research on lag schedules of reinforcement to increase the variability in vocal mands. The importance of translational research will be highlighted throughout.

Keyword(s): FCT, Resurgence, Token Economies, Translational Research
 
Comparison of Token and Tandem Reinforcement Schedules in the Treatment of Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior
MEGAN A. BOYLE (Missouri State University), Mary Elizabeth Daniels (Missouri State University), Stephanie L. Aholt (Missouri State University), Alexandra Beckman (Missouri State University), Ginny Keenan (Missouri State University)
Abstract: Token economies are widely used, research-based interventions for the treatment of problem behavior (e.g., in increasing compliance). However, few studies have compared the effectiveness of token economies to other reinforcement-based procedures. Results from basic and translational investigations suggest that second-order schedules of reinforcement that deliver stimulus changes for the completion of each response requirement in the schedule (e.g., token delivery in token schedules) produce longer pre-ratio pauses and slower rates of responding in the initial schedule requirements or links than in corresponding second-order schedules that do NOT involve stimulus changes for the completion of each response requirement (e.g., tandem reinforcement schedules). It could therefore be the case that token economies are relatively less effective than single-schedule (i.e., "back-up" reinforcement only, without token delivery) reinforcement procedures. The purpose of this study was to compare token and tandem reinforcement schedules (identical with the exception of token delivery) in the treatment of escape-maintained problem behavior with two children with autism. A functional analysis was conducted that confirmed that both subjects emitted escape-maintained problem behavior. A multiple schedule was implemented to compare token and tandem schedules with respect to compliance, pre-ratio pausing, and problem behavior. Results thus far suggest that tokens are not superior in any measure.
 
Increasing Communication Under Conditions in Which the Resurgence of Problem Behavior is Probable: Applications of Serial FCT
SARAH SHAW (Vanderbilt), Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University), Kate Chazin (Vanderbilt), Lillian Stiff (Vanderbilt University), Nealetta Houchins-Juarez (Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Behavior Analysis Consulting Services), Danielle Bartlemay (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: During the maintenance stages of functional communication training (FCT), failure to reinforce mands could result in a resurgence of problem behavior. Recent translational work on arbitrary human responses suggests that incorporating multiple-mand instruction into a serial-training format may increase the probability of a recency effect, and a reversion of response resurgence (both desirable outcomes when mands are the most recently reinforced responses prior to extinction). However, when procedures were replicated with socially significant human behavior (i.e., problem behavior and mands), primacy was consistently observed and no manding resurged for one participant. In the current investigation, we modified the serial-FCT program and evaluated the probability of mand resurgence and response variability when functional reinforcement was temporarily unavailable.
 
Further Evaluation of the Resurgence of Problem Behavior
OLIVIA GRATZ (Saint Louis University), Alyssa N. Wilson (Saint Louis University)
Abstract: Resurgence is the recurrence of a previously reinforced, extinguished response. To date, little is known regarding the extent to which three members of a response class will resurge. The purpose of the current study was to examine the extent to which members of a response class will resurge under periods of extinction. Four school-aged children (M = 9, SD = 3.37) diagnosed with Intellectual Disabilities (including Autism), and extensive histories of problem behavior, participated in the study. Researchers utilized a linear strip design to evaluate the level of resurgence after systematically providing and withdrawing reinforcement for engagement in problem behavior or precursors to problem behavior and two topographically different, functionally equivalent responses (e.g., hand raising, signing, and/or handing a picture of the preferred item to the researcher). Resurgence of problem behavior and precursors to problem behavior were observed in all children during all extinction sessions. However, functionally equivalent communicative responses did not resurge during extinction. Results suggest that resurgence may occur for one (but not all) of the responses within the same response-class.
 

Effects of a Lag Schedule of Reinforcement With Progressive Time Delay on Variability in Vocal Mand Topographies Emitted by Children With Autism

BRYANT C. SILBAUGH (The University of Texas at Austin, Special Education Department), Raechal Ferguson (University of Texas at Austin), Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract:

Reinforcement of operant variability may have clinical utility in the treatment of repetitive and stereotyped behavior (RSB). For example, studies have shown lag schedules of reinforcement can replace RSB with variability in the verbal and play behavior of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The need for additional work in this area is highlighted by recent advances in the behavior analytic conceptualization of RSB as a problem with invariance and calls from researchers in behavioral neuroscience for more translational studies of operant variability. This study is a translational extension of lag schedules to vocal mand training. A multiple baseline across behaviors with embedded reversal design was utilized to evaluate the effects of a procedure consisting of a combined lag schedule of reinforcement and progressive time delay on operant variability of otherwise repetitive vocal mand topographies of children with autism. Two participants have completed the study. The procedure replaced topographically repetitive patterns of vocal manding with topographically variant vocal manding. Some limitations of the current study and implications for future research will be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #34
CE Offered: BACB
Applications and Refinements of Functional Communication Training and Related Procedures in the Treatment of Problem Behaviors
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Columbus Hall GH, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Amanda Zangrillo (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Henry S. Roane (Upstate Medical University)
CE Instructor: Amanda Zangrillo, Psy.D.
Abstract: Differential reinforcement procedures (e.g., functional communication training; FCT) and other related procedures (e.g., noncontingent reinforcement; NCR) are commonly used approaches in the treatment of problem behaviors. In this symposium, we will present a series of empirical investigations examining extensions and refinements of the effects of FCT and other related procedures in the treatment of problem behavior. The paper by Owen and colleagues extends the findings of DeRosa et al. by comparing limited versus extended EO exposures during FCT across one response topography (i.e., a card touch). The paper by Mead and colleagues evaluates the relative contributions of teaching a variety of appropriate requests on the development of problem behavior when shifting from a continuous to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement. Slocum et al., evaluate a signaled, reinforcer-thinning procedure during NCR to reduce severe problem behavior maintained by social-positive reinforcement. Finally, The paper by Kopleman et al., evaluates the effectiveness of parent-implemented FCT within a randomized clinical trial. The overall theme and implications of these for empirical studies will be discussed and summarized by Dr. Henry Roane.
Keyword(s): Functional Communication, Noncontingent Reinforcement
 

The Effects of Limited Versus Extended Establishing-Operation Exposure During Functional Communication Training

TODD M. OWEN (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Brian D. Greer (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Daniel R. Mitteer (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Patrick Romani (University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children's Hospital Colorado), Andresa A. De Souza (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Treatments for problem behavior often include teaching an alternative response to access a functional reinforcer (i.e., functional communication training; FCT), while simultaneously withholding reinforcement for problem behavior (i.e., extinction; Tiger, Hanley, & Bruzek, 2008). Initially, the individual is immediately prompted to engage in the alternative response, thus limiting their exposure to the relevant establishing operation (EO) for problem behavior. DeRosa, Fisher, and Steege (2015) compared rates of problem behavior and the rate of acquisition of the functional communication response (FCR) when participants used either a vocal or card-based (e.g., exchange, touch) FCR. Use of the card-based FCR resulted in quicker acquisition of the response, less bursting in rates of problem behavior, as well as larger and more rapid reductions in problem behavior. DeRosa et al. proposed that these differences were likely the result of limited (card-based FCR) and extended (vocal FCR) exposure to the relevant EO for problem behavior. In the current study, we extended the findings of Derosa et al. by comparing limited versus extended EO exposure during FCT across one response topography (i.e., a card touch). Results suggest that limiting EO exposure can result in a larger and more rapid reductions in problem behavior during FCT.

 
Effects of Appropriate Request Repertoire Size on the Development of Problem Behavior
SARAH C. MEAD (University of Florida), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida), Leah Julia Koehler (University of Florida)
Abstract: Decades of research have shown that one effective approach to the treatment of problem behavior consists of teaching a socially-appropriate request as a replacement behavior. However, the preventive effects of acquiring a repertoire of appropriate alternative responses have not been established. That is, would teaching a variety of appropriate requests for a reinforcer actually prevent the onset of problem behavior that otherwise might develop? We conducted a translational investigation to determine if teaching a larger repertoire of appropriate requests (mands) prior to shifting from a continuous to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement would prevent the development of problem behavior. Six preschool-aged children, all of whom were diagnosed with an intellectual or developmental disability or developmental delay, participated in the project. Results provide preliminary evidence that teaching a large variety of appropriate requests may serve as a preventive factor against the onset of problem behavior. Clinical implications of the findings will be discussed.
 

Evaluating a Reinforcer-Thinning Procedure to Reduce Severe Problem Behavior Maintained by Social-Positive Reinforcement

SARAH K. SLOCUM (Rollins College), Emma Grauerholz-Fisher (University of Florida), Kerri P. Peters (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract:

Noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) is a function-based treatment often used to reduce problem behavior. We evaluated a specific application of an NCR procedure which involved providing three subjects with continuous access to the functional reinforcer initially and slowly increasing the amount of time subjects experienced the unavailability of the reinforcer (i.e., extinction). Periods of extinction were signaled with a colored card, and a rule about the card was presented at the beginning of each session. This procedure relates to FCT because the signaled extinction period is analogous to those used in multiple-schedule FCT research. Results show immediate and substantial reductions in aggression for all three subjects.

 
A Randomized Clinical Trial of Functional Communication Training
Todd G. Kopelman (The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics), DAVID P. WACKER (The University of Iowa), Alyssa N. Suess (University of Iowa), Scott D. Lindgren (The University of Iowa)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) is a widely used approach in the treatment of problem behavior. The purpose of this federally funded project was to evaluate the effectiveness of FCT within a randomized clinical trial (RCT). 38 young children with autism who engaged in problem behavior participated. The children’s parents conducted the sessions within their homes with coaching provided by behavior analysts via telehealth. Following completion of a functional analysis, function-based FCT programs were implemented for all participants. Participants were assigned to one of two groups following the functional analysis. Participants assigned to the immediate group started FCT immediately following the baseline extinction sessions. Participants assigned to the delayed group (control group) were delayed from starting FCT for three months and completed baseline extinction sessions once per month during the wait period. Results showed that participants in both groups engaged in high levels of problem behavior before FCT (Time 1). Problem behavior was reduced substantially only after FCT had been implemented with participants in the immediate (Time 2) and delayed (Time 3) groups. Treatment results maintained for both groups during a 6-month follow-up visit (Time 4). This federally funded project provided the first RCT of FCT, and the results support the use of FCT to treat problem behavior.
 
 
Symposium #40
CE Offered: BACB
Resurgence and Relapse: From Bench to Bedside
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Zurich D, Swissotel
Area: EAB/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Christopher A. Podlesnik (Florida Institute of Technology)
CE Instructor: Claire C. St. Peter, Ph.D.
Abstract: Resurgence refers to the recovery of responding during a disruptor to a previously effective differential reinforcement procedure. Although resurgence is known to be a relatively robust phenomenon, we do not yet know the factors that exacerbate or mitigate resurgence effects. In this symposium, the presenters will use data-based evaluations from laboratory studies with nonhuman subjects to clinical interventions for severe challenging behavior to explore the conditions under which resurgence occurs and variables that could be manipulated to affect resurgence. These variables include features of the response (like the effort necessary to emit the response) and of the reinforcement-schedule arrangement (alternation of contingencies, reinforcer magnitude, or response-independent reinforcement in place of traditional extinction). In all cases, resurgence occurs during the transition from differential reinforcement to extinction. However, the magnitude of the resurgence changes as a function of variables in the organism’s histories. Further understanding these variables may illuminate behavioral process and allow clinicians to design interventions that are more resistant to treatment disruptors.
Keyword(s): behavioral momentum, extinction, relapse, resurgence
 

Alternative-Reinforcer Magnitude Effects on Response Suppression and Resurgence

KAITLYN BROWNING (Utah State University), Andrew R. Craig (Utah State University), Timothy A. Shahan (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) based treatments are commonly used approaches to suppressing problem behaviors. However, removal of alternative reinforcement following treatment often results in resurgence of problem behavior. The quantitative model of resurgence based on behavioral momentum theory proposed by Shahan and Sweeney (2011) predicts that larger magnitude alternative reinforcement should produce faster suppression of the target behavior but also greater resurgence following removal of treatment. To date, these novel predictions have not been directly tested. Thus, the present study assessed the effects of alternative reinforcer magnitude on response suppression and resurgence. Following baseline, rats responded for either a high- (5 pellets) or low- (1 pellet) magnitude alternative reinforcer during extinction of the target response. Resurgence was then assessed following removal of alternative reinforcers. High-magnitude alternative reinforcement was more effective in suppressing target responding compared to low-magnitude alternative reinforcement. Further, there was a greater increase in target responding following removal of high-magnitude alternative reinforcement but target responding did not increase following removal of low-magnitude alternative reinforcement. Thus, high-magnitude alternative reinforcement might produce more desirable effects than low-magnitude reinforcement during DRA-based treatment, but it may also produce behavior that is more susceptible to resurgence following treatment.

 
Resurgence During Local Extinction Periods Following VI to FI Schedule Transitions
TYLER NIGHBOR (West Virginia University), Christian Yensen (West Virginia University), Kennon Andy Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Resurgence of a previously reinforced response occurs reliably following the introduction of conventional extinction of an alternatively reinforced response. Resurgence also may occur following local periods of extinction, such as those present within fixed-interval schedules. Four pigeons were trained to key peck under a VI 60-s schedule in the initial phase. Then an alternative reinforcement phase was implemented wherein responding was extinguished on the initial key and alternatively reinforced on an alternative key according to a VI 90-s schedule. During the resurgence phase, rather than conventional extinction, the VI 90-s condition was changed to an FI 90-s schedule. A resurgence effect occurredfor one subject. The FI value then was increased to 180 s, and resurgence occurred with three of the four subjects. Following these across-session resurgence assessments, a within-session resurgence procedure was used, wherein all three phases of the resurgence procedure occurred within individual sessions. The resurgence effect occurred with all subjects when the FI value was either 90 s or 180 s. The analysis of responding within each FI interreinforcer interval revealed that resurgence occurred during the post-reinforcement pause.
 

Translational Research: Examining the Effects of Response Effort on Resurgence

KIMBERLY M. WALTER (New England Center for Children), Chata A. Dickson (New England Center for Children)
Abstract:

Little is known about effects of response effort on behavioral resurgence. In this translational study we evaluated rate of responding following reinforcement and extinction of two different responses. Six typically developing adults received points on a VI 3 s schedule for touching moving targets (R1 and R2) on a computer screen. To create disparity in response effort we manipulated the speed and size of the targets. Each session consisted of three phases: Establishment of R1, Differential Reinforcement of an Alternative Response (DRA), and a test for Resurgence (EXT for R1 and R2). Rate of responding in the Resurgence test was compared across three conditions: (a) R1 and R2 were the same size and speed (equal difficulty), (b) R1 was a larger, slower-moving target (easy response) and R2 was a smaller, faster-moving target (difficult response), and (c) R1 was the difficult response and R2 was the easy response. The order of conditions b and c was balanced across participants. In 9 of 12 cases, there was greater resurgence when the easy response was established first than when the difficult response was established first.

 

Reducing Resurgence Using Fixed-Time Reinforcement Schedules

LUCIE ROMANO (West Virginia University), Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University), Gabrielle Mesches (West Virginia University), Apral Foreman (West Virginia University)
Abstract:

We evaluated the extent to which using clinically acceptable fixed-time schedules of reinforcement would prevent resurgence of protesting displayed by four elementary-aged children. Two of the four participants experienced thinning of a fixed-ratio schedule during the alternative phase, and two of the four participants experienced a variable-ratio 3-s schedule. Reinforcement rates during the fixed-time phase were yoked to reinforcement rates experienced by each individual participant during the last three sessions of the preceding alternative phase. Levels of resurgence during the fixed-time phase were evaluated in comparison to levels of resurgence during an extinction probe. Resurgence occurred to a lesser extent during the fixed-time phase than during the extinction probe for all four participants.

 
 
Symposium #41
CE Offered: BACB
Novel Applications of Demand Curve Analyses to Evaluate Reinforcer Efficacy in Laboratory and Applied Contexts
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Zurich FG, Swissotel
Area: EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Matthew Novak (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Derek D. Reed (University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Derek D. Reed, Ph.D.
Abstract: Progressive ratio (PR) schedules of reinforcement are commonly used in basic research to assess reinforcer efficacy and are often evaluated within a behavioral economic context using demand curve analyses. Recent research has also demonstrated the value of using PR schedules in applied contexts, such as when evaluating preference with individuals with disabilities or identifying reinforcers for use in an organizational incentive system. This symposium includes both basic and applied researchers to explore novel applications of demand curve analyses with progressive reinforcement contingencies. The first paper (Jarmolowicz, Sofis, & Hale) evaluated the relative valuation of food rewards for nonhuman animal models of obesity in a laboratory setting. The second paper (Henley & DiGennaro Reed) compared the effects of different incentive magnitudes on work performance and assessed the predictive validity of a hypothetical work task in an online work environment. The remaining papers took place in clinical settings and included an evaluation of (1) the generality of preference assessment outcomes as response requirements increase (Castile & Bourret), and (2) shifts in reinforcer preference and efficacy following differential reinforcement of appropriate toy play (Wiggins et al.).
Keyword(s): Behavioral Economics, Demand, Reinforcer Efficacy
 
On the Valuation of Food in Animal Models of Obesity: Progressive and/or Increasing Schedule Analysis
DAVID P. JARMOLOWICZ (University of Kansas), Michael Sofis (University of Kansas), Luanne Hale (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Approximately two thirds of all US citizens are either obese of overweight. Because of the widespread comorbidity between overweight/ obesity and health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, these high rates of obesity/overweight are a pressing societal concern. Although considerable progress has been made on elucidating various aspects of this condition, the precise gene by behavioral interactions that cause obesity remain unclear. The Obese Zucker rat is an animal model of obesity which resulted from a spontaneous mutation in the genes that encode for the processing of leptin. With the Obese Zucker rat being one of the earliest obesity models, considerable information is available regarding their physiological profile. Less, however, is known about these models’ behavioral profile. For example, although Obese Zucker rats discount delayed rewards at higher rates than controls, and have higher response rates than controls at some schedule values, a comprehensive profile of these models relative valuation of food rewards across a range of schedule parameters remains underdeveloped. The present study examined Obese Zucker and Lean Zucker rats responding across a range of progressive and/or increasing schedule arrangements.
 
Effects of Incentive Magnitude on Work Performance and Predictive Validity of a Hypothetical Work Task
AMY J. HENLEY (University of Kansas), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Behavioral economics is an approach to understanding decision-making and behavior by integrating principles from behavioral science and microeconomics (Hursh, 1980). Recently, researchers have effectively applied behavioral economic demand curve analyses to employee behavior. This study sought to employ demand curve analyses to evaluate the effects of three incentive magnitudes on quantity and accuracy of work completion and the correspondence between observed performance and participant self-reports of projected work performance. Participants included 289 Amazon Mechanical Turk Workers who completed a work task assessed with a progressive ratio schedule. Participants were assigned to one of three incentive magnitudes ($0.05, $0.10, and $0.20) available in exchange for the completion of each ratio requirement. The work task required participants to slide a visual analog scale to match a target number. The results indicate demand was highest for the $0.05 incentive and lowest for the $0.20 incentive for actual and self-reported performance. Within each incentive magnitude, aggregate demand did not differ between actual and self-reported work performance. Accuracy on the work task was significantly higher in the $0.05 condition. Predictive validity of self-reported performance improved as the incentive magnitude increased. These results may inform the development of novel methods for identifying functional reinforcers in organizations.
 
Using Demand Curves to Determine the Generality of Preference Assessment Outcomes
ALLISON JOSEPHINE CASTILE (New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Choice behavior on a concurrent schedule is not only sensitive to the other available items, but the price, or the amount of work required to gain access to the item, matters. Research in the field of behavior economics has supported this assertion, demonstrating that work requirements on different fixed-ratio (FR) schedules may yield differences in reinforcing efficacy of the items assessed. As practitioners, this point may be of interest when thinking about what reinforcers to deliver during skill acquisition or behavior reduction programs. Since preference assessments are conducted at a low schedule value (i.e., FR1), there may be reason to believe that preference shifts may occur if an individual was offered the same choice between stimuli after completing an increasing amount of work. The purpose of the current study is to extend the results of the current literature assessing the generality of preference assessment outcomes and test to see if the results fit traditional demand curve analyses, by assessing preference for all stimuli from initial preference assessments at higher FR values. Interobserver agreement was collected for all five participants, for at least 33% of sessions, agreement ranged from 93-100% agreement.
 
Evaluating Shifts in Preference and Reinforcer Efficacy of Leisure Items Following Differential Reinforcement of Appropriate Toy Play
MEGAN WIGGINS (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center), Kerri C. Suiter (Marcus Autism Center), Seth B. Clark (Marcus Autism Center), Summer Gholston (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: The identification of items that serve as reinforcers is essential to the success of any reinforcement-based intervention program. Thus, it is important to expand preferences to provide effective services for individuals with limited interest in activities. Several studies have shown respondent and operant conditioning procedures can be used to establish previously neutral or low preferred stimuli as conditioned reinforcers (Eason et al., 1982; Delgado et al., 2009; Greer et al., 1985; Hanley et al., 1999; Hanley et al., 2003; Miguel et al., 2002; Nuzzolo-Gomez et al., 2002; Smith et al., 1996; Sundberg et al., 1996; Tsai & Greer, 2006; Yoon & Bennett, 2000). However, less attention has been dedicated to evaluating the degree to which conditioned low preference leisure items/activities will serve as reinforcers, and the degree to which preference may be altered following conditioning procedures. The focus of this project was to evaluate if preference and/or reinforcing efficacy could be increased through conditioning procedures for individuals with limited interest in activities. Preference did not increase for 3/3 participants, and the results regarding reinforcer efficacy were mixed. Potential factors in producing these results are discussed.
 
 
Symposium #42
CE Offered: BACB
Cross-Species Analysis of Social Reinforcement: Evaluation and Quantification of Social Reinforcers in Rats, Dogs, and Humans
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Zurich AB, Swissotel
Area: EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Timothy D. Hackenberg (Reed College)
Discussant: Allen Neuringer (Reed College)
CE Instructor: Timothy D. Hackenberg, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Social reinforcement is a topic of enormous conceptual and applied significance. The basic mechanisms of social reinforcement are not well understood, however. The goal of this session is to bring together several lines of research designed to assess the efficacy of social reinforcement across a range of species and different reinforcer types. Feuerbacher & Wynne will discuss research aimed at measuring the reinforcing efficacy of human social interaction for dogs, including analyses of reinforcer duration. Pinkston and colleagues will describe research on social/sexual reinforcement with rats, as a baseline against which to measure the response weakening effects of antidepressant drugs. Call and colleagues will present data comparing the relative efficacy of social and non-social reinforcers in autistic and non-autistic children, putting a sharper quantitative point on general methods for assessing social deficits in autism. Hackenberg and colleagues will discuss research exploring the effects of social familiarity on preference for social reinforcement in rats. Together, the work illustrates some promising methods for assessing and quantifying the efficacy of social reinforcement across species, settings, and reinforcers a first step in a comparative analysis of social reinforcement.

 

Longer Human Social Interaction Can Function as a Reinforcer for Some Dogs

ERICA N. FEUERBACHER (Carroll College), Clive Wynne (Arizona State University)
Abstract:

Whether human social interaction can function as a reinforcer for domestic dog behavior remains unclear, but is an important question for owners hoping to maintain desirable behavior in their dogs through social interaction. Previously, we demonstrated that brief human interaction did not function as an effective reinforcer for dog behavior. However, others suggested longer interaction might, although confounding contingencies prevented clear conclusions. Thus, we examined whether 30 s of social interaction would function as a reinforcer for dog behavior. We saw little effect and no difference compared to dogs that received 4 s of interaction. To investigate a transient response spike in some subjects, we provided some dogs 4 min of presession noncontingent interaction. This did not affect responding. Finally, we implemented a multielement design in which dogs alternated within and across days between abolishing operation (presession attention) and establishing operation (presession ignore) conditions. Half of the dogs showed a reinforcement effect of 30 s social interaction, although with little distinction between abolishing operation and establishing operation conditions. The other half showed no reinforcement effect. Our results suggest that for some dogs, longer social interaction can function as reinforcer for their behavior, but session spacing might be a critical variable.

 
An Operant Paradigm for the Study of Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Dysfunction in Females
JONATHAN W. PINKSTON (University of North Texas), Lynda Uphouse (Texas Woman's University ), Duane Baade (Texas Woman's University )
Abstract: One of the most common side-effects of antidepressants is reduced motivation for and satisfaction from sexual activity, and this is especially true among women. The search for effective screens and treatments for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunctions in the laboratory has been slow because current approaches have not reproduced the clinical findings; this likely stems from the fact current models have focused on sexual performance, not motivation to obtain sex. We report on a novel operant procedure for studying sexual motivation in rodents to assess dysfunction in sexual motivation. Ovariectomized Fischer 344 rats nose poked to raise a guillotine door, which allowed the female access to a compartment housing a sexually active male rat. Motivation to open the door and enter the male’s compartment was examined following hormone primes with 10 ug estradiol benzoate with or without 500 ug progesterone. Fluoxetine, a commonly prescribed antidepressant, was tested at 5, 10, and 15 mg/kg following hormone priming. Fluoxetine reliably reduced the number of nose pokes, delayed opening the door to the male’s compartment, and increased the latency to cross into the male’s compartment. The findings suggest the operant approach may provide a sensitive measure for screening antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunctions in females.
 

Measuring the Reinforcer Efficacy of Social Interactions in Children With Autism and Related Disorders

NATHAN CALL (Marcus Autism Center), Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center), Sarah J. Miller (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University School of Medicine), Sarah Wymer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

There is growing support for the theory that disruptions in the degree to which social interactions are reinforcing may constitute a root cause of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This paper will present studies that have attempted to develop methods for quantifying the degree to which social interactions function as reinforcers for children with ASD. This will include the results of a study that used PR schedules to compare the relative reinforcing efficacy of social attention and leisure items in children with ASD (n=8), Williams Syndrome (WS; n=4), and typically developing peers (n=9). Participants in the ASD group exhibited higher breakpoints and Omax for leisure items than for attention, whereas children in the typically developing and WS groups exhibited the opposite pattern. Results will be discussed in terms of how these methods compare to other approaches to quantifying the reinforcing efficacy of social interactions in children with ASD.

 

The Role of Familiarity in Preference for Social Reinforcement in Rats

TIMOTHY D. HACKENBERG (Reed College), Lauren Vanderhooft (Reed College), L. B. Miller (Reed College), Emma Schweitzer (Reed College ), Shirin Porkar-Aghdam (Reed College), Lavinia C. M. Tan (Reed College)
Abstract:

In a concurrent schedule procedure, female rats made repeated choices between two options, each of which opened into side compartments in a three-compartment apparatus. Responses on levers in the middle chamber opened guillotine doors separating the middle from the side compartments, permitting 45-s access to the side compartment adjacent to target lever. In baseline conditions, one side compartment contained a familiar female rat (the focal rats cagemate, with which it was housed outside the experiment), whereas the other side compartment was empty. In a second condition, the empty chamber was replaced with a new female rat, unfamiliar to the focal rat, thereby permitting a choice between a familiar and unfamiliar rat. This was followed by a return to baseline conditions, with choice between a familiar rat and an empty chamber. The focal rats showed a clear and consistent preference for the familiar rat over the empty chamber in baseline conditions, but reversed their preference in favor of the unfamiliar rat when pitted against a familiar rat. The methods show promise as an experimental paradigm for evaluating and quantifying preference between qualitatively different social reinforcers.

 
 
Panel #50
PDS: Avenues for Behavior Analysis With the Veteran Community
Sunday, May 29, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Montreux, Swissotel
Area: CSE; Domain: Translational
Chair: Joshua Kinser (University of North Texas)
ROBERT WRIGHT (Behavioral Education and Research Services, Inc.)
KENT A. CORSO (NCR Behavioral Health, LLC)
ABIGAIL B. CALKIN (Calkin Consulting Center)
Abstract:

There is a crisis facing veterans today. Suicide among veterans is a large problem facing our country. Veterans suffering from PTSD or other service-related disorders are in need of behavior-based therapies provided by behavior analysts trained in the principles of behavior analysis. This panel will discuss various avenues for behavior analysts interested in supporting the veteran community. Each panelist will provide a brief overview of the work they are doing with the veteran community. Then the chair will facilitate a question-and-answer session between the panelists and the audience. The first panelist, Dr. Robert E. Wright will discuss his work providing behavioral skills training to service professionals that work with veterans through his company Behavioral Educational and Resource Services Inc. Then, Dr. Kent Corso will discuss his work developing behavioral health programs for businesses, organizations and hospitals that provide services for veterans. Thirdly, Dr. Abigail Calkin will discuss her work and recent publication that provides insight into the struggles that accompany veterans and their families.

Keyword(s): Behavioral Services, Program Development, Suicide, Veteran
 
 
Panel #56
CE Offered: BACB
The Value of Values: Looking at Values Through a Behavioral Analytic Lens
Sunday, May 29, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Zurich E, Swissotel
Area: TPC/CBM; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Joshua K. Pritchard, Ph.D.
Chair: Sam Leigland (Gonzaga University)
EMMIE HEBERT (University of Mississippi)
EMILY KENNISON SANDOZ (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
JOSHUA K. PRITCHARD (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Emerging research supports the psychological benefits of engaging in values-consistent patterns of behavior (e.g. Crocker, Niiya, & Mischkowski, 2008). In psychology, multiple definitions of values have been proposed. However, most of these definitions include terms that are not useful for scientific analysis and application. It is important to remember that behavior analysis "does not insist upon truth by agreement and can therefore consider events taking place in the private world within the skin" (Skinner, 1945). Given the occurrence of "values" in popular culture and in our scientific discussions, it seems appropriate to delineate a behavioral definition and discuss the potential benefits of examining interactions between the environment and values-consistent behavior(s). The aim of this panel is to discuss behavioral analytic definitions of values and the roles that values can play in behavior analysis in practice. Panelists will discuss the function of values in behavior analysis, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Relational Frame Theory (RFT).

Keyword(s): ACT, behavioral terms, RFT, values
 
 
Panel #67
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Medicine SIG Presents: A Discussion Regarding Methodology Utilized in Health Psychology Research: Advantages and Limitations of Within-Subjects and Between-Groups Experimental Designs
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Crystal Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Gretchen A. Dittrich, Ph.D.
Chair: Gretchen A. Dittrich (Simmons College)
RICHARD K. FLEMING (University of Massachusetts Boston)
RAYMOND G. MILTENBERGER (University of South Florida)
MICHAEL PERONE (West Virginia University)
Abstract:

Health promotion research often includes randomized control trials (between-groups design); however, in practice, clinicians may utilize single-subject designs (within-subjects design) to evaluate the efficacy of an intervention. Within-subject experimental designs may provide additional information that cannot be gleaned from group designs (i.e., individual trends in responding); however, group designs control for many of the variations that cannot be controlled in a single-subject design (e.g., demographic variations). There are advantages and disadvantages in utilizing each type of experimental design. The purpose of the panel discussion is to review differences in within-subjects and between-groups experimental designs, discuss the strengths and limitations of each design, and make recommendations for conducting research using either methodology.

Keyword(s): Behavioral Medicine, Between-groups analyses, Experimental methodology, With-subject analyses
 
 
Symposium #68
An Exploration of Behavior Analytic Accounts of Feminist and Gender Issues
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Vevey 1 & 2, Swissotel
Area: CSE/TPC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Dominique Stedham (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The general concern for equality across gender has received increasing attention across multiple cultural collectives over the past hundred years. Gender related concerns have blossomed into areas of academic pursuit that are encompassed by several different approaches to the study of gender as it is related to complex social issues. However, the science of Behavior Analysis, that is very well suited for discussions concerning these particular types of behavioral and cultural phenomena, has not thoroughly tapped into its potential in providing a thorough account thereof. The academic endeavors of women’s studies scholars has been suited in a historical context and this makes it open to a behavior analytic conceptualization. This symposium will discuss gender and feminist issues as they are perceived, both from the general women’s studies perspective and how that might be translated into and benefit from a Behavior Analytic account. It will explore varying aspects of these cultural phenomena from the perspectives of different Behaviorisms and furthermore, will offer both a case study of a current culture and gender issue as well as a behavioral approach to teaching gender related courses at the university level.
Keyword(s): Feminism, Gender Issues, Interbehaviorism, Women's Studies
 
The Cultural Evolution of the Various Waves of Feminism: An Interbehavioral Account
DOMINIQUE STEDHAM (University of Nevada, Reno/Brohavior), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Within the larger pursuit of gender issues three primary waves of feminism have been identified. However, difficulties in understanding the relationships within and between the waves have become apparent not only to those who prescribe to the various waves, but also to those who study them. One of the difficulties in understanding the relationship across the three waves results from the differing theoretical foundations upon which each was built; each wave was built on the collaboration of members who prescribed to differing psychological schools, various traditional philosophies, a multitude of theologies and political science world views. As such, discussions between them and approaches toward particular cultural issues have become unproductive. A unified theoretical system to approaching an understanding of the philosophical foundations of the various waves would be beneficial to identifying patterns across them and categorizing their differing effects on members. This paper presentation will briefly outline constructs from Interbehaviorisim and will utilize them to provide a cultural analysis of the evolution of the philosophical approaches and general behavior of the members of the movement as they are related to the three waves of feminism.
 

Teaching Gender From a Behavior Analytic Perspective

CHELSEA J. WILHITE (University of Nevada, Reno), Lauren Diane Brown (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

The topic of gender has traditionally been relegated to the field of biology due to its assumed correlation with sex or at best, it has been investigated by social psychologists. Rarely have members prescribing to the science of behavior analysis dedicated many, if any, resources to investigating or talking about the culturally relevant topic of gender or gender roles. After all, gender is perceived to be just another demographics category in large-n, statistical studies, right? No, this is not the way in which gender and gender issues ought to be approached. The culmination of research from several fields in the natural and social sciences suggests that gender is not dependent upon sex nor is it static for particular individuals even within their own lifetime. For these reasons, this paper will argue the study of gender can benefit from a behavior analytic perspective. Furthermore, even before behavior analytic research on gender is published, we can teach the topic from a behavior analytic perspective.

 
Defunding Planned Parenthood: A Consequential Contingency Analysis of Discrimination Against Women
JOHN LAMPHERE (Brohavior), Chase Owens (Brohavior/University of North Texas)
Abstract: This presentation will provide a case study concerning a gender issue that is currently relevant within our culture. It will consist of a consequential analysis of recent partisan debates over funding patterns for one of the nation’s leading reproductive health care providers and advocates for women’s rights. These funding debates could potentially limit women’s access to the reinforcing benefits of affordable reproductive health care. Furthermore, it could potentially limit the scope of research done to further women’s health. Both of these outcomes could be described as discrimination against women. Here we will acknowledge consequences maintaining the disagreements between both sides of the debate within the United States at both the national and state level, and discuss consequences that could maintain more moral decision making to further gender equality. We will also attempt to acknowledge some developmental costs that may make difficult the change to more moral decision making within society and legislation.
 
 
Symposium #69
Conceptual Developments in Relational Frame Theory: Basic Experimental Analyses
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Zurich FG, Swissotel
Area: EAB/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jan De Houwer (Ghent University)
Abstract:

Recent advances in Relational Frame Theory (RFT) and the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) have aimed to expand the basic account of human language and cognition. To this end, the validation of the IRAP as a measure of relational responding has become paramount. As such, the current series of papers were designed to systematically manipulate the relational features of the IRAP using non-clinical samples. Paper 1 manipulated the rule order presentation of IRAP blocks, and found differential effects for each rule order presented. Paper 2 assessed the degree to which instructions for responding on the IRAP (i.e., specified responding, non-specified responding and response-focused instructions) influenced effects. Specifically, it was found that instruction type influenced the strength and direction of IRAP effects. Paper 3 manipulated the presentation of relational coherence indicators (RCIs, for example true and false) versus relational contextual cues (Crels, for example, similar or different) as response options. Results demonstrated that when participants completed an IRAP with Crels first, their effects became non-significant when they completed an IRAP with RCIs, suggesting that response options are not functionally equivalent. Overall, the symposium offers systematic analyses of the IRAP, which not only informs IRAP effects, but relational responding more generally.

Keyword(s): IRAP, RFT
 

The Effect of Rule Manipulation on Patterns of Relational Responding

COLIN HARTE (Ghent University), Ciara McEnteggart (Ghent University), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (Ghent University), Yvonne Barnes-Holmes (Ghent University)
Abstract:

The importance of the effects of rules and instructions on human behaviour have long been identified as important in the psychological literature. However the number of experimental studies that have tested this suggestion is limited. The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) was employed and manipulated the order in which rules for responding were presented in a Self-esteem IRAP. Forty-one undergraduate students were divided into two conditions with differing starting rules. This sought to determine whether the simple order in which the rules are presented influenced patterns of relational responding on the IRAP. The results indicated that patterns of responding differed somewhat between conditions. The findings supported some existing evidence which suggests that rules influence relational responding. At the time of writing, a second study was to commence using a new methodology designed to address similar questions. From preliminary analyses, it can be suggested that rules exert varying degrees of influence over relational responding.

 
Exploring the Impact of Specific, Minimal, and Response-Focused Instructions on the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure
MARTIN FINN (Gent University), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Abstract: The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) is increasingly used in applied and clinical settings with robust effects, however, many of the procedural variables of the IRAP have not been subjected to a systematic empirical analysis. One such variable is the rules that are employed to instruct the IRAP, and the effect that rules may have on resultant performance and IRAP effects obtained from the procedure. In a sample of university undergraduates, three experiments were conducted that varied the instructions on each IRAP in order to assess the degree to which rules specify aspects of the relational network as measured by the IRAP (i.e., specified responding, non-specified/minimal responding, and response-focused instructions). The findings from these three studies showed that the type of rule presented to participants during an IRAP influences the strength and direction of the trial-type effects. Furthermore, the type of instructions employed interacted with the order in which the IRAP blocks are presented (history-consistent versus history-inconsistent).
 

Exploring the Behavioral Dynamics of the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure: The Role of Relational Contextual Cues Versus Relational Coherence Indicators as Response

Emma Maloney (National University of Ireland Maynooth), DERMOT BARNES-HOLMES (Ghent University)
Abstract:

Early studies using the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) involved using relational contextual cues (Crels) as response options. A large number of IRAP studies, however, have also employed relational coherence indicators (RCIs), the two most common being True and False. The untested assumption was that the nature of the response options should have no impact on IRAP performance. The current study addressed this gap in the literature. Undergraduate participants were exposed to two IRAPs, one employing the Crels Similar and Different and the other employing the RCIs True and False. When participants first completed an IRAP using the Crels and then completed a second IRAP using the RCIs there was a significant reduction in the effect and it also became non-significant (from zero). This finding indicates that Crels versus RCIs should not be considered functionally equivalent and the use of different types of response options requires careful and systematic analysis.

 
 
Symposium #71
CE Offered: BACB
From the Lab to Practice: Variations on Resurgence Procedures and Their Implications
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Zurich D, Swissotel
Area: EAB/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Tyler Nighbor (West Virginia University)
CE Instructor: Kathryn M. Kestner, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Resurgence is the reoccurrence of a previously reinforced response, typically following (conventional) extinction of an alternatively reinforced response. Resurgence is both of research interest and applied relevance. Presenters in this symposium will discuss variations on resurgence procedures in both laboratory and applied contexts. In the first presentation, presenters will describe an animal model for studying resurgence of punishment-suppressed behavior using rats, and theoretical and applied implications of results will be discussed. In the second presentation, a human operant arrangement will be presented that investigated the effects of varying density of reinforcement and the addition of an aversive auditory stimulus during Phase 2 on subsequent resurgence. Basic and applied implications will be discussed. In the third presentation, researchers will present an evaluation the use of noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) to attempt to mitigate the resurgence phenomenon in a clinically relevant context. Results will be discussed in the context of previous research showing similar effects with NCR as a disruptor and its comparison to traditional extinction as a disruptor.

Keyword(s): Noncontingent Reinforcement, Punishment, Relapse, Resurgence
 
Resurgence of Punishment-Suppressed Behavior
RUSTY NALL (Utah State University), Timothy A. Shahan (Utah State University)
Abstract: Relapse (resurgence) often occurs following removal of alternative reinforcement used in differential reinforcement of alternative behavior treatments. Animal models are useful for examining resurgence, but traditionally use extinction to suppress target behavior. Sometimes negative consequences (i.e. punishment) serve along with alternative reinforcers to suppress problem behavior as either programmed consequences (e.g. Functional communication training + punishment) or inherent aspects of the problem behavior (e.g. substance abuse). Further, in treatment contexts, it may be difficult to withhold or remove reinforcers for problem behavior. Foot shock punishment has been used to model some relapse phenomena following response suppression by punishment with rats, but not resurgence. In the present study, we developed an animal model for studying resurgence of punishment-suppressed behavior using two groups of rats lever pressing for sucrose. Later, shock accompanied reinforcement obtained from lever pressing for both groups. One group also received concurrent sucrose for nose poking. Finally, consequences for both responses were removed, and lever pressing increased (resurged) only for rats that received alternative reinforcement. These results indicate that resurgence follows alternative reinforcer removal even when target response suppression is obtained through punishment. Theoretical and applied implications will be discussed.
 
The Effects of Phase 2 Manipulations on Resurgence in a Human Operant Arrangement
KATHRYN M. KESTNER (West Virginia University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Behavior analysts in applied practice commonly use differential reinforcement of alternative behavior to reduce undesired behavior. Resurgence of problem behavior has been demonstrated following changes to reinforcement schedules due to errors in treatment integrity or intentional fading. Identifying methods for reducing the potential for treatment relapse would contribute to the utility of these interventions. Previous research suggests that the arrangement of reinforcement for alternative behavior affects the degree of resurgence obtained during an extinction test. Data will be presented from a human operant arrangement on the effects of varying density of reinforcement and the addition of an aversive auditory stimulus during Phase 2 on subsequent resurgence. The implications of the results will be discussed from both a basic and applied perspective.
 

Effects of Noncontingent Reinforcement as a Disruptor on Resurgence of Severe Problem Behavior Following Functional Communication Training

ANNA ING (The University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia), Wendy K. Berg (The University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa)
Abstract:

Treatment relapse refers to the return of an unwanted condition that has previously been successfully treated. One such treatment relapse phenomenon is called resurgence. Resurgence occurs when a previously extinguished response returns following extinction of an alternative response that has been reinforced. It is commonly produced by a three-phase procedure: 1) a target behavior is reinforced until responding is steady, 2) the target behavior is placed on extinction and an alternative behavior is reinforced until responding is steady for both, and 3) both behaviors are placed on extinction. If the initial target behavior re-emerges in the final phase, it is called resurgence. Most applied and basic studies have used "traditional" extinction during the disruptor phase; that is, the behaviors are not met with reinforcement. However, more recent studies have been evaluating the use of noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) to attempt to mitigate the resurgence phenomenon. In this study, two participants with a history of communicative difficulties and socially maintained problem behavior experienced the three-phase procedure in which participants were exposed to NCR during the final disruptor phase. One participant demonstrated mild resurgence of problem behavior, whereas resurgence of problem behavior did not occur for the second participant. Results are discussed in the context of previous research showing similar effects with NCR as a disruptor and its comparison to traditional extinction as a disruptor.

 
 
Panel #75
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Issues in Rural Behavior Analysis: Ethical Practice, Tele-Practice, and Remote Supervision
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Columbus Hall CD, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: PRA/CSE; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Cheryl A. Young-Pelton, Ed.D.
Chair: Robert C. Pennington (University of Louisville)
CHERYL A. YOUNG-PELTON (Montana State University in Billings)
MICHAEL WEINBERG (Orlando Behavior Health Services, LLC)
CECILIA KNIGHT (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
Abstract:

Rural behavior analysts face many issues. This panel will bring together three practitioner-researchers who are working within the scope of these issues. Panelists will present issues pertinent to ethical practice in small communities, reviewing telehealth and telepractice constraints, and issues related to remote supervision of behavior analysts, assistants, students, and RBTs.

Keyword(s): remote supervision, rural ethics, tele-practice
 
 
Symposium #77
CE Offered: BACB
Walden Two and Beyond: Expanding the Scope of Applied Behavior Analysis
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
St. Gallen, Swissotel
Area: TPC/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Neal Miller (University of Memphis)
Discussant: Amanda N. Kelly (BEHAVIORBABE (Hawaii))
CE Instructor: Neal Miller, Ph.D.
Abstract: These papers will examine issues related to the growth of applied behavior analysis. As the field attempts to move beyond traditional areas of practice to address large-scale social problems, it raises both opportunities and challenges. The first paper will examine the relevance of Walden Two (Skinner, 1948) to the applied field, examining both similarities and differences in their scope and methods. It will suggest specific lessons that we might learn from re-examining the proposals within this utopian novel. The second paper will examine ways that behavior analysts might expand their impact by engaging social issues that have not been traditionally addressed by practitioners. Finally, our discussant will provide her own perspectives on these topics.
Keyword(s): ABA, practice, Skinner, Walden Two
 
Applied Behavior Analysis and Walden Two: Revisiting Skinner’s Utopia
NEAL MILLER (University of Memphis), Mallory Garrett (The University of Memphis)
Abstract: In Walden Two (1948) B. F. Skinner described a utopian community in which the science of behavior analysis had been harnessed to improve peoples’ lives. Though this was a bold and ambitious work, at the time it was a purely speculative account. However, the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is closely aligned to the purpose of this novel, and has contributed a significant body of research over the past 50 years. A comparison between the areas of application outlined in Walden Two and those currently being addressed by the field of ABA reveals both similarities and differences. We will examine a wide range of topics (from education and child-rearing to religion and government), and identify some that were addressed in depth in Walden Two, but have been largely neglected by our applied field. Finally, recommendations will be made for how the lessons of Walden Two might assist behavior analysts in meeting the challenges we face in our society.
 
Applied Behavior Analysis Beyond Autism: Finding Solutions to Important Societal Problems
MOLLY BENSON (Hawaii Association for Behavior Analysis)
Abstract: B. F. Skinner’s vision of how behavior analysis could be applied to tackle issues of major social significance represents the foundation of our profession. However, as a professional discipline, the practice of behavior analysis tends to be fairly restricted in terms of its scope and the type of populations it serves. One of the challenges facing behavior analysts is to apply the principles of our science to impact society’s problems. Given that there are so many areas of social significance that need to be addressed (e.g., economic disparity, social injustice, the threat of nuclear war, public health, and climate change), it would seem that the field of applied behavior analysis has significant potential for growth and change. In this presentation, we will examine some of the challenges that exists for behavior analysts in working on these societal problems, explore potential opportunities for growth in our field, and assess what kind of interventions may be required to impact change on a larger scale.
 
 
Symposium #79
Establishing Praise and Visual Stimuli as Conditioned Reinforcers: Basic, Bridge, and Applied Research
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Columbus Hall KL, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Catherine Taylor-Santa (Caldwell University)
Discussant: Daniel Gould (New England Center for Children - Abu Dhabi)
Abstract:

This symposium will include four data-based presentations on establishing conditioned reinforcers. The first presentation will report on two experiments with rats. The first experiment compared pairing and operant discrimination training to condition a cue light as a reinforcer, but the results were equivocal. The second experiment clearly demonstrated overshadowing effects. Results suggested that the pairing procedure creates overshadowing or blocking effects. The second study compared two pairing conditions (pair-with-one and pair-with-four) to establish praise as a conditioned reinforcer with five children with autism. Results indicated that although both pairing procedures increased responding, pair-with-four tended to have higher levels and more maintenance. The third study extends the research on using a discrimination training procedure to establish praise statements as conditioned reinforcers for three children with autism. Results indicated that previously neutral praise statements functioned as conditioned reinforcers while nonsense words did not for all participants. The fourth (on-going) study compared the effectiveness of stimulus-stimulus and response-stimulus pairing to condition neutral visual stimuli as reinforcers for four adolescents with autism. Discrimination training was also investigated when the pairing procedures were ineffective or there was no differentiation between S+ and S- stimuli. Results will be discussed in terms of optimal pairing techniques.

Keyword(s): autism, conditioned reinforcers, discrimination training, pairing
 
Comparing Different Procedures Aimed to Establish Conditioned Reinforcers: Procedural Challenges and Some Solutions
MONICA VANDBAKK (Norwegian Association for Behavior Analysis/Oslo and Akershus University College), Per Holth (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)
Abstract: Social conditioned reinforcers typically acquire their effect by being paired with other reinforcers. However, some research have indicated that conditioned reinforcers can develop more effectively through an operant discrimination procedure. Few studies have compared the efficacy of the two procedures directly, and these attempts have been plagued with methodological challenges. The current paper reports on two experiments. The first compared the effectiveness of pairing and operant discrimination training with rats. We paired one cue light with the presentation of an unconditioned reinforcer, and we established a second cue light as a discriminative stimulus for an operant response that produced the reinforcing consequence. Tests of the two lights as conditioned reinforcers were equivocal. Further testing suggested that some collateral auditory stimuli rather than the cue light functioned as conditioned reinforcers for the behavior of the rats exposed to the pairing procedure, and that these other stimuli overshadowed the cue light. Overshadowing effects were clearly demonstrated in a second experiment, and a subsequent conditioned reinforcer test suggested that the pairing procedure, in particular, creates overshadowing or blocking effects and thus can hinder effective conditioning of new stimuli as reinforcers.
 

Establishing Praise as a Conditioned Reinforcer: The Effects of Pairing With One Versus Multiple Reinforcers

LAURA L. DUDLEY (Northeastern University; Simmons College), Judah B. Axe (Simmons College), Ronald F. Allen (Simmons College), Emily Sweeney Kerwin (Regis College)
Abstract:

Praise and other forms of attention may not function as a reinforcer for the behavior of children with autism. Previous research showed that pairing praise with an established reinforcer contingent on a response increased the rate of that response when only praise was delivered as the consequence. There were two purposes of the present study. First, we replicated the previous research on the effects of contingent pairing on responding with praise alone using a multiple baseline design across the 5 participants with autism. The second purpose was to use a reversal design to compare pairing praise with one reinforcer versus pairing praise with four reinforcers. After each phase of 105 pairings, we compared responding with praise and no programmed consequence conditions to test the effects of the two pairing conditions and control for antecedent discrimination. Compared to the pair-with-one condition, data in the pair-with-four condition showed higher levels, more increasing trends, and more maintenance. The pair-with-four condition may be more effective in increasing and sustaining responding under praise conditions as it establishes praise as a generalized conditioned reinforcer freeing responding from a single establishing operation. Further analysis of the conditions under which praise becomes a reinforcer is warranted.

 

A Discrimination Training Procedure to Establish Praise as a Conditioned Reinforcer for Children With Autism

ERIN SAINSBURY (Caldwell University), Tina Sidener (Caldwell University), Catherine Taylor-Santa (Caldwell University), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University), David W. Sidener (Garden Academy)
Abstract:

Research has demonstrated that for some children with autism social stimuli often do not function as reinforcers. This lack of social stimuli as reinforcers is problematic for children with autism because praise is one of the most commonly used educational reinforcers, is naturally maintained, and readily available in a multitude of environments. Unfortunately, there is currently no clear research-based technology for establishing social stimuli as conditioned reinforcers. This study used a concurrent multiple-baseline design across stimulus/response sets to evaluate the discrimination training procedure for establishing praise as a conditioned reinforcer for three children with autism. Two praise words and two nonsense words, determined to be neutral, were chosen for each participant. During discrimination training, praise words were established as SDs and nonsense words were established as S?s. During pre-tests and post-tests, each stimulus was delivered as a consequence for new responses. Results demonstrated that previously neutral praise statements functioned as conditioned reinforcers, and nonsense words did not function as conditioned reinforcers for all three participants.

 

A Comparison of Pairing Procedures to Establish Neutral Stimuli as Reinforcers for Adolescents With Autism

CHRISTINA LOUISE SLATEN (Caldwell University), Tina Sidener (Caldwell University), Catherine Taylor-Santa (Caldwell University), Danielle L. Gureghian (Garden Academy), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract:

Few studies have directly compared the effectiveness of pairing procedures to establish a novel stimulus as a conditioned reinforcer with humans. A technology for establishing conditioned reinforcers is particularly important for individuals with autism due to limited reinforcing effectiveness of social stimuli and age-appropriate activities. The current study is the first to compare the effectiveness of stimulus-stimulus pairing and response-stimulus pairing procedures to establish a neutral visual stimulus as a conditioned reinforcer for four adolescents with autism. Discrimination training procedures will be implemented if stimulus-stimulus pairing and response-stimulus pairing are both ineffective. Two different visual stimuli and one response are assessed during each condition; one visual stimulus is paired with a high-preference item and the other visual stimulus is not to serve as control. Results of this (on-going) bridge study will be discussed in terms of optimal pairing techniques for adolescents with autism; directions for future applied research on conditioned reinforcement will be suggested.

 
 
Symposium #81
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Children Who Do Not Demonstrate Repertories Critical for Academic Success
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Roosevelt, Hyatt Regency, Bronze East
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Joseph T. Shane, B.A.
Abstract: Applied behavior analysis has been rigorously demonstrated to be an effective approach to treating children with autism. A large number of studies have shown significant improvements in participants who received Discrete Trial Training (DTT). However, studies with many participants consistently report finding a group of students who fail to make much progress with the traditional Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) treatment package. A concern, therefore, of everyone providing early intervention should be to determine why these children do not make adequate progress. It is possible that the standard EIBI treatment package assumes that learners have prerequisite skills that some children do not demonstrate. Even the most basic skills require some level of environmental awareness and attending to relevant stimuli. For example, simple visual discrimination is a prerequisite skill for conditional visual discrimination. Simple and conditional discrimination repertoires are critical components of many skills necessary for daily functioning, including communication, academic, and daily-living skills. It is also crucial to be able to identify effective reinforcers for each learner. This presentation consists of four studies, each of which addressed one of the following areas of concern for lower functioning students with autism: increasing vocalizations, teaching auditory and visual discriminations, and teaching imitation.
Keyword(s): Discrimination Training, Echoic Training, Imitation, Matching-to-Sample
 

Increasing Vocal Behavior and Establishing Echoic Stimulus Control in Children With Autism

JOSEPH T. SHANE (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

Many children with autism fail to demonstrate echoic behavior as early as their typically developing peers. Some also make very limited vocal sounds in general, remaining mostly mute aside from crying or engaging in stereotypy. Echoic skills demonstrate auditory discrimination and matching, and function as a beneficial, if not necessary, prerequisite for many other vocal-verbal skills. The purpose of this study was to develop an alternative echoic training procedure for primarily non-vocal children who did not demonstrate auditory discrimination in baseline. The intervention consisted initially of sessions in which any vocal sounds were reinforced. Then reinforcement schedules were manipulated to increase the variety of sounds each child made. This was followed by a simplified echoic protocol to establish auditory stimulus control, beginning with high-rate vocalizations. Echoic skills were tested prior to and throughout the intervention. This procedure was able to produce an echoic repertoire in two out of three participants.

 

Teaching Children With Autism Who Have Difficulty Mastering Auditory Discriminations

SARAH LICHTENBERGER (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

Simple and conditional visual and auditory discrimination repertoires are critical components of many skills necessary for daily functioning, including communication, academic, and daily-living skills (Green, 2001). When auditory discrimination is not under instructional stimulus control it can result in delayed acquisition of new skills and limit academic progress. The purpose of this study was to teach auditory discrimination to children with autism who had little-to-no progress on classroom procedures that required auditory discrimination, such as selecting an object from an array when given the name of the object as the instruction. Auditory discrimination will be taught starting with teaching a particular motor response in the presence of an environmental sound, then slowly introducing other sound and response pairings. The procedure will use a variety of teaching methods based on the learner's progress. Trial-and-error, shaping, and physical prompts will be used to aid in the acquisition of discrimination skills.

 

Simple and Conditional Visual Discrimination Training for Children With Autism

BLAIRE MICHELIN (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

Numerous everyday living skills rely on an individual having an extensive conditional discrimination repertoire. Some children with autism show difficulty in acquiring conditional discriminations, which can lead to delayed progress through classroom curricula. Green (2001) stated that it has been demonstrated that teaching simple visual discrimination tasks help cultivate the development of more complex visual discriminations. Even though some children with autism show difficulty in acquiring conditional discriminations, these individuals can acquire conditional discriminations after training on simple visual discriminations. The purpose of this study was to teach two individuals with autism simple and conditional visual discrimination tasks. Once the simple discrimination procedure was mastered, a conditional visual discrimination procedure was implemented. Both children had previously mastered classroom matching-to-sample procedures, but the skills failed to maintain. Simple and conditional visual discrimination were taught using trial-and-error and within-stimulus prompts.

 
Using Shaping to Establish Imitative Repertoires
JENNIFER LYNN MRLJAK (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Some children with autism are unable to acquire imitation despite receiving applied behavior analysis therapy meant to teach that and other important repertoires. Many ABA programs utilize physical prompting hierarchies either as a component of the discriminative stimulus or the correction procedure after an error. But even after lengthy exposure to these teaching techniques some children still do not acquire imitative responses. This study evaluated the use of shaping as a method to establish imitative motor responses in children who were not demonstrating any imitative behaviors under the control of the model’s behavior. The primary differences from common teaching methods included reinforcing approximations to the target behavior and increasing the response requirements incrementally over time, in addition to increasing the duration of the model’s actions and fading that over time. Three participants acquired a variety of imitative responses.
 
 
Symposium #83
CE Offered: BACB
Advancements in the Assessment and Treatment of Pediatric Feeding Disorders
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Crystal Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Suzanne M. Milnes (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
CE Instructor: Cathleen C. Piazza, Ph.D.
Abstract:

When left untreated, pediatric feeding problems can result in poor weight gain, weight loss, malnutrition, dehydration, cognitive impairment, compromised immune function, and dependency on tube feedings (Cohen, Piazza, & Navanthe, 2006). Therefore, it is imperative that clinicians and researchers continue to develop effective treatment procedures and disseminate their findings to a larger audience. This symposium combines 4 data-based presentations on the assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding problems from 4 different programs: Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Marcus Autism Center, and University of Kansas. Following the 4 presentations, Dr. Cathleen Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute) will discuss the presentations and the implications of each presenters findings. The first presentation will focus on the use of applied behavior analysis to treat feeding problems in children with autism spectrum disorder. The second presentation will compare descriptive and functional analyses in the treatment of feeding disorders. The third presenter will discuss the use of alternative bite presentation methods in the treatment of expulsion and packing. The final presenter will discuss the use of response blocking to distinguish between motivational and skill deficits in pediatric feeding disorders.

Keyword(s): feeding disorders, food refusal, food selectivity
 

Treatment of Feeding Problems in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Applied Behavior Analysis Versus Wait-List Control

VIVIAN F IBANEZ (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kathryn M. Peterson (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often display feeding problems, and food selectivity, defined as consumption of a limited variety of foods (Schreck, Williams, & Smith, 2004), is the most commonly reported feeding problem. Results of studies have shown that treatments based on applied behavior analysis (ABA) are effective as treatment for feeding disorders in the general pediatric population (e.g., Piazza, Patel, Gulotta, Sevin, & Layer, 2003; Volkert & Piazza, 2012). Although ABA treatments have empirical support for feeding problems, and ABA also has empirical support for the treatment of the core symptoms of ASD, there are no ABA randomized clinical trials with a well-defined cohort of children with ASD and food selectivity. We conducted a randomized clinical trial of ABA treatment of food selectivity in children with ASD relative to a wait-list control group. We randomly assigned 3 children to ABA and 3 children to a wait-list group and compared the effects of treatment in a multiple baseline design across novel, healthy groupings of foods. Results demonstrated that ABA treatment increased acceptance of all food groupings for all six children who participated in the study.

 
Comparison of Descriptive and Functional Analyses in the Treatment of Pediatric Feeding Disorders
JESSICA ASHLEY KEANE (UNCW), Melanie H. Bachmeyer (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Catherine Elizabeth Graham (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Jessica Woolson (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Hannah Edwardson (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Sydney Ball (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Natalie Jones (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: Previous research on the correspondence between hypotheses derived from descriptive and functional analyses has shown mixed findings (e.g., Lalli et al., 1993; Lerman & Iwata, 1993; Thompson & Iwata, 2007). Further, studies comparing the relative effects of treatments matched to each hypothesis when results of these analyses do not correspond are scarce. To our knowledge, no studies to date have conducted a systematic comparison of descriptive and functional analyses outcomes in the treatment of pediatric feeding problems. Therefore, we compared the results of a descriptive analysis and caregiver- and therapist-conducted functional analyses of the inappropriate mealtime behavior of three children with feeding disorders. Then, using a reversal design, we compared treatments matched to the results of each analysis. Results of the descriptive and functional analyses did not correspond for any of the children. Results of the subsequent treatment evaluations showed that treatments matched to the functional analysis were more effective for all children. Interobserver agreement was collected on at least 33% of sessions. Agreement was above 80% for each child. Clinical implications of these findings will be discussed.
 
An Evaluation of Alternative Bite Presentations in the Treatment of Feeding Difficulties
HAILEY ORMAND (Marcus Autism Center), Valerie M. Volkert (Marcus Autism Center), William G. Sharp (The Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Interventions utilizing nonremoval procedures and reinforcement have yielded positive outcomes, including increased acceptance and decreased inappropriate mealtime behavior, in the treatment of feeding difficulties (e.g., Patel, Piazza, Martinez, Volkert, & Santana, 2002; Piazza, Patel, Gulotta, Sevin, & Layer, 2003; Reed et al., 2004). However, challenging behaviors (i.e., expels, packs) often persist even after a bite is accepted. Alternative bite presentations, such as depositing bites with a flipped spoon or Nuk, are antecedent manipulations that have been shown to reduce these behaviors for children who are unsuccessful with bites presented on an upright spoon (e.g., Sharp, Harker, & Jaquess, 2010). The current study expands on past research examining alternative bite presentations by providing a review of pediatric cases from an intensive day-treatment feeding program to determine the frequency with which these presentations are utilized clinically. We will present descriptive information about the assessment and/or treatment protocols implemented with these individuals and summarize observed outcomes by topography. Finally, the implications of alternative bite presentations in the treatment of pediatric feeding disorders will be considered.
 

Using Response Blocking to Distinguish Between Motivational and Skill Deficits in Pediatric Feeding Disorders

ALEC BERNSTEIN (University of Kansas), Danielle L. Gureghian (Garden Academy), Henry S. Roane (Upstate Medical University), Courtney Moore (University of Kansas), Pamela L. Neidert (University of Kansas)
Abstract:

Children typically gain the skills to appropriately feed themselves by the age of two years (Carruth et al., 2004). Those whose skills are delayed have statistically been shown to consume less nutrients (Carruth et al., 2004) and are at risk for both developmental and growth delays (Manikam & Perman, 2000; O?Brien et al., 1991). Though previous research has assessed a multitude of treatments for feeding delays and disorders (Cooper et al., 1995; Manikam & Perman, 2000; Piazza & Carroll-Hernandez, 2004), little research has evaluated whether such delays are maintained by motivational or skill deficits. The current study describes the treatment of age-inappropriate self-feeding skills for four children with developmental disabilities. Response blocking was used to determine whether the absence of appropriate self-feeding was a motivational or skill deficit. Results of response blocking for one child suggest a motivational deficit, whereas results for the other three children suggest a skill deficit. Results will be discussed in terms of response blocking as an assessment procedure as well as backward chaining as a procedure for increasing self-feeding skills.

 
 
Symposium #84
Conceptual and Methodological Topics in Cultural Behavior Analysis
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Montreux, Swissotel
Area: CSE/OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Mark A. Mattaini (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago)
Abstract:

The field of behavior analysis and related disciplines offer much to promote behavioral solutions to socially significant practices within large social units like cultures. Conceptual analyses have advanced ahead of empirical work and the field has many opportunities for research and development. The papers in this symposium aid organizational leaders to create and explore models for stewardship of communities and cultures. Exploration opens opportunities for innovation while social units adjust to growing social upheaval, technological advances, and environmental concerns, as well as crises in the global economy, health, education, and environment.

 
From Conceptualization to Methodologies and Applications
RAMONA HOUMANFAR (University of Nevada, Reno), Amber Marie Candido (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Recent trends interrelating the global economy and socially significant practices (related to health, education and sustainability, etc.) highlight the role of leadership and related behaviors (e.g., decision making) as among the key factors influencing cultural change. By drawing upon these points, this presentation will provide a set of opening comments for the symposium on Conceptual and Methodological Topics in Cultural Behavior Analysis which is designed to aid organizations and leaders to create new methodologies and models of stewardship and provide opportunities for innovation while adjusting to growing global issues, as well as national crises in health, education, and environment.
 
Using Behavior Analytic Concepts to Produce Systemic Change at Scale in a Large Research University
DOUGLAS ROBERTSON (Florida International University), Martha Pelaez (Florida International University)
Abstract: Student retention and on-time graduation have become key metrics for public universities’ performance and are now typically an important part of performance-based funding and institutional rating systems. Supporting undergraduates is not only the right thing to do, but it has become critical to universities’ base budgets, particularly for public universities. We discuss a national awarding winning, university-wide set of systemic interventions, called the Graduation Success Initiative (GSI). The GSI transforms the administration of the undergraduate curriculum and reorients the university toward undergraduate student success at a large, public, metropolitan, research university. The GSI’s systemic interventions are complex and extensive and have produced a 16 point increase in on-time graduation in its first 4 years, a significant turnaround from the institution’s historical low to its historical high. In previous papers, we have concentrated on systems of interlocking contingencies and metacontingencies that influence the behavior of individual students, advisors, and executive leadership. In this paper, we concentrate on another key systemic element in the interventions—faculty in gateway courses. We will address the challenge of improving the performance of 17 high-enrollment, high-failure, high-impact gateway courses that produce over 41,000 enrollments and represent a significant barrier in students’ progress.
 

Selection of Business Practices in the Midst of Evolving Complexity

MARIA E. MALOTT (Association for Behavior Analysis International)
Abstract:

Cultural and organizational change involves unique configuration of events, complex interrelations between dynamic systems, and non-recurring interlocking behavior of individuals. Manipulating operant behavior is not sufficient to address these type of phenomena. Behavior systems analysts bring the scientific and philosophical environmental determinism foundations to the understanding and management of complex phenomena. In this presentation I will explore the difference between cultural cusps and metacontingencies and their implication for behavior analysis and complex cultural change.

 
Analysis of the Behavior and Organizational Practices Relevant to Climate Change
MARK P. ALAVOSIUS (Praxis2LLC), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno), William D. Newsome (Fit Learning), Anthony Biglan (Oregon Research Institute)
Abstract: There is no doubt within peer-reviewed science about the seriousness of global climate change (IPCC, 2007; 2014). A number of disciplines converge to show climate change is happening now, the rate of change is accelerating and human activities (e.g., use of fossil fuels) following the Industrial Revolution are a major driver of that change. Many ask - Can humans change deeply established lifestyle behaviors in time to halt or slow global warming? Can humans across the globe cooperate to address collectively the greatest threat to humanity and avert strife over limited resources? If not, will humans adapt to habitats created by climate change and learn to live within sustainable boundaries? A science of the behavior of individuals is relatively clear about the contingencies that influence individuals to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and behavior analysis has made significant contributions to our understanding. But, in the absence of evidence on strategies for influencing entire populations, this research is having little impact on the problem. This talk outlines a theoretical account of the relevant behavior of individuals and the practices of organizations. The challenge ahead for the behavioral science community is to do the extensive and difficult systems research needed to pinpoint the variables that will bring about massive, yet crucial, changes in individual behavior and organizational action. The challenge may seem to exceed the skill set and resources of the behavior science community. The ideals, perseverance, and success in solving all of the other problems addressed in applications suggest that this community may be the last best hope for the behavioral sciences to address what may ultimately prove to be the biggest challenge to well‐being that humans have ever faced.
 
 
Symposium #86
CE Offered: BACB
Advances in Applications of Varied Functional Analysis Methodology: Latency, Precursor, and Tele-Health
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Grand Ballroom CD South, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Tyra P. Sellers (Utah State University)
Discussant: Alison M. Betz (Florida Institute of Technology)
CE Instructor: Tyra P. Sellers, Ph.D.
Abstract: Practitioners who assess and treat individuals with problem behavior are frequently faced with barriers to implementing functional analyses, such as concerns with repeatedly evoking and reinforcing the targeted problem behavior, or access to resources. The first project evaluated the application of latency-based FA as an alternative to traditional FAs of problem behavior in inpatient hospital settings. The second project extends the utility of latency-based FA methodology by outlining an approach to data collection, which facilitates the use of latency-based FA outcomes as baseline data during subsequent treatment evaluations. A third project evaluated the utility of an FA and subsequent treatment of precursor behavior to reduce occurrence of related problem behavior for young children with autism in home settings. The fourth evaluation assessed the effects of using tele-health to train and coach an existing early childhood behavior specialist to coach parents of children under three in conducting FAs and implementing FCT procedures to reduce problem behavior. The research presentations in this symposium provide evidence that a variety of FA methodology can be successfully implemented to address barriers that might otherwise prevent application of more traditional FA methods.
Keyword(s): functional analysis, latency, precursor, tele-health
 

Outcome Summaries of Latency-Based Functional Analyses Conducted in Inpatient Units of Hospital Settings

JOHN E. STAUBITZ (TRIAD, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center), Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University), Jessica Torelli (Vanderbilt University Medical Center), Nealetta Houchins-Juarez (Vanderbilt University), A. Pablo Juàrez (Vanderbilt University Medical Center)
Abstract:

Latency-based functional analysis (FA) may be a viable alternative to traditional FA when evoking and reinforcing high rates of problem behavior is not advisable. We conducted 16 latency-based FAs of the problem behavior of 15 children diagnosed with autism in inpatient hospital settings. Concurrently, we conducted latency-based structured descriptive assessments (SDA) of four secondary response topographies. Latency-based FAs identified functional relationships for targeted responses during 50% (8 of 16) of assessments and latency-based SDAs yielded evidence suggestive of functional relationships for non-targeted responses during 50% (2 of 4) of assessments. Implications and future directions are discussed.

 

Latency-Based FA as Baseline for Subsequent Treatment Evaluation

NEALETTA HOUCHINS-JUAREZ (Vanderbilt University), Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University), Carmen Caruthers (Vanderbilt University), Kate Tygielski Chazin (Vanderbilt University), Emilee Harbin (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract:

No research has used latency-based functional analysis (FA) outcomes as baseline data from which to evaluate the effectiveness of subsequent function-based treatments. This approach to analysis calls for the continued collection of latency-based measures for all targeted variables throughout all phases of treatment. We tracked client progress during treatment using latency-based, rate-based, and percentage-of-opportunity measures of relevant behavior and compared graphical representations of each. Visual inspection of all data indicates that changes in variability level, and trend of latencybased measures correspond well with said changes in more traditional measures.

 

Implementation of Interventions for Problem Behavior Based on the Results of Precursor Functional Analyses in an Early Childhood Setting

AUDREY N. HOFFMANN (Utah State University), Tyra P. Sellers (Utah State University), Hayley Halversen (Utah State University), Sarah E. Bloom (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Individuals engaging in problem behavior may also engage in milder, topographically different precursor behavior maintained by the same functional reinforcers as the more intense problem behavior. Identifying functionally related precursor behavior allows clinicians to implement interventions directly on precursor behavior, which may result in fewer instances of more intense problem behavior occurring during assessment and intervention implementation. Previous research conducted descriptive analyses to identify precursors, conducted functional analyses targeting the precursor behavior, and demonstrated that precursors were functionally related to the more intense topography of problem behavior. Researchers then demonstrated decreases in the targeted problem behavior by implementing interventions addressing the precursor behavior. The current study extended the application of this methodology to children under the age of five who had a history of engaging in problem behavior. Specifically, we conducted descriptive analyses to identify precursor behavior and subsequent functional analyses targeting the pre-identified precursor behavior to identify the function. A function-based intervention was implemented to address the precursor behavior resulting in decreased levels of precursor behavior and suppression of the more intense problem behavior.

 

Functional Analyses and Functional Communication Training With Children Under Three Using Telehealth and Existing Supports: Early Childhood Special Education Behavior Specialist as Coach and Caregivers as Implementers

Audrey N. Hoffmann (Utah State University), BISTRA BOGOEV (Utah State University), Tyra P. Sellers (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) have successfully demonstrated the use of telehealth in coaching parents to conduct functional analyses (FA) and subsequent functional communication training (FCT). We replicated and extended previous research by enlisting existing natural change agents to conduct FAs and FCT interventions via telehealth for children three years old and younger. BCBAs trained and coached the existing behavior specialist via telehealth, who in turn trained and coached parents to conduct FAs and implement FCT in the community clinic setting. The function of problem behavior was successfully identified for five participants. Two participants have completed FCT. Problem behavior reduced and the selected appropriate communication response increased for both participants. The remaining three participants have begun FCT interventions. This study demonstrates that BCBAs can provide coaching and training, via telehealth, to less trained behavior specialists to improve existing services provided through service programs, while minimizing potentially intrusive involvement of outside service providers.

 
 
Symposium #87
CE Offered: BACB
Advances in Caregiver Training and Analyses of Treatment Integrity
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Grand Ballroom CD North, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: DDA/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (Institute for Behavioral Studies, Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Richard G. Smith, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The papers in this symposium review the current status of the literature with respect to treatment integrity and describe the outcomes of investigations of procedures to train caregivers to implement behavior change procedures with integrity. The extant literature was reviewed to identify 1) the number of studies in which levels of treatment integrity were manipulated systematically, 2) the types of errors investigated, 3) which parts of the intervention procedure were manipulated, and 4) the degree to which these errors affected participant behavior. The effects of a video modeling program to increase procedural integrity with graduated guidance to 3 direct care teachers were investigated, with results showing benefits in both treatment integrity and student outcomes. Two studies investigated the development, implementation, and evaluation of a large-scale behavioral skills training program in a large residential/training facility. Following initial development and establishment of a pyramidal training program, maintenance of trainer and direct caregiver skills were assessed and, when necessary, remedial training was provided. Procedures for assessing generalization of caregiver skills to natural environments were developed, implemented, and evaluated.

Keyword(s): Caregiver training, Treatment integrity
 

CANCELED: Effects of Treatment Integrity Errors on Responding: A Fifteen Year Review

Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (University of Kansas), DENYS BRAND (The University of Kansas), Amy J. Henley (The University of Kansas), Elizabeth Gray (University of Kansas), Brittany Crabbs (University of Kansas)
Abstract:

Treatment integrity measures the extent to which direct care staff implement procedures consistent with the prescribed protocols. Errors made by direct care staff when implementing teaching or treatment procedures may impede progress or harm consumers. In recent years, treatment integrity research has begun to assess how specific types of treatment integrity errors affect consumer behavior. Studies of this type involve manipulating systematically the degree to which treatment integrity errors are administered and measuring their effect on consumer behavior. The current review evaluated articles published across seven behavior analytic journals between 2000 and 2014. The main objectives of this review was to identify 1) the number of studies in which levels of treatment integrity were manipulated systematically, 2) the types of errors investigated, 3) which parts of the intervention procedure were manipulated, and 4) the degree to which these errors affected participant behavior. Twelve studies from eight articles met inclusionary criteria. Results showed that a majority of studies involved children with disabilities, took place in a school setting, and manipulated errors during the consequence component of treatment.

 

Increasing Procedural Integrity With Graduated Guidance Through Video Modeling

ELEANOR GILES (New England Center for Children, Western New England University), Rebecca P. F. MacDonald (New England Center for Children)
Abstract:

The purpose of the present investigation was to evaluate the effectiveness of video modeling as a teacher training tool to improve procedural integrity of graduated guidance. Additionally, the effectiveness of a prescribed graduated guidance procedure was assessed. The implementation of the video modeling training procedure was assessed with a non-concurrent multiple baseline design. Participants were 3 teenaged students diagnosed with autism and 3 direct care teachers. Narrated video models of the lead experimenter and a confederate were used to train the teachers to implement a graduated guidance procedure with their students for three house-hold chores. Results showed that the video models were an effective training tool and that increases in procedural integrity generalized to untrained tasks. Furthermore, the students learned the tasks with the prescribed graduated guidance procedure. The social validity of the video modeling training procedure was assessed with a participant completed survey. The importance of using effective training methods for both teachers and students are discussed. Data reliability was collected in 46% of sessions and range from 91% to 100% agreement.

 

Evaluating Maintenance of Behavior Management Skills Following Competency-Based Training for Caregivers and Professional Behavior Analysts in a Large Residential/Training Facility

KELLEN-JADE HARRIS (University of North Texas), Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas), Audrey H. Shivers (University of North Texas), Lauren Marie Speckin (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

Cooper, Heron and Heward (2007) define maintenance as the extent to which the learner continues to perform the target behavior after the intervention has been terminated. Maintenance is important because it ensures that long-lasting behavior change is occurring, and that gains were sustained following the termination of a treatment program. In addition, once it is proven that a learner’s skills have remained in the repertoire the assessment of generalization is possible. Previous literature in behavior skills training has assessed maintenance in a variety of settings and for a variety of skills. Following maintenance assessments, booster sessions are commonly used to re-train skills that did not maintain at criterion levels. The current project assessed the maintenance of caregiver’s skills following a training package used to teach behavior management skills at a large, residential facility as well as the maintenance of the professional staff’s skills in implementing the training package. The project developed, implemented, and evaluated procedures to assess the caregivers maintenance of the skills and, if needed, to re-establish those skills using 5-15 minute booster sessions.

 

Evaluating the Generalization of a Competency-Based Training Package to Teach Behavior Management Skills to Direct Support Staff

LAUREN MARIE SPECKIN (University of North Texas), Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas), Audrey H. Shivers (University of North Texas), Kellen-Jade Harris (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

In order for the benefits of a behavior management package to reach clients, the caregivers must use the behavior management package in the natural environment. Caregivers at a state residential facility were previously taught three behavior management tools to competency. Initial training and subsequent maintenance probes with booster sessions (2-22 months after training) were assessed through contrived role-plays. Generalization of behavior management tools in the natural environment is difficult to assess because opportunities to utilize the tools are not programmed by the researcher, rather they are contingent on client behavior. Therefore, the current project systematically defined opportunities to use the tools prior to assessing generalization. Generalization of the behavior management package was assessed by observing caregivers use of the tools when the opportunities arose in the natural environment. Training procedures included prompting the staff when to use behavior management tools in the natural environment followed by immediate feedback and using a constant prompt delay to teach staff to identify opportunities to use behavior management tools.

 
 
Symposium #88
CE Offered: BACB
Methodological Evaluation of Behavior of Populations Using Stage Theory
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Crystal Ballroom A, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: DEV; Domain: Translational
Chair: Sarthak Giri (Caldwell University)
Discussant: Saranya Ramakrishnan (Core Complexity Assessments)
CE Instructor: Michael Lamport Commons, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The methodology used by many studies in the social sciences and even behavioral science is severely lacking. This symposium works towards identifying flaws and offering suggestions for improving methodology in behavioral studies. The presentations in this symposium will include a critique on the methodology used in social science that includes composite variables and a lack of empirical evidence-based explanations. In addition they will offer a critique of a common method used for evaluating smarts, IQ tests, and offer an alternative behaviorally based method, behavioral developmental Stage. The effectiveness of instruments based on behavioral developmental Stage will evaluated in another presentation, as well as the benefit of using reinforcement and gamification to increase Stage of performance on these instruments. Finally a methodological study on charting behavioral progress will help to offer an improved manner to assess effectiveness of behavioral interventions. In total, the presentations in this symposium will help to foster a discussion on the methodologies used in behavioral analysis and beyond, and how they can be built and improved upon.

Keyword(s): behavioral interventions, behavioral progress, Methodology, Stage Theory
 

Exploring the Differences Between Social and Behavioral Science

Disti Adhikari (Colby-Sawyer College), Michael Lamport Commons (Harvard Medical School), PATRICE MARIE MILLER (Salem State University)
Abstract:

Even though social science and behavioral science are interconnected and both study organization of behaviors, there are some noteworthy differences between them in the level of scientific analysis and various dimensions of conduct. Social science is the study of the relationships between macro type variables, like culture and society, and micro variables such as how people behave in very well specified situations. Behavioral research, on the other hand, is the study of the dependent variable which is almost always some kind of relatively directly observable behavior. The independent variables are multiple single dimensionals that measure the environmental situation and other contingencies (Bush & Kennedy, 1985). There are some important distinctions between the two fields in terms of operationalization and the use of composite variables. Claims that social science is both theoretically informed and empirically driven, committed to developing evidence-based observations, descriptions and explanations through theoretical and empirical investigations does not hold true in the absence of true or quasi-independent non-composite variables. Social science can expand their social value by implementing research methods more like behavioral science. Further, behavioral science needs to expand its scope to take on social science issues.

 
A Behavioral Developmental Perspective on Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Tests
KYLE FEATHERSTON (The College of William & Mary ), Michael Lamport Commons (Harvard Medical School)
Abstract: Although Intelligence Quotient (IQ) tests are the most common and largely accepted measurement of how “smart” a person is, whether they are not behaviorally based. They are only moderately correlated with behaviors such as job performance and school grades. This paper will discuss the relationship between IQ tests and their corresponding Order of Hierarchical Complexity Behavioral Developmental Stage Scores based on the Model of Hierarchical Complexity (MHC). The verbal comprehension index (VCI) scales of Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale- Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV) were used for scoring. This paper will demonstrate that, according to the Hierarchical Complexity Scoring System (HCSS), the WAIS-IV fails to test verbal intelligence beyond the formal stage. This demonstrates the ceiling effect of the Verbal Comprehension Index of the WAIS-IV test. This study used Rasch analysis to demonstrate that the difficulty of items on the VCI of the WAIS-IV test can be largely explained by a behavioral developmental sequence using the HCSS. Difficulties with scoring items due to their lack of behavioral basis and the implications will be discussed.
 
Stage Changes Only With Reinforcement and Gamification
DISTI ADHIKARI (Colby-Sawyer College), Michael Lamport Commons (Harvard Medical School)
Abstract: Psychological assessment of capability across cultures is a difficult process. It is often muddled by the ethnocentric content laden approaches used to assess the cognitive abilities of people in different cultures. The current study is designed to be content centric by keeping it consistent to previous studies such as Moral dilemma problems in Mexicali (Commons, Galaz-Fontes, & Morse, 2006) and previous Nepal studies (Giri, Commons, & Tuladhar, June 2014; Upadhyaya, Giri & Commons, 2014). Forty non-literate Nepalese adults were given two stage-based isolation of variables instruments. Both the thatched roof problem and laundry problem were derived from Inhelder and Piaget’s (1958) pendulum problem. These simple causality detecting problems were put into behavioral developmental form. The thatched roof problem, very similar to laundry only differing in context, was used as the training instrument. Thatched roof was administered individually. Laundry instrument was used as a transfer task. Laundry instrument was gamified and the correct responses were reinforced with money. For the laundry task, the participants were divided into groups such that the participants could win points for the group for each correct answer. The winning group won additional reinforcement as bonus to be divided equally among all group members.
 

Changing Single Subject Data Into Group Designs for Showing Intervention Effectiveness

Disti Adhikari (Colby-Sawyer College), MICHAEL LAMPORT COMMONS (Harvard Medical School)
Abstract:

Although individual charting can be an effective way to demonstrate progress, it does not allow for comparisons of effectiveness using traditional statistical standards. Due to the increasing need for evidence of effectiveness of interventions it is important that there be a way to compare interventions. Therefore, this paper proposes a method to aggregate individual data into group data. First, an individuals progress is documented along a behavioral-developmental sequence, using the Model of Hierarchical Complexity (MHC). Sequencing through MHC is important because acquisition of individual, possibly helpful behaviors does not always represent development. A behavioral aim can then be selected and behavior can be tracked depending on whether developmental tasks are completed. The effects of contingent reinforcement and training on correct response is analyzed. It is then demonstrated how to specify regression to estimate progress in a subdomain, and how to generalize findings to all participants. The implications and limitations of this method and future directions are discussed.

 
 
Symposium #93
CE Offered: BACB
The Use of Behavioral Interventions to Teach Children With Autism Appropriate Play Skills
Sunday, May 29, 2016
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Columbus Hall IJ, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/CSE; Domain: Translational
Chair: Nancy J. Champlin (Autism Concepts, Inc.)
Discussant: Kelley L. Harrison (University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Nancy J. Champlin, M.S.
Abstract:

Play is one of the core deficits of children with autism. Impairments in play impact communication and language, cognition, and social and emotional interactions. Appropriate independent and sociodramatic play skills are critical to the development of social skills. Children who do not learn to play may miss out on opportunities for social interactions due to observable differences in their play. Increasing appropriate play has been shown to increase language skills while decreasing stereotopy and other problem behaviors. Play is an integral part of the development of typically developing children and should be an emphasis in a behavioral intervention for children with autism. Applied behavior analysis play interventions often target improving play skills by relying on extrinsic reinforcers. Genuine play is intrinsically motivated and will maintain and generalize across environments. These studies utilize behavioral interventions to increase appropriate independent and sociodramatic play skills for children with autism and decrease the reliance on prompts and extrinsic reinforcers.

 

The Use of Priming to Teach Children Diagnosed With Autism Three Essential Skills During Sociodramatic Play

NANCY J. CHAMPLIN (Autism Concepts, Inc.)
Abstract:

Behavioral intervention for preschool age children on the autism spectrum should emphasize play. Deficits in play aversely impact language and communication skills, cognition and problem solving, and social interactions. In this study a priming strategy was used to teach 3 essential skills of socio-dramatic play to 3 participants, aged 4-6, diagnosed with autism. Priming was systematically faded by increasing the duration of time between priming and the play opportunity. All participants are currently receiving center based applied behavior analysis services. Participants were taught to generalize mastered independent play of combining multiple play schemes by utilizing the essential skills for age appropriate sociodramatic play. These three essential skills are 1) initiating a new cooperative play action, 2) responding to a peers play action, and 3) expanding on the current play action. A multiple baseline across participants study demonstrated the efficacy of priming as an effective procedure to teach the three essential skills to engage in sociodramatic play. Generalization across peers and environments was assessed.

 

A Comparison of Script Fading With Video Modeling to Teach Independent Pretend Play to Children With Autism

MELISSA SCHISSLER (ACI Learning Centers)
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to compare script fading wtih video modeling and the rates of acquisition, maintenance, and generalization to teach pretend play to children with autism. Script fading and video modeling are procedures that have been effective in increasing a variety of skills. Scripts have been used to teach a variety of social skills including increasing social initiations, conversations, and imitative independent play. Video modeling procedures have also been used to teach a variety of skills including increasing reciprocal pretend play, daily living skills, perspective taking, conversational skills, and game play. A multiple baseline across participants study with concurrent treatments of video modeling and script fading per participant was implemented. The study had three participants, 2 boys and 1 girl with autism diagnoses, ages 4-5, who receive center-based applied behavior analysis services. The same two play schemes were taught (Burger Shop and Birthday Party) to each participant simultaneously, using video modeling to teach one scheme and script fading to teach the other. The video model and the script both consisted of 7 scripted play actions and corresponding vocalizations. The outcomes of the acquisition rates, maintenance across 3 months, and generalization across settings will be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #94
CE Offered: BACB — 
Supervision
Reinforcement in Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention: Predicting Outcome and Improving Procedures
Sunday, May 29, 2016
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Randolph, Hyatt Regency, Bronze East
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Per Holth (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)
Discussant: Per Holth (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)
CE Instructor: Per Holth, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The first presentation reports data on the extent to which a functional reinforcement contingency may facilitate receptive discriminations in children with ASD. The number of trials needed to establish four receptive discriminations was assessed using either a functional reinforcement contingency (e.g., if cookie was the sample stimulus, identifying the cookie produced cookie as a consequence) or an arbitrary reinforcement contingency (e.g., highly preferred stimuli were used as reinforcers, but they had no relation to the stimulus material). The second presentation canters on variables that can predict overall treatment outcome. Given the central role of positive reinforcement in (early intensive behavioral intervention) EIBI, it has been hypothesized that the more reinforcers are available for teaching a specific child, the more that child will benefit from treatment. The second presentation report data on how assessing preferred items that can be used to predict rate of learning in children with ASD receiving EIBI.

Keyword(s): Arbitrary Reinforcement, Autism, Functional Reinforcement, Receptive Discriminations
 

Effects of Functional Reinforcement on Receptive Discriminations in Children With Autism

SIGMUND ELDEVIK (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences), Hege Aarlie (Norway ABA), Kristine Berg Titlestad (Department of Autism, Pedagogical Psychological Centre, Bergen)
Abstract:

Many behavior analytic procedures have proven successful in establishing receptive discriminations in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Most procedures are based on discrete trial teaching, and adding a prompt to the relation between the instruction and the response. Despite applying a number of well-documented effective procedures, some children have difficulties learning receptive discriminations. The purpose of this study was to examine if a functional reinforcement contingency could facilitate receptive discriminations in these children. We compared the number of trials needed to establish four receptive discriminations following well-established procedures under a functional reinforcement contingency and an arbitrary reinforcement contingency in an alternating treatment design. Three out of the six participants showed more rapid acquisition in the functional reinforcement condition. The remaining participants did not establish any discrimination in neither of the conditions. These findings suggest that arranging a functional response-reinforcer contingency should be considered when encountering children that struggle to establish receptive language through more traditional teaching procedures.

 

Preference Assessment to Predict Treatment Outcome for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

LARS KLINTWALL (Oslo and Akershus University College), Svein Eikeseth (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Abstract:

Toys, activities and other items that a child express interest in can function as contrived reinforcers during treatment. However, some reinforcers are controlled solely by the stereotyped behavior of the child, and may compete with contrived reinforcement, such when a child produce sensory reinforcement by eye-gazing, rather than complying with a therapist to receive contrived reinforcement. Klintwall and Eikeseth (2012) developed a questionnaire to indirectly assess these types of stimuli, and found that when subtracting the number of stereotyped behaviors from the number of preferred items that potentially could be used as contrived reinforcers (i.e., SMARQ total score); this controlled 50% of the variance in treatment outcome. The present study was designed to replicate and extend the study by Klintwall and Eikeseth (2012), using a prospective design, a new sample, and by assessing preferred items and stereotyped behaviors at intake, rather than later in treatment. Results replicated the findings of Klintwall and Eikeseth (2012) by showing a correlation between SMARQ total score and outcome after one year of EIBI. An interpretation of these results is that for every SMARQ total score, the learn rate in treatment increased by one month per year.

 
 
Symposium #97
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Examining Diversity in Behavior Analysis
Sunday, May 29, 2016
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Vevey 1 & 2, Swissotel
Area: CSE/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Elizabeth Hughes Fong (Fielding Graduate University and Multicultural Alliance of Behavior Analysts)
Discussant: Elizabeth Hughes Fong (Fielding Graduate University and Multicultural Alliance of Behavior Analysts)
CE Instructor: Elizabeth Hughes Fong, M.A.
Abstract: This symposium explores the application of applied behavior analysis to diverse populations. Specifically, how interventions and diversity may be inter related. The first paper will review the perception and access to ABA treatments to diverse populations. This paper will focus on understanding how Autism is perceived across different cultures and learning about the challenges faced by applied behavior analysis (ABA) service providers as they work to improve the lives of individuals on the spectrum as well as continuously improving perceptions and acceptance of treatments of those in areas that are under served The second paper examines the lack of diversity within the practice of Behavior Analysis. Specifically, how the diversity in practioners of ABA do not reflect the diversity of clients. For behavior analysis to maintain continued growth and interest with all populations, board certified behavior analysts have to actively recruit multicultural populations to be in the field to maintain relevance in the changing demographics of the United State of America.
Keyword(s): diversity, ethics, multicultural, social validity
 
Autism Perceptions and Access to Applied Behavior Analysts Treatment Across Diverse Populations
LILA AYYAD-ALHARSHA (Academic & Behavior Consultants of Illinois)
Abstract: In recent years, there has been an increase in autism awareness which is due to the significant increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. As numbers increase, we must ensure that children diagnosed with the disorder have access to interventions based on applied behavior analysis (ABA) which will help to improve the lives of those diagnosed. Access to ABA services is critical to the growth of and development of children on the spectrum, however global access to these services is limited. Additionally, although there is an increase in autism awareness, the disorder continues to be understood and treated differently cross culturally. This portion of the symposium will focus on understanding how autism is perceived across different cultures and learning about the challenges faced by ABA service providers as they work to improve the lives of individuals on the spectrum as well as continuously improving perceptions and acceptance of treatments of those in areas that are underserved.
 
Why Are There Not More Multicultural Board Certified Behavior Analysts?
SEANA FICKLIN (Trinity Behavior Consulting)
Abstract: Behavior analysis is a field that is a significant part of the health service profession with continued interest and growth. The field has added more clinicians to keep up with the increasing demand of areas of need. Although a significant amount of clinicians have been added to the field, the diversity in board certified behavior analyst clinicians have been slowed to keep up with the increase in multicultural populations. The increase in multicultural populations in United States of America are becoming a necessity for the field of behavior analysis to adapt to this change. It is a matter for the field to adhere to this change and not be known as a field that does not adhere to change by losing relevance to multicultural populations. Behavior analysis is a proven field that has the capability to work with all populations. With the changing demographics of America, it is imperative that there are more clinicians who reflect the increasing multicultural populations who can relate the value of behavior analysis by taking cultural norms into consideration. For behavior analysis to maintain continued growth and interest with all populations, board certified behavior analysts have to actively recruit multicultural populations to be in the field to maintain relevance in the changing demographics of the United States of America.
 
 
Symposium #100
CE Offered: BACB
Feedback: Everyone is Doing It, But Are They Doing It Right?
Sunday, May 29, 2016
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Vevey 3 & 4, Swissotel
Area: OBM/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Julie M. Slowiak (University of Minnesota Duluth)
CE Instructor: Julie M. Slowiak, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Experimental analyses of the characteristics of performance feedback inform the proper use and application of feedback as OBM interventions. In this symposium, we will present and discuss the results of three laboratory-based experiments that examine critical components of feedback and associated performance goals. The first presenter will discuss the differential effects of three different feedback modalities on performance of a simple data entry task. The second presenter will discuss the interaction between feedback source and goal difficulty on performance and feedback-seeking behavior. Finally, the third presenter will discuss the effects of altering the placement of a single corrective statement in a feedback sequence that includes two positive statements on individuals' persistence to perform in the presence of a challenging �stretch� goal. Come and find out the best mode and sequence with which to deliver feedback and how the type of performance goals in place might influence the appropriate mode of feedback.

Keyword(s): feedback sequence, feedback source, goal difficulty, technology
 
Effects of Feedback Modality on Performance
GARRETT WARRILOW (Western Michigan University), Douglas Johnson (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Giving employees information about their performance is a common method for employers seeking to improve or change performance. With the popularity of the internet and computers feedback today is often provided through emails, text messages and video meetings. While feedback has continued to evolve within and across organizations little has been done to assess the impact its delivery through various modalities has. This study looks to explore and evaluate the relationship between the modality which objective feedback is delivered, and the differential effects it produces on performance of a check entering task. This is an area in which there seems to be a large gap in the literature especially considering the impact it may have on any feedback study. This experiment will be a laboratory study employing a between-group repeated measures design with random assignment to one of the following four experimental conditions; 1) no feedback, 2) computer delivered feedback, 3) feedback via cell phone text message and, 4) feedback via face-to-face interaction.
 
Impact of Feedback Source and Goal Difficulty on Work Performance and Feedback Seeking
BRANDON BREUER (University of Minnesota Duluth), Julie M. Slowiak (University of Minnesota Duluth)
Abstract: This research examined the influence of computer monitoring on work performance and feedback-seeking behavior under different conditions of feedback source and performance goals. As the third in a series of three experiments, this study was conducted in a laboratory setting using a data-entry work task designed to simulate the job of a medical transcriptionist. Undergraduate students attended five 45-minute sessions, and measures of ability and keyboarding skill were collected to use in the analyses. This study used a 2 x 3 factorial design to examine effects of computer monitoring under different conditions of feedback source (computer-mediated / researcher-mediated) and goal difficulty easy / moderate / difficult) on both task performance and feedback-seeking behavior. Results indicate that performance was highest, overall, when the participants received difficult goals in combination with computer-mediated feedback; performance was lowest when participants received easy goals in combination with computer-mediated feedback. The type of feedback did not appear to influence performance when individuals received moderate goals. Feedback-seeking behavior was higher among participants who received difficult goals. Discussion of these results, as well as an overview of participants’ levels of stress and satisfaction with feedback medium, will be presented.
 
The Influence of Feedback Sequence and a Challenging Goal on Task Performance
AREANNA LAKOWSKE (University of Minnesota Duluth), Julie M. Slowiak (University of Minnesota Duluth)
Abstract: Due to the widespread use, acceptance for, and effectiveness of using feedback and goal setting simultaneously, the present study focused on the use of feedback to improve persistence to perform in the presence of a challenging “stretch” goal. This study also examined the influence that core self-evaluation, job satisfaction, goal commitment, and stress may have on the persistence toward reaching a challenging “stretch” goal when individuals were provided with various feedback sequence statements. The most well-known feedback sequence is the “Sandwich”, which places a corrective statement between two positive statements. A within-subjects design was used to expose participants to a control (no feedback) condition and three feedback sequences: (1) PCP (positive, corrective, positive); (2) CPP (corrective, positive, positive); and (3) PPC (positive, positive, corrective). Results of this study will illustrate the most effective feedback sequence to increase performance, as well as individual preference for a particular feedback sequence. The influence of core self-evaluation, job satisfaction, goal commitment, and stress will be discussed and practical implications will be provided.
 
 
Symposium #103
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching and Measuring Foundational and Complex Repertoires
Sunday, May 29, 2016
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Regency Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Joanne K. Robbins (Morningside Academy)
Discussant: Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Joanne K. Robbins, Ph.D.
Abstract: From time to time behavior analytic approaches to education have been criticized because they are said to focus on simple behaviors or basic skills. Over the past twenty years there has been a concerted effort to extend behavior analytic approaches to the areas of reasoning, problem solving, inquiry, and independent learning. Learners with a range of entering repertoires in a wide range of environments from classrooms to online platforms have benefited. This effort has resulted in work that has led to the examination of the critical foundational skills required in terms of verbal operants, mands, tacts, echoics, intraverbals and autoclitics leading to conversation skills, to composite repertoires such as Talk Aloud Problem Solving (TAPS) and Fluent Thinking Skills™ (FTS) which emphasizes question asking, and to advanced content areas such as music education. This symposium will describe recent work in this area with an emphasis on measuring both foundational and complex educational repertoires. It will highlight the effects not only on the learner, but on teachers as well. An emphasis throughout the presentation will be how behavior analysis can benefit a great range of learners, some who otherwise may not have been successful.
Keyword(s): instructional design, music, reasoning, vocal operants
 
TAPSing into the Potential of Students and the Ingenuity of Classroom Staff
SEAN WILL (University of North Texas), Lucero Neri (University of North Texas), Joanne K. Robbins (Morningside Academy), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Students with learning and developmental disabilities often have slow academic and social progress. They seem to lack interest and sometimes refuse to work at all. Sometimes, they demonstrate high levels of understanding in one subject area, while performing extremely poorly in other areas. Educators usually blame slow academic progress on the lack of intelligence or low capacity to learn. As a result, educators lower their expectations for these students. One particular deficit area is often problem solving. This presentation will describe the efforts of teaching and assessing a set of reasoning skills with seven students with learning and developmental disabilities in a Life Skills class in a public school. We will further discuss the effects of teaching this repertoire on four classroom staff members in their interaction with children while helping the students with their assignments. The reasoning skills under discussion were based on those described by Robbins in her 2014 manual, Learn to Reason with TAPS: A Talk Aloud Problem Solving Approach.
 
Measuring Complex Repertoires in Project Based Learning
MARIANNE DELGADO (Morningside Academy), Joanne K. Robbins (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: This presentation will describe a sequence of developing and measuring the acquisition of analytic thinking skills required for the talk aloud problem solving (TAPS) repertoire (Robbins, 2014) and Fluent Thinking Skills (FTS™) (Robbins, Layng, Jackson, 1996) repertoire in middle school students at Morningside Academy. Ways to define and assess application of the component skills, or atomic repertoires (after Palmer, 2012), that lead to composite thinking repertoires will be explored. To ensure that all students acquire the repertoires of the Problem Solver and Active Listener, all students must learn to observe and record the presence or absence of the essential qualities in trios and then apply their TAPS skills to the enquiry model taught in Fluent Thinking Skills. Everyday academic and nonacademic problems are then presented that required the use of these strategies. Precision Teaching procedures may be used in the measurement of question generating, and accuracy and rate of problem solving. Finally, application of these skills during independent research in project based learning will be discussed.
 

Measured Music: Behavior Analysis Meets the Arts

MARK MALADY (Institute of Meaningful Instruction), Ryan Lee O'Donnell (Institute of Meaningful Instruction), Bryan Hallauer (High Sierra Industries/WARC), Brendan James Bohr (Brohavior)
Abstract:

Over the past 20 years there has been a renewed interest in designing educational environments that lead to a range of practical outcomes for learners. Educational endeavors may be conceptualized as falling within several categories that may include formal public education, formal private education, independent studies, sports related activities, musical activities and day-to-day learning through the life of an individual. A common move in the past 10 years has been the creation of individual learning opportunities through internet-based applications. Behavior analysis as a science has historically been closely aligned with the formulation of instructional design methods and is in a well-suited position to lend a helping hand to the endeavor of creating meaningful educational opportunities for people of varying ages and skill sets. This presentation will outline a pilot program that was designed to teach students of music how to design their own independent studies using the science of behavior analysis. This program, Measured Music, is one example of how the Institute of Meaningful Instruction is aiming to assist learners in becoming their own instructional designers. The Measured Music program will be overviewed and future directions will be discussed.

 
Measurement and Induction of Vocal Verbal Behavior
ANGELA MORAN (Ascension Parish School District), Derek Jacob Shanman (Nicholls State University), Mary Johnson (Ascension Parish Schools)
Abstract: Effective social interactions are imperative for all individuals, in particular those with faulty verbal repertoires. Vocal verbal behavior is the most common form of speaker behavior and allows for access to reinforcement across multiple listeners. This type of behavior provides information in a more accessible form for listeners and allows speakers to access more advanced verbal functions. The five vocal verbal operants, mands, tacts, echoics, intraverbals and autoclitics, are learned through the function of an individual’s environment and reinforced by the responses of others. This presentation will discuss these vocal verbal operants and their and function in conversation, as well as measurement tools that can be used to identify the presence or absence of these behaviors under varying conditions. Finally, protocols and procedures, such as Speaker Immersion Protocol, Intensive Tact, and Social Listener Reinforcement games, used to induce these behaviors for individuals who may have faulty or no vocal verbal behavior will be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #106
CE Offered: BACB
Variables Affecting the Acquisition of Tact, Listener Behavior, and Visual Discriminations
Sunday, May 29, 2016
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Columbus Hall CD, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: PRA/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center)
Discussant: Laura L. Grow (University of British Columbia)
CE Instructor: Joseph M. Vedora, Ed.D.
Abstract: Educational programs for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and developmental delays often target the development of speaker (e.g., tact) and listener repertories, and discrimination training with visual stimuli. Several procedures may facilitate the acquisition of tact and listener relations or visual-visual discriminations. This symposium reviews two studies conducted with individuals with autism spectrum disorders that evaluated procedures used to teach listener relations. The first study compared the effectiveness and efficiency of an error correction procedure to a second-order reinforcement and response-cost procedure during training of listener relations. The second study compared the efficiency of picture prompts versus picture prompts used with a differential observing response during training of listener relations. A third study evaluated learners’ preference between massed and alternating matching-to-sample trials in young children with autism. Additionally, research with typically developing children may help guide research for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. The fourth study evaluated the effects of a differential observing response on typically developing children’s (3-5 years old) acquisition of tacts of overlapping compound stimuli. The implications of these procedures for practitioners and recommendations for future researchers will be discussed.
Keyword(s): tact, listener
 

Assessing Preference Between Massed and Alternating Trials in Teaching Word-Picture Relations to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

ERIN CONANT (Evergreen Center), Paulo Guilhardi (Beacon ABA Services), Jennifer Smith (Beacon ABA Services), Camille Rivera (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract:

The goal was to assess preference between massed and alternating matching-to-sample trials in children with autism. Two participants were presented with a matching-to-sample task on a computer. Sessions consisted of six trials of an unknown set of word-picture stimuli relations and six trials of known picture-picture identity relations. Prior to the presentation of the 12 trials, participants were asked to choose between three different colored stimuli randomly located on the computer screen. The participants choice of stimuli determined the condition for the session either mass (6 known/6 unknown stimuli relations, or vice-versa), alternating (alternation of known and unknown stimuli relations), or extinction (no reinforcement delivered). Once a condition preference to a condition was established a new set of colors were presented and preference was reassessed. Throughout a session, no prompts were delivered during the presentation of known stimuli relations, and a spoken word was used as prompt for the unknown stimuli relations. Prescribed prompts were faded systematically to assess acquisition of skill. All correct responses produced a token and once three tokens were earned a trade-in period occurred (unless the extinction condition was chosen). A preference for alternating trials developed during every assessment within and across participants.

 

Establishing Compound Stimulus Control Over Vocal Tacts

BAILEY DEVINE (Texas Christian University), Anna I. Petursdottir (Texas Christian University)
Abstract:

An accurate tact repertoire often requires control by multiple features of nonverbal stimuli over the verbal response. Inappropriate stimulus control can develop when learners are exposed to compound stimuli. The current study evaluated the effects of a differential observing response (DOR) on typically developing childrens (3-5 years old) acquisition of tacts of overlapping compound stimuli. When initial instruction without a DOR did not produce acquisition, an instruction format was introduced which required participants to engage in a DOR in the form of an identity match to sample response prior to tacting the stimuli. If the DOR intervention did not produce mastery, further manipulations were evaluated, including a verbal DOR and the establishment of vocal precurrent responses. Implications of the effectiveness of such interventions on tact acquisition are discussed.

 

A Comparison of Response Cost and Error Correction Procedures

JESSICA NIEMEIER (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Amber R. Paden (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Some children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) display persistent errors during discrete-trial training. Fisher and colleagues showed that combining a second-order reinforcement schedule with response cost produced improved accuracy in completion of intraverbal and receptive tasks among children with ASD (Fisher, Pawich, Dickes, Paden, & Toussaint, 2014). The purpose of the current study was to extend the findings of Fisher et al. (2014) by evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of their second-order reinforcement and response-cost procedure with a common error-correction procedure during acquisition of receptive-identification tasks. Two children diagnosed with an ASD participated. During baseline, we implemented a VR2 reinforcement schedule for cooperative behavior but not for correct responses. During treatment, in one condition we reinforced correct responses on a second-order FR3 [FR1] schedule and removed all accumulated reinforcers contingent on an error. In the other condition, we reinforced correct responses on an FR1 schedule, and following an error, we repeated the trial until the participant emitted an independent correct response. Results showed that the error-correction procedure proved to be more efficient with both participants and more effective with one participant. We discuss these results relative to the discriminative effects of reinforcement and punishment during acquisition of new tasks. We will continue to replicate these procedures with additional participants.

 
An Evaluation of Differential Observing Responses During Receptive Label Training
TIFFANY WALLER (Evergreen Center), Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center)
Abstract: Prior researchers have used Differential Observing Responses (DORs) such as naming the sample stimulus (Geren, Stromer, & Mackay, 1997) or matching the visual sample to an identical comparison prior to a trial during visual-visual matching tasks (Dube & McIlvane, 1999). A DOR such as an echoic response to the auditory sample stimulus might enhance the learner’s attention to the sample and remediate stimulus control during receptive label training (Grow & LeBlanc, 2013). To date, only a few studies have evaluated the effects an echoic response-DOR during receptive label training for individuals with autism. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the use of a DOR that required the participant to imitate the sample stimulus prior to the receptive trial. A comparison of picture prompts, with and without a DOR, was conducted to determine if the DOR facilitated acquisition for a participant with autism who had a history of faulty stimulus control during discrimination training. The results indicated that the DOR enhanced acquisition and remediated stimulus control issues (i.e., position bias) during training. The implications of DORs used during receptive label training will be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #118
CE Offered: BACB
The Place of the Human Subject in the 21st Century Operant Laboratory
Sunday, May 29, 2016
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Zurich D, Swissotel
Area: EAB/TPC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Shrinidhi Subramaniam (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Michael Perone (West Virginia University)
CE Instructor: Shrinidhi Subramaniam, M.S.
Abstract:

Baron and Perone (1982) attributed what they described as a "paucity of laboratory research on human operant behavior" to several misconceptions about constraints on experimental research with humans. The intervening decades have seen great expansion of the number and variety of publications reporting experimental analysis of human behavior. Has human operant-conditioning research acquired the technical depth and topical breadth to address Baron and Perone's concerns? Through two empirical presentations, this symposium will provide a snapshot of contemporary laboratory human operant conditioning research. In two talks, speakers will present schedule-based work testing the generality of basic behavioral principles as they have been applied to experimental analysis of delay discounting and interval timing. Vanderveldt and Green will discuss the magnitude effect in delay discounting, a robust effect in nonhuman research that has been more elusive in human subjects. Subramaniam and Kyonka will present results of peak-interval experiments with humans in which screen color-interval correlations differed across conditions. Discussant Michael Perone will present his opinion of the quantity and quality of experimental human operant research today.

Keyword(s): delay discounting, human operant, interval timing, reinforcement schedules
 
Delay Discounting in Human and Nonhuman Animals: Some Similarities and Differences
ARIANA MAE VANDERVELDT (Washington University in St. Louis), Leonard Green (Washington University)
Abstract: Delay discounting is apparent when the subjective value of a reward decreases with the time until it receipt. Both human and nonhuman animals show discounting, which is well described by a hyperbolic function. Despite the pervasiveness of delay discounting across species, it has been claimed that animals discount delayed reinforcers orders of magnitude more steeply than do humans (i.e., animals are much more impulsive) and do not show a magnitude effect (i.e., animals do not discount larger delayed amounts proportionally more steeply than smaller delayed amounts). Whether these are true species differences or due to procedural differences will be discussed. For example, we employed a procedure in which humans discounted a real liquid reward that was consumed on each choice trial, a procedure more similar to that used with animals, rather than the more typical procedure in which humans discount monetary and/or hypothetical rewards. We find that humans now discount the delayed reward on the order of seconds. Other studies will be discussed in which comparisons between discounting by humans and animals will be presented.
 

Beyond Face Validity: Peak Procedures With Humans

SHRINIDHI SUBRAMANIAM (West Virginia University), Elizabeth Kyonka (West Virginia University)
Abstract:

The peak-interval (PI) procedure is a well-established and widely used way of researching interval timing in laboratory animals, but has been used much less with human subjects. In a version introduced by Guilhardi and colleagues (2010), a target moved across a computer monitor at several velocities and participants fired shots at the center of the screen. The target was masked during 12-s PI trials. The distribution of shots was similar to PI response gradients from nonhumans. We used this PI procedure to isolate the relation between timing and misinformation. The correlation between screen color and interval duration (i.e., time to point availability) varied across conditions in Experiment 1 and groups in Experiment 2. Experiment 1 resulted in order effects that were prevented using a group design. When screen color was perfectly correlated with interval duration, PI distributions peaked at the target times. At intermediate correlations, differences between distributions from different screen colors were smaller, and when the correlation was 0, distributions converged. Color-interval correlation affected response strategy by altering the stimulus control. Regard for strong, experimentally imposed contingencies above face validity can overcome difficulty with complex human subjects in the operant laboratory.

 
 
Symposium #119
Equivalence Class Formation and Additional Measures
Sunday, May 29, 2016
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Zurich AB, Swissotel
Area: EAB/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Discussant: Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract: In the first paper, Ayres-Pereira and de Souza present a study on establishment of equivalence classes using photos of objects, and evaluate if children would include the objects into the classes, without any direct training. Then main findings were that all participants performed the generalized identity matching tasks and learned the arbitrary conditional discriminations. Finally, all of them formed equivalence classes between the photos. In the second paper, Hansen and Arntzen present an experiment on ocular observing response measures. Preliminary results suggest differences in observing response measures, such as duration, rate, and sequence as a function of order of learning conditions, and in eye-movement speed as a function of not only order of learning but also variation in motivation.
Keyword(s): attending behavior, emergent relations, measures, stimulus equivalence
 

Inclusion of Objects in Equivalence Classes Formed by Photos in Preschoolers

VANESSA PEREIRA (HiOA), Deisy das Gracas De Souza (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Abstract:

Adults commonly use pictures of objects to establish equivalence relations, and suppose that children generalize the relations to the objects itself. The purpose of this study was to establish equivalence classes using photos of objects, and evaluate if children would include the objects into the classes, without any direct training. Participants were six four years old children. They trained arbitrary conditional discriminations between photos of abstract objects. Multiple probes evaluated effects of the training over learning, maintenance and emergence of relations between the photos. After the emergence of equivalence relations between the photos, tests of arbitrary matching between the objects, and between the photos and the objects assessed the classes expansion. Throughout the procedure, tests evaluated childrens performance on generalized identity matchings of photos to photos, objects to objects, and photos to objects and vice versa. All participants performed the generalized identity matching tasks, learned the arbitrary conditional discriminations and formed equivalence classes between the photos. However, only three participants demonstrated the expansion of the equivalence classes from photos to objects. The results suggest that, generalization of stimulus cannot be the only relevant process to produce the expansion of an equivalence class between similar two-dimensional and three-dimensional stimuli.

 

Fixation and Speed Measures Across Training Structures in a Within-Participant Research Design

STEFFEN HANSEN (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences), Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Abstract:

The analysis of eye-movements, obtained with Eye-tracking Technology, during Matching-to-Sample learning, extends and enriches our behavioral attempts to understand complex human behavior (Hansen & Arntzen, 2015). The analysis of eye-movements, obtained with Eye-tracking Technology, during Matching-to-Sample Performance, extends and enriches our behavioral attempts to understand complex human behavior (Hansen & Arntzen, 2015). Previous group studies from our eye-tracking research lab suggest that topographically different eye-movement and observing response measures, such as duration, rate, variability, pattern, and speed, emerge during the establishment of stimulus equivalence classes that are formed using different training structures (e.g., Hansen & Arntzen, 2013, October; Hansen & Arntzen, 2014, May). In a systematic replication, introducing a within-participant design, we intend to establish five 3-member classes in a concurrent training format by exposing all participants to one of three conditional discrimination training sequences that involve the Many-to-One, One-to-Many, and Linear Series training structures. Preliminary results suggest differences in fixation measures, such as duration, rate, and sequence as a function of order of learning conditions, and in eye-movement speed as a function of not only order of learning conditions but also variation in motivation. itions, and in eye-movement speed as a function of not only order of learning but also variation in motivation.

 

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