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.

46th Annual Convention; Online; 2020

Program by : Monday, May 25, 2020


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Symposium #315
CE Offered: BACB
Medication Reduction: An Organizational Approach to Psychopharmacology in a Behavior Analytic Residential Treatment Program
Monday, May 25, 2020
8:00 AM–8:50 AM EDT
Virtual
Area: BPN/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Dawn O'Neill (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center; Contextual Behavioral Science Institute)
Discussant: R. Nicolle Nicolle Carr (The University of Oklahoma)
CE Instructor: Dawn O'Neill, Ph.D.
Abstract:

An organizational approach to psychopharmacology in a behavior analytic residential treatment program is discussed. Our treatment teams and psychiatrist collaborate to reduce psychotropic medications, when clinically appropriate, for individuals with severe problem behavior. Our clients have typically attended previous residential treatment facilities, have been rejected from other placements, and are admitted to our program on a variety of psychotropic medications. We discuss changes in major problem behaviors following medication reduction and discontinuation. In many cases, we are able to successfully discontinue the use of psychotropic medications while concurrently implementing a comprehensive and intensive behavioral treatment program. Effective, program-wide behavioral interventions are reviewed. Several case studies highlight various level and trend changes observed when titrating psychotropic medications. Subsequently, a retrospective analysis examines the impact of clonidine withdrawal or discontinuation on the frequency of aggressive and self-injurious behavior. Aggressive and self-injurious behavior decelerates following clonidine discontinuation for the majority of the sample. Treatment providers should also be aware of temporary increases (i.e., agitation withdrawal) in problem behavior following medication reduction. Ethical considerations surrounding boundaries of competence, consultation, treatment efficacy, and least restrictive procedures are discussed.

Target Audience:

behavior analysts, psychologists, behavioral scientists

Learning Objectives: 1. Understand an organizational approach to medication reduction. 2. Understand the possible impact of psychotropic medication changes on overt problem behavior, including agitation withdrawal. 3. Be familiar with ethical considerations surrounding multiple treatments and inter-disciplinary collaboration in reaching treatment decisions.
 
Changes in Major Problem Behaviors following Psychotropic Medication Reduction
KAREN STUFFLEBEAM (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Dawn O'Neill (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center; Contextual Behavioral Science Institute), Nathan Blenkush (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Anthony Joseph (McLean Hospital; Harvard Medical School)
Abstract: An organizational approach to psychopharmacology within an intensive in-patient behavior analytic treatment facility is discussed. Medication changes are based on collaboration between psychiatry and clinical services. Several case studies are highlighted to demonstrate the impact of psychotropic medication reduction and discontinuation during intensive in-patient behavior analytic programming on aggressive, self-injurious, health dangerous, and major disruptive behavior. A variety of medications are titrated, including antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and benzodiazepines. Generally, successful fading and discontinuation of psychotropic medications while concurrently implementing a comprehensive behavioral treatment program comprised of antecedent-based interventions, behavioral contracts and reminders, multiple schedules of reinforcement, differential reinforcement procedures, token systems and fines, and functional communication training is observed. Examples of various level and trend changes for major problem behaviors following psychotropic medication changes are explored. Examples of deceleration, temporary acceleration followed by deceleration (e.g., agitation withdrawal), and continued acceleration following medication changes are highlighted. The treatment utility of a clinical collaboration between psychiatry and behavior analysis is discussed. Ethical considerations for boundaries of competence, consultation, effective and least restrictive treatment are reviewed.
 
Retrospective Analysis of Clonidine Efficacy for Aggressive and Self-Injurious Behavior
DAWN O'NEILL (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center; Contextual Behavioral Science Institute), Nathan Blenkush (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Anthony Joseph (McLean Hospital; Harvard Medical School)
Abstract: Clonidine, an autonomically active drug, is frequently prescribed in an effort to reduce different forms of aggressive and self-injurious behavior in people with various psychiatric diagnoses including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, delirium, encephalopathy, mood disorders, and psychosis. Problematically, research cited to support the use of clonidine for aggressive behavior involves poor assessment methods (i.e., a line item for aggression on an indirect assessment). Furthermore, non-human animal research found that clonidine evokes aggressive and self-injurious behavior in mice. A retrospective analysis was conducted to examine the impact of clonidine withdrawal or discontinuation on the frequency of aggressive and self-injurious behavior for an intensive in-patient sample. Reduction of clonidine strongly correlated with clinically significant reductions of all forms of aggressive behavior in almost all patients. However, some patients temporarily engaged in an increase in aggressive behavior prior to maintaining lower levels of aggressive behavior. Clonidine discontinuation in patients with violent and self-injurious behavior may be an important approach to reducing such behavior, and treatment providers should be aware of the possibility of an initial increase in aggressive behavior while titrating medication. Effective, least restrictive, and multiple treatment ethical considerations are reviewed.
 
 
Symposium #325
CE Offered: BACB
Innovations in the Use Single-Case Methodology: Artificial Intelligence, Aids to Clinical Decision-Making, and Hybrid Designs
Monday, May 25, 2020
8:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Virtual
Area: PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Marc J. Lanovaz (Université de Montréal)
CE Instructor: Marc J. Lanovaz, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Single-case designs have been central to the development of a science of behavior analysis. However, other health and social sciences have not embraced their adoption as widely as behavior analysts. Potential explanations for this lack of adoption include the complexity of analyzing single-case data objectively as well as the limited consideration of group data. The purpose of our symposium is to present recent research that addresses the aforementioned limitations. The first presentation will describe a script designed to automatically analyze functional analysis data based on previously published rules. The second presentation will examine whether artificial intelligence can accurately make decisions using AB graphs. The third presentation will discuss the validity of using nonoverlap effect size measures to aid clinical decision-making. The final presentation will introduce hybrid designs, which involve a combination of single-case and group methodologies. As whole, the presentations will provide an overview of innovations in the use of single-case methodology for both practitioners and researchers.

Target Audience:

BCBAs BCBA-Ds

 

Artificial Intelligence to Analyze Single-Case Data

MARC J. LANOVAZ (Université de Montréal), Antonia R. Giannakakos (Manhattanville College), Océane Destras (Polytechnique Montréal)
Abstract:

Visual analysis is the most commonly used method for interpreting data from single-case designs, but levels of interrater agreement remain a concern. Although structured aids to visual analysis such as the dual-criteria (DC) method may increase interrater agreement, the accuracy of the analyses may still benefit from improvements. Thus, the purpose of our study was to (a) examine correspondence between visual analysis and models derived from different machine learning algorithms, and (b) compare the accuracy, Type I error rate and power of each of our models with those produced by the DC method. We trained our models on a previously published dataset and then conducted analyses on both nonsimulated and simulated graphs. All our models derived from machine learning algorithms matched the interpretation of the visual analysts more frequently than the DC method. Furthermore, the machine learning algorithms outperformed the DC method on accuracy, Type I error rate, and power. Our results support the somewhat unorthodox proposition that behavior analysts may use machine learning algorithms to supplement their visual analysis of single-case data, but more research is needed to examine the potential benefits and drawbacks of such an approach.

 

Using AB Designs With Nonoverlap Effect Size Measures to Support Clinical Decision Making: A Monte Carlo Validation

ANTONIA R. GIANNAKAKOS (Manhattanville College), Marc J. Lanovaz (Université de Montréal)
Abstract:

Single-case experimental designs often require extended baselines or the withdrawal of treatment, which may not be feasible or ethical in some practical settings. The quasi-experimental AB design is a potential alternative, but more research is needed on its validity. The purpose of our study was to examine the validity of using nonoverlap measures of effect size to detect changes in AB designs using simulated data. In our analyses, we determined thresholds for three effect size measures beyond which the type I error rate would remain below .05, and then examined if using these thresholds would provide sufficient power. Overall, our analyses show that some effect size measures may provide adequate control over type I error rate and sufficient power when analyzing data from AB designs. In sum, our results suggest that practitioners may use quasi-experimental AB designs in combination with effect size to rigorously assess progress in practice.

 

CANCELED: Unique Applications of Single-Case Experimental Designs: “Hybrid Designs” in Research and Practice

ODESSA LUNA (St. Cloud State University), John T. Rapp (Auburn University)
Abstract:

The purpose of experimental designs is to determine the extent to which an independent variable is responsible for the observed changed in the dependent variable and to ensure the produced change is not due to extraneous variables. In behavior-analytic practice and research, we often use single-case experimental designs to evaluate the effect of a treatment with relatively few participants. As our field expands and extends beyond individualized assessment and treatment for individuals with disabilities, researchers and clinicians may need to consider alternative methods to evaluate functional control of the collective unit of behaving individuals. For example, behavior analysts may be tasked with changing a group of individuals’ behaviors in nontraditional settings such as detention centers or foster homes. Currently, the literature lacks any guidance in how we measure a group of behaving individuals within a single-subject framework. The purpose of this talk is to propose a term “hybrid designs” in which both modified single-case experimental and group designs are used to study group behavior. This talk will review different ways single-case experimental designs have been used in the literature when studying groups of individuals and applications for future research and practice. By proposing these hybrid designs, the talk aims to outline how we may (a) expand the range of experimental questions that behavior analysts can ask and (b) extend the utility of these designs to other disciplines with differing dependent variables.

 

Automating Functional Analysis Interpretation

JONATHAN E. FRIEDEL (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), Alison Cox (Brock University)
Abstract:

Functional analysis (FA) has been an important tool in behavior analysis. The goal of an FA is to determine problem behavior function (e.g., access to attention) so that treatments can be designed to target causal mechanisms (e.g., teaching a socially appropriate response for attention). Behavior analysts traditionally rely on visual inspection to interpret an FA. However, existing literature suggests interpretations can vary across clinicians (Danov & Symons, 2008). To increase objectivity and address interrater agreement across FA outcomes, Hagopian et al. (1997) created visual-inspection criteria to be used for FAs. Hagopian and colleagues reported improved agreement but limitations of the criteria were noted. Therefore, Roane, Fisher, Kelley, Mevers, and Bouxsein (2013) addressed these limitations when they created a modified version. Here, we describe a computer script designed to automatically interpret FAs based on the above-mentioned criteria. A computerized script may be beneficial because it requires objective criteria (e.g., 10% higher vs. ‘substantially’ higher) to make decisions and it is fully replicable (i.e., does not rely on interobserver agreement). We outline several areas where the published criteria required refinement for the script. We also identify some conditions in which the script provides interpretations that disagree with expert clinician interpretations.

 
 
Symposium #326
CE Offered: BACB
Advancements in Instructional Strategies for Undergraduate and Graduate Students in Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 25, 2020
8:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Virtual
Area: TBA/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Rachel Scalzo (University of South Florida)
Discussant: Spencer Gauert (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Spencer Gauert, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Maximizing student learning outcomes is a goal at every level of instruction. For undergraduate and graduate students in behavior analysis, the stakes may be even higher given the clinical implications and leadership roles BCaBAs and BCBAs take on immediately following graduation and certification. Therefore, it is critical to identify evidence-based approaches to engage students with course content, not only to pass the certification exam, but also to enhance client outcomes. The four studies in this symposium describe ways in which to do just that. The first study evaluated the effects of active student responding and competition among on-campus undergraduate students. The remaining three studies were conducted with graduate students in a fully online asynchronous program. This included two intervention studies, one examining choice of practice activity and the second evaluating the effects of self-monitoring on quiz grades. The final study examined academic procrastination using a delay discounting task with the aim of identifying possible interventions to decrease procrastination. Taken together, these research findings expand the scope of effective instructional strategies in both the face-to-face and online classrooms.

Target Audience:

Behavior analysts who teach undergraduate and graduate students

 
Evaluating the Effect of Active Student Responding and Competition on Student Academic Performance
Hannah Lynn MacNaul (University of South Florida), Catia Cividini-Motta Cividini (University of South Florida), KATHRYN WILLIAMS (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated a functional relation between high levels of active student responding (ASR) and acquisition of academic information (Bondy & Tincani, 2018). Furthermore, in-class competition among peers accelerates mastery of academic content (Chen, Law, & Wei-Yu Chen, 2018). Thus, the current study evaluated the effects of competition on student academic performance through an ASR modality, Kahoot. Kahoot is a free, online, game-like response application that can be accessed through any WiFi capable device, allowing students to respond to instructor-posed questions and immediately depicts aggregate class performance. Kahoot also includes a scoreboard component in which individual scores are ranked based on the accuracy and latency of responses. This feature can be activated (Kahoot + competition) and de-activated (Kahoot alone). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of Kahoot + competition, Kahoot alone, and a control condition on student academic performance based on student average exam scores across two sections of an undergraduate behavior analysis course. Results suggest that competition increases student academic outcomes compared to Kahoot alone and the control condition. Results will be discussed in relation to social validity.
 
Evaluating the Effect of Assignment Choice on Student Academic Performance in an Online Class
Hannah Lynn MacNaul (University of South Florida), Rachel Scalzo (University of South Florida), Catia Cividini-Motta Cividini (University of South Florida), SHANNON WILSON (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Providing a choice between two activities may have advantageous effects such as improving on-task behavior (Bambara, Ager, & Koger, 1994) or reducing problem behavior (Vaughn & Horner, 1997). When evaluated in an academic context, choice may empower the learner, foster engagement, and promote an overall interest in the learning experience (Aiken et al., 2016). The current study evaluated the effect of a choice and no-choice condition compared to a control condition on student academic outcomes. Fifty graduate students in an online, asynchronous behavior analysis course completed modules in one of the three conditions across the semester. In the choice condition, students chose from two activities (i.e., flashcards, study guide) whereas in the no-choice condition, an activity was assigned by the instructor. The dependent variable was student academic outcomes as measured by scores on the end of module quiz. Student preference and duration of time spent in each activity was also measured. Results suggest an equal distribution across activities and higher performance in the choice condition. Tests of statistical significance across conditions will be discussed as well as implications for instructors.
 

Self-Monitoring in the Online Classroom: An Intervention to Increase Academic Performance

Rachel Scalzo (University of South Florida), Anthony Concepcion (University of South Florida), ZOE ISABELLA HAY (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Self-monitoring is an evidence-based intervention that has been shown to be widely effective in addressing a range of target behaviors (Weston et al., 2019; Wills & Mason, 2014). In the academic context, it has demonstrated increases in the performance of elementary, middle, and high school students both with and without disabilities (Graham-Day, Gardner, & Hsin, 2010; Wolfe, Heron, & Goddard, 2000), but there is limited information available regarding use of self-monitoring among graduate students. Graduate students struggle with time management given the many competing contingencies they are faced with (Hanshaw, Mason, & Loh, 2019). This study evaluated the effect of self-monitoring on quiz grades among graduate students in a fully online, asynchronous behavior analysis course. There were three conditions that were evaluated including instructions only, instructions with self-monitoring, and control wherein there were no expectations stated for daily engagement with the course content. Students allocated more time across days during the self-monitoring condition and performed better on quizzes in comparison to the instruction only condition. Results will be discussed with regard to social validity and implications for instructors.

 
At Last: An Application of Delay Discounting on Academic Procrastination
ANTHONY CONCEPCION (University of South Florida), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida), Rachel Scalzo (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Are you reading this the day of the conference trying to decide which presentations to attend? Why did you and I wait to do something we should have done yesterday? While everyone tends to procrastinate at some point, it usually is not detrimental. However, college student’s academic procrastination is correlated with many adverse health effects (e.g., anxiety, depression, sleep hygiene) and poor academic performance (Akinsola, Tella, & Tella, 2007; Ferrari, Johnson, & McCown, 1995). Furthermore, the prevalence of academic procrastination is high, with reports of up to 95% of college students engaging in detrimental amounts of procrastination (Hussain & Sultan, 2010), with distance-learners having greater associated risks (Elvers, Polzella, & Graetz, 2003). Previous studies on procrastination have focused on labeling students as having an impulsive personality trait. The present study took a behavioral approach to assessing impulsivity via a discounting task and analysis of observable measures of procrastination. Potential benefits to instructors and students as well as possible interventions to decrease academic procrastination are discussed.
 
 
Panel #334
CE Offered: BACB — 
Supervision
Diversity submission Evaluating the Effects of Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity Within the BCBA/RBT Supervision Model
Monday, May 25, 2020
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Virtual
Area: CSS/TBA; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Mawule A. Sevon, M.A.
Chair: Shawn Capell (Covenant 15:16 LLC )
MAWULE A. SEVON (The Key Consulting Firm, LLC)
KIMBERLY EDWARDS (SIQS Educational Consulting, LLC)
SHANEERIA K PERSAUD (United Behavior Analysis Inc.)
Abstract:

The field of Applied Behavior Analysis has experienced tremendous growth since its inception. According to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®, between the years 2016 and 2018, the total number of certified behavior analysts has increased by over 30%, and the total number of registered behavior technicians® has nearly doubled. An essential component for obtaining and maintaining these certifications include supervision hours. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board® has provided task lists regarding the items and topics required for adequate supervision; however, no components of cultural responsiveness and awareness are included. With the increase of behavior analysis within culturally diverse populations, it is imperative that our field develop new and innovative ways of including cultural competency into the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® and Registered Behavior Technician® supervision experience. Many behavior analysts have reported not receiving sufficient training within the areas of diversity and cultural responsiveness and feel unprepared to serve diverse clients and communities adequately. This workshop is designed to address the gap in formal training specific to the lack of diversity and cultural responsiveness across the supervision continuum.

Target Audience:

Registered Behavior Technicians; Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts; Board Certified Behavior Analysts

Learning Objectives: 1. Define cultural responsive practice 2. Understand and apply the impact of cultural responsive practice on the supervision continuum 3. Apply cultural responsive practices to the BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts and Task List
 
 
Symposium #340
CE Offered: BACB
Putting the "ACT" in ACTion: Behavior-Analytic Efforts to Improve Applications of Acceptance and Commitment Training
Monday, May 25, 2020
9:00 AM–10:50 AM EDT
Virtual
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Lindsey Dennis (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University)
CE Instructor: Jordan Belisle, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Recent behavior-analytic efforts to the competent dissemination of acceptance and commitment training (ACT) have dramatically increased. The current symposium seeks to add to the ways in which practicing behavior analysts may more confidently-equipped to use ACT within their practices. The first presentation investigates the extent to which coherence between values and self-management strategies may improve treatment outcomes in a college population.We then empirically explore practical applications of ACT within an ASD population. Finally, we introduce evidence of the success of ACT via the AIM curriculum with a rather unique population. Implications to the overall successes and utility of ACT in daily practices, as well as ways to increase positive outcomes, are discussed.

Target Audience:

beginner-intermediate behavior analyst

Learning Objectives: Attendees will be able to describe how to use ACT procedures to help children with autism engage in more adaptive behavior and less challenging behavior Attendees will be able to describe how to incorporate self-management and ACT techniques into interventions to increase values-consistent behavior. Attendees will be able to understand ACT procedures as they relate to basic behavior change interventions and how to incorporate them into regular ABA practice
 
Promoting Values-Behavior Coherence with Acceptance and Commitment Training and Self-Management Techniques
DANA PALILIUNAS (Missouri State University)
Abstract: "Values" have been defined as "verbally construed global desired life consequences," meaning that they describe ways of behaving that increase the meaning, purpose, or overall quality of one's life. For this reason, values are a central component of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy/Training (ACT) (Hayes et al., 1999, p.206). Coherence between a person’s identified values (abstract categories of preferred reinforcers) and daily behavior may increase his or her contact with reinforcement, producing increases in socially important, adaptive behavior in various contexts. Methods that seek to quantify values-behavior coherence may be useful in both the design and evaluation of interventions. The development of a measure of values-behavior coherence will be described as will additional methods to assess such responding. Evaluation of behavior analytic literature suggests interventions that include various ACT and self-management techniques have demonstrated utility in increasing socially-meaningful behavior. A potential synthesis of these approaches could lead to immediately impactful interventions for improving values-consistent outcomes across populations, and the presentation will explore college students as a case example for the measurement and promotion of values-behavior coherence.
 

Acceptance and Commitment Training for Kids: Developing Practical Approaches to Implementing Acceptance and Commitment Training in Your Daily ABA Practice With Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

ERIN SILVERMAN (FirstSteps for Kids), Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
Abstract:

This presentation describes the development of a custom-made “ACT for Kids” workbook and the initial phases of testing its effectiveness for decreasing challenging behaviors and increasing self-management skills in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The study is still currently in the data collection phase and initial data suggest it is effective. In this presentation, we will describe in a practical manner the steps that were taken to transform the ACT Hexaflex and Matrix into stimuli that children with ASD would be able to consume and respond to independently. Results from the one participant completed thus far showed that the “ACT for Kids Workbook” decreased the participant’s maladaptive behaviors while consequently increasing his use of ACT-based self-management skills in his daily life. Findings from the social validity interview revealed that parents of this participant saw a significant increase in independent self-management skills across settings and environments, when ABA team members were not present.

 
AIMing to Scale Up: Efforts to Promote Psychological Flexibility and Decrease Maladaptive Behavior in a School Setting Impacts
MICHAEL DELAET (Arizona State University Department of Psychology), Adam DeLine Hahs (Arizona State University)
Abstract: The AIM curriculum (Dixon, 2017) was developed to facilitate social-emotional development in children. Given its novelty, little research of any scope has been conducted exploring the efficacy of the curriculum. To that end, the current study sought to explore the efficacy of the AIM program on student performance related to promoting psychological flexibility and increasing overall academic performance, while decreasing experiential avoidance and challenging behavior-related issues. All participants showed increased psychological flexibility, increased academic performance, and exhibited decreased maladaptive behaviors.
 
An Evaluation of Acceptance and Commitment Training on Changes in Psychological Flexibility and Language for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
JESSICA M HINMAN (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often struggle with language deficits and restricted or repetitive behaviors. Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) can prove to be a helpful intervention for children with ASD as it works to increase psychological and behavioral flexibility by promoting value-driven behaviors while working to reduce the unworkable control of language. The current aims to evaluate changes in measures of psychological flexibility as well as changes in derived relational responding for children with ASD after attending two, one-hour ACT sessions a week for 14-weeks. After 7 weeks of receiving ACT, preliminary data show that participants have reduced levels of self-reported fusion, higher levels of psychological flexibility, and parents of those children are reporting reduced levels of stress. Additionally, caregiver reports of the child’s psychological flexibility showed statistically significant increases from pre- to post-test (t(6) = 3.105, p = 0.0210) which suggests that participants are becoming more psychologically flexible as reported by their parents. Changes in post-treatment measures will provide implications for implementing ACT techniques with children with ASD to increase psychological flexibility.
 
 
Symposium #359
CE Offered: BACB
Investigations of Higher Order Verbal Behavior: Modifications to Relational Training Procedures to Promote Derived Relational Responding
Monday, May 25, 2020
11:00 AM–11:50 AM EDT
Virtual
Area: AUT/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Daniel B Howell (Arizona State University)
CE Instructor: Daniel B Howell, M.S.
Abstract:

Derived relational responding (DRR) has a seat at the operant table. The present symposium seeks to extend the reach of DRR and relational training procedures to populations not often targeted using methods not often implemented. First, we explore relational training efforts within an elderly population and discuss implications of DRR as it relates to neuroplasticity. Second, we discuss the novel ocular observing responses and their relation to DRR. Finally, we take an inside look to PEAK-Life by exploring both basic and applied implications of its pending release.

Target Audience:

intermediate-advanced

Learning Objectives: -attendees will be able to explain derived relational responding as it relates to ocular responding -attendees will be able to explain derived relational responding in the context of gerontology and DRR implications to dementia -attendees will understand the overarching nature of derived relational responding across age ranges as evidenced by basic and applied research
 

CANCELED: Evaluating the Effects of Relational Training Procedures on Dementia Severity and Memory in Older Adults

AYLA SCHMICK (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract:

As the Baby Boomer Generation ages, the number of individuals affected by dementia and cognitive decline will increase dramatically.As these rates climb and no cure in site, interventions are needed to help aid in the wide-ranging impact dementia will have.Relational Frame Theory (RFT), a contemporary behavior-analytic account of complex human language and cognition, offers an avenue to develop interventions designed to strengthen behaviors conventionally regarded as memory.The current study aimed to evaluate the effect of a set of procedures based on RFT for dementia severity and memory. Experimenters obtained pre-training and post-training performances by administering the M-ACE and WISC-IV memory tests to a control group and an intervention group. Following pre-training assessment, the intervention group was exposed to a series of relational training phases, in which the participants were required to respond in accordance with arbitrarily applicable relational responding across a series of relational tasks. Following training the participants in the intervention group showed improvement in memory and a decrease in dementia severity, whereas those in the control group did not. This studyaddsto the growing literature supporting the use of RFT-based interventions to address those areas of concern for individuals affected by dementia and cognitive decline.

 
The relationship between ocular observing responses and relational training procedures for children with autism spectrum disorder
BECKY BARRON (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Current research has shown differences in eye gaze, or ocular observing responses amongst individuals with autism spectrum disorder compared with their typically developing counterparts. Eye gaze is currently studied as a predictor for ASD diagnoses or potential level of social deficits for individuals already diagnosed. Deficits in language and communication are also studied as risk factors and are often attributed to social deficits in ASD. Previous research has shown improvements in accurate eye gaze during the development of stimulus equivalence classes for typically developing adults (Hansen & Arntzen, 2018). Relational training procedures that promote derived stimulus relations have also been shown to improve language repertoires for children with ASD. By combining the technology available for understanding complex language processes and eye gaze behaviors, behavior analysts may be able to better understand how to target specific behaviors in treatment that may indirectly improve eye gaze, and in turn also improve behaviors related to social interaction and attention. The current study investigated the relationship between accurate eye gaze towards stimuli during task demands and relational repertoires with children with ASD, as well as the impact that relational training has on accurate eye gaze when presented with social stimuli. Preliminary results from the current study suggest a strong relationship between appropriate eye gaze and derived relational abilities that may have implication for treatment choices for behavior analysts.
 
From Basic Research to Applied Intervention: A Pilot Study on PEAK Life
ZHIHUI YI (Southern Illinois University), Ayla Schmick (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Kwadwo O. Britwum (Southern Illinois University), Kait Matson (ABA of Illinois), Imran A. Khan (ABA of Illinois)
Abstract: Behavioral goals or objectives in applied settings often include tasks that are composed of behavior chains consisting of a sequence of complex stimulus-response chains. Many teaching strategies available, however, do not always reliably foster effective skill acquisition of those steps that are particularly challenging in these behavior chains. The current study first investigated the effect of relational training on these steps, using a randomized controlled trial design with 30 typical-developing participants in an analog 6-step stimuli discrimination task. Results showed that relational training could effectively improve participants’ performance. Building upon this finding, we investigated the utility of the relational-training based life skill assessment and treatment program – PEAK Life. 43 participants with Autism completed the Vocational and Functional Skill Assessment. Results indicated that the assessment outlined in PEAK Life was able to detect skill deficits among all participants. Three participants from study two was exposed to further life skill trainings. After probing their mastery levels, relational trainings were conducted on those steps that they could not complete independently. Results showed that all participants showed significant improvement on behavior chains following the relational training. The implication and limitation will be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #367
What and How Psychology Could be Related to Other Disciplines: An Interbehavioral Approach
Monday, May 25, 2020
11:00 AM–12:50 PM EDT
Virtual
Area: CSS; Domain: Translational
Chair: Carlos de Jesús de Jesús Torres (University of Guadalajara)
Discussant: Mitch Fryling (California State University, Los Angeles)
Abstract:

In this symposium, different interdisciplinary approaches to the understanding and efficient intervention in social contexts will be presented. The so-called "social progress" has been identified through the development of living conditions that affect society in various fields such as urban development, economic and working conditions, living conditions, which imply an improvement in the quality of life of individuals who participate in social groups. However, this development has some repercussions that are identified as “social problems”, that can paradoxically represent a negative impact on individual quality of life such as coexistence problems, corruption, bullying, drug abuse, social inequality. In this presentation a prescriptive framework of the applicability of psychological knowledge is discussed taking into account four features that are considered by Ribes (2018) for the development of a technology-based on scientific knowledge: a) a theory of individuation; b) formulation of interface concepts associated with the circumstance identified as problematic; c) design of methods and procedures for the transfer of scientific knowledge into social problems, and; d) identification of the social criteria that guide the meaning of the intervention.

 

Individual Behavior and the Problems of Social Coexistence

GERARDO A ORTIZ RUEDA RUEDA (Universidad de Guadalajara-Mexico), Nora Rangel (Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico), Carmen Quintana (University of Guadalajara), Carlos de Jesús de Jesús Torres (University of Guadalajara), Karla Acuña (Universidad de Sonora - Mexico)
Abstract:

By living in groups that are conventionally structured, shaped, and maintained, humans face behavioral challenges to maintain their own individual environmental adjustment and the cohesion of their groups. That is to say, humans strive to maintain an often-delicate balance between their individual needs and those of the group. Social problems arise when this balance does not obtain. A major aim of Psychology is the analysis of individual behavior and its interaction with its environmental conditions. A key assumption in pursuing this aim is that behavior allows the individual to adjust to its changing environment. In the case of humans, a substantial part of their environment is conventional in character. Due to this character, shared social practices are stronger determinants of humans’ adjustments to their environments than the physicochemical or ecological aspects are. As a part of an interdisciplinary approach, Psychology could supply a conceptual basis for how individuals interact in groups, identifying the variables that affect social coexistence processes. Similarly, such knowledge could be used to design interventions oriented to behavioral change in different social contexts, such as bullying at school and workplaces, public security issues, traffic and use of public spaces, and addictions.

 
Teamwork interaction in software development: Proposing a model
ADRIANA PEÑA (Universidad de Guadalajara), Mirna Muñoz (Centro de Investigación en Matemáticas - Mexico), Nora Rangel (Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico), Carlos de Jesús de Jesús Torres (University of Guadalajara)
Abstract: Human factor is one the most common causes for teamwork failure; and software development teams are not the exception. Currently software is developed mostly in teamwork bases, and primarily in small enterprises that require optimizing resources in order to guarantee their permanency in the market. It is then valuable to build teams from the human factor perspective aimed to effectiveness. Along with technical skills or hard skills, a team requires management skills and interpersonal skills, these last two also kwon as soft skills. We propose to integrate effective software development teams though a model based on the Team Software Process roles (Humphrey, 2006) for management skills, which are linked to the required activities in software development phases. And for interpersonal skills, interactive styles, a persistent personal behavior in particular situations that in turn could lead to understand how people might interact with others on those particular situations (Ribes, 1990). For the model, gamification is proposed to create approximations to the software development process situation, first to identify software team roles, and then to identify personal interactive styles, in order to obtain the suitable teammates towards an effective software development team.
 

Interbehavioral Psychology Contributions in the Field of School Education

KARLA ACUÑA (Universidad de Sonora - Mexico), Miriam Yerith Jimenez (Universidad de Sonora-México), Alfonso López (Universidad de Sonora - México)
Abstract:

Interbehavioral Psychology, as the discipline entrusted with studying the relation between the individual and its functional environment, can contribute knowledge towards the solution of problems in education as long as a general process theory is linked the before-mentioned knowledge. Psychological understanding, as applicable knowledge, can only result as an outcome of theory and technological investigation that adapts analytical knowledge from basic (general) science to the situational circumstance that the technology entails. In this respect, the notion of didactic interaction, as the functional unit of the teaching-learning process, has allowed the examination of the appropriateness of relationships between teacher, student and object referent. Thus, contributing to a pertinent formation before the new requirements that the context to discipline and social establishes.

 
Linguistic transformations may promote behavior change
TELMO EDUARDO PEÑA CORREAL CORREAL (Universidad Javeriana)
Abstract: Behavior modification, behavior therapy, and psychotherapy are concerned with behavior change. From the perspective of radical behaviorism, behavior change implies a change in contingencies and usually, different techniques have been developed in order to change these contingencies in order to change target behaviors. From the perspective of cognitive-behavior frameworks, behavior change could be induced with the change in cognitions such as beliefs, ways of reasoning, or in general, mediational constructs. Recent developments in the interbehavioral psychology (Ribes, 2018) give rise to think on another ways to promote behavior change that imply the transformation of the ways which an individual talks o writes about his/her interactions with others by reflecting verbally on his/her own referential statements (theoretical practice). These types of interbehavioral contacts are labeled as “transformation contacts” and consist in changes in a linguistic domain in terms of its internal relations and functions, and therefore in changes of the operation rules that change the referential practices of a specific domain. This transformation takes place primarily as a linguistic practice, but, represents the emergence of dispositional circumstances to promote behavior change. A preliminary study is reported to show how these conceptual issues could be translated in the context of a clinical case.
 
 
Symposium #368
CE Offered: BACB
To Vary or not to Vary: Advances in Behavioral Variability Research
Monday, May 25, 2020
11:00 AM–12:50 PM EDT
Virtual
Area: DDA/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Clodagh Mary Murray (Emirates College for Advanced Education)
Discussant: Allen Neuringer (Reed College)
CE Instructor: Clodagh Mary Murray, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium presents some of the latest developments in behavioral variability research. The opening paper outlines a comparison of video-modelling (VM) and VM plus lag schedules to increase variability of intraverbal responses to social questions among adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Issues with generalization and maintenance of intervention outcomes and how to measure same will be discussed. The next study used lag schedules to increase variability in toy selections of children with ASD. There was an associated increase in appropriate play and decrease in stereotypy, while multiple generalization probes revealed generalization across people and settings but not stimuli. Next is a long-awaited investigation into the level of variability in activities of neurotypical preschoolers that details a novel measurement system. This study provides important information for those working on increasing variability in play and other activities in children with developmental disabilities; these are increasingly frequent topics of applied variability research. The final paper describes a basic study investigating generalization of reinforced variability in rats. In the applied field, researchers are striving to understand generalization effects of variation across multiple repertoires; this study adds to our understanding of these processes. This set of papers, together with our Discussant, the leading expert in this field, aims to address some of the many interesting questions that have been raised as more and more researchers identify behavioral variability as an important field of study.

Target Audience:

BCBAs, BCBA-Ds, anyone interested in variability in basic or applied fields.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the symposium, attendees will be able to: 1. Explain the importance of variability as a dimension of behavior, particularly when working with people with developmental disabilities 2. Describe the factors associated with generalization of reinforced variability 3. Describe two different ways to measure behavioral variability
 

Increasing Variability of Intraverbal Responses to Social Questions in Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Aibhin O'Neill (National University of Ireland Galway), CLODAGH MARY MURRAY (Emirates College for Advanced Education)
Abstract:

This study investigated the effects of video modelling alone (VM) and video modelling plus a lag 2 schedule of reinforcement (VM + lag 2) on the variability of intraverbal responses to social questions for two adults with autism. It used an alternating treatments design with embedded multiple baseline. The questions ‘How are you?’, ‘What do you like to do?’, and ‘Can you tell me something about you?’ were targeted in this study, with different questions being randomly allocated to either VM, VM + lag or best treatment conditions. Variability in responding was measured by calculating, for each session, the mean number of responses from which each one differed. For both participants, variability was higher in the VM + lag 2 condition, hence, this was used in the best treatment condition. Novel responses emerged in both treatment conditions so, while variability did not increase in the VM alone condition, participants did learn new responses from the video models. A one-month maintenance check revealed that responses to questions targeted with VM+ lag 2 were more variable than those targeted by VM alone. During generalization sessions in novel settings, variability was concordant with that observed in the training location for all questions.

 
Using Lag Schedules to Increase Variability in Toy Selections of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Megan Davis (National University of Ireland Galway), KATHERINE MARISSA CLARKE (National University of Ireland Galway), Clodagh Mary Murray (Emirates College for Advanced Education)
Abstract: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have been shown to have lower variability in their play-related behaviors than their neurotypical peers and one way this is evident is in the limited number of toys they engage with. A multiple-baseline design across participants was used to examine the impact of lag 2 and lag 3 schedules on toy-selection variability and on stereotypical behaviors during play. Results showed that all three participants displayed an increase in toy-selection variability in addition to a decrease in stereotypical behaviors and an increase in appropriate play behaviors when interacting with the toys. Maintenance checks after 1-month showed that the increase in variability was maintained by all three participants while levels of stereotypical behaviors remained low. A series of generalization probes revealed that the skills generalized across settings and staff members and, to a far lesser extent, to novel toys, though this varied by session, according to the type of toys used. The impact of the type of toys introduced during generalization probes (preferred vs non-preferred) will be discussed along with the implications of this work for researchers and clinicians.
 
Examining Variability of Item Interaction and Activity Selection in Preschool Classrooms
JARED T ARMSHAW (University of North Texas), Joseph D. Dracobly (University of North Texas), Gabriela Arias (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Creativity is a core skill that schools target beginning in early pre-school settings. To have different patterns of responding that represent different ideas, interests, fantasies, etc., one must first have a variety of ideas, interests, fantasies, etc. There is a growing body of research on methods to produce response variability. Despite this promising research, it is not clear, however, how much alternation is socially appropriate. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to develop, across a larger number of children, an understanding of the different ways children interact with activities commonly found in pre-school environments. We measured children’s repeat item interactions, novel item interactions, and allocation of time across five concurrently available activity centers. Both within and across children, there was diversity in the number of items with which children interacted and some interaction between levels of repeat item interaction and levels of novel item interaction. Although the relations were predominantly correlated with centers, there were some differences across children within some activities. We will discuss the implications for our understanding of variability and creativity within school environments, including how everyday arrangements of preschool environments may support or hinder variable responding.
 
Generalization of Variability Training Across Responses in Rats
KAILEY MORRISSEY (Utah State University), Annie Galizio (Utah State University), Jeremy Haynes (Utah State University), Diana Michelle Perez (Utah State University), Caroline Towse (Utah State University), Amy Odum (Utah State University)
Abstract: Research has shown that variability is an operant. If so, reinforced variability should translate across contexts. This study was designed to see if variability training would generalize across response topographies. Phase 1 of this experiment included rats producing four-response patterns across two nosepokes (e.g.,LRLR, where L and R indicate left and right responses). Food was delivered probabilistically during this phase, so variability was not required, and low levels of variability were observed. In Phase 2, one group of rats earned food by producing varied response sequences. The control group was yoked, meaning these rats earned food at the same rate as the experimental rats but did not have to vary. This phase showed high levels of variability for Vary rats, and low levels for Yoke rats. Phase 3 included all rats pressing levers to earn probabilistic rewards, resulting in low levels of variability. In Phase 4, all rats earned food for variable lever pressing. If Vary rats acquire variable lever pressing more quickly than Yoke rats, it is possible that variability is generalized across topographies. If so, the hypothesis that behavioral variability is an operant is supported. The results suggest limited evidence of generalization of variability across responses in rats.
 
 
Symposium #381
CE Offered: BACB — 
Supervision
Behavioral Systems Approaches to Staff Training: Effective Orientation, Onboarding, and Training Systems
Monday, May 25, 2020
12:00 PM–12:50 PM EDT
Virtual
Area: OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Shannon Biagi (Chief Motivating Officers)
CE Instructor: Shannon Biagi, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Behavior analysts work in diverse settings including clinics, centers, schools, hospitals, and other large, community-based "systems". Behavior analysts also work with a diverse population of clients (e.g., those with developmental disabilities, mental health disorders, comorbid diagnoses) and employees (e.g., direct care staff, nurses, doctors, teachers, behavior technicians, behavior analysts, administrators). Providing high-quality orientation, onboarding, and training experiences to employees with diverse experience and education requires significant development, implementation, and evaluation of these "staff training" systems to ensure the best outcomes for clients and their staff. Using a behavioral systems approach, each of the authors in this symposium will describe the orientation, onboarding, and/or training systems within their large systems while discussing the evaluation required to further inform system development.

Target Audience:

Behavior Analysts, Supervisors, Administrators

Learning Objectives: See Abstract and LOs on day of presentation
 

Evaluation of An Agency-Wide Training System to Enhance Functional Behavior Assessment Skills by Clinicians

SARAH DUNKEL-JACKSON (Centria Autism Services), Jessica Hynes (Centria Autism Services)
Abstract:

Functional Behavior Assessment is an evidence-based practice used within high-quality ABA therapy programs to assess and help treat challenging behaviors exhibited by individuals. The specific pinpoints associated with performing these skills require training and supervision of clinicians, especially in large agencies providing geographically diverse applied behavior analysis services. Several effective staff training formats exist including behavioral skills training, video modeling, and performance feedback. The efficiency with which large agencies (and even educational institutions with geographically diverse learners) provide effective staff training opportunities is of great importance to our field and the clients we serve. Using a group experimental design, the current study will explore the effectiveness of various staff training formats on the functional behavior assessment skills of clinicians who provide ABA therapy to individuals with ASD. Results will include changes in observed performance of FBA skills across indirect assessments, descriptive assessments, functional analyses, data summarization and analysis, and reporting. Clinician feedback on preference for training formats and client data will also be discussed.

 
A Systems Evaluation of Staff On-Boarding: Efficiency, Outcomes, and Design
AMY KENZER (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), Alexis N. Boglio (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Sienna VanGelder (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Abstract: Organizational growth can reveal under-developed and inadequate systems that functioned effectively when very few individuals were involved but pose challenges with larger teams. Within the applied realm, the combined need for continued growth and high turnover results in increasing demand for an effective and efficient staff on-boarding and training process. Specifically, the implementation of clear systems, staff structure, and implementation support can have a meaningful impact on the success of new employee training plans. Furthermore, when staff are introduced into an organization in a structured way and adequately trained long-term retention is increased. This presentation will provide an overview of the design and implementation of a service delivery model for conducting new staff on-boarding from the initial interview to completion of their first 90-days of employment as a Registered Behavior Technician. Following a Behavioral Systems Analysis approach, the staff on-boarding and training process was evaluated for coordination across Clinical and Human Resources departments, including feedback loops to maintain process compliance and inform further system development, and evaluation of staff performance and organizational fit to drive retention.
 

Melding Approaches: A Staff Training Model for Orienting Psychiatric Nursing and Support Staff to the Role of Applied Behavior Analysis on an Acute Inpatient Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Unit

JAMES W. JACKSON (University of Michigan Michigan Medicine)
Abstract:

While much of the early research in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) focused on individuals with mental health disorders and individuals with developmental disabilities, more recent history in ABA with individuals with developmental disabilities has flourished while its active role with those with mental health diagnoses has diminished. Additionally, there is a proliferation of comorbid diagnosis of mental health conditions for individuals with developmental disabilities such as ASD. There is also a focus on utilizing psychotropic medication as either a primary or supplementary treatment component for behavioral excesses. The current paper describes an in-service staff training model aimed at orienting psychiatric nursing and support staff to the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, and how ABA can be an integral part of a multidisciplinary approach to assessment and treatment in an acute in-patient psychiatric unit for children and adolescents. Melding a psychiatric nursing model aimed at both acute behavioral stabilization and medication assessment and management with a functional behavioral approach and the resulting barriers to integration will be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #382
CE Offered: BACB
Emotions: Is It really Possible to Teach Those With Autism Spectrum Disorder or Other Learners to Tact Inners?
Monday, May 25, 2020
12:00 PM–12:50 PM EDT
Virtual
Area: PCH/CBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: T. V. Joe Layng (Generategy, LLC)
Discussant: Richard T. Codd (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Center of WNC, PA)
CE Instructor: Richard T. Codd, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Being sensitive and understanding one’s emotions and the emotions of others is considered critical to social behavior. Some may fail to adequately develop such sensitivity and understanding without direct intervention. One such intervention is to help a learner to tact private stimuli arising from their body as a particular emotion. Such training relies upon inferring what stimuli might be accompanying certain “emotional behavior.” This approach assumes that there are readily identifiable unique private stimuli associated with such behavior. The task is to help a learner identify and name (tact) these stimuli. Another approach is to help children to identify emotions that others are experiencing based upon facial expression. It is assumed that there are readily identifiable facial expressions linked to consistent private emotions. Analysis of data from hundreds of neuroscience studies and thousands of subjects suggest both of these approaches may be flawed. This symposium will first present neuroscience data which challenge the assumption that there are unique private stimuli or brain circuitry associated with emotion, and that suggests there is no evidence that facial expressions reflect emotion. It will then suggest a formulation and interventions consistent with both these data and a consequential contingency analysis.

Target Audience:

Professional involved in the teaching or behavioral intervention with those who may be developmentally challenged, and those involved with clinical behavioral intervention.

 
How Neuroscience Informs a Behavioral Approach to Understanding Emotions
AWAB ABDEL-JALIL (University of North Texas)
Abstract: There are several assumptions about emotions: emotions have a neuronal fingerprint, emotions are expressed similarly across different people, emotions can be read on people’s faces, emotion circuits exist in the brain, neurons are triggered leading to an emotion felt, and people can be taught to tact their private emotions. A recent book by Lisa Feldman Barrett, “How Emotions are Made” (2017) addressed these assumptions and more. She cites numerous studies and large meta-analyses that found no specific or consistent neural or physiological “fingerprints” for emotions in the body. In other words, there is no consistent bodily response for individual emotions, and the same bodily response can occur across emotions. She points out that brain areas that have been demonstrated to be important for emotions are not sufficient or necessary for emotions. Emotions do not reside in the brain and they are not simply internal responses. Facial electromyography studies reveal that there is little support for facial expressions reflecting emotions. Accordingly, It may be futile to teach tacting private events, or to recognize emotions in faces.
 
Teaching the Identification of Emotions: A Consequential Contingency Analysis Approach
NOLAN WILLIAMS (Leonville Elementary School, Leonville, LA), T. V. Joe Layng (Generategy, LLC)
Abstract: Given the neuroscience data that suggest there are no unique private stimuli associated with human emotions, and no unique brain circuitry or neural “finger prints,” how can we account for the emotions we feel and our ability to infer what others may be feeling? Recently, Layng 2006; 2016; 2017) has elaborated on an approach to understanding emotions first articulated by Israel Goldiamond (1979) that is consistent with modern neuroscience data. In this approach emotions arise not as respondent behavior or as internal stimuli or states, but as descriptors of consequential contingencies, that is, they describe the contingency context in which one participates. The physiological changes take their “meaning” from this context. The same private stimuli and neural pattern may be part of separate “felt” emotions as contingencies change. Excitement under one condition may be physiologically nearly the same as anxiety or glee under another. What is “felt” is a function of the consequential contingencies. We can learn to be sensitive to our and others’ emotions by becoming sensitive to the contingencies they describe. This formulation suggests emotions can be understood, and changed, as contingencies are changed.
 
 
Symposium #383
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Applied Ethics: A Discussion of Rural Practice, International Dissemination, and Employee Reported Ethical Situations
Monday, May 25, 2020
12:00 PM–12:50 PM EDT
Virtual
Area: TBA/CSS; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jeffrey Michael Chan (Northern Illinois University)
CE Instructor: Jeffrey Michael Chan, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Credentialed behavior analysts are expected to follow the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code (BACB, 2014). The Code itself provides general and specific guidance on acceptable behavior. As the practice of behavior analysis continues to expand (i.e., number of credentialed behavior analysts, breadth of applications of the science, and depth of application within a practice area), discussion of how the Code applies to various situations and variables is important. An area of need is understanding how credentialed behavior analysts and support personnel (e.g., finance, human resource) perceive the application of the Code in practice. Understanding these perceptions can guide the profession, organizations, and individual practitioners in developing preventive and responsive ethical practices. Additionally, current practice situations (i.e., rural practice and international dissemination) warrant specific discussion and relevance to specific Codes. The purpose of this symposium is to share survey data of employees from a mid-sized human service agency regarding ethical perceptions, discuss practice of behavior analysis in rural areas, and the ethical international dissemination of behavior analysis.

Target Audience:

Practice organization administration, practitioners, university personnel responsible for training behavior analysts, supervisors of students completing fieldwork requirements, and students.

Learning Objectives: 1. Attendees will describe employees' main concerns of adhering to the Code when practicing. 2. Attendees will discuss considerations of disseminating behavior analysis internationally. 3. Attendees will discuss considerations of practicing in rural areas.
 

CANCELED: Evaluations of Ethical Perceptions in Applied Behavior Analysis

David Cox (John Hopkins University School of Medicine), SHAWN P. QUIGLEY (Melmark), Matthew T. Brodhead (Michigan State University)
Abstract:

Teaching and monitoring ethical behavior is an important aspect of training professionals and supporting practicing professionals (e.g., Brodhead, Cox, & Quigley, 2018). One method for improving the training and supports is to understand areas of concern experienced by trainees and professionals. This knowledge allows for refined training and support in areas of most need. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the perceptions of people, who work in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, have about Applied Behavior Analysis. In general, investigators sought to understand the needs of people working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis in order to develop new training practices, or to improve upon current training practices.

 

Ethics in Rural Settings: Special Considerations and Implications

R. NICOLLE NICOLLE CARR (University of Oklahoma)
Abstract:

The practice of Applied Behavior Analysis in rural communities provides ample fodder for unique situations and ethical code violations. Surveys were sent to Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) in the state of Oklahoma, a state with only 103 certified individuals, regarding ethical codes most observed to be violated. In addition to few practitioners in the state, almost 80% of Oklahoma’s certificants live within a 20 mile radius from two main hubs of service delivery. This leaves a small number to provide services for the rest of the state's mostly rural areas. Results of the survey indicate multiple relationships, poor supervision and boundary of competence as the greatest areas of concern. Aside from the short supply of supervisors putting a strain on the supervisee: supervisor ratio, other possible variables that contribute to these violations include a lack of resources within the schools, physical distance to other BCBAs for referrals, working in tight knit communities, and within a culture that defaults to the use of punishment procedures. Knowing the most violated codes within a particular community allows preventative strategies to be implemented. In this case, having a network of mentors, holiday gift reminders, and strict practices for social media are a few of those suggested for our rural practioners.

 
Ethics Internationally: The Need for Responsible and Sustainable Dissemination
JACOB SADAVOY (PENDING)
Abstract: As of December 2018, 94.8% of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBAs) lived in North America according to the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) Registry. 95.3% of the world population is outside North America and the prevalence of Autism internationally is 1 in 160 (WHO, 2018). Here lies the challenge of disseminating the science internationally when the vast majority of credentialed clinicians, research, and course sequences are available to those living in North America. The challenge is further compounded in countries in which English is not widely spoken. Effective dissemination in foreign countries provides a unique challenge with respects to adhering to our ethical code with careful consideration to many implications such as: scope of competence, cultural humility, an effective and sustainable supervisory service model, resource limitations, stakeholder engagement and solicitation of clients, and conforming to a different set of laws and regulations. With access to pseudoscientific “treatments” online coupled with anecdotal information condemning Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) on the rise, sustainable dissemination of ABA internationally is of crucial importance for prospective clients seeking evidence-based treatment.
 
 
Symposium #384
CE Offered: BACB
Expanding the Summit: Advancements in PEAK Relational Training System Applications
Monday, May 25, 2020
12:00 PM–12:50 PM EDT
Virtual
Area: VRB/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Ryan C. Speelman (Pittsburg State University)
CE Instructor: Ryan C. Speelman, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The current symposium is a synthesis of efforts at various points in the Relational Training System assessment and curriculum. The first talk provides a conceptualization as to how we might make better-informed decisions relative to program selection and intervention approaches in the context of PEAK using a case conceptualization tool. The second talk investigates relationships between derived relational responding and executive processing deficits in children. Finally, we highlight pre-post change scores relative to the PEAK Comprehensive Assessment for children diagnosed with autism given exposure to PEAK in a special education context. Implications and utility of these findings are discussed.

Target Audience:

beginning-intermediate behavior analysts

Learning Objectives: Describe how single-case experimental designs can be embedded within applied work. Discuss the relationship between derived relational responding and executive processing deficits in children Define a case conceptualization model to increase implementer self-efficacy during PEAK.
 

Pre-Post PEAK-CA Changes Following Three Months of Instruction in a Special Education Setting

LINDSEY DENNIS (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University)
Abstract:

The PEAK Relational Training System contains a comprehensive assessment and curriculum designed to target global language and cognitive skills in children with autism and related disabilities. Although research on PEAK has grown considerably, more research is needed within applied contexts in which this tool is likely to be utilized. We conducted PEAK at a special education school over the course of 3 months with 5 children with autism. PEAK instructions was systematically embedded within their school day for up-to 2 hours, supplementing other instructional strategies. The efficacy of PEAK instruction was evaluated using a multiple baseline across skills experimental design, replicated across the 5 children. We overview how this design can be embedded within any applied setting, allowing for the on-going experimental analysis of behavior within sacrificing assurance that children are receiving on-going effective education. In addition, we conducted the PEAK Comprehensive Assessment at the onset of the study and following 3 moths of training, where the PCA provides an estimate of global repertiores across direct training, generalization, equivalence, and relational learning skill sets. Results suggested a significant increase in PCA scores across all participants.

 

Executive Functioning and Construct Validity of the PEAK-CA

TAYLOR MARIE LAUER (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University)
Abstract:

Advances in Relational Frame Theory have begun to allow Applied Behavior Analytic treatments for children with autism to focus on higher-order or global repertiores of behavior. Executive functioning deficits are common in children with autism that can severely impact quality of life in several domains. We review three studies that speak to the importance of targeting executive functioning deficits in children with autism using relational training and testing procedure. The first study provides a comprehensive literature review comparing functional neurological activity when completing traditional executive functioning tasks and when deriving combinatorially entailed relations. Results suggest that common neurological processes are involved in the completion of both tasks. The second study provides another systematic review that shows an exponentiation of research utilizing derived relational responding technologies to teach new skills to children with autism within the major behavior analytic journals. The third study empirically evaluates the construct validity of the PEAK Comprehensive Assessment (PCA) as a tool to measure verbal operants and relational operants that may be related to executive functioning processes. Convergent and divergent components of the PCA are discussed in the context of developing treatments for children with autism from a Relational Frame Theory account.

 

PEAK Case Conceptualization Tool

MARY GRACE CAVALIERE (Saint Louis University), Alyssa N. Wilson (Saint Louis University), Keyana Cooke (Saint Louis University)
Abstract:

Promoting Emergence of Advanced Knowledge Relational Training System (PEAK) is a four-volume curriculum targeting Direct Training, Generalization, Equivalence, and Transformation. Research to date has shown behavioral skills training (BST) to be effective at training staff to implement PEAK. While timely, little is known about the extent to which staff’s self-efficacy (or verbal behavior about one’s competency) influences implementation of PEAK. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to determine if a thorough case conceptualization model (CCM) can increase implementer self-efficacy. The CCM was developed to establish problem solving opportunities for implementers and supervisors to use during feedback sessions. Three implementer-child dyads were subjected to a multiple-baseline design wherein implementers were first trained how to implement PEAK before starting treatment as usual (baseline). Next, participants were handed the CCM tool during the instruction phase but were not given any specific feedback on how to use it. Finally, during the feedback phase, all implementers were instructed on how to use the CCM and how to derive feedback from it. Throughout all phases, client PEAK scores, implementation scores from staff, and self-reported self-efficacy Likert rating scale was assessed. Overall, all participants showed increase self-efficacy scores following CCM feedback. Implications will be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #384A
CE Offered: BACB
Procedural Variations for the Establishment of Stimulus Control and the Formation of Equivalence Classes
Monday, May 25, 2020
12:00 PM–12:50 PM EDT
Virtual
Area: EAB/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Danielle LaFrance (H.O.P.E. Consulting, LLC and Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Danielle LaFrance, M.S.
Abstract:

This symposium includes three talks describing procedural variations for the establishment of stimulus control and equivalence classes. The first talk describes an applied go/no-go procedure to establish simple discriminative control over selection responses in two children with autism. The second study describes an alternative method for the establishment of conditional relations between auditory-visual stimuli involving a go/no-go procedure with successive matching. Finally, the third study explored a specific parameter of matching-to-sample training in which the incorrect trial was repeated, suggesting that such procedure enhances maintenance of skills. Overall, these data have directly implications for both basic research and clinical practice

Target Audience:

Researchers and clinicians

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will learn how to implement and go/no go procedure to establish simple discriminations 2. Participants will learn about the effects of repeating the incorrect trial during establishment and maintenance of equivalence classes 3. Participants will learn how conditional relations may be established via successive MTS
 

Using a Go/No-Go Procedure to Teach Simple Discrimination to Learners With Autism

JOYCE TU (Easterseals of Southern California), Vanessa Yip (Easterseals of Southern California)
Abstract:

The current study investigated the conditions necessary for stimulus to acquire control of skill acquisition. Two learners diagnosed with autism, ages 7 and 9, both with long history of little to zero rate of skill acquisition in their ABA programs. Skinner’s (1938) successive method, “Go and no-go” stimulus control training was used to teach pre-mand training with the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). The successive method was then followed by “Go-right/go-left successive procedure” developed by Harrison (1984), and then Go-right/go-left with simultaneous stimulus presentation (Harlow, 1950). The results show that participants acquired initial discrimination of PECS icons in approximately 88 sessions and maintained the skills 3 months after the introduction of first discrimination method.

 
An Evaluation of Successive Matching-to-Sample in the Establishment of Emergent Stimulus Relations
ROBBIE HANSON (Endicott College), Karina Zhelezoglo (California State University, Sacramento), Jillian Christine Sordello (California State University, Sacramento), Vanessa Lee (California State University, Sacramento), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract: Conditional discrimination and the ability to respond conditionally to both auditory and visual stimuli are important prerequisites for a variety of skills. Matching-to-sample (MTS) procedures have been commonly used to teach conditional relations among stimuli and test for the emergence of equivalence classes. However, some individuals may lack necessary prerequisite skills to be successful with these procedures. An effective alternative is the successive matching-to-sample (S-MTS) that includes the presentation of a sample stimulus, followed by one comparison stimulus in the sample’s place. Participants are required to either touch or refrain from touching related and unrelated comparisons. Previous research has shown success with S-MTS procedures utilizing a “go” and “no-go” response requirement for visual-visual conditional relations only. In our study, eight college students learned conditional relations between auditory-visual stimuli and passed equivalence classes via S-MTS using a multiple-baseline across participants design. Participants are currently being assessed on auditory relations only. These results validate the utility of the procedure for both research and practice.
 

Effects of Repeating or Not Repeating a Trial When Errors Occur During Training of Equivalence Classes in Adults of Typical Development

Danielle Marceca (Caldwell University), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University), CHRISTOPHER COLASURDO (Caldwell University), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University), Meghan Deshais (Caldwell University)
Abstract:

To train baseline relations during equivalence class formation, match-to-sample (MTS) is commonly used. When an error occurs during training, feedback is provided but an opportunity to immediately respond a second time to the same trial following an error is typically not provided in studies with advanced learners. Although some equivalence studies within the literature incorporated the procedure of immediately repeating an incorrect trial during baseline, none has compared this to not repeating a trial when an error occurs. The present study made such a comparison. Two different sets of two 4-member equivalence classes of abstract stimuli were established with adults of typical development. Results showed that classes were established with similar accuracy, duration, and number of trials regardless of whether incorrect trials were repeated immediately following an error or not repeated. However, maintenance tests showed that the classes from the repeating a trial condition maintained at higher levels than those from the not repeating a trial condition. A social validity survey indicated that participants strongly preferred the repeating a trial condition. The implications of these results may provide clinicians with an alternative way to use stimulus equivalence-based instruction to facilitate maintenance of classes.

 
 
Panel #400
CE Offered: BACB — 
Supervision
Expanding Our Competence and Collaborations: Behavior Analysis in Mental and Medical Health
Monday, May 25, 2020
3:00 PM–3:50 PM EDT
Virtual
Area: CBM; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Teresa Camille Kolu, Ph.D.
Chair: Evelyn Gould (McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School; FirstSteps for Kids, Inc.)
TERESA CAMILLE KOLU (Cusp Emergence)
JEFF KUPFER (University of Colorado Denver)
KEN WINN (Firefly Autism)
Abstract:

Behavior analysis can bring together multidisciplinary teams responsible for effective programming for diverse clients with concurrent mental health and medical diagnoses. Even so, the early experiences of many ABA program participants and supervisees are characterized by exposure to only a small slice of the many client populations who could benefit from ABA. This panel assembles professionals, professors, and practitioners spanning community practice, medical and university environments to address audience questions on the intersection between behavior analysis and treatment of behavior related to mental health. Discussion points will include answers to recent questions posed by community members and students to university professors and those disseminating behavior analysis on social media, including: What ethical considerations are involved as I treat behavior in a person with concurrent mental health diagnoses? How do we form effective collaborations in mental health and medical hospital settings? How does behavior analysis look in an interdisciplinary environment, and how can I expand my boundaries of competence related to more diverse settings?

Target Audience:

Intermediate skill behavior analysis level

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will state actions that behavior analysts can take to collaborate more effectively in multidisciplinary contexts 2. Audience members will give examples of ways behavior analysis applies to supervision settings where mental health diagnoses interact with behavioral health 3. Participants will state ways to expand boundaries of competence in practicing in mental and medical health settings
 
 
Symposium #403
CE Offered: BACB
Expanding the Use of Assessment Tools: Clinical Applications to OBM and OBM to Health Behaviors
Monday, May 25, 2020
3:00 PM–3:50 PM EDT
Virtual
Area: OBM/CSS; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jonpaul D. Moschella (California State University, Fresno)
Discussant: Denys Brand (California State University, Sacramento)
CE Instructor: Marianne L. Jackson, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Many assessment tools have been developed to assess a specific range of behaviors with specific populations. In addition, they often have a substantial body of research supporting their effectiveness to do so. Two examples of this are Functional Analysis (FA) methodology and the Performance Diagnostic Checklist (PDC), with the former most commonly used with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to assess significant behavioral excesses, and the latter most commonly used with adults in organizations to assess barriers to effective work performance. Such tools may have greater utility outside of these immediate areas and this symposium will present two examples of such expansion. The first presentation will discuss the use of FA procedures with 10 individuals on a simple data-entry task. Results suggest that the various antecedent and consequence variables presented were not differentially effective and that goal setting and rule-governed behavior may be responsible for the maintenance of behavior. The second presentation will discuss the use of the PDC to improve the health behaviors of four athletes. The resulting interventions produced some mixed results and the implications and future directions will be discussed. The symposium will conclude with some comments and thoughts from our esteemed discussant.

Target Audience:

Practicing BCBAs, BCBAs who are administrators or supervise others, BCBAs practicing in areas of health behaviors or in the areas of sports performance

Learning Objectives: 1) Attendees will be able to describe the uses and variations of feedback 2) Attendees will be able to describe the use of a functional analysis to examine behaviors other than problem behavior 3) Attendees will be able to describe how the PDC can be used to assess the function of performance problems in athlete executive health behaviors
 
WTF(F): What’s the Function of Feedback?
MARIANNE L. JACKSON (California State University, Fresno), Jonpaul D. Moschella (California State University, Fresno), Vanessa Gowett (California State University, Fresno), Alexis Barajas (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract: Feedback is a widely used, but poorly understood, intervention in behavior analysis. Current research has noted a lack of clarity in how feedback is defined in terms of basic principles and a need to examine it in terms of the functions it serves. The current study utilized a functional analysis methodology to examine the effects of feedback on a simple data-entry task. This occurred as positive reinforcement, in the form of brief praise and/or money on gift cards, negative reinforcement in the form of escape from mild reprimands, and nonsocial forms of reinforcement. Participants were 10 undergraduate students, aged 20-33, and the effects were examined using a multielement design. Data suggest that the various forms of feedback did not have differential effects on performance, with all participants performing similarly across all conditions. This suggests that possible rule governance, specifically goal setting, alone may have been responsible for performance, regardless of the direct contingencies arranged by the experimenters.
 
Extending the Performance Diagnostic Checklist to Assessing Health Behaviors in Athletes
ISABELLA MARIA CAMELLO TAN (University of Southern California FirstSteps for Kids), Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
Abstract: Applied behavior analysis methods have often been used in the field of sports. Intervention packages have been created to facilitate acquisition of new skills, improve techniques for existing skills, and promote better practice and competition behaviors. Though the efficacy of ABA techniques has been demonstrated multiple times, there is a paucity of research regarding assessment in sports. The Performance Diagnostic Checklist (PDC) is an assessment tool often used in organizational settings to identify barriers to efficient performance. This study aims to determine the utility of the PDC for improving health behaviors among athletes. Using a multiple baseline design, interventions based on the PDC are being evaluated with individuals who play sports. The interventions are expected to increase engagement in the target behavior chosen by the participants. Four people are participating in the study – two currently in the intervention phase, and two in the baseline phase. The intervention has produced mixed results thus far. Implications and future directions will be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #406
CE Offered: BACB
Behavior Analysis Around the World: Examples of Poland, Ecuador and Armenia
Monday, May 25, 2020
3:00 PM–3:50 PM EDT
Virtual
Area: TBA/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: M. Fernanda Welsh (InTouch Behavioral Services)
CE Instructor: M. Fernanda Welsh, M.S.
Abstract:

Behavior Analysis is a fast growing field, not only in the US, where it originated, but also around the world. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) has become a widely accepted certification body both within the US and in many other countries. This not only creates opportunities for Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) to find employment in various parts of the world, but also for professional organizations from around the world to standardize basic requirements for individuals who practice behavior analysis. The increasing acceptance of the BCBA certification abroad is reflected in the growing number of BCBAs practicing outside of the US as well as in the fact that the BCBA exam is now offered in an increasing number of languages. In addition to the BCBA certification, there are many other professional organizations who regulate the practice of behavior analysts in countries other than the United States. The profession of Behavior Analysts in various countries is shaped by variables such as local laws, licensure or certification processes, and funding sources. This panel will provide an overview of the field in Poland, Ecuador and Armenia.

Target Audience:

BCBAs, BCaBAs, and other certified or licensed professionals

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will describe three differences in acquiring, maintaining and providing supervision for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst certification and the Polish Behavioral Therapist Certification. 2. Participants will describe three strategies to increase effectiveness when implementing a behavioral skills training approach in a different country. 3. Participants will describe three factors for consideration regarding the barriers to dissemination of applied behavior analysis in developing countries. 4. Participants will describe three strategies for raising awareness about developmental disabilities. 5. Participants will describe three strategies for dissemination of ABA-based practices in a different country. 6. Participants will describe three ethical and practical considerations in the dissemination of ABA-based practices in different countries.
 
Behavior Analysis in Poland
KINGA WOLOS-ZACHMEIER (The ABRITE Organization), Przemyslaw Babel (Jagiellonian University )
Abstract: The history of Behavior Analysis in Poland reaches as far back as the early 1930s, when studies on operant and respondent conditioning were being conducted at Polish Universities. With the exception of World War Two, the science of behavior continued to advance in Poland throughout the decades. However, many early studies are not available to the broader behavioral analytic community due to lack of translations. In recent years, the field has experienced rapid growth, just as in the United States. While very few individuals hold certification granted by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, hundreds practice Behavior Analysis and hold the Polish Behavioral Therapist Certification. The presentation will summarize the development of Behavior Analysis in Poland, highlighting the most significant events, and will draw a picture the current state of the field. Additionally, a comparison between the credentials of Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Polish Behavioral Therapist Certification, including differences in requirements and maintenance, will be presented. Areas of practice and demographics of customers served by Behavior Analysts in Poland will be discussed and compared to certificant data published by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.
 
Ecuador and Autism: An Overview of Current Services and Next Steps
M. FERNANDA WELSH (InTouch Behavioral Services), Maria Chang (Centro Enigma)
Abstract: The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in Ecuador is increasing; however, services and resources available for those in need are far and few in between. The field of behavior analysis has grown at a rapid rate in the United States in recent decades. Unfortunately, its growth has not yet reached many countries in South America, such as Ecuador. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is accepted as a research-based treatment across many different fields, more saliently in treating individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). While there are over 60 years of research to support the efficacy of ABA treatment, Ecuador still relies in non-evidence based methods to treat individuals with ASD. Furthermore, the acceptance of an autism diagnosis or identification of early signs of autism is very limited. This presentation will discuss a consultation model in behavioral skills training with a local ABA agency in Ecuador, Centro Enigma. Effective strategies, areas of need, ethical guidelines and addressing cultural differences will be at the core of this presentation that seeks to bring awareness and acceptance to an underrepresented population in Ecuador.
 
Applied Behavior Analysis, Autism, and Armenia: Issues in Dissemination in a Developing County
LUSINEH GHARAPETIAN (Pepperdine University)
Abstract: The tactics derived from Applied Behavior Analysis have widely been used to improve behavioral health outcomes of individuals with autism and developmental disabilities in the United States and Europe. As the field grows, it is necessary to expand our reach to disseminate the science of behavior to developing countries. One such country is Armenia, who gained its independence in 1991. Armenia does not currently have an affiliated ABAI chapter, and it does not have any graduate behavior analytic training programs. Resources for those with autism and behavioral disorders are minimal, with disorders often going undiagnosed due to stigmatization and lack of information. This presentation will describe the state of mental and behavioral health practices in the country, issues related to the accessibility of appropriate evidence-based services, and factors that have impacted their development, including the lack of education and financial resources. Current pathways for dissemination of ABA in Armenia, including practical and ethical factors, will be described. Recommendations will be made for wide-spread dissemination, including considerations for ensuring quality training and ethical application of ABA-based procedures in Armenia. The presentation will conclude with considerations for wide-scale application for other countries facing similar challenges with dissemination.
 
 
Symposium #421
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Medicine SIG of ABAI Presents: Pain and Wellness Research in Behavioral Medicine
Monday, May 25, 2020
4:00 PM–4:50 PM EDT
Virtual
Area: CBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Gretchen A. Dittrich (Simmons University)
Discussant: Kylan S. Turner (Simmons University)
CE Instructor: Kylan S. Turner, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Behavioral medicine is an area of research that integrates behavior analysis and biomedical sciences to change behaviors associated with health and disease states. Behavioral medicine targets may focus on disease prevention, treatment to improve health and disease states, programming to facilitate maintenance of health behavior change, and treatments targeting adherence to medical regimes. As experts in functional analysis and behavior change, behavior analysts are well-equipped to work in the area of behavioral medicine. However, only a small percentage of articles published in behavior analytic journals focus on behavioral medicine research. There is a need for behavior analysts to produce more research in the area of behavioral medicine. One of the goals of the Behavioral Medicine Special Interest Group of ABAI is to provide opportunities for students to disseminate research. The purpose of the current symposium is twofold. First, research in two different areas of behavioral medicine (i.e., increasing physical activity in sedentary adults and improving sitting posture in adults with reported low back pain) will be presented to demonstrate how doctoral students and other researchers may effectively contribute innovative applications of behavior analysis to the field to address behaviors related to pain and wellness. Secondly, a discussion will follow, which will specifically address how to begin doctoral work in behavioral medicine, and provide suggestions and guidelines for future or current students who are interested in working in the area of behavioral medicine.

Target Audience:

BCBA BCBA-D licensed behavior analysts

Learning Objectives: 1. describe the effects of feedback schedules on health behavior 2. identify variables that affect treatment adherence in physical activity research 3. describe the effects of vibrotactile feedback on sitting posture
 

Effects of Behavioral Coaching on Exercise Behavior and Adherence

JESSICA R. MIAS (Simmons University), Gretchen A. Dittrich (Simmons University), Russell W. Maguire (Simmons University)
Abstract:

b. Optimal health outcomes are positively correlated with regular exercise, yet nearly one-quarter of adults in the United States reportedly do not participate in physical activity during their free time. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of gradually faded behavioral coaching for increasing physical activity frequency and duration during the study and once the intervention ended. Participants were divided into two groups and matched according to age and body mass index. The Faded Coaching group received behavioral coaching sessions once per week for the duration of the intervention, and the other group participated in gradual fading of behavioral coaching over the course of the intervention. Results for Continuous Coaching group showed increased duration and frequency of physical activity from baseline to end of intervention. During maintenance for the Continuous Coaching group, frequency and duration of exercise decreased. Results from the Faded Coaching group showed participants increased duration and frequency of exercise while they experienced weekly coaching calls, with less of a decrease in duration and frequency of exercise when coaching sessions were faded. Interobserver agreement data were collected on weekly duration goals set during coaching sessions.

 
The Effects of Vibrotactile Feedback Schedules on the Acquisition and Maintenance of Proper Sitting Posture
BRIAN JADRO (Simmons University), Gretchen A. Dittrich (Simmons University), Ronald F. Allen (Simmons University)
Abstract: According to a National Centers for Health Statistics (2016) report, the most commonly reported pain is low back pain (LBP), with over 29% of Americans having reported experiencing this type of pain within the past three months. Despite such a large number of Americans reporting this type of pain, there are few behavior analytic studies aimed at decreasing potential pain causing variables such as poor posture. In the first experiment, aimed at measuring reliability, posture devices using accelerometers were shown to have an average reliability of 91.66%. The purpose of the current study is to examine the effectiveness of vibrotactile feedback fading procedure on the acquisition and maintenance of correct sitting posture. Initial and ongoing data for two participants, collected using the Upright Go 2 device, has shown an increase in correct sitting posture for two participants. Participant 1 showed an increase of 87.7% from baseline at the end of the 3s delay condition, and Participant 2 showed an increase of 39.1% from baseline to a 30s terminal delay probe. Additional data summarizing both a sequential and non-sequential feedback fading procedure is forthcoming.
 
 
Panel #427
CE Offered: BACB
PDS: Peer Review is Still Better Than Facebook: An Introduction to Peer Review and Some Cautions, Concerns, and Recommendations for the Consumer of Behavior Science and Behavior Analysis Information
Monday, May 25, 2020
4:00 PM–4:50 PM EDT
Virtual
Area: TBA/EDC; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Mitch Fryling, Ph.D.
Chair: Donald A. Hantula (Temple University)
MARK R. DIXON (Southern Illinois University)
MITCH FRYLING (California State University, Los Angeles)
JONATHAN J. TARBOX (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
Abstract:

This PDS features the editors of ABAI journals discussing the peer review process, its importance in science in general, and for consumers of scientific information. Panelists will describe the peer review process from article submission to addressing reviewer comments and understanding editorial decisions. The protections against misinformation that peer review offers are emphasized in this PDS.

Target Audience:

All individuals interested in the publication process.

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will describe the peer review process 2. Participants will identify reasons why peer review is more reliable than testimonials and social media endorsements 3. Participants will describe the roles of authors, reviewers and editors in the peer review process
 
 
Panel #437
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Non-Compete Agreements in Applied Behavior Analysis: Prevalence, Impact, and Ethical Considerations
Monday, May 25, 2020
5:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Virtual
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Stephen Ray Flora, Ph.D.
Chair: Stephen Ray Flora (Youngstown State University; Progressive ABA Therapy Group)
KRIS BROWN (Youngstown State University)
MARY BROWN (Youngstown State University)
STEPHEN RAY FLORA (Youngstown State University; Progressive ABA Therapy Group)
Abstract:

With its growth, the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA) is encountering practice issues ranging from negotiating insurance reimbursement, developing formal treatment guidelines, and gaining the trust of consumers. One controversial practice issue is the use of non-compete clauses (NCC’s) in employment contracts. NCC’s have the potential impact how, when, and who practitioners can serve. NCC's are used in some fields and banned in others (i.e., law practice, some human services/medical fields in some states). Although widely used in ABA businesses, to our knowledge no discussion of NCC's has occurred in our own field. Results of a recent survey and personal experiences of the panelists and audience will be used to engage the attendees in discussing practical and ethical issues related to the use of NCC's in ABA.

Target Audience:

All BACB certificants (RBT's, BCaBA's, BCBA's, BCBA-D's), individuals who work in agencies services individuals with autism or other developmental disabilities, and owners of businesses providing services to individuals with disabilities.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) state what a non-compete clause is; 2) state potential ethical implications involved with the use of non-compete clauses in ABA; 3) state potential practical/business implications of the use of non-compete clauses in ABA.
 
 
Symposium #440
CE Offered: BACB
Addressing the Needs of Neighborhoods of Concentrated Disadvantage: A Research and Policy Agenda
Monday, May 25, 2020
5:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Virtual
Area: CSS/CBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Anthony Biglan (Oregon Research Institute)
CE Instructor: Anthony Biglan, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The 2019 report of the National Academy of Medicine, Fostering Healthy Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Development in Children and Youth: A National Agenda, calls for a mobilization of the research and practice communities to address the problems of neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage. The report documents the fact that urban and rural neighborhoods of concentrated poverty have multiple problems that contribute to high levels of inter-generational poverty. The report recognizes that efforts to promote healthy development of children and youth in the U.S. will be limited if we do not address the multitude of problems in these neighborhoods. This symposium is intended to advance efforts to study how conditions in these neighborhoods can be addressed both through more interdisciplinary research and through the adoption of policies that foster more nurturing conditions in these neighborhoods. We will describe the nature of these neighborhoods, he state of research on these neighborhoods, and the public policy needed to advance research and practice on this problem.

Target Audience:

Researchers

Learning Objectives: 1. Audience members will understand the nature of neighborhoods and communities of concentrated disadvantage and why it is important to assist them in reducing poverty and social stress and promoting healthy development. 2. Audience members will be able to describe evidence-based interventions that are appropriate for neighborhoods and communities of concentrated disadvantage. 3. Audience members will understand the recommendations that the National Academy of Sciences Engineering and Medicine has made for assisting neighborhoods and communities of concentrated disadvantage and the work that the Coalition of Behavioral Science Organizations is doing to advance those recommendations.
 
The Nature and Needs of Neighborhoods of Concentrated Disadvantage
KELLY KELLEHER (Nationwide Children's Hospital )
Abstract: This paper will summarize the evidence on the proximal and distal influences that undermine successful development in neighborhoods and communities of concentrated disadvantage. These neighborhoods are characterized by high levels of poverty and single parenting and low levels of cohesion. Inter-generational poverty is common. The presentation will discuss criteria for designating a neighborhood as having concentrated disadvantage and propose a census to identify all such neighborhoods in the U.S. It will then describe the proximal and distal conditions in these neighborhoods that undermine well being. distal influences include poverty, discrimination, neighborhood disorder. The conditions increase the likelihood of stressful social interactions in families, schools, and the neighborhood. Such interactions, in turn, contribute to higher rates of psychological and behavioral problems and ultimately higher rates of premature death. The presentation will also provide a brief history of the policies and practices that led to the creation of these neighborhoods. In particular, these neighborhoods exist because of discriminatory practices such as red lining to prevent minority group members from moving into better neighborhoods.
 
The State of Research in Neighborhoods of Concentrated Disadvantage
TAMAR MENDELSON (Department of Mental Health / Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health )
Abstract: This paper will summarize the state of research on the amelioration of stressful conditions in neighborhoods and communities of concentrated disadvantage. Research to improve conditions in these areas has generally involved one of two strategies. The first strategy focuses on economic development in an effort to reduce poverty and increase employment. This might include tax incentives for investing in the neighborhood, job training, refurbishing the housing stock. The other focuses on providing programs to strengthen child and family supports for successful development. There are some efforts that combine these approaches, but they are more rare. Strategies also vary in the degree to which they help the neighborhood to develop cohesion and leadership. The presentation will highlight examples of progress being made. It will describe the potential of existing prevention and treatment programs to improve well being in these neighborhoods. It will also describe methodological and other challenges in measuring community conditions and evaluating the impact of developmental strategies.
 
Public Policy Needed to Advance Research and Practice in Neighborhoods and Communities of Concentrated Disadvantage
ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute)
Abstract: This paper will present the recommendations of the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine committee regarding the research that is needed to ameliorate problems in neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage. In its recent report, Fostering Healthy Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Development in Children and Youth, it called attention to the fact that mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders are concentrated in neighborhoods and communities of concentrated disadvantage. Efforts to reduce the high levels of child poverty and the academic and social failure that are associated with it will fail if we do not increase our efforts to ameliorate the conditions that undermine child and adolescent development in these urban and rural areas of disadvantage. The Coalition of Behavioral Science Organizations had decided to see if it can contribute to the aims of the NASEM report. The coalition consists of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, the Association for Positive Behavior Support, the Evolution Institute, the National Prevention Science Coalition, and the Society for Behavioral Medicine. This presentation will report on the steps being taken and planned to get policies adopted which increase support for research and evidence-based efforts to assist these neighborhoods and communities of concentrated disadvantage improving the wellbeing of all members of the community.
 
 
Symposium #444
CE Offered: BACB
Running Low on Time? Practical Strategies for Training School Staff
Monday, May 25, 2020
5:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Virtual
Area: EDC/OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Charis Lauren Wahman (Michigan State University)
Discussant: Charis Lauren Wahman (Michigan State University)
CE Instructor: Charis Lauren Wahman, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Novice teachers and unlicensed classroom staff (aides or paraprofessionals) may not have sufficient training in evidence based practices to instruct, assess, and engage diverse learners. High teacher and staff turn-over negatively effects students and is costly to schools across the country. There is a high cost associated with finding, hiring, and training a new staff (Milanowski & Odden, 2007). School districts need to identify evidence-based strategies and provide effective training to keep novice teachers in the classroom. Teacher preparation programs provide limited instruction on classroom management strategies and school districts are left with the challenge of providing thorough and on-going professional development. Additionally, there is often limited time or opportunity for paraprofessionals to receive training in evidence based teaching and behavior reduction strategies, which puts time at a premium for any training which paraprofessionals do receive (Giangrecco, Suter, & Doyle, 2010). Schools need efficient and effective means to train classroom staff in evidence based practices. This presentation provides 3 examples of effective and efficient procedures for training school staff novel skills. First, we will review data from a study that used Behavior Skills Training (BST) and alternating methods of objective and evaluative feedback to increase the rate of behavior specific praise with novice teachers. The next presenter will examine the effects of BST for paraprofessionals on prompting and contriving communication exchanges with students who use augmentative and alternative communication devices. Finally, we will share the results of a workshop that included lecture, a card game, and video modeling to teach paraprofessionals how to conduct three conditions of a functional analysis.

Target Audience:

Practitioners, graduate students, and teachers

 
Comparative Effects of Feedback Before and After Instruction to Increase Novice Teacher’s Specific Praise and Student Behavior
CAITLIN CRISS (Ohio State University), Sheila R. Alber-Morgan (The Ohio State University), Moira Konrad (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Classroom management is a significant challenge for teachers, especially novice teachers who report classroom management as their greatest need for professional development. This challenge may lead to high teacher turn-over which negatively impacts student achievement and school culture. Teacher preparation programs provide limited instruction on classroom management strategies and school districts are left with the challenge of providing thorough and on-going professional development. Behavior skills training (BST) is an empirically based method for training new skills that uses the principles of applied behavior analysis. Additionally, researchers have well documented that behavior specific praise is an effective classroom management strategy. The present study used BST to increase the rate of behavior specific praise with novice teachers. Once trained, teachers received objective and evaluative feedback on their rate of specific praise in the classroom setting. Additionally, students’ on-task behavior was measured to determine if a functional relationship exists between an increase in behavior specific praise by the teacher and student on-task behavior. An alternating treatments design measured the effectiveness of the feedback when it was provided prior to a teaching performance or immediately after a lesson.
 
Behavior Skills Training for Paraprofessionals Prompting Students with Complex Communication Needs to use Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices
ERIC ANDERSON (Ohio State University )
Abstract: Communication is a fundamental right and is crucial to full participation in daily life. For students with developmental and intellectual disabilities with complex communication needs (CCN), communication opportunities can be hindered by skill deficits and competing challenging behaviors. These same students are often further isolated from communication opportunities with placement in restrictive 1:1 settings. These 1:1 settings do; however, provide an opportunity to practice communication skills, which can serve to decrease deficits, and simultaneously decrease challenging behavior. In this study, we used a multiple probe design to test the effects of Behavior Skills Training (BST) for paraprofessionals increasing the opportunities to initiate and respond to communication for their students with CCN who used augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices. Further, we trained paraprofessionals to use least-to-most prompting strategies to increase students’ fluency with AAC devices and measured the effects of increased student communication on challenging behavior. Results and recommendations for staff training, are discussed.
 
Teaching Paraprofessionals to Conduct Functional Analysis Conditions
RON DEMUESY (Dublin City Schools), Kimberly Jones (Dublin City Schools )
Abstract: The present project examined methods for training five paraprofessionals to conduct functional analysis conditions. First, the participants were given written instructions on how to complete the conditions. Second, they participated in a ninety-minute workshop that included a brief lecture, a functional analysis card game and a video of simulated conditions. Results indicated that all participants met the established treatment criterion. In addition, two participants meet the treatment criterion based on data probes while they conducted the conditions with actual students. Implications for training paraprofessionals in an applied setting in high level skills are discussed.
 
 
Symposium #445
CE Offered: BACB
Ready, Set, GOAL! Applications of Goal Setting and Performance Feedback Across Populations, Behaviors, and Settings
Monday, May 25, 2020
5:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Virtual
Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Janice Frederick (The ABRITE Organization)
CE Instructor: Janice Frederick, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Goal setting has utilized across populations and settings to promote behavior change. An extensive literature documents the effectiveness of goal setting to increase a myriad of desirable behaviors including physical activity, academic responding, vocational task completion and beyond. Relatively fewer studies have involved the use of goal setting to decrease or eliminate responding. Performance feedback has been demonstrated to enhance the effects of goal setting. The current symposium examines utilization of goal setting and performance feedback with varied populations and target behaviors. First, a study examining the impact of goal setting and text message feedback on daily step counts of participants employed by a behavioral health organization will be presented. Next, the outcomes obtained for general education students exposed to a treatment package involving goal setting and daily feedback will be discussed. Finally, an analysis of the effectiveness of goal-setting combined with performance feedback and differential reinforcement of diminishing rates of behavior for decreasing challenging behavior exhibited by students with autism in a school setting will be discussed.

Target Audience:

Behavior Analysts and students

Learning Objectives: 1. Attendees will be able to describe components of behavioral intervention package designed to improve students’ academic performance. 2. Attendees will be able to describe the effects of vocal, written, and/or visual performance feedback methods methods on student goal performance. 3. Attendees will be able to list key elements of intervention based on Differential Reinforcement of Diminishing Rates.
 
Decreasing Challenging Behavior in School Setting with a Combination of Goal-Setting, Performance Feedback, and Differential Reinforcement of Diminishing Rates of Behavior Without Extinction
Kinga Wolos-Zachmeier (The ABRITE Organization), SAM GARCIA (The ABRITE Organization)
Abstract: A growing body of research has demonstrated the effectiveness of goal-setting and performance feedback for increasing various desirable behaviors. The purpose of the current study is to determine the effectiveness of goal-setting combined with performance feedback and differential reinforcement of diminishing rates of behavior for decreasing challenging behavior in a school setting. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants design was employed. Participants 1 and 2, both 11 years old and diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, were both fully included in general education classrooms in two public schools. Participant 3, 17 years old, was attending a non-public school. All participants had engaged in disruptive behaviors throughout the school day. The intervention was effective in significantly decreasing the rate of challenging behavior for all three participants. Challenges specific to delivering ABA services in a school setting will be discussed along with limitations of this study and possible future directions.
 

The Present, Positive, Participant Project: Outcomes for General Education Students Exposed to a Behavior Analytic Intervention Package

Janice Frederick (The ABRITE Organization), CAITLIN ELIZABETH MANNING (The ABRITE Organization), Marlena Jacobson (The ABRITE Organization)
Abstract:

This study examined the effectiveness of goals setting, behavioral contracting, performance feedback, and a reinforcement contingency on goal mastery for general education students ranging from the elementary to high school levels. Each of the 13 participants had ended the preceding school year with a failing grade in one more core academic subjects. In addition to a failing grade, participants were identified by school site team administrators as students of ‘concern’ due to poor attendance, limited classroom engagement, and/or failure to complete homework. During the initial intervention phase, participants worked with a ‘coach’ to set a goal related to performance in a specific core academic subject. Participants received daily feedback related to their goal via paper, email, or text message depending on grade level and each attended a brief weekly meeting with a ‘coach’ during which they received feedback via a graph of their performance relate to their goals. Goal specific measures included percentage of weekly assignments submitted, percentage scores on homework submitted, and overall grade percentages. A component analysis was initiated with 3 of the final participants to examine the effects of each component of the intervention package. Overall results indicate that this relatively low-cost and minimally invasive intervention was effective in increasing student performance on goal related tasks.

 
The Effects of Goal Setting and Daily Feedback from a Coach on Number of Steps Taken by Users of Activity Trackers
Kinga Wolos-Zachmeier (The ABRITE Organization), SEAN GALE KOTZMAN (The ABRITE Organization), Caitlin Elizabeth Manning (The ABRITE Organization), Kellie Bohlke (The ABRITE Organization), Agueda Maria Flores Silva (The ABRITE Organization)
Abstract: Sedentary lifestyle has been linked to multiple health problems. Use of activity trackers is increasing, however research has shown that wearing an activity tracker alone is not always effective in increasing physical activity. The current study employed a concurrent multiple baseline across participants design to determine whether daily goal setting and feedback delivered via text message from an anonymous coach would increase participants’ daily step counts. The three participants, who had already used an activity tracker, were recruited from employees of The ABRITE Organization. The results suggest that the intervention was effective in increasing average daily steps for all three participants. However, the increase in steps from baseline to intervention varied between participants and between days of the week. Possible explanation of the results, the limitations of the current study, and implications for future research will be discussed.
 
 
Panel #448
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Don’t Pigeonhole Me Inside a Hexagon! Acceptance and Commitment Training is Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 25, 2020
5:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Virtual
Area: TBA; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Adam DeLine Hahs, Ph.D.
Chair: Michael DeLaet (PENDING)
ADAM DELINE HAHS (Arizona State University)
EMILY SANDOZ (University of Louisiana Lafayette)
ALYSSA N. WILSON (Saint Louis University)
Abstract:

The ways in which Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) is made accessible for individuals within mainstream ABA are predominantly couched in the ACT "hexaflex". The current panel discussion will highlight other, potentially viable conceptualizations of facilitating competence regarding ACT's core processes for practicing behavior analysts. Further, we aim to tether objective process and outcome measures to the core processes such that practitioners may be better equipped to confidently use ACT within their efforts to promote habilitation in the individuals with whom they work. Finally, we seek to demystify stigma around ACT as being unethical in behavior analysis.

Target Audience:

Beginning-Advanced BACBs/behavior analysts; graduate students of behavior-analytic programs

Learning Objectives: 1. Attendees will be able to describe the ethical importance of remaining conceptually systematic in ABA, even when working with typically developing adult verbal behavior 2. Attendees will be able to describe how practical procedures from the ACT literature work in terms of behavioral principles 3. Attendees will be able to give practical examples of how intervening upon typically developing adults’ verbal behavior in the moment can affect that person’s socially meaningful overt behaviors outside of that session
 
 
Symposium #450
CE Offered: BACB
Verbal Behavior: From Private to Public
Monday, May 25, 2020
5:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Virtual
Area: VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Sandhya Rajagopal (Florida Institute of Technology)
CE Instructor: Sandhya Rajagopal, M.S.
Abstract:

In this symposium, the authors will discuss topics related to both private and public verbal behavior. The first presenter compared skill acquisition rates across two different conditions: similar versus different response topographies across operants. Results showed that the participants acquired skills in fewer trials during the similar-responses teaching condition when compared to the different-responses teaching condition. The second presenter will discuss a literature review examining three types of private events--emotions, non-pain sensations, and pain--studied in six behavior analytic journals. Studies were coded according to the publishing journal, a decade of publication, population, dependent and independent variables, nature of privacy, and data collection methods used. The final presenter will discuss mnemonic recognition from a behavior analytic perspective. He will argue that the relevant response is covert, more specifically a discriminated sensory/perceptual response, and that such responses can acquire divergent stimulus functions, both 1) functioning as a reinforcer and 2) changing the probability of emission of subsequent responses.

Target Audience:

Clinicians interested in Verbal Behavior

Learning Objectives: 1. Audience members will be able to describe multiple operant training. 2. Audience members will be able to describe the three types of private events studies in behavior analytic journals. 3. Audience members will be to describe the behavior analytic perspective of mnemonic recognition.
 

Effects of Multiple Operant Training Across Similar and Different Response Topographies

Ashley Felde (Florida Tech), KATIE NICHOLSON (Florida Institute of Technology), Michael Passage (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

This study compared skill acquisition rates across two different conditions in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The first condition presented similar response topographies across different operants, including tacts, intraverbals, and listener selection responses (e.g., “chocolate” taught as a tact, intraverbal, and listener selection response). The second condition presented different response topographies across the operants (e.g., “tea” taught as a tact, “milk” taught as an intraverbal and “sugar” taught as a listener selection response). Secondary measures included functional independence of the operant classes and children’s teaching condition preference. We used an adapted alternating treatment design embedded in a nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants to examine rates of skill acquisition. Results showed that the participants acquired skills in fewer trials during the similar-responses teaching condition when compared to the different-responses teaching condition. The participants did not show generalization across the operants, supporting prior research on the functional independence of the operants. The participants showed idiosyncratic preferences for the two teaching conditions.

 
Private Events in Behavior Analysis: A Review
KATIE NICHOLSON (Florida Institute of Technology), Sandhya Rajagopal (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Private events have been defined as verbal responses involving private stimuli, covert responses, or both. Although there has been debate over whether private events belong in a science of behavior due to fundamental inaccessibility, behavior analysts have conducted experimental studies involving private events and their public correlates. Understanding variables influencing emission of language related to private events becomes especially important when considering special populations, such as individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The present literature review examined three types of private events--emotions, non-pain sensations, and pain--studied in six behavior analytic journals. Studies were coded according to the publishing journal, decade of publication, population, dependent and independent variables, nature of privacy, and data collection methods used. Additionally, studies were grouped by contribution to components culminating in teaching tacts of private events, including definition, measurement, discrimination, emitting collateral responses, and tacting private events. Areas of need as well as future directions are discussed.
 
Mnemonic Recognition and the Defective Contingency
DANIELE ORTU (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Mnemonic recognition can be puzzling from a behavior analytic perspective. What appears to be a simple exposure to a visual stimulus now, may allow a person to differentially respond to that same stimulus a week later, compared to a set of newly presented stimuli. The repertoire appears to be very sensitive to changes in stimulus control, in the absence of the emission of an overt response. More specifically, in the example described above, the antecedent part of the three-term contingency is clearly identifiable, while the response and the consequence are not. We argue here that the response is covert, more specifically a discriminated sensory/perceptual response, and that such response can acquire divergent stimulus functions: e.g., both 1) functioning as a reinforcer and 2) changing the probability of the emission of subsequent responses. The provided behavioral interpretation is discussed in light of neuroanatomical considerations and Palmer's concept of the repertoire (2009).
 

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