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.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Symposium #205
CE Offered: BACB
Investigations in Joint Control: Selection, Sequencing, and Delayed Match-To-Sample
Sunday, May 24, 2015
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
217A (CC)
Area: VRB/TPC; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Stephen Ray Flora (Youngstown State University)
CE Instructor: Stephen Ray Flora, Ph.D.
Abstract: Since Lowenkron's original research on Joint Control in 1984, experiments have analyzed the role of mediation, typically echoic mediation, in evoking selection and other complex behaviors. In a Joint Control paradigm, a response is controlled simultaneously by two sources of stimulus control, which has also been characterized as a descriptive autoclitic (Palmer, 2006). This symposium will focus on new developments on joint control including recent extensions of the literature, as well as future directions still requiring further investigation. Three experiments will be presented: 1. The effect of mediation in a foreign language on facilitating a sequencing task in typically developing adults, 2. The effect of textual, tact, and echoic training on the selection responses of children with autism, and, 3. The effect of echoic training on delayed match-to-sample performance in typically developing preschool children. In sum, the presentations will highlight three areas of application for joint control research. Assumptions underlying the premise of Joint Control will also be discussed and present future opportunities for debate.
Keyword(s): Joint Control, mediation, stimulus control, Verbal Behavior
Delayed Match-To-Sample in Preschool Children
THOMAS RATKOS (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: In delayed match-to-sample (DMTS) tasks, a sample stimulus is shown and then removed for some period of time before comparison stimuli are presented. Joint control theory (Lowenkron, 1984, 1988, 1991, 1998, 2006) explains correct selections on delayed match-to-sample tasks in terms of the joint control of behavior by the comparison stimulus and a repeated word or words originating from the sample stimulus. Eight children ages 3 to 6 were exposed to a DMTS task with visual stimuli using a 15s delay. During training, children were taught to name the stimulus cards and then repeat the name of the target stimulus card. It was observed that after training children were able to select the correct stimuli after a delay before they reached phases designed to teach covert mediation. Correct performance persisted when delays were increased and distractor cards were introduced. During the delays, some participants were observed to stop attending to the task and talk about other subjects and still choose correctly, suggesting that verbal rehearsal was not needed for correct responding. These results are interpreted in terms of latent responses and the discriminability of response strength.
The Effect of Joint Control Training on the Acquisition and Durability of a Sequencing Task
ALLISON DEGRAAF (CUSP. L.L.C), Henry D. Schlinger (California State University, LA)
Abstract: Gutierrez (2006) experimentally demonstrated the effects of joint control and particularly the role of response mediation in the sequencing behavior of adults using an unfamiliar language. The purpose of the current study was to replicate and extend the procedures used by Gutierrez by comparing the effects of joint control training with the effects of a prompt-and-fade procedure on the acquisition of a sequencing task. The effects of each procedure on delayed sequencing behavior were also tested. Ten undergraduate students participated in 2 experiments. The results indicated that all participants acquired the sequencing response in fewer trials and maintained accurate delayed responding when the component responses necessary for joint control were directly taught. Finally, when the self-echoic mediation component was blocked, accurate responding deteriorated in 8 of 10 participants.
The Role of Textual, Tact, and Echoic Behavior in the Acquisition of a Selection Response
AMANDA GROOS (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Henry D. Schlinger (California State University, LA)
Abstract: Previous studies on joint control (e. g., Lowenkron, 1988; Gutierrez, 2006; DeGraaf & Schlinger, 2012) have evaluated the role of response mediation in complex behavior. The current study evaluated the role of textual (Participant 1), tact (Participant 2) and echoic (both participants) behavior in the acquisition of a selection response in two children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The purpose of the current study was twofold: to examine the role of joint control of a selection response by textual/tact and echoic operants, and to determine whether teaching one or both components is sufficient to evoke a selection response. Results demonstrated that both components of joint control were necessary for the participants to perform the selection response. Additionally, the current study evaluated performance on a selection response when the self-echoic component was blocked. Performance on a selection response deteriorated when the self-echoic component was blocked, further supporting the role of echoic behavior in complex behavior.



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