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 #336
CE Offered: BACB
What Do We Do About Errors? Empirically Evaluating Error Correction Techniques in Discrete Trial Training and Discrimination Training
Monday, May 25, 2015
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
217D (CC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutger)
CE Instructor: Robert W. Isenhower, Ph.D.
Abstract: Although errorless teaching strategies are often used during Discrete Trial Training (DTT) and discrimination training to reduce the likelihood of error commission, errors will inevitably occur. Therefore, in this symposium we will examine the effectiveness of different error correction procedures on the acquisition of receptive and expressive discrete trial targets and simple discrimination targets. At the heart of Applied Behavior Analytic teaching methods is the stimulus consequence provided contingent upon engaging in behavior. Most frequently, when the target behavior is emitted, a reinforcing consequence is delivered. However, when other behavior is emitted (e.g., incorrect responding) consequences can take on a variety of forms. The most common of these consequences are the absence of the reinforcing consequence delivered for target behavior (i.e., differential reinforcement) or some form of error correction (e.g., follow-up prompted trials, corrective feedback, informational feedback, remediation, etc.) that serves to increase the likelihood of correct responding on future trials. Implications for implementing and individualizing error correction techniques in discrete trial training and discrimination training across learners with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities will be discussed.
Keyword(s): Discrete Trials, Discrimination Training, Error Correction
Comparing Variations of Discrete Trial Teaching for Children Diagnosed with Autism
DONNA TOWNLEY-COCHRAN (Autism Partnership Foundation), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership Foundation), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Abstract: Discrete trial teaching (DTT) is a procedure widely used to teach new skills to children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). One component of DTT that warrants further analysis is the feedback given to children when they engage in an incorrect response. The purpose of this presentation is to present data from a study conducted to evaluate and compare two variations of feedback within DTT: corrective plus informative feedback versus informative feedback only. Utilizing an alternative treatment design nested into a multiple baseline design across participants, we sought to specifically evaluate which DTT variation resulted in quicker skill acquisition and how each variation affected the maintenance of expressive or receptive labels. Six children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder participated in this study. Three participants would be characterized as lower functioning and three would be considered higher functioning. We will be presenting data on skill acquisition, efficiency to mastery of the two procedures, and maintenance data. Analysis will be conducted within each participant and across high functioning and lower functioning participants. Future areas for research as well as clinical implications will also be discussed.

A Comparison of Error Correction Procedures for Teaching Receptive Identification Items in Discrete Trial Training

LARA M. DELMOLINO GATLEY (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Kate E. Fiske Massey (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University ), Meredith Bamond (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)

Despite the common use of errorless procedures, occasional errors will inevitably occur during instruction within Discrete Trial Training (DTT). Therefore, empirically testing and validating error correction techniques used in DTT is important for the development of best clinical practices. In the current paper, we empirically compare error correction procedures for teaching receptive identification in three learners with autism spectrum disorder. For each learner a try again procedure was utilized in the context of a three-choice discrimination task. This procedure allowed a learner to make up to two additional attempts to respond correctly, without prompts, after making an error. For each learner, this procedure was compared to a previously successful error correction procedure: either, 1.) a prompted follow-up trial or 2.) the delivery of corrective information (i.e., this is the _____) without the requirement of a follow-up response. We found that the more effective error correction strategy was idiosyncratic to each learner. Implications for individualizing error correction procedures across learners with autism spectrum disorder and developmental disabilities will be discussed.

Using Stimulus Re-Presentation to Facilitate Discrimination Training in an Individual with Autism
KATE E. FISKE MASSEY (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University ), Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: The ability to discriminate between stimuli involves a complex set of skills that many individuals with autism have difficulty acquiring, generalizing, and maintaining. The use of differential reinforcement, or providing reinforcement for responding to the positive comparison (S+) and not to the negative comparison (S-), is a common means of teaching discriminations. However, the absence of reinforcement upon error commission may not be salient to some learners, and criterion levels of responding may not be attained solely through the use of differential reinforcement. In a visual simple discrimination task, we examined the use of stimulus re-presentation as an error correction procedure by not removing the stimulus array after an error until the learner changed his response to the S+. An 11-year-old boy with autism participated. He was unable to acquire simple discriminations when differential reinforcement alone was used; however, when a combination of stimulus re-presentation and differential reinforcement was applied, he learned to reliably respond to the S+ across three pairs of targets. A comparison of differential reinforcement, re-representation, and the two in combination in teaching simple discrimination will be discussed in terms of the possible mechanisms by which each approach (i.e., negative reinforcement, positive reinforcement) had its effect.



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