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 #334
CE Offered: BACB
Designing Successful Elementary Students: Establishing Early Literacy, Observational Learning and Curiosity
Monday, May 25, 2015
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
209 (CC)
Area: EDC/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Lin Du (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Discussant: Jennifer Longano (Fred S. Keller School)
CE Instructor: Lin Du, Ph.D.

An evidence- based science of teaching is required in order for all students in inclusive and general education classrooms to meet current standards for proficiency across major subject areas. Interacting with storybooks and text, interest in peers and learning new concepts , and a tendency towards exploring new ideas and vocabulary are all identified as foundational benchmarks in the New York State Common Core Standards. We report on three experiments targeting these areas. The first study tested the effects of the establishment of conditioned reinforcement for observing books on the rate of acquisition of novel textual responses. In the second study, the experimenters tested the effects of teaching students to chorally respond on the acquisition of observational learning capabilities. The experimenters in the third study investigated the role of peer modeling and observed contingencies on question- asking in preschoolers. The results of all three experiments showed functional relations between the implementation of the independent variables and increases in the target behaviors. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for students' success in general and inclusive educational settings.

Keyword(s): curiosity, observational learning, reading, verbal capabilities

The Effects of the Establishment of Conditioned Reinforcement for Observing Books on Rate of Acquisition of Novel Textual Responses with Two- to Five-Year-Old Participants

SUSAN BUTTIGIEG (Teachers College, Columbia University)

I tested the effects of conditioning books on rate of acquisition of novel textual responses for 17 participants with and without developmental delays (2.4 to 5.4 years old). The independent variable was the establishment of books as a reinforcer. The dependent variable was the rate of acquisition of novel textual responses. A non-concurrent multiple pre- and post-intervention probe design was used. Participants acquired conditioned reinforcement for books through textual operant discrimination training, stimulus-stimulus pairings, or conditioning books through peer observation. The rate of acquisition increased from 1.6 to 7.25 times as a function of acquiring books as a conditioned reinforcer.


CANCELLED: The Effects of a Yoked Contingency Game Board and Choral Responding Intervention on the Observational Learning Capability

LAURA E. LYONS (Columbia University)

We tested the effects of a choral responding intervention which utilized a peer-yoked contingency game board on the induction of observational learning, in two elementary aged students with a disability. We used a delayed multiple probe design across participants. The dependent variable was the number of correct tacts emitted after observing learn units delivered to a peer. The independent variable was a choral responding intervention using a yoked contingency game board, which involved two game pieces, one for the students and one for the teacher. The students game piece moved up during instruction if the target participant emitted a correct tact or intraverbal response in unison with their peer (choral responding). If the participants emitted incorrect responses, responded after the peer, or did not respond, the teachers game piece moved up. The intervention session ended when a game piece reached the top of the board, and reinforcement was delivered for that team i.e. teachers or students. The results of the study showed a functional relationship between the choral responding and yoked contingency game board intervention and the acquisition of novel tacts through observation.


And Satisfaction Brought Him Back: What Do We Know About Curiosity and What We Choose to Learn?

R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), JEANNE MARIE SPECKMAN (Fred S. Keller School Teachers College Columbia University), Lin Du (Teachers College, Columbia University)

We sought to measure curiosity in special and general education preschool students by measuring the number of questions they asked about unknown items or pictures across four contrived conditions. We identified students who did not ask any questions about unknown items or pictures during the baseline probes, and then provided them with opportunities to observe model peers receive approval and tokens for asking questions about unknown pictures on a computer. The results showed a functional relation between the treatment procedure and increases in questions asked by the participants, and are discussed in terms of eliminating not knowing as a reinforcer.


The Effects of a Reading Intervention to Teach Silent Reading with Comprehension on the Speaker-As-Own Listener Capability among Third Grade Students and Comparisons with Fluent Readers

JOANNE HILL-POWELL (Teacher College, Columbia University)

The establishment of covert academic behavior is essential for the development of fluent reader and writer repertoires. One experiment determined the relationship between silent and oral reading fluency and comprehension among adult and elementary-aged fluent readers. A subsequent study identified a procedure to teach comprehension when reading silently. The procedure established covert speaker-as-own-listener repertoires for participants with language delays. The induction of a covert speaker-as-own-listener capability may result in more efficient reading and potential for long term academic success and the development of socially acceptable behavior




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