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 #59
CE Offered: BACB
It is More Than A Name. The Relationship between Naming Theory, Conditioned Reinforcement, Incidental Language Acquisition & Conditioned Seeing.
Saturday, May 23, 2015
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
216AB (CC)
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Timothy Michael Yeager (Behavioral Sciences Institute @ Fresno State)
Discussant: R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
CE Instructor: Timothy Michael Yeager, M.A.
Abstract: Much research of late has gone into the understanding of names being acquired incidentally, but little, on (1) the role of conditioned reinforcement for specific types of observing responses needed to acquire language incidentally, and (2) identifying what besides the name is acquired. In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare argued to know a rose is to know its sweet smell, ultimately arguing for the arbitrary nature of a name, and the arbitrary applicable relation that names have with stimulus characteristics. Unfortunately, it would be over 400 years until someone argued for the necessary role of conditioned reinforcement in selecting and maintaining specific visual and olfactory observing responses for Juliet to actually acquire the stimulus control to name a rose in such a way. Greer (2002) defines this object-name relation as a form of an abstraction, in which the essence of a stimulus is acquired. From a functional behavioral perspective the behaviors emitted to learn a name, generate rules with which to define the object, and the language emitted to answer questions about the object cover a vast number of repertoires from conditioned seeing, to remembering, conditioned reinforcement for a variety of observing responses, tacting, intraverbally responding, categorizing, problem solving, and more. The experiments presented in this symposium, first demonstrate the role of conditioned reinforcement for observing visual stimuli as a necessary component for acquiring language incidentally, and then the critical nature of the tact in remembering.
Keyword(s): Conditioned Seeing, Language Acquisition, Naming, Novel Intraverbal
Naming as a Function of Multiple Exemplar Instruction and 2-D Conditioning for Preferred and Neutral Stimuli
DEREK JACOB SHANMAN (Fred S. Keller School), Morgan Strand (Fred S. Keller School), Michelle Cole-Hatchard (Fred S. Keller School)
Abstract: Naming is a verbal behavior capability that allows students to acquire language incidentally. Multiple exemplar instruction (MEI) across listener and speaker responses has been shown to induce Naming when absent. Recent studies have identified that object relations, such as Naming relations, are established along the lines of stimuli that select out observing responses. In two experiments, we tested if preferred or neutral stimuli used during either probe or MEI sessions had an effect on a demonstration of Naming. Six participants were selected, each of whom did not demonstrate Naming with either preferred or neutral stimuli. After MEI, all six participants demonstrated Naming with preferred stimuli regardless of the intervention set used. In Experiment 2, we established the neutral probe stimuli as conditioned reinforcers through a 2-D conditioning procedure, measured by the amount of time participants observed the stimuli, then re-probed for Naming using the same stimuli. All six participants demonstrated increases in listener and speaker responses during Naming probes with the previously neutral probe set. The results demonstrated that it was not until neutral stimuli were conditioned as reinforcers, and thus selected out participants observing responses, that Naming began to emerge with the stimuli in the neutral set.
An Analysis of the Relationship Between the Incidental Acquisition of Language and Conditioned Seeing.
TIMOTHY MICHAEL YEAGER (Behavioral Sciences Institute @ Fresno State), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Abstract: Naming has been identified as a Verbal Behavior Developmental Capability allowing individuals to acquire language incidentally. However, a name is but an arbitrary relation given to a set of essential stimulus characteristics. The majority of previous studies on Naming have measured the name-object relation as the unit of language being acquired incidentally. In two separate experiments, a single subject, concurrent multiple probe design was used to conduct further analysis on the relationship between conditioned seeing and its relationship to the tact. Across both experiments, a match to sample (MTS) procedure was used in which the participant was presented with a picture and the vocal antecedent "Match NAME with NAME", given a field of 3 pictures with positive exemplar and two negative exemplars. These procedure occurred across 5 targeted stimuli with 4 visual versions of each. Following 20 trials, and a 2 hour delay, probes were conducted assessing the emergence of untaught listener (point) , speaker (tact), and conditioned seeing (multiple controlled responses related to the defining stimulus characteristics) responses. This procedure repeated until all untaught tacts emerged. In Experiment 1, all participants after incidentally acquiring the tact through a MTS procedure also accurately responded when asked for the color of the stimulus when the picture was not present. In Experiment 2, using the same MTS procedure, and contrived stimuli, all participants after incidentally acquiring the tact, also accurately responded when asked for the 3 defining stimulus characteristics of each untaught stimulus ( color, shape, and digit/letter) when the image was not present. While a relation between the tact and conditioned seeing was demonstrated, across both experiments no correlation was found between the acquisition of the untaught point response and conditioned seeing. Results, possible implications and future research will be discussed.



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