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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Paper Session #13
Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior
Saturday, May 23, 2015
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
007A (CC)
Area: EAB
Chair: Marcelo Frota Benvenuti (USP)

Cultural Selection and Cultural Transmission in a Free-Operant Procedure.

Domain: Basic Research
THAIS F N DE TOLEDO (Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso ), Marcelo Frota Benvenuti (USP)

We investigated the effects of a cultural consequence on interlocking behavioral contingencies (IBCs) in a task in which a response of clicking the mouse was free to occur. Two studies compared arrangements in which there was no conflict between operant and cultural contingencies with those in which meeting cultural contingency resulted in getting less individual reinforcers. Undergraduate students, in triads, performed the task on a computer. Operant contingency: responses produce reinforcement on a VI or VR schedule. Cultural contingency: when the interval between participants' responses was larger than x s, a "bonus" was presented. Study 1 focused on selection of IBCs in a closed group. Two conditions were programmed in a reversal design for two triads: Condition A, only operant contingency was in effect; Condition B, cultural and operant contingencies in effect. Study 2 involved two groups of six participants and two phases: cultural selection and transmission (replacement of participants). Results showed the selection and transmission of IBCs, both in an arrangements in which the cultural contingency not conflicted with the operant contingency as in a conflicting situation. We discuss the contributions of a procedure analogous to the free-operant to the study of cultural selection.


Instructional Variables Affect Non-verbal Behavior and Estimates of Control in a Free Operant Procedure With Non-contengent Outcomes

Domain: Basic Research
MARCELO FROTA BENVENUTI (USP), Thais F N de Toledo (Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso )

The present paper asked about the effect of social variables over learning mechanisms in the illusion of control. Learning mechanisms emphasizes the effects of coincidences between probability of responding and non contingent outcomes. On the other side, social experimental psychology suggested that illusions might play an adaptive role to protect self-esteem and to maintain motivation to act. To contrast this views, we present a series of data obtained in a common task. Participants engaged in a computer-based task, in which points were presented in a session with two alternated periods of 45 seconds each: in one, points were presented independently of participants' responses; in the other, points were not presented. Two conditions differed. In the first, the participants received points that were not exchangeable for anything. In the second condition, points were exchangeable for photocopies at the end of the sessions. The results showed that conditions when points that were exchangeable for photocopies produced a higher frequency of responses positively correlated with higher estimates of control over the non contingent points. The effect of instruction can be understood as a motivational effect that increase the probability of superstitious behavior. The consideration of social variables that increase or decrease the probability of responses can be a key aspect in the integration of contributions from social experimental psychology and recent contributions from behavior analysis and learning perspectives to illusion of control.




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