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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Poster Session #266
EAB Sunday PM
Sunday, May 24, 2015
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
Exhibit Hall C (CC)
1. Olfactory matching- and non-matching-to-sample in rats
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ASHLEY PRICHARD (UNC Wilmington), Catharine Nealley (UNC Wilmington), Tiffany Phasukkan (UNC Wilmington), Mark Galizio (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Katherine Ely Bruce (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: University of North Carolina Wilmington Control by the relation between sample and comparison stimuli is the basis for “true” matching- (identity) or non-matching-to-sample (oddity). There is evidence for such concept learning in nonhumans including apes, monkeys, sea lions and pigeons. Research with rodents has generally been less successful, but recent work from our laboratory has shown matching and non-matching to sample in rats using manually-presented odor stimuli. The present study was an effort to replicate these findings using a computer-controlled olfactometer apparatus. Rats were trained on successive conditional discrimination procedures (Go-No-Go) under matching or non-matching-to-sample contingencies with four different odor stimuli. When accuracy criteria were met, a different set of four odor stimuli was introduced, either under the same or reversed contingencies. Rats developed high levels of accuracy on both matching and non-matching contingencies and most showed evidence of transfer when novel stimuli were introduced. High levels of transfer are particularly noteworthy given the relatively few trained exemplars that preceded exposure to novel stimuli.
2. Generalized Oddity relations in rats with olfactory stimuli
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Mirela Louise Alves (UNESP - Universidade Estadual Paulista), CELSO SOCORRO OLIVEIRA (UNESP - Sao Paulo State University), Fabio Leyser Goncalves (Universidade Estadual Paulista)
Abstract: The aim of this study was to adapt a method of training conditional discriminations to generate oddity from sample relations. We used olfactory stimuli and a digging into sand response. Three male Wistar rats completed the experiment. A wooden box was constructed to present the sample and the alternatives. The experiment was held in 4 phases: Pre-training, Phases 1, 2 and 3. The pre-training consisted of the shaping of the digging response, a sucrose pellet was used as reinforcer. The other 3 phases consisted of the training of the oddity relation with one pair of olfactory stimuli, each, and a test of generalization of the oddity relation, made under extinction. Phase 1 started with only one alternative for choice to minimize errors. Two of the three subjects (E2 and E3) showed generalized oddity after the training of only one pair of stimuli. Subject E1 completed the training of the three pairs of stimuli and also showed generalized oddity. Results are discussed considering the ecological validity of the response and the problems related to the use of extinction in this kind of test. The use of non-differential reinforcement is suggested to further facilitate the development of generalized oddity.
3. Procedures to Establish Object-Photo Matching in a Child With Autism: A Case Study
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
KAREN M. LIONELLO-DENOLF (Elms College), William J. McIlvane (University of Massachusetts Medical School)
Abstract: Photos, pictures, and symbols are often used when teaching young children and individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., educational television programming, icons in communication systems, etc.). By the age of 2 years in typical development, children recognize that two-dimensional (2D) images represent their three-dimensional (3D) counterparts and are functionally equivalent (e.g., both may be given the same label). For children with neurodevelopmental disorders, development of 3D2D equivalence may be delayed or absent. This creates difficulties when the individual is non-verbal and use of a selection-based communication system is prescribed. We report data from one non-verbal child with autism who did not develop 3D2D equivalence by 9 years of age. We explored multiple training procedures to establish 3D2D equivalence between photos and objects, including using cutout photos that looked more like their real-world counterparts, an interspersal procedure, and a stimulus-equivalence training structure. These efforts resulted in an a final 3D2D accuracy that improved relative to baseline but still fell short of mastery. Establishing 3D2D equivalence when it fails to emerge with development is not as simple as it may first appear. Emerging technology may be useful in identifying the sources of stimulus control in these procedures.
4. On the Asymptotic Level in a Titrating Delayed Matching-to-Sample Procedure
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
FELIX HOGNASON (ICEABA), Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College )
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to explore the maximum length of delays or the asymptotic level in a titrating delayed matching-to-sample (TDMTS) procedure. Potentially three 5-member classes were formed with a linear series training structure with a simultaneous protocol. Abstract shapes were used as stimuli. The TDMTS procedure was as arranged with 1000 ms steps. Hence, the software evaluated if the performance was above 90% correct in a 12 trials block (one of trial type represented) or not. If the correct responding was above 90%, the titration step increased by 1000 ms. On the other hand, if it was below 90% correct, the titration step decreased by 1000 ms. The results so far show an upper titration level of 68,000 ms (see Figure 1). More participants will be included and for each participant the TDMTS procedure will continue until they have reached an asymptotic level of the titration.
5. Teaching Left-Right Discriminations in a Down Syndrome Participant: From Perceptual to Symbolic Control
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
ALVARO TORRES CHAVEZ CHAVEZ (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Angel Tovar y Romo y Romo (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Natalia Escobedo (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Arely Hernández (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Carla Herná (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Sharon Urbán (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico)
Abstract: In a series of studies our research group has observed facilitation in learning symbolic stimulus relations (i.e., equivalence relations between dissimilar stimuli) by participants with atypical development, with procedures that allow a transfer from perceptual stimulus control to symbolic stimulus control. In the present study we aimed to replicate these facilitation effects in a younger boy with Down syndrome (ten years old) who learned left-right discriminations. A laptop computer connected to a touch-screen was used for this task. In each trial an auditory stimulus was presented; half of the trials the auditory stimulus was the word “left” and the other half was the word “right”. Two visual stimuli were presented on the screen; one on the left side and one on the right side; the child’s task was to touch the stimulus that correctly matched the presented word. To facilitate learning, the stimuli appearing on the left side were always presented in blue and the stimuli appearing on the right side were always presented in red; we also put a blue colored glove in his left hand and a red colored glove in his right hand. The colors on the stimuli were gradually faded to black. During the final trials and during generalization tests the stimuli on the screen appeared in black on a white background. The child showed high accuracy levels during tests. We argue that transfer from perceptual to symbolic stimulus control is a reliable procedure to teach participants with developmental disabilities.
6. Stimulus equivalence and neurocognitive disosders
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MARIANA DUCATTI (University of São Paulo), Andreia Schmidt (University of Sao Paulo)
Abstract: The processes of stimulus control can be affected by Neurocognitive disorders (NCDs). The purpose of this study was to investigate if "delayed-cue procedure" and "teaching by exclusion" would be effective in teaching arbitrary conditional relations for elderly people with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s dementia, and to test the formation of equivalence classes would. The participants were four elderly women (75 to 85 years). The training structure used was one-to-many, associated with the delayed-cue procedure and teaching by exclusion. Were taught three classes of visual stimuli with three stimuli in each class (photographs, names and professions). Baseline maintenance, equivalence and naming tests were presented at five and eight days after the completion of the teaching. The results showed that all the elderly women learned the conditional relations taught, but only one formed equivalence classes. The performance of this participant deteriorated in the test after eight days. The success in the teaching procedure is probably a result of the set of manipulated variables (use of structure one-to-many, delayed-cue procedure, teaching by exclusion, familiar stimulus and few comparision stimulus.
7. Operant Blocking of Learning Japanese Words and Kanji in Typical College Students
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Rose Danek (Columbus State University), STEPHANIE P. DA SILVA (Columbus State University), Shannon Pillot (Columbus State University), Emily Murray (Columbus State University)
Abstract: This study sought to extend literature on operant blocking by testing its occurrence in typically developing adults. Students were assigned to learn first either kanji symbols or phonetic translations of Japanese words. Each image of the symbol or phonetic translation was presented individually on a computer screen across trials. Researchers recorded accuracy of participants’ vocal answers and provided feedback to participants on each trial. Following this first session in which participants mastered the initial stimulus set, participants returned for a second session in which compound stimuli (i.e., both the kanji symbol and phonetic translation) were presented on the computer screen during each trial. All participants then were tested for any blocking by recording their answers to the second set of stimuli they did not learn initially. Blocking occurred for participants, as indicated by the significant decrease (p < .05) in number of correct responses in trials where the initially learned (i.e., “blocking”) stimulus was removed from the screen. The implications of the findings, along with factors that may enhance or minimize blocking in such situations, are discussed.
8. Control of Responding by Aspects of Human-Like Stimuli Uncorrelated With the Consequence
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ARTURO CLAVIJO (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), Gerson Yukio Tomanari (Universidade de Sao Paulo)
Abstract: Portions of the environment uncorrelated with a consequence may affect the establishment of control by correlated aspects and gain control by themselves. Two experiments evaluated control of responding by sets of human-like images uncorrelated with the consequence. Both experiments had simple discrimination tasks and tests. In the discrimination tasks, only the color of the pants of human-like images correlated with the consequence. Experiment 1 had four phases. Phases 1 and 2 consisted of simple discrimination tasks. Phase 2 and 4 were attention tests that evaluated the control gained by the uncorrelated images in Phases 1 and 2. Experiment 2 had five phases. Phases 1 and 4 had discrimination tasks. Phases 2, 3, and 4 consisted of categorization tasks between old and new images. In Phases 2 and 4, responding to images uncorrelated with the consequence in Phases 1 and 3 respectively produced the consequence. Phase 3 was a categorization task between two sets of new images. The images of one of the sets were the positive stimuli arbitrarily. Results show that the stimuli uncorrelated with the consequence gain control of some responding and affect the establishment of control by the correlated parts.
9. Effects of Semantic Related Words as Meaningful Stimuli on the Transfer of Function in Equivalence Classes
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MARIELE CORTEZ (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos), Julio de Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract: Studies using a semantic differential (SD) to verify transfer of function among equivalent stimuli showed that the meaningful stimulus valence affects differently the degree of transfer of meaning (e.g., lower deviation for stimuli that were equivalent to happy faces than for stimuli that were equivalent to the angry faces). This study used an SD to verify transfer of function in equivalence classes when semantic related words were employed as meaningful stimuli. Ten college students formed equivalence classes that consisted of arbitrary stimuli (B, C, D, and E) and words related to human emotions - happiness, angriness and neutrality (A). After showing equivalence class formation, participants evaluated D stimuli with an SD. Using the same device, an untrained control group (n=20) evaluated the words. Results demonstrated lower deviation scores for stimuli that were equivalent to the angry words than for stimuli that were equivalent to the happy words. These findings are different from those observed in the previous studies that employed faces expressing emotions as meaningful stimuli (lowest deviation scores for stimuli that were equivalent to the happy faces), indicating the nature of the stimuli as well their valences as relevant parameters to the transfer of function among equivalence classes.
10. An Evaluation of the Role of the Warning Stimulus in Discriminated Avoidance
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
NICOLE M. DAVIS (Simmons College), Gretchen A. Dittrich (Simmons College), Ronald F. Allen (Simmons College), Russell W. Maguire (Simmons College)
Abstract: Throughout the last century there have been numerous proposed explanations of the variables that contribute to the development and maintenance of responding followed by the delay or avoidance of some event. Yet, experimental analysis of such hypotheses continues to be lacking. The purpose of the current study was to expand the experimental literature, by evaluating the characteristics of the warning stimulus in a discriminated avoidance experiment. Participants played a video game during which non-contingent point loss occurred following a warning stimulus. Responding resulting in termination of the warning stimulus was measured when both followed by and not followed by avoidance of the point loss. Additionally, responding which resulted in presentation of a warning stimulus preceding point loss was examined. Results indicated differential responding followed by termination of the warning stimulus between conditions where point loss was avoided and those conditions during which responding resulted in termination of the warning stimulus but points were still lost. In contrast, high rates of responding resulting in the presentation of the warning stimulus occurred throughout all conditions. Such results suggest that warning stimuli may function as both negative and positive reinforcement within the same discriminated avoidance paradigm.
11. Joint Control of Responding by Exteroceptive Stimuli and Inter-reinforcer Intervals in a Multiple Schedule
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MICHAEL BROOKS (Central Michigan Univeristy), Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University)
Abstract: Previously in our lab a novel form of temporal discrimination was demonstrated during a modified 3-ply multiple schedule procedure in which components were separated across sessions. During this study, lever-pressing in rats came under the discriminative control of the longest inter-reinforcer interval of a variable-interval 60-s schedule. Despite the presence of stimuli correlated with the non-availability of food, rats responded in extinction components until a span of time equal to the longest inter-reinforcer interval had elapsed. The present study attempted to reproduce this temporal control of behavior. Three Sprague-Dawley rats lever-pressed under a 3-ply multiple schedule, in which components of VI 60 s and extinction alternated across sessions. Similar to the previous study, analysis of inter-response times indicated that rats responded during extinction sessions until a span of time equal to the longest inter-reinforcer interval on the VI 60-s schedule had elapsed, after which responding was disrupted or ceased. Analysis of response probabilities further indicated higher probabilities of responding in the presence of food-correlated stimuli during the start of the components. These findings indicate that responding was under the joint control of the exteroceptive stimuli associated with the VI schedule and the temporal discrimination of the longest programmed inter-reinforcer interval during VI sessions.
12. Can Stimuli Never Related to Reinforcement Join Equivalence Classes?
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CATHERINE ELIZABETH GRAHAM (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Brittany Williams (University of North Carolina at Wilmington), Anna Tillery (University of North Carolina at Wilmington), Allison Fisher (University of North Carolina at Wilmington), Ben Longton (University of North Carolina at Wilmington), Lauren Broadwell (University of North Carolina at Wilmington), Carol Pilgrim (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: In Experiment 1, four children learned simple discriminations among abstract stimuli in which selection of the discriminative stimulus resulted in presentation of a class-specific reinforcer, while selection of S- stimuli resulted in delivery of a class-specific punisher. Equivalence was then assessed among discriminative stimuli with shared class-specific reinforcers, and among S- stimuli with shared class-specific punishers. Three children demonstrated equivalence with both positive and non-positive stimuli (Fig. 1). Experiment 2 included five children. AB and AC conditional discriminations were trained with class-specific reinforcers, and exclusion trials without programmed consequences were designed to establish XY relations. Identity matching was then conducted with the X stimuli and the class-specific reinforcers from conditional discrimination training. Probe tests evaluated the formation of three equivalence classes (A1B1C1X1Y1, A2B2C2X2Y2, and A3B3C3X3Y3). Experiments 1 and 2 investigate the potential for stimuli never related to reinforcement to become equivalence-class members.
13. Error Patterns in Standard Protocols under Linear-Series Training Structure with and without Zero-Delay Matching-to-Sample
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ABDULRAZAQ A. IMAM (John Carroll University)
Abstract: Simultaneous (SIM) protocols typically yield poorer stimulus equivalence outcomes than simple-to-complex (STC) protocols. Imam and Warner (2014) reported better equivalence yields under a hybrid SIM training and STC testing compared to a standard SIM protocol using a comparison-as-node training structure. The present study replicated that study with fourteen (Experiment 1) and twelve (Experiment 2) participants presented with two independent groups of three three-member equivalence classes in two conditions, under standard STC and SIM protocols respectively, using linear-series training structure. Experiment 2 implemented procedures with 0-delay matching-to-sample. Although there were no consistent differences in overall accuracies in both experiments across conditions, session durations were significantly longer in Experiment 2 for SIM protocol. Error patterns on requisite equivalence relations showed 1) errors across all relations and 2) independence of equivalence properties more in STC than in SIM protocols. The results suggest protocols may interact with training structures to determine equivalence properties’ independence.
14. Distractors and conditional discriminations
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ALEKSANDER VIE (Oslo and Akershus University College), Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College )
Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to explore if exposure to distractors on baseline relations alone reduced matching performance. In previous studies it has been shown that math tasks and dictation as distractors affect responding in accordance with stimulus equivalence negatively. The distractors in the previous studies have been introduced between the offset of the sample stimulus and the onset of the comparison stimuli in the test for responding in accordance with stimulus equivalence. One implication of presenting the distractors during tests for derived responding may be that the distractors are introduced at the same time as novel test trials in the form of symmetry and equivalence trials. To test if distractors affect matching performance, the distractors were introduced after the programmed consequences were thinned to 0 %. The results showed that the distractors did not affect equivalence responding when they are introduced without novel test trials (see Table 1).
15. The Enhancing Effect of Three-Member Equivalence-Class Pre-Training and Testing on Subsequent Five-Member Equivalence-Class Formation Yield
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Richard W. Serna (University of Massachusetts Lowell), KATERINA THANOPOULOS (University of Massachusetts Lowell), Lanny Fields (Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract: In a potential five-member stimulus-equivalence class of non-representational forms, ABCDE, past research has shown a high percentage (yield) of participants demonstrate equivalence relations if the C stimuli were meaningful (familiar pictures). The present experiment investigated such classes by asking whether three-member equivalence-class pre-training and testing would enhance the subsequent yield of five-member classes of the type described above. Five-member equivalence-class outcomes in groups of college students were compared under three conditions: (1) No Pre-Training, to establish the fundamental effect; (2) three-member (FG, FH) Equivalence-Class Pre-Training; and (3) an equivalence control condition: Conditional-Discrimination Pre-Training (FG, HJ). The results showed that the yields of the No Pre-Training and Conditional-Discrimination Pre-Training groups were similar, 44% and 53%, respectively, but that pre-training with conditional discriminations may have a small enhancing effect. However, the Equivalence-Class Pre-Training group yields were substantially higher, 77%, thus demonstrating a clear enhancing effect on five-member stimulus-equivalence class yields. The results will be discussed in terms of the relation of the present data to past results, the importance of pre-training and testing prior to the study of five-member equivalence-class yield, and the potential implications for training equivalence classes in clinical populations.
16. What the Stimulus Equivalence Paradigm has been telling us about memory?
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Natalia Aggio (Federal University of Sao Carlos, Brazil), JULIO C. DE ROSE (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract: The stimulus equivalence paradigm is consolidated as an important tool to produce knowledge about symbolic behavior. Research has also proved this paradigm importance on the development of educational behavioral technology. This work intends to present evidences demonstrating this paradigm have also been contributing to the development of knowledge about remembering, specifically focusing on research about the stability of equivalence classes and on distortion of remembering. Experimental investigations demonstrated equivalence classes stability can vary according to experimental parameters such as class size and nature of stimuli. Nature of stimuli has also been seen as important on the stability of transfer of function between stimuli in equivalence classes. Furthermore, new research have been demonstrating equivalence relations can be responsible for distortions in remembering, resulting in the so-called “false memories”. Only few researchers have been dedicating to investigating aspects related to remember using the stimulus equivalence paradigm, but we believe this paradigm can present important contributions to this phenomenon investigation, in basic and applied fields.
17. Transfer Of Functions Through Merged Equivalence Classes Established Via Class-Specific Outcomes
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Marcelo Vitor Silveira (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), MARIELE CORTEZ (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos), Julio De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract: In this experiment seven participants were trained to perform 12 conditional relations A1B1, A2B2, A3B3, A1C1, A2C2, A3C3, D1E1, D2E2, D3E3, D1F1, D2F2 and D3F3. Correct responses resulted in the presentation of class-specific outcome Sr1, Sr2 and S3, specifically related to each one of the potential stimulus classes. After training, participants demonstrated the emergence of BC, CB, EF and FE relations and the merging of classes by exhibiting high levels of accuracy on BE, EB, CE, EC, BF, FB, CF, FC. Participants were also successful on test for the inclusion of class-specific outcome in the merged classes. Finally, it was evaluated if emotional functions from stimuli A would be transferred to stimuli B and E. The results shown that participants evaluated B and E stimuli through the semantic differential was similar to them evaluation that participants from a control group had made from stimuli A. This finding was considered as a demonstration that, class-specific outcomes can mediate the class merger phenomena and the transference of functions through members of merged classes
18. The Effects of Conditioned Taste Aversion on Sweeteners Intake in Rats
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ALMA GABRIELA MARTÍNEZ MORENO MORENO (University of Guadalajara), Antonio López Espinoza Espinoza (University of Guadalajara), Hugo Miguel (University of Guadalajara)
Abstract: Conditioned taste aversion learning is expected to result from the association between any kind of food and an illness. In the behavioral laboratory, conditioning to rejection to food by administering LiCl, a substance which cause evident signs of physical discomfort, has been shown. Nevertheless, there are few evidences about the effects of conditioned taste aversion on sweetened solutions intake in rats. The present study assess the efficacy of conditioned taste aversion on different sweeteners. Thirty rats were exposed to standard food and sweetened solution with sucrose (Group 1), stevia (Group 2) or sucralose (Group 3) in free access condition in Phase 1. All groups received a dose of LiCl by intraperitoneal injection during Phase 2. Groups had free access only to their respective solutions. In the final phase, all groups returned to the conditions of Phase 1. Results showed a significant decrease in sucrose, stevia and sucralose solutions intake after conditioned taste aversion was applied. These data suggest that conditioned taste aversion is an effective procedure to decrease sweetened solutions intake in spite of the properties of sweeteners.
19. Non-reciprocal behavioral contrast in multiple VI-DRL schedules
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Nicole Holder (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Brendan Falk (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Derrick Bisnett (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), MATTHEW E. ANDRZEJEWSKI (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater)
Abstract: Behavioral contrast refers to a change in responding in one component of a multiple schedule induced by changes in reinforcement probability in another component. Eight rats were exposed to a 2 component multiple schedule, where lever presses in one component were reinforced on a DRL-15” schedule, and a VI schedule in the second component. The value of the VI (15”, 30”, 60”, 90” and 120”) was manipulated across phases within-subjects in a pseudo-random way and changed only after stable performance was obtained. Preliminarily, it appears that DRL responding does not change as a function of VI value, disconfirming a likely prediction from the behavioral contrast literature. Indeed, our previous research demonstrated a robust contrast effect on VI-responding when DRL value was manipulated. This suggests a non-reciprocal relationship between VI- and DRL-maintained behavior in a multiple schedule arrangement. Data from this experiment will be compared and contrasted to prior experiments in light of the Matching Law and other quantitative models of multiple schedule performance.
20. Mimic Me Please, but Don’t Tell Me About It: The Link Between Mimicry, Awareness and Liking.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
WOJCIECH KULESZA (University of Social Sciences and Humanities), Dariusz Dolinski (University of Social Sciences and Humanities)
Abstract: There is an abundant evidence that mimicry pays off for the mimicker, and that mimickees are not aware of being influenced by the mimicry. In this study we investigated the link between mimicry, awareness and liking using a 2 (mimicry: yes/no) x 4 (awareness manipulation) experimental design. We found a main effect of mimicry (confederate was liked more in the mimicry condition) and an interaction between mimicry and awareness. Awareness manipulation had a limited effect on the association between mimicry and liking. Providing participants with no information or with short information about mimicry (did not include any statement about its consequence) had effect on the association between mimicry and liking. However, when participants were informed about the interpersonal consequences of mimicry, mimicry did not influence liking.
21. Testing the Validity of the Mixed Trial Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (MT-IRAP): Determining the Relationship Between Prosocial Attitudes and Behavior
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
GENEVIEVE M. DEBERNARDIS (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The Mixed Trial Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (MT-IRAP) is a new tool that has shown promise for assessing and measuring the implicit attitudes of individuals in applied research. However, little research has been done with this new assessment tool, particularly in regard to its predictive validity. The current study aimed to investigate the relationship between explicit, implicit, and overt measures of prosocial attitudes, using the MT-IRAP. The MT-IRAP was tested with 56 undergraduate students using prosocial words. The prosocial words were derived from inventories commonly used to assess individuals’ attitudes toward helping others, charitable organizations and volunteerism. In addition, the relative antonyms of these words were used as an antisocial word set for the MT-IRAP test. Results revealed relationships between MT-IRAP effects and self-reported volunteer histories and community/citizenship values. No relationship was found between the MT-IRAP effects and the overt behavioral measure, though suggestions for future studies investigating the predictive validity of the MT-IRAP are proposed. Additionally, refinements to the assessment tool including the relationship between error rate, implicit and overt measures, as well as the method of determining consistency and depicting valence of individual participant responses are discussed.
22. A Parametric Evaluation of Backup Reinforcer Class Size
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
KORTNIE COTTER (Mercyhurst University), Jonathan W. Ivy (Mercyhurst University), Susan Johnson (Mercyhurst University)
Abstract: Token economies are a systematic behavioral technology based on increasing a target response via positive reinforcement (Ayllon & Azrin, 1968). In these systems, tokens are often earned contingent upon the presence of some dimension of at least one identified target behavior; access to one or more stimuli from a backup reinforcer class is permitted only once all of the necessary schedule requirements are satisfied. While there currently exists evidence that highlights the empirical value of such an intervention, there still exists a need for more information to best understand the specific components of systems of this type (Hackenberg, 2009). For example, research holds a limited focus on the composition of the backup reinforcer class within token economies. While the value of this component within these schedules is immediately evident, little information is available to guide best practice. This study examined the effects of the magnitude of backup reinforcer class size on participant responding during a reinforcement-based intervention.



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