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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #106
Cultural Analysis: From the Laboratory to the Natural Environment, From Basic to Translational Research
Saturday, May 26, 2018
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, San Diego Ballroom C
Area: EAB/OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Sigrid S. Glenn (University of North Texas)
Discussant: João Claudio Todorov (Universidade de Brasilia)

The interest in cultural level phenomena has produced a great number of studies. These range from interpretations of social phenomena to experimental studies in the laboratory. This symposium aims to present some of this variety. The first study aimed to establish the best individual baselines for the study of social behavior and cultural practices in the lab using the parameters used in the literature of schedules of reinforcement. Twelve participants worked in a task that established the rate of responses, showing a good baseline for superimposing demands of coordination, helping to study levels of variation and selection. The second study aimed to evaluate differences between schedules of punishment and extinction in reducing the frequency of culturants. The data lead to the discussion of the effects as analogous to operant-level processes. The third presentation is an ongoing research aiming to promote sustainable behavior in children. The researcher present contingencies to increase four kinds of interlocked behavioral contingencies. The last presentation takes the concepts used in cultural analysis to make interpretation of interlocked behavioral contingencies in organizations as organizational culture. The study concludes with a comparison between the culture of public institutions in Brazil and post-bureaucratic organizations like technology and advertisement companies.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): basic research, cultural analysis, OBM, translacional research

Establishing Good Individual Baselines for the Experimental Study of Social Behavior and Cultural Practices

(Basic Research)
MARCELO FROTA LOBATO BENVENUTI (Universidade de São Paulo), Thais F N de Toledo (Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso)

Participants worked in individual computers with image of a faucet and a gallon in the computer screen. Clicking with mouse button on faucet produced the filling of gallons according to different reinforcement schedules. Our task permits that the experimenter superimpose additional criteria (spacing responses) for coordinated behaviors from different participants. The aim of the present study was to establish the best individual baselines for the study of social behavior and cultural practices in the lab using the parameters frequently used in the literature of schedules of reinforcement. Twelve university students participated in the experiment. Six participants worked under ratio schedules (FR 40 and VR 40). Six other participants worked under interval schedules yoked to the firsts participants as a way to equalize reinforcement rate. Participants presented low rates in interval schedules and high rates in ratio schedules. Strong effect of programmed schedules indicates that parameters and stability criterion we used can produce a good baseline to test the effects of the demand for coordinated performances. We compare this data with others from our research group when demand for coordination is superimposed to baselines with less stability. This helps to evaluate two simultaneous levels of variation and selection occurring simultaneously.


Different Effects of Punishment and Extinction in Reducing Culturant's Frequency

(Basic Research)
FABIO HENRIQUE BAIA (Universidade de Rio Verde), Isabella Lemes (Universidade de Rio Verde), Alina Biano (Universidade de Rio Verde), Poliana Ferreira da Silva (Universidade de Rio Verde), Rogerio Guaita dos Santos Baia (Universidade de Rio Verde )

Previously studies have showed that the culturant's frequency can be reducing by suspending cultural consequence or by providing aversive consequences (as losing bonus). But no study has investigated potential difference of this two ways by exposing the same group at both situations. This work aimed verify if there was different effects of to schedule punishment (characterized by losing bonus) or extinction (characterized by break only the metacontingency, so no bonus were available) in reducing culturants frequency. Six undergraduate students distributed in tow triads. In condition A responses were reinforced by points and culturants by adding bonus. In condition B responses still produced points, but culturants (that attend the criteria in previous condition) would produce withdraw bonus. In condition C only individual consequences were available. The Triad 1 was exposed to ABABACAC design and Triad 2 to ACACABAB design. Results showed that on one hand losing bonus could suppress culturant's frequency. On the other hand withdrawal could decline culturant's frequency slower than losing bonus. The data are discussed concerning different processes of selection in cultural level: strengthening cultural and weakening cultural. They are analogous processes in operant level.


Organizational Culture as Interlocked Behavioral Contingencies Selected By Cultural Consequences

(Applied Research)
AECIO DE BORBA VASCONCELOS NETO (Universidade Federal do Para)

Discussion about behavior management takes into account that organizations maintain patterns of behavioral contingencies. These patterns shape both wanted and unwanted behavior in the work environment. This may lead to behavioral problems and solutions. Cultural Analysis has emphasized the role of cultural consequences in the selection of interlocked behavioral contingencies. Discussion on metacontingencies may be useful in describing and planning interventions for changing that behavior. Organizational patterns of behavior, reinforcement and punishment practices may be conceptualized as an organizational culture in a Behavior Analytic framework. This study presents an overview of the concept of organizational culture: We describe it as interlocked behavioral contingencies and its aggregate product (a culturant) selected by its consequences. These consequences are both by an external environment and an internal environment. The study concludes with a comparison between the culture of public institutions in Brazil and post-bureaucratic organizations like technology and advertisement companies. Thus, we illustrate how environmental contingencies selected different interlocked behavioral contingencies.


Strengthening Children's Cultural Practices: Metacontingencies of Sustainability and Prevention of the Zika Virus

(Applied Research)
Laércia Abreu Vasconcelos (Universidade de Brasília), JULIO C. DE ROSE (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)

The objective of this ongoing research is to promote sustainable behavior in children, members of a new generation who can change the behavior of their family members. Participants were 32 children (approximately 10 years of age), students in the 5th grade of an elementary school in a Brazilian city. The researcher conducted 30 min sessions with the class, three times in two months. In these sessions the researcher addressed topics related to the 17 sustainable development goals proposed by the UN and established contingencies to promote operants related to sustainability. The target operants were related to four topics: 1) use of water 2) use of electrical energy; 3) management of residues; and 4) mechanical control of the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Children were instructed to observe and record operants in these four classes. In a baseline condition, the sustainable behaviors classes were represented by 63,64%, 75,76%, 69,69%, and 60,61% of children's records, respectively. In Condition B, the cultural practices of sustainability will be reinforced, and in Condition C metacontingencies of sustainability will have children in interlocking behavior contingencies (IBCs) producing aggregate products (APs) of sustainability. The cultural consequences will be presented by teachers and managers.




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