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 #55
Expanding the Role of Precision Teaching: Theory, Applications, and Technology for Clinical Psychology
Saturday, May 26, 2018
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom C
Area: PRA/CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Abigail Lewis (Bx+)
Discussant: Abigail B. Calkin (Calkin Consulting Center)

The standard celeration chart (SCC) has been utilized within the field of precision teaching (PT) to assist with learning both simple and complex skills by utilizing rate of responding, which has been regarded as the most sensitive measurement. However, precision measurement has seen less dissemination in the world of clinical psychology. The present symposia will have four components to address this. First, precision measurement utilizing the SCC will be introduced more broadly, with an emphasis on rate of responding and previous utilizations in clinical psychology settings. Second, an application to the clinician's own behavior as a developmental strategy for therapeutic skills will be discussed and preliminary data will be presented. Following, the utilization of precision measurement in exposure therapy for the treatment of anxiety disorders will be discussed with an emphasis on approach and avoidance behaviors. Finally, the last component of this symposium will present a way to use the SCC in exposure therapy, and demonstrate a technology from a tech startup that allows for in the moment data collection.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): clinical psychology, precision measurement, precision teaching, SCC

Precision Measurement in the Clinical World: Beyond Educational and "Go-Fast" Targets

STUART M. LAW (University of Nevada, Reno)

Rate of responding has long been recognized as one of the most sensitive targets to assess for the impact of an intervention. The standard celeration chart (SCC) has been used within precision teaching to display rate of responding in a consistent way that allows for repeated contact with the chart. While high rates of behavior have drawn a lot of attention in the academic domain, clinicians have also utilized the SCC for behavior that does not occur, and does not need to occur, at a high rate. The present talk will discuss the role the SCC plays in clinical psychology, and the benefits of using rate of responding as the basic unit of behavior and of repeated contact with a standardized measurement system. The talk will also discuss how precision teaching has contributed to the inner behavior literature, using the SCC with target behaviors in the therapeutic setting, and future directions for utilizing the SCC within clinical psychology.


Deliberate Practice and Precision Measurement: Utilizing Precision Measurement for the Development of Core Therapeutic Skills

JOSH LOVELL (Hofstra University)

Deliberate practice is a systematic and purposeful practice technique utilized to master a variety of skills across many domains. This form of practice seeks to examine core skills required for a greater skills and increasing practice in each of these domains. One domain that could benefit from deliberate practice is the development of core therapeutic skills in the field of clinical psychology. While deliberate practice in the form of utilizing video and audio tapes of therapy session and role plays have been utilized, very little work has been done to create precise, actionable measurement systems that may be beneficial for a deliberate practice framework. The purpose of this discussion is to examine the initial stages of utilizing precision measurement and the standard celeration chart (SCC) when viewing therapist behavior in video-taped therapy session. Application to specific clinical component and composite skills will be discussed, as will potential future avenues for the application of precision measurement in the deliberate practice of therapy and barriers that exist within training settings.


Exposure Therapy With Precision Measurement: From Subjective Units of Distress Towards Objective Measurement

TOM BUQO (Hofstra University)

Exposure therapy is an early behavioral intervention for anxiety disorders that continues to play a key role in a number of existing psychotherapies. Of note, it provides a powerful treatment method for phobias and panic (exposure therapy), obsessive compulsive disorder (Exposure and Response Prevention [ERP]), and posttraumatic stress disorder (Prolonged Exposure [PE]). While exposure therapy often takes data in Subjective Units of Distress (SUDs), no precise, objective system of data collection and measurement has been applied. The current discussion will provide initial applications of precision measurement to exposure therapy, with an emphasis on recoding in-session approach and avoidance behavior on the standard celeration chart (SCC). Potential future avenues for application of precision measurement to exposure therapy will be discussed, as well as areas for future research in both exposure therapy with precision measurement and anxiety disorder treatment more broadly. In addition, barriers to the implementation of precision measurement in exposure therapy in both graduate training settings and other areas of clinical practice will be address with an emphasis on how to account for them.


New Technologies to Enhance Continuous Observation

DAVID STEVENS (Chartlytics)

A science of behavior brings with it a heavy emphasis on the objective measurement of events. When Skinner discovered the science of behavior by way of rate of response and a standard visual display, the operant chamber was a transformative tool that lead to significant discoveries. Today the application of technology to enrich the science of behavior is reaching a singularity. The confluence of wearable sensors, internet of things, artificial intelligence, big data, will drive the science of behavior analysis rapidly forward. In the near future it will be possible to quantify the value of a reinforcer to predict the occurrence of a behavior through a combination of precisely measured observed behaviors correlated to setting events of the physiological state. Wearable sensors, AI, single subject "big data" analysis will provide the data we need to predict when self injurious behavior is likely to occur or when we have pushed the learning to the point of diminishing returns and its time to take a break. This presentation will explore the history of continuous observation, some of the practical barriers to implementing it consistently in practice, and some potential solutions currently in development by Chartlytics.




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