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

Previous Page


Symposium #451
CE Offered: BACB
Assessing Procedural Variations to Evaluate Efficacy and Efficiency of Conditional Discrimination Interventions
Monday, May 28, 2018
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Grand Hall B
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Samantha Bergmann (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee )
Discussant: Einar T. Ingvarsson (Virginia Institute of Autism)
CE Instructor: Samantha Bergmann, M.A.

A conditional discrimination is a four-term contingency, and behavior controlled by both auditory and visual stimuli is an auditory-visual conditional discrimination (i.e., AVCD; receptive identification). Conditional discriminations like AVCD are relevant to many repertoires targeted in behavior analytic interventions and research on how to teach these repertoires is warranted. Bergmann et al., evaluated the efficacy and efficiency of three auditory discrimination procedures with two typically developing children; results suggested do-this/do-that was efficacious and most efficient in three of five comparisons. Gee, Hiett, Devine, and Petursdottir examined sample first and comparison first in AVCD training with error correction with typically developing children. The authors found that when error correction did not insert a delay, it was efficacious with both stimulus-order conditions. Cubicciotti, Vladescu, Reeve, Carroll, and Schnell investigated multiple stimulus orders (e.g., sample first, simultaneous) on acquisition of AVCD with three children with ASD. Idiosyncratic findings were reported. DiSanti, Eikeseth, and Eldevik employed two procedural arrangements to teach AVCD to children diagnosed with ASD. The structured mix was more efficacious for learners with less advanced AVCD repertoires whereas both arrangements were efficacious for learners with more advanced repertoires. Discussion on clinical implications and directions for future research will follow.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Auditory discrimination, conditional discrimination, efficacy, receptive identification
Target Audience:

The target audience is individuals conducting research and providing applied behavior analytic academic and behavioral interventions to individuals in need like children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Learning Objectives: Attendees will learn (a) the components of a conditional discrimination, (b) examples of procedural variations for teaching conditional discriminations, and (c) whether any procedure leads to more efficacious and/or efficient instruction.

Evaluating the Efficacy and Efficiency of Auditory Discrimination Procedures: A Translational Study With Two Typically Developing Children

SAMANTHA BERGMANN (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee ), Tiffany Kodak (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Gabriella Rachal Van Den Elzen (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee ), Terra Cliett (University of North Texas), Raven Wood (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Hannah Doyle (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee )

An auditory discrimination is when behavior comes under the control of auditory stimuli (e.g., sounds, words) in one's environment. To maximize benefit from instruction and function appropriately in the environment, one must develop a reliable auditory discrimination repertoire. A paucity of research on how to assess and teach auditory discrimination is currently available in the behavior-analytic literature. This translational study examined the efficacy and efficiency of three different conditions, go/no-go, do this/do that, and auditory match-to-sample, using a nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across participants and embedded adapted alternating treatments design to demonstrate auditory discrimination with two typically developing preschool girls. Do this/do that was the most efficacious and efficient procedure in three of five comparisons. Go/no-go was the most efficacious and efficient procedure in two comparisons following several procedural modifications including error correction. Auditory match-to-sample was never the most efficient condition. Implications for applied research and future directions will be discussed.


Effects of Error Correction Trials on Receptive Label Acquisition Under Two Stimulus Presentation Arrangements

PROVIDENCE GEE (Baylor University ), Kiley Hiett (Baylor University ), Bailey Devine (Texas Christian University), Anna I. Petursdottir (Texas Christian University)

In laboratory studies, conditional discrimination acquisition typically proceeds via trial and error as subjects contact the consequences of correct and incorrect responses in a matching-to-sample (MTS) task. In practical applications, by contrast, differential reinforcement is typically combined with prompting and prompt-fading strategies. The present study followed up on previous data on stimulus presentation arrangements in auditory-visual conditional discrimination training by examining if the effects of prompted error correction trials depended on stimulus presentation format (sample first vs. comparison first). Six typically developing children participated in two N=3 experiments. Each participant received eight sessions of instruction, two in each of four conditions, with new stimuli in each session. The dependent measure was accuracy in the last two trial blocks of each session. In Experiment 1, error correction reliably increased all participants' performance in the comparison-first but not in the sample-first condition. In Experiment 2, when the error correction procedure was altered such that it no longer created a delay between sample and comparison presentation in the sample-first condition, error correction reliably increased accuracy in both conditions. When a sample-first presentation format is used, prompts may be ineffective if they intervene between sample and comparison presentation.


Effects of Stimulus Presentation Order During Auditory-Visual Conditional Discrimination Training for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

JULIE CUBICCIOTTI (Caldwell University ), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University), Regina A. Carroll (West Virginia University), Lauren K. Schnell (Caldwell University)

Children with autism spectrum disorder are typically taught conditional discriminations using a match-to-sample arrangement. Consideration should be given to the temporal order in which antecedent stimuli (the sample and comparison stimuli) are presented during match-to-sample trials, as various arrangements have been used in the extant literature. The purpose of the current study was to compare four stimulus presentation orders on the acquisition of auditory-visual conditional discriminations. More specifically we included a clinically-relevant population (three children with autism spectrum disorder), employed clinically-relevant teaching procedures, and included two presentation formats not included in previous comparison evaluations (simultaneous and sample-first with re-presentation conditions). The results of the current study indicated that the most efficient method, regardless of measurement scale evaluated, for presenting stimuli during MTS trials was learner specific. More specifically, the simultaneous procedure was most efficient for Adam, the comparison-first arrangement was most efficient for Zeek, and the sample-first and sample-first with re-presentation arrangements were essentially both most efficient for Max. We will discuss results in light of previous studies and make suggestions for future research.

A Comparison Between Two Discrimination Training Procedures to Teach Simple and Complex Skills
BRITTANY MARIE DISANTI (Oslo and Akershus University College), Svein Eikeseth (Oslo and Akershus University College), Sigmund Eldevik (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)
Abstract: The two studies compared two different discrimination training procedures for teaching receptive labeling to children with autism. The first study included four children ranging in age from 4-years to 10-years old with 10-50 receptive labels in their repertoire. All participants were exposed to two sessions a day of the Structured Mix before Counterbalanced Random Rotation (SM) procedure (i.e., seven steps with mass trials and intermixing before randomization) and Counterbalanced Random Rotation (RR) procedure (i.e., random order of all stimuli). Two participants acquired the receptive labels in SM, one participant acquired the receptive labels in RR, and two participants did not acquire the receptive labels in either of the two procedures. The second study included five children ranging in age from 10-years to 11-years old with over 200 receptive labels in their repertoire. Sessions followed the same format as the first study. Four participants acquired the labels in both procedures. Of those who mastered labels, one acquired labels at a faster rate using the SM procedure for nouns. Perhaps the RR procedure is more effective for children with advanced listener repertoires, while the SM procedure is more effective for children with more limited listener repertoires. This possibility merits further study.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh