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 #290
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Various Socially Relevant Skills Using a Stimulus Equivalence Training Framework With Commercially Available Learning Tools
Sunday, May 27, 2018
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Ballroom G
Area: EDC/TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Bryan J. Blair (Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Bryan J. Blair, Ph.D.

In recent years, research in the area of Equivalence-Based Instruction (EBI) has demonstrated that a variety of skills can be taught using basic EBI experimental preparations, including undergraduate and graduate academic content and behavior analytic skills. However, many questions remain (e.g., training/testing protocols, response-prompting, class sizes, reinforcement schedules, instructional feedback etc.). The three studies included in this symposium further investigated the use of equivalence-based procedures to teach typically developing adults complex socially relevant behavior (graphical analysis, identify medical conditions, and sight-singing). The three skills that were taught are ones that have proven to be very difficult to teach with traditional approaches. In addition, the three studies extended the literature to demonstrate that EBI can also result in the emergence of topographically dissimilar (e.g., selection-based vs. tact) responses. These emergent responses are analogous to the primary socially relevant skill for the target learner. In addition, inexpensive commercially available web-based applications were used for all training and testing.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): derived, emergent, s, stimulus equivalence, typically developing
Target Audience:

Practicing BCBAs


Teaching the Visual Analysis of Graphs With Equivalence-Based Instruction: A Replication and Extension Using Commercially Available Learning Tools

BRYAN J. BLAIR (Endicott College), Michael F. Dorsey (Endicott College)

Previous research has demonstrated alarmingly low interrater agreement when visually inspecting trends in single-subject designs (see Wolfe, Seaman, & Drasgow, 2016). Typical didactic instruction of visual analysis for behavior analysts has yielded poor and unreliable results (Roane, Fisher, Kelley, Mevers, & Bouxsein, 2013). As such, a refined technology to improve the reliability among behavior analysts is warranted. Recently, developing research has focused on the emergence of untrained and novel responding with the use of Equivalence Based-Instruction (EBI) (Rehfeldt, 2011) and multiple-exemplar training (MET) for a variety of academic skills. Blair et al. (in preparation, 2017) demonstrated the efficacy of EBI for teaching the visual analysis of graphs. The current study extended and replicated Blair et al. (2017) by using commercially available learning tools for the EBI training platform and also included transfer-of-function probes (i.e., tacts). Initial results suggest that these learning tools are effective in establishing equivalence classes with undergraduate student participants and resulted in better generalization than previous studies, and that written tacts emerged with high accuracy.


Training Sight-Singing Using Equivalence-Based Instruction; A Preliminary Investigation

PAUL MAHONEY (Endicott College; Amego, Inc.), Bryan J. Blair (Endicott College)

The current study evaluates the application of equivalence-based instruction to teach sight-singing two adults. Sight singing is defined as the singing of the correct notes as indicated on sheet music. Generally, this is considered a difficult task to master by learners of music. The purpose of this study is as follows: to extend the application of equivalence-based instruction to a relatively novel content-area (i.e., singing), assess if generalization occurs to a novel response topography (i.e., participant vocalization of identified note pitch), and to apply commercially-available technology to the instruction. To train sight-singing, equivalence-based instruction technology was applied using commercially available technology. Following an initial baseline in which all relations were assessed (AB, AC, BA, CA, BC, CB, and BD), match-to-sample (MTS) training was conducted using the commercially-available technologies. Equivalence tests and an evaluation of a novel response topography will be conducted. This study will determine if sight-singing can be taught using equivalence-based instructional procedures.


Using Equivalence Based Instruction to Teach the Identification of Asymmetrical Head Shapes in Infants: A Preliminary Analysis

ELIZABETH KIRBY (Endicott College; Hopeful Journeys Educational Center), Bryan J. Blair (Endicott College), Michael F. Dorsey (Endicott College)

The current study evaluated the application of Equivalence-Based Instruction (EBI) to teach identification of symptomatic and asymptomatic head shapes in infants. EBI methodology employs match to sample presentation. In this study components were presented using commercially available computer based technology. This technology was used while maintaining instruction and application in an EBI model. The use of this EBI technology allowed the experimenter to quickly teach complex skills to a variety of individuals. Subsequently teaching nurses who generally interact with infants in a pediatrician's office provides the potential for earlier diagnosis of the targeted medical conditions that produces asymmetrical heads; craniosynostosis, and plagiocephaly. Craniosynostosis affects one child in every 2,000 children (Proctor, 2014). Plagiocephaly affects 20-25% of infants in the united states (CDC, 2017). Early diagnosis of craniosynostosis provides more treatment options, with the opportunity of lowering medical costs (Hashim, Patel, Yang, Travieso, Terner, Losee, & Mayes, 2014). The application of EBI will enhance the early identification of craniosynostosis and plagiocephaly in infants as well as demonstrate the use of a commercially available technology in the application of EBI.




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