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 #105
CE Offered: BACB
Bidirectional Naming and Derived Relations With Arbitrary/Non-Arbitrary and Familiar/Unfamiliar Stimuli
Saturday, May 26, 2018
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Coronado Ballroom DE
Area: DEV/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kelly Mercorella (The Pennsylvania State University)
Discussant: R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
CE Instructor: R. Douglas Greer, Ph.D.

Typically developing children learn language incidentally through experiences interactions with caregivers in the environment. However, some children do not acquire language incidentally, and require direct instruction. We call the presence of the incidental acquisition of language as a speaker and a listener as Bidirectional Naming. We present 4 papers that examine the ways individuals acquire language incidentally and the subsequent effects of the acquisition of Bidirectional Naming. The first paper examines the differences in the incidental acquisition of language for familiar and non-familiar stimuli. Results demonstrated a significant difference in the percentage of correct responses emitted during probe sessions for the different types of stimuli. The second paper sought to determine if there is a relation between the presence of Bidirectional Naming and relational responding for arbitrary and non-arbitrary stimuli. The third paper examines the relation between verbal developmental cusps and the acquisition of basic relational concept development as measured by the Boehm Test of Basic Concepts. The final paper examines effective modes of instruction for students who have acquired Bidirectional Naming, and if its presence effected the rate of acquisition for new operants. All results will be discussed in terms of the educational implications of Bidirectional Naming.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Bidirectional Naming, Derived Relations, VBDT
Target Audience:

The target audience for this symposium are behavior analysts that are interested in the incidental learning of language, and its theoretical and practical implications.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will (1) understand the components of bidirectional naming, (2) explain how individuals may acquire bidirectional naming and derived relations, and (3) know the educational significance of the acquisition of bidirectional naming for individuals with disabilities.

Conditioned Reinforcement for Observing Visual Non-Familiar and Familiar Stimuli: A Comparison of Naming Repertoires and the Effects of a Repeated Probe Procedure

KELLY L. KLEINERT (Columbia University Teachers College), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)

Children's vocabulary exponentially increases without direct instruction (Hart & Risley, 1995). Verbal behavior developmental research and theory suggests that children acquire listener and speaker responses to a stimulus after observation of another person saying the name of the stimulus, when a Full Naming repertoire (i.e., joint stimulus control across listener and speaker responses) is present. In Experiment I, I examined the differences between incidental language acquisition of familiar (non-contrived) and unfamiliar (contrived) stimuli for 20 first-grade students. Paired samples t-tests were conducted to compare the percentage of correct untaught: (a) listener and speaker responses across stimuli conditions. The t-test revealed a significant difference in the percentage of correct untaught listener and speaker responses for familiar versus unfamiliar stimuli conditions. The results also suggest that the learned repertoire to acquire language incidentally differs across stimuli types (familiar and unfamiliar), consistent with findings of recent studies. In Experiment II, I examined the effects of a repeated naming probe intervention on the emergence of naming for familiar and unfamiliar stimuli. The increased numbers of correct untaught responses during post-intervention naming probe sessions across all participants, demonstrated relation between increased naming experiences and the emergence of joint stimulus control across listener and speaker responses for both stimuli types.


An Experimental Analysis of the Establishment of Bidirectional Naming on the Emergence of Non-Arbitrary and Arbitrary Applicable Relational Responding

GEORGETTE MORGAN (Columbia University Teachers College), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)

The purpose of this experiment is to determine if there is a relation between the presence of Bidirectional Naming (BiN) and relational responding for arbitrary and non-arbitrary stimuli. 32 preschool students , ages 2 to 4-years-old, were selected based on the demonstration of prerequisite listener and speaker repertoires. The participants were separated into 4 groups to control for sequence effects. Following a single exposure to a novel set of stimuli, the presence of BiN was measured by the number of correct listener (i.e., point) and speaker (i.e., intraverbal tact) responses emitted by the participants. The participants were trained with a second set of novel arbitrary and non-arbitrary stimuli in order to determine the presence of relational responses. These responses were measured based on correct responses to mutual entailment and combinatorial entailment probes. The results will be discussed in terms of (1) the presence of BiN, (2) the presence of relational responding, and (3) the relation between the two.


Basic Relational Concept and Verbal Behavior Development in Preschool Children With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorder

LIN DU (Teachers College, Columbia University), Alexis Branca (Teachers College, Columbia University), Ann Boehm (Teachers College, Columbia University)

The current study investigated basic, relational concept development, as measured by the Boehm Test of Basic Concepts 3rd Edition Preschool Version (BTBC3-P), in 51 preschoolers with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Relational concepts represent spatial, dimensional, temporal, quantitative, and class relationships between objects or people. This study investigated relational concept acquisition using Verbal Behavior Development Theory (VBDT) framework. We found that preschoolers with ASD demonstrated significantly fewer acquisition of total concepts, quantitative concepts, and spatial concepts than their typically developing (TD) counterparts. Also, the more VBD cusps and capabilities a child attained, the more concepts he/she correctly identified. Further, regardless of diagnosis and student progression of VBD, naming was a significant predictor of total concepts known (R2 naming = .114), as well as of concepts known not covered in the C-PIRK curriculum (R2 naming = .099) used at the preschool. A secondary aim of this study investigated the effects of an Assessor's Tactic Checklist on the students' motivation and on task behavior as well as the assessment validity. Overall, diagnosis and naming were related to the number of assessor's tactics used, with those children with ASD and children without naming requiring significantly more types of tactics than their counterparts.

The Naming Continuum and the Subsequent Acceleration of Learning
MADELINE FRANK (Teachers College Columbia University)
Abstract: In Experiment 1, I tested the effects of the induction of the verbal developmental capability of Bidirectional Naming (BiN) on the rate of acquisition of new operants under Standard Learn Unit (SLU) and Instructional Demonstration Learn Unit (IDLU) conditions. With 4 preschool-age participants, I conducted a combined multiple probe and counterbalanced ABAB/BABA reversal design across dyads. Each participant’s rate of acquisition was compared under the IDLU and SLU conditions before and after the acquisition of BiN. After the acquisition of BiN, all participants demonstrated accelerated rates of learning academic objectives when provided IDLU instruction, indicating a functional relation between the acquisition of BiN and the acceleration of learning via teacher-modeled instruction. In Experiment 2, a combined ABAB/BABA reversal design across learning objectives and levels of BiN was used to compare the rate of learning speaker (i.e., tact) and listener (i.e., point-to) tasks across both IDLU and SLU conditions. Results indicated that students with BiN in repertoire always benefited from IDLU instruction, but students with only Unidirectional Naming (the listener half of Naming) only learned faster when provided a model for listener tasks. Results across both Experiments 1 and 2 indicate that BiN, which allows for students to learn language incidentally, is an essential verbal developmental capability for learning through the observation of a model in a standard classroom instructional setting.



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