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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Paper Session #64
Teaching Basic Principles and Terminology of Behavior Analysis
Saturday, May 23, 2020
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Level M4, Independence A-C
Area: TBA
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Aisling Collins (Jigsaw CABAS School)
Teaching Behaviour Analytic Terminology through Peer Tutoring: Comparing Acquisition Rates of the Tutor and Tutee
Domain: Service Delivery
AISLING COLLINS (Jigsaw CABAS® School), Katie Hyde (Jigsaw CABAS® School)
Abstract: The acquisition of scientific verbal behaviour is crucial for behaviour analysts to communicate both effectively and efficiently. This study sought to investigate peer-tutoring as a means to teach behaviour analytic tacts, whilst comparing rates of acquisition for the tutor and tutee. A multiple probe design across two dyads and two stimulus sets was employed. The participants were four Comprehensive Application of Behaviour Analysis to Schooling® teachers who were required to give an appropriate tact when vocally presented with the definition of a term. The results indicated that peer-tutoring was effective in teaching tacts, with a functional relation demonstrated for six out of eight phases. Whether tutors or tutees acquired the tacts quicker differed across individual participants. The maintenance and functional application of the acquired verbal behaviour is discussed. Future studies could compare current results to larger group conditions such as choral responding, with consideration also required in the domain of which instructional histories gave rise to differences in acquisition rates dependent on the tutor or tutee role.
The Development and Implementation of a Program to Teach the Operant Quadrant
Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA AUZENNE (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract: The operant quadrant (i.e., positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, and negative punishment) is included in behavior analysis, education, psychology, and business courses. In the private sector, these concepts have been included when training human services professionals and animal trainers. However, students often have trouble classifying examples of these concepts. Behavior analysis has a rich history in programmed instruction (see Vargas & Vargas, 1991) and the use of single-subject methodologies to develop teaching programs. However, no published studies to date have employed these strategies in creating instruction to teach learners to categorize situations in terms of the operant quadrant. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the instructional design process employed to create an instructional program to teach the quadrant. This paper will also describe learner outcomes from a variety of learners following their completion of this instructional program. Implications for introducing future learners to behavior analytic concepts will be discussed.

Teaching New Definitions of the Motivating Operation, Discriminative Stimulus, and Stimulus Delta Using Equivalence Based Instruction:Rationale and Discussion of Revision of Definitions, the Need for Discrimination Training, and Some Unexpected Problems

Domain: Applied Research
SHANNON SHEA SHEA (Vinfen Corporation)

The terms Motivating Operation and Discriminative Stimulus are widespread and thought to be generally well understood in the field of ABA. However, there are significant issues with Interobserver Agreement among Behavior Analysts when attempting to discriminate between these stimuli in realistic situations. Jack Michael made a major contribution to the science of ABA with his development of the MO concept. However, further refinement of the concept, as well as the published definition of the discrimination stimulus need to be explored. This talk explores IOA in textual vignettes and video stimuli, uses Equivalence Based Instruction to teach revised definitions of these terms and evaluates whether IOA improves. It also evaluates the utility of Moodle as a platform to deliver equivalence based instruction to large groups without a proctor. Discussion and evaluation of the applied utility of current definitions for stimulus control are discussed as well.

Training Program Quality: Experiences and Perspectives of Current Behavior Analysts
Domain: Service Delivery
JUSTIN N COY (University of Pittsburgh), Olivia Grace Enders (University of Pittsburgh), Douglas E. Kostewicz (University of Pittsburgh)
Abstract: Recent empirical research and special issues have focused on determining appropriate training program ranking metrics, including faculty productivity and pass rates. Arguably, an important way to judge the quality of a training program is by talking with its graduates. Field leaders have recognized the critical importance of student voice in understanding program quality (Iwata, 2015). However, to date no research has focused on understanding the program or supervision experiences of our behavior professionals. A mixed-methods survey was send to over 1,200 behavior analysts across Pennsylvania to understand a variety of professional issues, including questions about the strengths and needs of their training program. The respondents (n = 98) identified strengths of program design or characteristics (e.g., providing supervision), quality faculty and instructors, and effective instructional activities. Common programmatic needs included real-life applications of skills, specific content(s) (e.g., verbal behavior), and program organization. Interestingly, reported strengths and needs differed by the programs’ method of instruction (on-campus, hybrid, and online). Results from this survey will add an important missing voice into our fields’ conversations regarding training program quality and can provide critically important information for those responsible for training and supervising the next generation of behavior analysts.



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