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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Paper Session #484
CE Offered: BACB
A Behaviorist on Mars: Lessons Learned from an Interdisciplinary Study on Stress Measurement
Monday, May 30, 2022
11:30 AM–11:55 AM
Meeting Level 1; Room 104A
Area: CBM
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Laura L. Dudley (Northeastern University)
CE Instructor: Maeve G. Donnelly, Ph.D.
A Behaviorist on Mars: Lessons Learned from an Interdisciplinary Study on Stress Measurement
Domain: Applied Research
LAURA L. DUDLEY (Northeastern University), Maeve G. Donnelly (Northeastern University), Nicole M. Davis (Northeastern University), Hui Wang (Northeastern University), Xuan Li (Northeastern University), Felicia Waldron (Northeastern University), Andrew Dolman (Northeastern University), Holly Jimison (Northeastern University)
Abstract: Recent research has suggested that elevated stress levels can have adverse mental and physical health effects (McEwen, 2008). However, stress can be difficult to study, as the related responses are often covert. The reduction of stress-related responses is an applied endeavor that may be addressed by behavior analysts. Previous studies have relied on the use of self-report or the measurement of physiological responses to study stress. However, self-report may not be entirely reliable, and no single physiological indicator of stress has been identified to date. The current interdisciplinary study investigated the utility of direct measurement of electrodermal activity using wearable technology and self-report among eight participants following stress exposure tests. Results showed that, in general, physiological responses correlated with exposure to stressful situations. In cases with low correlation, self-report provided key information about idiosyncratic characteristics or experiences that may have impacted individual responses. Future directions are discussed regarding both the measurement of stress-related behaviors and the behavior analyst’s role on an interdisciplinary team investigating private events.
Target Audience:

Participants should demonstrate mastery of basic principles of applied behavior analysis including principles and terminology. It is also recommended that participants have experience applying the science of behavior to solve socially significant problems in any setting.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. List two methods previously used in the literature to measure stress 2. Describe the challenges in measuring stress-related responses 3. Describe one area in the measurement of stress-related responses that future research might explore



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Modifed by Eddie Soh