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.

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48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

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Poster Session #81
EAB Saturday Poster Session: Odd-Numbered Posters
Saturday, May 28, 2022
1:00 PM–2:00 PM
Exhibit Level; Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Jonathan E. Friedel (Georgia Southern University)
13. Resistance to Change and Transferability: Can Persistence Transfer to Other Stimuli?
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
BEATRIZ ELENA ARROYO ANTUNEZ (Universidad de Guadalajara; Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones en Comportamiento), Carlos Javier Flores Aguirre (Universidad de Guadalajara)
Discussant: Cinthia Hernandez (Universidad de Guadalajara (CEIC))
Abstract:

Transferability of resistance to change was assessed. On Experiment 1, five pigeons were exposed to a control and experimental conditions. Control condition consisted of pigeons trained on a multiple schedule, with a rich component (VI 30s) and a lean component (VI 120s), signaled by different key lights. Pigeons were then exposed to the presentation of a pair of neutral stimuli, with no programmed consequences. Extinction and prefeeding probe sessions were done afterwards with the presentation of the neutral and discriminative stimuli. Experimental condition consisted on the same manipulations, however, pigeons were exposed to a second order conditioning procedure, using the neutral stimuli as second order stimuli and discriminative stimuli of the multiple schedule as first order stimuli. Probes were done afterwards. Results are interpreted according to Behavioral Momentum Theory, assessing transfer of function. Experiment 2, assessed transfer of persistence with five pigeons without a control condition. Pigeons were exposed directly to experimental conditions, as mentioned above, in order to avoid effects of history. Extinction probes were done in order to assess persistence to both neutral and discriminative stimuli.

 
15. An Efficient Method for Studying Variables That Impact Impulsive Choice in Rats
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
RYAN CHARLES BLEJEWSKI (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Elizabeth Katherine Garcia (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Justin T Van Heukelom (UNCW), Christine E. Hughes (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Cinthia Hernandez (Universidad de Guadalajara (CEIC))
Abstract:

When confronted with a choice between a smaller-sooner reinforcer (SSR) and a larger-later reinforcer (LLR), selecting the SSR over the LLR is considered impulsive. These two options differ in both magnitude and delay. The present study sought to develop an experimental arrangement to determine how each of these reinforcer dimensions contribute to impulsive choice. Rats responded under a concurrent-chains procedure. The magnitude and delay for one option was constant across the experiment, whereas the magnitude and delay for the other option changed across session blocks. Baseline data indicated that choice was controlled by the combined effects of reinforcement magnitude and delay. Using the generalized matching equation, sensitivity to magnitude was, on average, slightly higher than sensitivity to delay (.83 vs. .77, respectively) but this varied somewhat across rats. These data suggest this may be a practical and efficient method for quantifying the impact of the individual reinforcer dimensions when choice involves combinations of reinforcement dimensions (e.g., impulsive choice) in rats. Such a method may provide a sensitive baseline to examine the effects of neurobiological manipulations (e.g., drug administration) on impulsive choice.

 
17. Verifying Pre-Experimental Equivalence Relations Using Sorting Tests
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Ramon Marin (Universidade Federal de São Carlos - Brazil), DEISY DE SOUZA (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Discussant: Cinthia Hernandez (Universidad de Guadalajara (CEIC))
Abstract:

Based on the assumption that meaningful stimuli can be members of pre-experimentally established equivalence classes, this ongoing research aims to assess the reliability of online sorting tests for verifying pre-experimental relations. Ten participants were asked to sort 40 pictures based on what they considered as correct and then, to name the sorted sets. These pictures were taken from seven likely pre-experimental classes; Birds (A1B1C1D1E1), Vessels (A2B2C2D2), Gardening (A3B3C3D3), Dentistry (A4B4C4D4E4F4), Baking (A5B5C5D5E5F5), Car Mechanics (A6B6C6D6E6F6), and Abstract items (A7B7C7E7F7G7H7I7). Each class comprised physically similar and dissimilar pictures in order to assess non-arbitrary and arbitrary relations. Five participants sorted stimuli according to the expected classes. Three participants mixed classes and named them according to their mixed features (e.g., P101 blended Birds and Gardening classes and named them as one single class, “Nature”). Two participants sorted Abstract items into different classes. Partial results support sorting as a reliable strategy for assessing stimulus relations. Although participants have mostly sorted the pictures as expected, differences were exhibited when they clustered pre-experimentally defined classes. Naming requirements may help to identify discriminative controls for relational responses. Future stages will expand the size of each class and analyze the consistency of relations across participants.

 
19. Resurgence of Movement Patterns During the Acquisition of Sequences
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
JOSEF HARRIS (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas), Mary Elizabeth Hunter (Behavior Explorer)
Discussant: Cinthia Hernandez (Universidad de Guadalajara (CEIC))
Abstract: Reid (1994) taught rats to complete three-response sequences using a right and left lever. When subjects were shifted to a new response sequence, faster learning occurred when the last element in the sequence was changed as compared to the first element. Harris, Rosales-Ruiz, and Hunter (2020) replicated Reid using human participants and found similar results. Both experiments assumed that participants learned a sequence of left and right responses, such as left-left-right. However, this pattern can also be interpreted as a “stay” response followed by a “switch” response. This study conducted a reanalysis of the data from Harris, Rosales-Ruiz, and Hunter in terms of stay and switch responses. Data analysis showed that when a new response pattern was required, subjects persisted with the previous pattern and then resurged to earlier learned patterns of stay and switch responses. These results indicate that the difficulty of learning a new sequence depended less on whether the first or last element in the sequence was changed and more on what movement patterns were previously reinforced.
 
21. Impacts of Stimulus Type on Behavioral Contrast and Resurgence
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
AMANDA MILES (West Virginia University), Anthony Oliver (University of Vermont), Kennon Andy Lattal (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Cinthia Hernandez (Universidad de Guadalajara (CEIC))
Abstract: Resurgence and behavioral contrast involve increased responding during a constant component when reinforcement conditions are worsened during another component. The present experiment was conducted to determine the impact of the presence or absence of associated stimuli on responding to the unchanged component in both resurgence and contrast paradigms. Four white Carneau pigeons were exposed to a series of counterbalanced conditions and stimuli exposures. A concurrent schedule was used for all conditions, with one key arranging a multiple schedule with multiple stimuli. During the critical phases, one of the key colors was darkened during the multiple schedule. Given a change in conditions, responding in the unchanged component increased for all pigeons (as of the completion of the first half of the experiment). Resurgence of the target response occurred only when the alternative key was darkened. Absence of a distinct stimulus during the resurgence test phase increased the amount of resurgence observed (i.e., more responding to the target when the alternative key was darkened). There were no observed differences in contrast as a function of the stimulus in the alternative component. These results add to the understanding of stimulus variables that impact responding when the conditions of reinforcement of alternative responding worsen
 
23. The Effects of Blocking Episodic Future Thinking on Measures of Delay Discounting
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MIKE HARMAN (Briar Cliff University), James House (The Pier Center for Autism)
Discussant: Jonathan E. Friedel (Georgia Southern University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was twofold. First, to evaluate the extent to which engaging in ongoing overt episodic future thinking for 30 s affected measures of delay discounting. Second, to evaluate the effects of a 30-s verbal blocking task on measures of delay discounting. Twenty-six college students served as participants. Participants were presented a hypothetical monetary scenario and instructed to report the smallest amount of money that they would be willing to receive now instead of waiting to receive $1,000. Seven delays between 1 day and 5 years were used. Participants were instructed to wait 30 s before providing their response. During the 30-s wait interval, participants were instructed to sit quietly (control condition), describe in as much detail as possible what they believe they will be doing at the specified date in the future (EFT condition), or list as many English words that start with a given consonant (blocking condition). Area under curve (AUC) measures were calculated and compared across conditions. Mean AUC measures significantly differed across conditions. The blocking condition yielded significantly lower mean AUC values compared to the control and EFT conditions. The results of the current study provide support for the role of verbal behavior in mediating decisions in delay discounting contexts.
 
25. The Effects of Variability Constraints, in the Form of Lag Schedules, on Structure Diversity in a Virtual Block Building Environment
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
LAUREN PALMATEER (Western New England University, The New England Center for Children), Jonathan W. Pinkston (Western New England University)
Discussant: Jonathan E. Friedel (Georgia Southern University)
Abstract: Variability has been considered a dimension of operant behavior that can be learned (Page & Neuringer, 1985), and that high variability is crucial to the facilitation of learning (Stokes et al., 2008). One type of environmental constraint that determines variability in a learning task is a variability constraint, which determines how something must be done in order to access reinforcement (Stokes & Harrison, 2002). An example of a variability constraint is a lag schedule, which is a manipulation where the current response must differ from the last number of “X” responses to result in reinforcement (Page & Neuringer, 1985). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of lag schedules on structure building in an individual diagnosed with autism. We designed a computerized block-building environment, where the participant moved through several phases that imposed different lag values, requiring them to vary the structures they are building with blocks shown on screen. Our preliminary data suggest that lag schedules did not come to control this participant’s behavior. One interesting finding is that the general increase in structures across sessions may point to our task gaining reinforcing value, like findings in Napolitano et al. (2010).
 
27. Assessing Infants’ Social Evaluations: Virtual Replication and Extension Using Repeated Measures
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MARIEL MONTES (University of the Pacific), samantha crooks (University of the Pacific), Alondra Del Real (University of the Pacific), Ashley Bonfoey (University of the Pacific), Angel Zhong (University of the Pacific ), Mark Matz (University of the Pacific), Carolynn S. Kohn (University of the Pacific)
Discussant: Jonathan E. Friedel (Georgia Southern University)
Abstract: Highly cited research on infant social evaluations suggest that infants have an unlearned preference for prosocial others. However, these studies use a single measure of the dependent variable (puppet choice), which does not allow choice stability to be evaluated within and across participants. Several failed replications have been published, including replications using single-case designs with repeated measures. Although not limited by a single choice, repeated measures after one puppet show may result in side perseveration (choosing a puppet on the same side). To address these limitations, we extended typical methodology by using repeated measures and having infants watch puppet shows before each choice. We assessed six infants virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions. Infants first watched a puppet show depicting a helper (prosocial) puppet and a hinderer puppet, then were prompted to choose between them. This sequence was repeated three additional times. We observed no clear patterns in infant choices, and several failed to make a choice. Results suggest a virtual format may not be suitable to evaluate infants’ choices. Given the number of published failed replications, researchers ought to assess infants’ choice stability by examining the conditions under which infants make puppet choices and placing these choices under experimental control.
 
29. Rate of Positive Alternative Reinforcement Affects Resurgence of Negatively Reinforced Target Behavior
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
LUCIE ROMANO (Western Michigan University), Gregory S. Smith (University of Dayton; University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine), Brooke M. Smith (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Jonathan E. Friedel (Georgia Southern University)
Abstract: Exposure therapy is the gold-standard treatment for anxiety and related disorders. Resurgence is a useful model for conceptualizing the mechanisms of operant suppression and relapse during exposure therapy. Previous resurgence studies have manipulated rates of alternative reinforcement, but most have examined positively reinforced target and alternative behaviors. As a model of exposure therapy, however, it is important to study resurgence using negatively reinforced target and positively reinforced alternative behaviors. The current study investigated the effects of rich and lean rates of alternative reinforcement on suppression and resurgence of escape/avoidance behavior in typically developing humans. In phase 1, three groups could escape/avoid a loud noise by clicking an object on a computer screen (target response). In phase 2, groups received points on either a rich, lean, or extinction (no reinforcement) schedule for clicking another object (alternative response). In phase 3, all groups underwent extinction for both responses. Results showed moderate suppression of the target response in all three groups during phase 2. During phase 3, there was marked resurgence of the target response in the Rich condition and minimal resurgence in Lean and Control. Implications for translating these findings to the treatment of anxiety and related disorders will be discussed.
 
31. A Remote Application of the Matching Law to Social Dynamics
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
KAYLA N MINEHART (Western New England University; The New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children), Brenna Michele Anderson (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Discussant: Jonathan E. Friedel (Georgia Southern University)
Abstract: The Matching Law is a quantitative representation of the relation between response and reinforcement rate (Herrnstein, 1974). Studying the application of the Matching Law entails arranging concurrent schedules of reinforcement and measuring the subject’s responding on either schedule. The purpose of our study was to extend the matching methodology used in Borrero and colleagues (2007) to social dynamics using a remote preparation. We arranged for typically developing, adult participants to experience conditions of varying ratios of reinforcement on a concurrent schedule. During sessions, reinforcement was delivered on non-independent concurrent random ratio schedules via a text messaging preparation. We observed undermatching with all participants. IOA data were not collected due to the texting application saving permanent product recordings of each session conducted. This study is important to the Matching Law as it extends the Matching Law literature by demonstrating matching in adult, neurotypical humans in a remote, gamified text messaging preparation.
 
33. An Evaluation of the Effects of the Number of Options Within an Array and Time Constraints on an Individual's Preference for Choice Contexts
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ANDREA B. WILSON (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Julie A. Ackerlund Brandt (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology ), Kathryn L. Kalafut (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Jack Spear (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Jonathan E. Friedel (Georgia Southern University)
Abstract:

Previous research has found that choice in and of itself can be a reinforcer; however, research has also found there are limits to this, such as when there are too many choices. The current study, replicated and extended behavior-economic research using behavior-analytic methods by (a) determining the prevalence of preference for choice in a large number of adults, (b) evaluating large numbers of options on preference for choice and satisfaction, and (c) evaluating the effects of time constraints on an individual’s preference for choice and satisfaction with those choices. Results showed that many participants preferred choice over no-choice contexts. One third of the participants reached a breaking point during the choice overload phase and time constraint phase. Additionally, results indicated that it was more difficult to choose when there were more choices and when there was less time. These findings demonstrate that offering extensive amounts of options may have negative effects but suggest further research be conducted on more substantial contexts.

 
35. Effect of C:t Ratios on Sign-Tracking and Conditioned Reinforcer Efficacy
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
SABA MAHMOUDI (Utah State University), Sara Peck (Utah State University), Joshua Jones (Utah State University), Gregory Madden (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Conditioned reinforcement is widely used in applied behavior analysis, but variables influencing its efficacy are not well understood. Pavlovian learning underlies conditioned reinforcement and larger C:t ratios facilitate that learning (C is the inter-reinforcer interval and t is the conditioned stimulus (CS) ---> reinforcer interval). Following Pavlovian training with nonhumans, the CS evokes sign-tracking (CS approach) and/or goal-tracking (feeder entry). Prior studies have shown that larger C:t values promote sign-tracking, and separate studies report that the CS is more reinforcing in rats’ that naturally sign-track. In this rat study, we combined these separate findings by manipulating C:t values across groups (1.75, 3.5, and 12). Sign-tracking was measured during training and CS reinforcer efficacy was measured in sessions in which an operant nosepoke produced the CS alone. With data-collection ongoing, more sign-tracking occurs in the C:t 12 than in the 1.75 group (Figure 1). The amount of sign-tracking was a significant predictor of operant responding for the CS on testing day 1 (Figure 2). Finally, C:t 12 rats responded more for the CS than C:t 3.5 rats; the difference between C:t 1.75 and 12, thus far, only approaches significance. These findings suggest C:t ratios and sign-tracking play a role in conditioned reinforcer efficacy.

 
 

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