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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Symposium #107
CE Offered: BACB
When One’s Listener and Speaker Behaviors Join – The Effects of a Rotated Protocol on Verbal Behavior Development Cusps
Saturday, May 25, 2024
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 4, Franklin Hall 1-2
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Francis Hwang (Touchstone ABA)
Discussant: Dolleen-Day Keohane (Nicholls State University, Touchstone)
CE Instructor: Francis Hwang, Ph.D.

Skinner (1957) posited the joining of the listener- and speaker-within-the-skin to refer to when one talks to oneself overtly or covertly. Expanding on this notion, verbal behavior development theorists identified specific verbal behavior development cusps that lead to joining of the listener and speaker. These cusps allow one to be fully verbal as one functions as both a listener and a speaker (Pohl et al., 2020). Researchers also found protocols that showed positive effects on inducing these cusps, if missing in one’s repertoires. We conducted 2 studies to further investigate the joining of listener and speaker cusps. In the first study, we sought to identify a significant relation among the presence of specific joining of the listener and speaker cusps. In the second experiment, we tested the effects of a rotated protocol package on the emergence of cusps that join listener and speaker behaviors. The rotated protocol consisted of components from social listener reinforcement (Reilly-Lawson & Walsh, 2007), self-talk immersion protocol (Farrell et al., in revision), and multiple exemplar instruction (Gilic & Greer, 2012). Results are discussed in terms of the change one’s interaction with the environment following the acquisition of joining of the listener and speaker verbal behavior cusps.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): developmental protocol, Inc-BiN, social communication, verbal behavior
Target Audience:

Target audience should have basic knowledge of Skinner's verbal behavior and verbal behavior development theory. The symposium is designed for practitioners to expand their learners' verbal behavior development through protocols and interventions.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify verbal developmental cusps that are prerequisites to development of verbal developmental cusps that joins one's listener and speaker behaviors; (2) describe probe procedures to assess targeted verbal developmental cusps
Identifying Necessary Skills to Support the Joining of the Listener and Speaker Repertoires
TRICIA CLEMENT-JAMES (LaBAA), Francis Hwang (Touchstone ABA)
Abstract: Expanding on Skinner (1957)’s verbal behavior, researchers identified verbal developmental cusps and protocols that induce certain cusps when missing in one’s repertoires. Verbal behavior cusps allow one to access new reinforcers that did not have reinforcing properties prior to acquiring the verbal behavior cusp. Previous research found that verbal developmental cusps accelerate one’s learning, make new learning possible, and lead to social learning. Based on the preliminary study that showed Incidental Bidirectional Naming as the most predominantly missing repertoires across 15 participants, we expanded the research question in the current study. In this study, we conducted probes for listener, speaker, and joining of listener and speaker verbal developmental cusps to identify skills that may be necessary for the joining of the listener and speaker repertoires to emerge. We sought to identify significant correlation among the presence of verbal developmental cusps. The study is currently on going. The result of the study is discussed in terms of future directions for participants who did not have certain verbal developmental cusps in their repertoires.
The Effects of a Rotated Protocol Package on Joining of Listener and Speaker Verbal Behavior Cusps
FRANCIS HWANG (Touchstone ABA), Tricia Clement-James (LaBAA), Dolleen-Day Keohane (Nicholls State University, Touchstone)
Abstract: Expanding one’s verbal community, accelerating learning, and social learning are some key goals for all learners. These critical skills are closely tied to the development of verbal behavior developmental cusps (Pohl et al., 2020). Researchers’ identified protocols that induce the missing verbal developmental cusps. However, implementation of a protocol for each missing cusp is time consuming. Previous research investigated a rotated protocol package designed to induce preverbal foundation cusps (Keohane et al. 2008). The results showed increases in capabilities associated with the preverbal foundation cusps for the protocol’s implemented. In the current study, we utilized a multiple probe design to test the effects of a rotated protocol package on the joining of listener and speaker cusps. The rotated protocol package in this study included the implementation of research-based protocols to induce joining of the listener and speaker cusps. We targeted acquisition of multiple cusps that lead to joining of one’s listener and speaker behaviors. The study is currently ongoing.



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