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 #89
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Research from the Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) Laboratory
Saturday, May 25, 2024
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 3, Liberty Ballroom Salon BC
Area: OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Denys Brand (California State University, Sacramento)
CE Instructor: Byron J. Wine, Ph.D.

Organizational Behavior Management involves the application of behavioral principles in the workplace in order to change employee behavior and achieve sustained improved business outcomes. This symposium focusses on research aimed at advancing our knowledge and understanding of the basic behavioral principles involved when implementing interventions commonly used in the workplace, such as feedback, incentives, and group contingencies. Toussaint Bernard-Pantin will present the results from a study that assessed the efficacy of and preference for corrective feedback and a combination of positive and corrective feedback. Wine will detail a study that was conducted to determine effective magnitudes of incentives when administrative staff completed a filing task. Newcomb will describe research that involved comparing the effectiveness of identified and anonymous preparations of dependent group contingencies when applied to direct care staff responsible for graphing data at the end of the workday. The results from each study allows for preliminary recommendations regarding best practice within organizational settings.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Feedback, Group contingencies, Incentive magnitudes, Preference
Target Audience:

Intermediate (Background and/or education in ABA/OBM, familiar with single-subject research methodology, understanding of group contingencies and incentive magnitudes)

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe procedures for assessing preference for different types of feedback; (2); describe the role of incentive magnitudes with respect to improving performance; and (3) describe the effectiveness of identified and anonymous preparations when using dependent group contingencies.
Determining the Efficacy of and Preference for Corrective Versus Positive Plus Corrective Feedback
(Basic Research)
TWIXT TOUSSAINT BERNARD-PANTIN (California State University, Sacramento), Denys Brand (California State University, Sacramento), Joshua Bensemann (The University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Abstract: Worker preferences are of interest to researchers in the field of Organizational Behavior Management since access to preferred stimuli and activities may increase intervention effectiveness. Delivering preferred feedback (i.e., information about performance) is an example of this. One characteristic of feedback is its nature, which can be either positive or corrective. Previous studies comparing preferences for positive and corrective feedback using direct-choice measures showed that participants preferred corrective feedback when learning new tasks. However, current best-practice indicates the use mixed feedback (positive and corrective) in applied settings. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of and preference for corrective versus mixed feedback on a direct-choice measure. College students learned to play novel computerized dice games associated with either corrective, positive plus corrective, or no feedback. Some participants completed a preference phase in which they chose the type of feedback they wanted to receive immediately following each trial, while others completed a best-treatment phase. Our initial results indicate preference for mixed feedback. The best-treatment phase data show that all stimuli sets were mastered once the most efficacious form of feedback was given. Suggestions and recommendation for practice are included.
An Evaluation of Magnitude in Monetary Incentives
(Basic Research)
BYRON J. WINE (The Faison Center; University of Virginia)
Abstract: The present studies were conducted to determine effective magnitudes of incentives for administrative employees. In study 1, five employees were exposed first to a baseline condition where no incentives were available for completing a filing task. Then, each participant was exposed to a magnitude evaluation condition where work completed in each session resulted in a systematically decreasing amount of money earned until the employees declined to continue responding. In the evaluation condition, the performance goals required to earn the incentives were set by increasing baseline responding by 10%. Results of the first study suggested that participants did not reliably meet filing goals when offered less than $2.11. The results of study 1 were then used to create a second study where, using a multiple baseline across participants design, three participants from the same organization were exposed to an incentive condition where $2.11 was available for meeting goals set at 20% above mean baseline responding. Results indicated that $2.11 consistently increased responding relative to a non-incentive baseline.
Variations of the Dependent Group Contingency and Effects on Direct Care Staff Meeting Weekly Goals
(Basic Research)
ELI T. NEWCOMB (The Faison Center), Shantel Pugliese (The Faison Center), Gina Graf (The Faison Center), Jody E. Liesfeld (The Faison Center), Byron J. Wine (The Faison Center; University of Virginia)
Abstract: Dependent Group Contingencies (DGC) have been applied to address multiple acquisition and performance problems and across several segments of the population, however, little work has been carried out with employees (see Page, Zimmerman, & Pinkelman, 2023). To date, only one prior study (Speltz, Shimamura, & McReynolds, 1982) arranged experimental conditions to examine potential differences in DGCs within which the target responder was identified versus kept anonymous. The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) test the effects of a DGC with direct care staff working with adolescents with autism and who were responsible for graphing specific data at the end of each workday; and (2) compare the effectiveness of identified and anonymous preparations of the DGC. Results indicated that the group’s completion of daily graphing assignments nearly doubled in the identified preparation as compared to baseline, and approximately tripled in the anonymous preparation of the DGC. Results will also be discussed in the context of social validity measures, including recommendations on how to couple this approach with appropriate target behavior.



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