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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50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details


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Symposium #497
CE Offered: BACB
Understanding Variables Influencing Observation Accuracy
Monday, May 27, 2024
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 5, Grand Ballroom Salon CD
Area: OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Grace Elizabeth Bartle (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
CE Instructor: Timothy R. Vollmer, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium explores crucial aspects of observation accuracy and its impact on feedback delivery and procedural fidelity data collection. Despite the importance of observation accuracy, there exists a notable gap in research regarding variables that can affect observation accuracy. Through this symposium, the talks aim to address this gap by shedding light on the factors influencing observation accuracy and implications regarding feedback integrity and procedural fidelity. In the first presentation, Bartle will share findings from a study that evaluated whether progressive performance improvement following feedback can combat decreases in observation accuracy and feedback integrity despite experiencing negative reactions to the feedback. In the second presentation, Aguilar will describe the results of a study that evaluated the extent to which Board Certified Behavior Analysts accurately detected programmed fidelity errors when observing two therapists of different races/ethnicities implementing a differential reinforcement of other behavior procedure. Finally, Dr. Timothy Vollmer will present discussant remarks, providing an insightful overview of the two studies and their implications for future research.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Data Collection, Feedback, Observation Accuracy, Procedural Fidelity
Target Audience: Practitioners Researchers Aspiring and certified behavior analysts
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe the findings from a study that evaluated whether progressive performance improvement following feedback can combat decreases in observation accuracy and feedback integrity despite experiencing negative reactions to the feedback; (2) Summarize the outcomes of a study investigating the extent to which Board Certified Behavior Analysts accurately detected programmed fidelity errors when observing therapists of differing races/ethnicities; (3) Discuss the impact of various variables on the accuracy of data collected by supervisors, particularly in the context of behavior analysis.
 
The Effects of Progressive Improvement on Observation and Feedback Accuracy
(Basic Research)
GRACE ELIZABETH BARTLE (University of Kansas), Matthew M Laske (University of Kansas), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Delivering feedback to someone who has a neutral or negative reaction decreases observation accuracy and feedback accuracy frequency (Matey et al., 2021). These findings are problematic given the persistent, negative effects of inaccurate feedback on performance (Hirst & DiGennaro Reed, 2014). Moreover, the omission of feedback can impact one’s success in their job. Possibly, experiencing the positive outcomes of delivering feedback—witnessing performance improvement—may prevent degradations in observation and feedback accuracy. This study evaluated whether observation and feedback accuracy remained high when participants witnessed performance improvement following feedback delivered to a confederate who reacted negatively. Participants were assigned to one of three groups: (a) control (no improvement) (b) PI-60 (performance improvement to 60%) (c) PI-90 (performance improvement to 90%). Participants were instructed to observe and record the safety performance of a confederate during baseline. Next, participants were instructed to deliver feedback and the confederate reacted negatively. Last, participants chose whether to provide feedback. We have collected data for 15 of 30 participants. The preliminary findings reveal relatively higher observation and feedback accuracy for the PI-90 group. However, all groups reduced feedback accuracy by the study's conclusion and nearly all participants opted not to provide feedback.
 
Impacts of Error Rate and Therapist Appearance on the Accuracy of Fidelity Data Collection
(Applied Research)
MARISELA ALICIA AGUILAR (West Virginia University), Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Procedural fidelity is the extent to which a procedure is implemented as designed. Analyzing procedural-fidelity data can improve treatment outcomes. Fidelity data are generally collected by a supervisor or trained data collector using a checklist that operationalizes each component of the procedure and accounts for errors in implementation of the components. However, little is known about variables that may affect the accuracy of supervisor-collected data generally, and even less is known about variables that may affect the accuracy of procedural-fidelity data. Therefore, the current studies explored the extent to which Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) accurately detected programmed fidelity errors when using a tally checklist (Experiment 1) or rating scale (Experiment 2) for a resetting differential reinforcement of other behavior procedure (DRO). Nine participants were exposed to four conditions in which they watched videos of a resetting DRO with two therapists of different races/ethnicities with varied programmed errors (i.e., 80% and 40% fidelity). Participants were generally accurate regardless of the programmed level of fidelity but were slightly less accurate for the low (40%) fidelity condition with one therapist and when using a rating scale.
 

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