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

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Poster Session #96C
EAB Saturday Poster Session
Saturday, May 25, 2024
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, 200 Level, Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Brissa Gutiérrez (Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México)
7. Boiling the Frog: Transitions Between Fixed and Variable Ratio Schedules
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
DANIEL BELLOW (May Institute), Kennon Andy Lattal (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Madeleine Mason (University of North Carolina - Wilmington)
Abstract:

While much is known about patterns of responding on basic schedules of reinforcement, less is known about the transitions from one kind of schedule to another. Fixed-interval schedules lead to a scalloped pattern of responding with a relatively long post-reinforcement pause, while variable-interval schedules produce a shorter pause and a constant rate of responding. In the current experiment, pecking of four pigeons was maintained on a baseline of either a fixed-interval or variable-interval schedule. Across conditions, an increasing or decreasing number of reinforcers were delivered following a variable interval. These conditions included 0%, 10%, 30%, 60% and 100% variable-interval reinforcers. Over the course of the experiment, the programmed schedules transitioned from entirely fixed-interval to entirely variable-interval, or vice versa. Post-reinforcement pauses were shortest when all reinforcers were delivered following variable intervals, longest following fixed intervals, and intermediary when a combination of fixed and variable intervals resulted in reinforcement. Implications about the nature of responding on fixed- and variable-interval schedules will be discussed.

 
8. Effects of Reinforcement and Punishment Magnitudes on Equivalence Class Formation and Maintenance
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ALCEU REGAÇO DOS SANTOS (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), WILLIAM Ferreira PEREZ (Paradigma - Centro de Ciências e Tecnologia do Comportamento), Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos), Deisy das Graças De Souza (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Discussant: Matthew Lewon (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The establishment of discriminative responses occurs more rapidly when punishment contingencies are employed, as compared to the exclusive use of reinforcement contingencies. However, to our knowledge, the use of punishment contingencies has not yet been investigated in the context of a conditional discrimination training program. This study aimed to assess the effects of different magnitudes of reinforcement and punishment on the formation and maintenance of equivalence classes. Fifty-six participants were assigned to three groups: More Reinforcement (MR), Balanced (B), and More Punishment (MP), differing in the number of points earned or lost for choosing the correct or incorrect comparison stimulus. Participants underwent relational training using a gamified Matching-to-Sample software. They were, then, tested for the emergence of three three-member classes of abstract stimuli. After seven days, they received another test, to verify maintenance of the classes. The results revealed that a higher magnitude of punitive stimulus disrupted the learning of conditional discriminations and the emergence of equivalence relations. Conversely, the magnitude of the reinforcing stimulus did not affect the outcomes. This study highlights the necessity for a systematic experimental analysis of the effects of reinforcement and punishment on the formation and maintenance of equivalence classes.
 
9. Value Transfer Using Different Probabilistic Values: A Preliminary Study
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
HÉCTOR OCTAVIO CAMARENA (University of Guadalajara)
Discussant: Madeleine Mason (University of North Carolina - Wilmington)
Abstract:

Previous research in transitive inference (TI) has suggested that the expect preference B>D could be explained by regarding the indirect value acquired by B stimulus in comparison to the indirect value acquired by stimulus D. This hypothesis holds under de assumption that A (from A+ B-) was always reinforced, whereas C was partially reinforced (regarding B+C- and C+D- pairs). Under this rationale, Zentall and Sherburne (1994), employed a series A+B-, C±D- during training and testing the BD with continuous reinforcement. Zentall and Sherburne obtained a preference 64.6% for B stimulus and a 78% of preference for B during their second experiment. Nevertheless, it remains unclear if a reinforcement probability of .5 prevents value transfer or just reduces value transfer. The aim of the present study is to determine the effect of probabilistic reinforcement with probability values above and below the chance level (e. g., .3 and .7). With this manipulation it would be possible to evaluate a S+ with high value transfer values (p = .7) versus a S+ with low value transfer values (p = .3). If a C+ with high transfer value is paired with D-, it would be expected a lower B>D preference or indifference during test.

 
10. Analyzing Delay Discounting Using a Custom Adjusting Choice Procedure Across Laboratory and Remote Learning Environments
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ALEKSANDER VIE (Western University of Applied Sciences), Yngve Herikstad (Østfold University College)
Discussant: Matthew Lewon (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The study explores if discount rates is affected by context. This is important to test for if delayed discounting procedures are going to be used in a clinical setting as a dependent measure before and after treatment – for example in drug treatment. The delayed discounting procedure used had randomized smaller sooner hypothetical money values and larger later values which increased or decreased gradually. Data were collected through a web-based software. The study was a group design with students as participants. Two conditions were used – the first condition was a lab condition were the participants conducted the delay discounting task alone in a small classroom, and in the remote condition participants conducted the task on their own computer in a break during a remote learning session. Out of 44 participants, 26 completed tests under the remote learning condition, and 19 out of 20 completed tests under the lab condition. Thus, more participants dropped out of the study in the remote condition. Also, the results indicate that discount rate is higher under the remote condition. The results indicate that context affected the results, and thus context should be stable if delayed discounting is used as a dependent measurement in treatment.
 
11. Comparing Delay Discounting Using an Adjusting Choice Procedure Across Laboratory and Classroom Environments: Insights Into Decision-Making
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
YNGVE HERIKSTAD (Østfold University College), Aleksander Vie (Western University of Applied Sciences)
Discussant: Madeleine Mason (University of North Carolina - Wilmington)
Abstract:

Measuring delay discounting may have important implications in clinical settings for substance use disorders and may function as a dependent measure in assessing various treatment interventions. In the current study we investigate whether contextual differences influence participants choices on a delay discounting task. A group design (N=42) assigning participants to one of two different groups, either completing the task in a traditional lab condition (n=20), or in a classroom condition (n=24), was conducted. Delay discounting data were assessed using the adjusting amount procedure presented in Dixon (2006), collecting data through a web-based software. Indifference points and delay discounting measures were extracted from participants scores on the task. All participants in the lab condition completed the task, whereas two participants did not complete in the classroom condition. In addition, three participants in the lab condition and ten participants in the classroom condition were excluded due to predetermined exclusion criteria. Results indicate that contextual arrangements influence participants scores, yielding elevated reaction times and more reliable task completion in lab conditions, though delay discounting measures did not differ between groups. Hence, measuring delay discounting in clinical settings should emphasize stable conditions when assessing clients degree of delay discounting.

 
12. Complex Learning: Stimulus Relations Can Serve Distinct Behavioral Functions
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MATTHIAS RAEMAEKERS (Ghent University)
Discussant: Matthew Lewon (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The physical properties of stimuli may bear particular kinds of relations (e.g., same size, different size). When we consider such stimulus relations as elements of the environment just like we do individual stimuli, we can study the functions of these stimuli empirically. However, despite a long tradition of learning psychological research on the various behavioral functions stimuli in the environment have and the moderators thereof, comparatively little effort has been invested in providing empirical demonstrations of those function being fulfilled by relations. We describe three preregistered experiments in human participants studies (N = 204) taking a first step in that direction. By means of topographically distinct, but functionally similar, stimulus pairing procedures, we demonstrated that non-arbitrary stimulus relations (identity match or mismatch) can be established as a conditioned reinforcer, increasing the frequency of subsequent responding to produce said relation; as a conditioned stimulus, with participants reliably expecting the US to follow presentation of a relation; and that ‘symbolic’ relations (pairs of synonyms vs. antonyms) can function as an unconditioned stimulus, with the same vs. different meaning transferring to pairs of novel non-words. Implications for future research, theoretical development and clinical practice are discussed.
 
13. Efficiently Establishing Contextual Control Over Transformations of Functions
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MARTIN FINN (Ghent University)
Discussant: Madeleine Mason (University of North Carolina - Wilmington)
Abstract:

According to relational frame theory transformations of functions are contextually controlled by stimuli defining the kind of stimulus relation involved (i.e., Crels) and stimuli specifying the function that is transformed (i.e., Cfuncs). The transformation of the functions of particular stimuli is a prerequisite to consistently fulfilling a reinforcement contingency within function transformation tasks (e.g., Finn & De Houwer, 2021). These tasks present Crel and Cfunc stimuli to specify transformations of functions and provide a means for investigating the establishment of contextual control of transformations of functions by particular stimuli. This poster presents the results of experiments with human adults in which various parameters influencing the establishment of Crel and Cfunc control were manipulated. Specifically, the experiments manipulated whether the Cfunc stimuli were presented in pre-training designed to establish Crel control, whether one or two stimuli served exerted Crel and Cfunc control, and size of the inter-trial differences in the properties of the stimulus serving as the source of the transformations of functions. Results indicate that these parameters have a significant impact on how readily contextual control over transformations of stimulus functions was established.

 
14. Progressive Learning and Derivation of Arbitrary Relation With Brazilian Undergraduate Students
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
RAMON MARIN (Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil), Maria Alvarez (Universidade Federal de São Carlos, UFSCar), Daniel Mark Fienup (Teachers College, Columbia University), Deisy das Graças De Souza (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Discussant: Matthew Lewon (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

Stimulus equivalence researchers usually seek to isolate critical variables to enhance the probability of equivalence class establishment. However, this highly controlled environment diverges from the contingencies of daily life. The present experiment assessed whether participants learn and derive arbitrary stimulus relations under a less stringent experimental arrangement. Furthermore, we assessed how familiar stimuli affect the learning process under this condition. Sixteen undergraduate/graduate students were assigned to one of two experimental conditions and performed successive Matching-to-Sample training-testing cycles. A 27-trial training block taught nine baseline relations (AB, BC, CD, for Classes 1, 2, 3). Regardless of participants’ performances in training, they advanced to a 54-trial testing block that assessed 15 emergent relations (BA, CB, CA, DB, DA) and the maintenance of baseline relations. In Condition 1, all stimuli were abstract pictures; in Condition 2, Set A included familiar pictures (a bee, an airplane, a house). Participants repeated the training-testing cycles until they achieved 100% accuracy in testing, or up to two hours of experiment. 3/8 participants in Condition 1 and 5/8 in Condition 2 achieved the mastery criterion. Participants’ accuracy improved across the cycles. Familiar stimuli seemed to facilitate the acquisition of baseline relations and, consequently, the emergence of stimulus relations.

 
15. An Experimental Arrangement to Study Spatial Dynamics of Behavior in Domestic Dogs Under Pavlovian Contingencies: A Proof of Concept
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
JOSÉ ABRAHAM RIVERA URIBE (Universidad Veracruzana), Alejandro Leon (University of Veracruz), Varsovia Hernandez Eslava (Universidad Veracruzana), Fryda Abril Diaz (Universidad Veracruzana)
Discussant: Madeleine Mason (University of North Carolina - Wilmington)
Abstract:

In most Pavlovian conditioning studies, the spatial dimension of behavior is often overlooked, with experimental subjects typically being immobilized. However, it has been reported that freely locomoting organisms exposed to Pavlovian contingencies form a Conditional Response that incorporates their spatial behavioral patterns, such as displacement and orientation toward sources of stimulation. This study presents an experimental setup and recording system designed to observe domestic dogs with unrestricted movement under Pavlovian contingencies. In one condition, we paired tones with food delivery using a FT 60-second schedule using an automated dispenser equipped with an integrated buzzer, while in a second condition, food was not presented. We continuously recorded locomotion patterns, orientation toward food, the owner, and other locations, as well as contacts with the stimulation source. Our results revealed distinct behavioral patterns in each condition. This research discusses the importance of including continuous spatial behavior recording in Pavlovian contingencies and demonstrates the feasibility of using domestic dogs as experimental subjects.

 
16. No Evidence for Acquisition nor Transfer of Conditional Discirminations in Rats
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
SANDINO ALEJANDRO PERALTA VILLAFAÑA (Universidad Veracruzana), Mario Serrano (UNIVERSIDAD VERACRUZANA), Agustin Daniel Gomez Fuentes (Universidad Veracruzana), Jorge A. Ruiz (Universidad Veracruzana)
Discussant: Matthew Lewon (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

Rats were exposed to a two-choice conditional discirmination procedure in order to explore transposition. Conditional signals were pairs of lights flickering at differet rates (.25 s, .30 s and .35 s) and between groups reinforcement was contingent upon pressing the lever below the light with the higher or the lower flickering rate. After 60 traning sessions, flickering rates of each pair of lights per trial were increased (.05 s, .10 s y .15 s) or decreased (.45 s, .50 s y .55 s) during additional three sessions. For all rats accuracy of the performance remained at the chance level across the experiment despite: a) contigency criterion; b) increases in lenght and variability of the intertrial interval; and c) increases and decreases in flickering rates during test sessions. The results were the same in additional two experiments in which signals during training were .20 s, .30 s y .40 s or 20 s, .25 s, .30 s, .35 s and .40 s. These results suggest that flickering is a poor dimension for conditional stimulus control as well as for transposition.

 
17. Delay and Social Discounting in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MICHIKO SORAMA (Kyoto Notre Dame University), Masato Ito (Osaka Metropolitan University), Richard Yi (University of Kansas), Yota Nakashima (Osaka University; Rakuwakai Otowa Hospital), Shinji Maeda (Rakuwakai Otowa Hospital)
Discussant: Madeleine Mason (University of North Carolina - Wilmington)
Abstract:

Delay discounting is a quantitative measure of self-control, whereas social discounting is that of altruism. Steeper delay and social discounting are related to various maladaptive behaviors. Previous research reported that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) discount delayed rewards more steeply than typically developing children, while children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) discount delayed rewards at the same level as typically developing children. Several delay discounting tasks have been developed to measure children's delay discounting. However, previous efforts to study social discounting in children have used a task that is developed for adults. The present study aimed to measure delay and social discounting in children ages 9-12 years with ASD and ADHD using new tasks specifically developed for children. In the delay discounting task, the children chose between immediate or delayed rewards across 11 trials. In the social discounting task, the children chose between sharing or not sharing rewards across eight trials. These tasks had less trials and smaller amounts of rewards than tasks for adults. Hypothetical food and money were used as rewards. The applicability of the tasks and the effects of the reward condition are discussed.

 
Sustainability submission 18. Comprehensive Learning: Relevant Behavioral Changes
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
AGUSTIN DANIEL GOMEZ FUENTES (Universidad Veracruzana), Griselda Jacqueline Morales Alarcón (Veracruz University), Cecilia Magdalena Molina Lopez (University of Veracruz)
Discussant: Matthew Lewon (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

The term comprehension refers to the act of grasping the meaning of something. This notion explains why this term has been traditionally studied as a series of processes internal to the organism. The purpose of the present study, from a different conceptualization, is to analyze socially relevant behavioral changes based on the functional contact of complementary modes with objects or events in the environment. Psychological reactive systems constitute forms of behavior occurrence organized in three generic behavioral modes: sensory, motor, and linguistic. First-year students from a secondary school in the Educational System of the State of Veracruz, Mexico, participated in the study. A within-subject design was used to analyze the facilitation of performance in three active linguistic modes – pointing out, speaking, and writing – based on exposure to the reactive reading mode on an emigration text. The results suggest that the functional level achieved by the participants is related, mainly, to life experiences regarding the topic of emigration, exposure to the reactive mode of reading and its simultaneous enablement of the three active modes and to the morphological characteristics and means of occurrence of the different modes of language.

 
19. Discounting Delayed Losses: Do Different Procedures and Measures Assess the Same Construct?
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
HAORAN WAN (Washington University in St. Louis), Leonard Green (Washington University in St. Louis), Joel Myerson (Washington University in St. Louis)
Discussant: Madeleine Mason (University of North Carolina - Wilmington)
Abstract: The present study compared two reliable procedures for assessing the discounting of delayed losses, the Adjusting-Amount procedure (AA; Du et al., 2002) and a Delayed Losses Monetary Choice Questionnaire (DLQ; Myerson et al., 2017) that was modeled after that of Kirby’s (1999) delayed reward Monetary Choice Questionnaire. Of interest was whether the two procedures for studying the discounting of delayed losses assess the same underlying construct, as was found in a previous study that evaluated the discounting of delayed gains (Wan et al., 2023). Participants recruited from two online platforms, MTurk and Prolific, completed both discounting procedures. Results revealed that within each procedure, the correlations among discounting measures for the three amounts were all high in both samples (all rs > .62). Importantly, regardless of the procedure (AA or DLQ), the sample (MTurk or Prolific), the delayed amount ($90 or $240), and whether the discounting measure used was atheoretical (area under the curve and proportion of immediate choices) or was theoretically based (log k), discounting on the Adjusting-Amount procedure was highly correlated with that on the Delayed Losses Questionnaire (see Table; all rs > .72). This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that both discounting procedures measure the same construct.
 
20. Reinforcement for Conforming and Not Conforming in a Single-Subject Design
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
HENRIQUE ANGELO (Mackenzie Presbyterian University), Maria Amalia Andery (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo)
Discussant: Jay Hinnenkamp (Middle Tennessee State University)
Abstract:

Conformity can be understood as an increased probability of adjusting to a social norm. Some behavior analysts point that conformity is the result of extensive reinforcement for conforming and punishment for not conforming. Even discussed theoretically, few empirical data can be found in behavior analysis. The present study investigated the effects of feedback on a task as a reinforcement for conforming or not to a group standard in a single-subject design. Eight undergraduates participated in the study. Each were grouped with four confederates in a task of analyzing the prevalence of black or white in images, but all the images had the same proportion of black and white. An ABACA design was programed for four participants and an ACABA design for the other four, in which A is a baseline, B is reinforcement of nonconformity (the experimenter announced the same color announced by the participant as correct when she has not conformed) C is reinforcement of conformity (the correct answer announced was the same when the participant conformed). The results showed that contingencies for conformity were more effective than contingencies for nonconformity and that after a history of reinforcement for conformity participants didn’t adjust to contingencies for nonconformity.

 
21. Brief Signal Controlled Levels of Responding Maintained by Delay of Reinforcement
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
FIRDAVS KHAYDAROV (West Virginia University), Kennon Andy Lattal (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Brissa Gutiérrez (Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México)
Abstract: The purpose of the investigation was to examine the effects of fixed ratio (FR), differential reinforcement of low rate (DRL), and differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) scheduled brief signal on responding maintained by the delay of reinforcement. A tandem variable time (VT) 60-s fixed interval (FI) 10-s schedule was used as a baseline condition of an immediate reinforcement against which three delay conditions were examined. For the delay conditions, a chain/tandem variable interval (VI) 60-s (non-delay period) fixed time (FT) 10-s (delay period) schedule was used, and the imposition of a brief signal (1-s blackout) during the delay period was manipulated. In the FR condition, a blackout was presented contingent on a keypeck once the delay period commenced. In the DRL condition, the first keypeck after a 2 s pause results in the blackout presentation once the delay period commenced. Lastly, in the DRO condition, a blackout was presented when no keypeck occurred for 2 s once the delay period commenced. Responding was maintained at a higher level in the FR condition in comparison to the DRL or DRO conditions. When comparing DRL and DRO conditions, the responding was maintained at a higher level in the former condition.
 
22. Comparing the Latency-Based and Rate-Based Interview-Informed Synthesized Contingency Analysis (IISCA) for Assessing the Problem Behavior of Nine Autistic Children in Brazil
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
FELIPE MAGALHÃES LEMOS (Luna ABA), Joshua Jessel (Queens College, City University of New York), João S. Carmo (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Discussant: Jay Hinnenkamp (Middle Tennessee State University)
Abstract:

The Interview-Informed Synthesized Contingency Analysis (IISCA) is a functional analysis format that comprises five main components: a single test condition, informed procedures, synthesized contingencies, matched control, and an open-contingency class. Although the IISCA has been supported as an efficacious functional analysis format for identifying contingencies and informing function-based treatments (Layman et al., 2023), some modifications have been made for other practical considerations (Metras & Jessel, 2021). One such modification is the latency-based IISCA, which changes the measure of the problem behavior from rate (i.e., count per specific period of time) to latency (i.e., time from initial stimulus to first response). We conducted 18 IISCAs (9 latency-based and 9 rate-based) to assess the problem behavior exhibited by nine autistic children. All IISCAs were conducted by Brazilian professionals, and each child experienced both formats. All IISCAs, regardless of measure (rate or latency), were differentiated and identified a socially mediated function for problem behavior. The results show that the latency-based IISCA can demonstrate control over problem behavior as effectively as the rate-based IISCA. The research concludes that it is possible to identify socially mediated contingencies using the latency-based IISCA, similar to the rate-based IISCA.

 
23. A Parametric Manipulation of Timeout Duration as a Negative Reinforcer
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
LILLIAN LOUISE SKIBA-THAYER (West Virginia University), Michael Perone (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Brissa Gutiérrez (Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México)
Abstract: Research has been concerned with the conditions that make timeout from reinforcing contexts most effective as a negative reinforcer. Toegel et al. (2022) found that the quality and rate of food delivery during time-in affected the aversiveness of timeout, as measured by avoidance response rates. The present study assessed the role of timeout duration on the efficacy of timeout as a negative reinforcer using four rats. During discrimination training, a two-component multiple schedule was arranged. In one component (“time-in”), food pellets accompanied by a tone and onset of a cue light were delivered on a VT 30-s schedule. In the other component (“timeout”), food was never delivered. The time-in and timeout components were signaled by the presence or absence of white noise, respectively. In the test phase, timeouts were scheduled every 30 s. A lever was inserted into the chamber during time-in, and a response on the lever postponed the onset of timeout by 30 s. The duration of timeout was manipulated across conditions and the aversiveness of timeout was assessed by avoidance response rates. Understanding this relation has practical implications in both research and application. Identifying short but effective timeout durations will reduce the time-consuming nature of these procedures.
 
24. Behavioral Effects of Adding Sequential Stimuli to Variable Ratio Schedules of Reinforcement
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CORY TOEGEL (Northern Michigan University), Taylor Bartley (Northern Michigan University), Kay Hintze (Northern Michigan University), Forrest Toegel (Northern Michigan University)
Discussant: Jay Hinnenkamp (Middle Tennessee State University)
Abstract: Under ratio schedules of reinforcement, reinforcing events are produced after the emission of a specified number of responses (i.e., a ratio requirement). After sufficient exposure to fixed-ratio (FR) schedules of reinforcement, behavior conforms to reliable and predictable pause-and-run patterns between reinforcer deliveries, whereas variable-ratio (VR) schedules produce steady rates of responding. A prevailing explanation for these patterns suggests that the reinforcer deliveries come to signal the number of responses required to produce the next reinforcer under FR schedules, but not under VR schedules. The present study evaluates this possibility by assessing effects of signaling the distance, in responses, to the next reinforcer under VR schedules. Across three conditions (FR, VR, and Signaled VR), rats’ lever presses produced food under FR and VR schedules with equivalent average ratio requirements. In all conditions, reinforcers were accompanied by a 2500-Hz tone. In the FR and VR conditions, white noise was played while the schedule was in effect. In the Signaled VR conditions, a tone that was correlated with the number of responses remaining in the current ratio (2500-Hz – [n*10-Hz]) replaced the white noise while the schedule was in effect. Behavioral effects will be presented, and theoretical and practical implications will be discussed.
 
25. Evaluating Response Effort and Session Motivation in a Human-Operant Arrangement of Timeout From Money-Loss Avoidance
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
HAILLIE MCDONOUGH (Northern Michigan University ), Cory Toegel (Northern Michigan University), Forrest Toegel (Northern Michigan University)
Discussant: Brissa Gutiérrez (Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México)
Abstract:

This study evaluated effects of response effort on acquisition and maintenance of avoidance and escape using a human-operant arrangement. Participants attended three laboratory sessions. Each session was divided into three 30-min periods. In each period, participants played a computer game in which they defended a small sum of real or in-game money. Money losses occurred on a free-operant Sidman avoidance schedule unless participants made avoidance responses on one of three moving targets (the active target). Alternatively, participants could make separate escape responses to produce 10-s timeouts from the avoidance schedule on a progressive-ratio schedule. Avoidance response effort was manipulated by (a) changing the size of the moving target (diameter = 150, 100, and 50 px) across the three periods of each session and (b) changing the response-loss interval (2, 8, and 16 s) of the avoidance schedule across sessions. Results suggest that response effort manipulations were successful: Avoidance occurred primarily on the active target, avoidance was sensitive to the response-loss interval, and behavior was allocated to the targets as an inverse function of target size. Progressive-ratio breakpoints suggest that reinforcing effects of timeout were unchanged by manipulations to response effort. Possible implications and limitations of the results will be discussed.

 
Sustainability submission 26. Walking Into the Future: An Economic Demand Framework for Sustainable Urban Planning and Development
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
LINDSAY OUELLETTE (Temple University), Shawn Patrick Gilroy (Louisiana State University), Donald A. Hantula (Temple University)
Discussant: Jay Hinnenkamp (Middle Tennessee State University)
Abstract:

Designing environments that promote walkability supports societal objectives such as improving public health and having successful public transport systems. This study measured the likelihood of completing a hypothetical walking task to a grocery store and restaurant based on distance and weather by using a novel approach of an economic demand framework to analyze demand, choice, and consumption. Undergraduate participants were given six hypothetical walking tasks, varying by weather condition and destination setting, and asked to rate on a scale of zero to ten of how willing they were to complete the walking task as distance increased by one block. We were able to apply the demand framework to a new topography of socially conscious behavior. It also looked like a number of factors moderated the demand framework. This study could further impact the development of sustainable cities and accessible environments using novel and effective analysis to increase walking as a fundamental mode of transport.

 
27. Evaluating Problem Behavior Associated With Transitions Following Disruption to Upcoming Activities
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
MARIATU FORNAH (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Zhibo Rong (UF; UMBC; KKI), Evan Loadholtz (KKI; UCF), Sean Conor Madden (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Margaret E.W. Cavanaugh (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Michelle A. Frank-Crawford (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Brissa Gutiérrez (Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México)
Abstract:

Transitions can be a major source of problem behavior for individuals with intellectual disabilities (Schmidt et al., 2000). Research on transitions suggests that problem behavior may occur more frequently when transitioning away from a preferred activity to a lesser preferred activity (Schreibman et al., 2000). A less well studied area within the context of transitions is disruptions to planned, upcoming activities. This study reports on an assessment designed to evaluate problem behavior to transitions that were disrupted by unplanned activity for two boys who were admitted to an inpatient facility for assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior. In some cases, the unplanned activity was relatively higher preferred, and, in some cases, they were relatively lesser preferred. For both participants, problem behavior occurred when the unplanned activity was relatively lesser preferred but did not occur when the unplanned transitions were to a relatively more highly preferred activity. These data suggest that intervening on a transition that is lesser preferred can reduce problem behavior for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The clinical application and considerations for treatments are discussed.

 
28. Evaluating the Effects of Absolute Conditioned Reinforcement Rate on Sensitivity to Relative Reinforcement Rate
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
EDWARD T BLAKEMORE (LSU School of Psychology), Samuel L Morris (Louisiana State University)
Discussant: Jay Hinnenkamp (Middle Tennessee State University)
Abstract: Clinical application of behavior analysis heavily utilizes conditioned reinforcers (i.e. praise, points, tokens, etc.). Despite heavy implementation, conditioned reinforcers’ effect on human behavior remains inconclusive. Recent research (Morris et al. 2023) improved methods for achieving the highest sensitivity to relative rates of conditioned reinforcement, but sensitivity remains lower than non-human participants in similar, previous measures (Shahan et al. 2006). The current study intends to understand how absolute rates of conditioned reinforcement affect sensitivity to relative rates of reinforcement using the same measures from Morris et al. 2023. Undergraduate students were randomly assigned to groups in which rates of absolute conditioned reinforcement varied. Participants were then exposed to five conditions, each with a varied relative rate of conditioned reinforcement. Results indicate higher sensitivity on average for the groups with higher absolute rate of conditioned reinforcement; however, the highest sensitivity was discovered in the early stages of each condition. Certain forms of conditioned reinforcers as described above may lose their influence on behavior as clinical sessions draw out. Since the clinical application of behavior analysis heavily relies on conditioned reinforcers, understanding the influence of these conditioned reinforcers can increase the efficacy of treatment provided in a clinical setting.
 
29. Scoring of Adult Rat Ultrasonic Vocalizations: A Preliminary Evaluation of Three Approaches
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
JOSEPH MILTON (University of Alaska Anchorage), Abigail Smith (University of Alaska Anchorage), Gwen Lupfer (University of Alaska Anchorage), Mychal Machado (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Discussant: Brissa Gutiérrez (Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México)
Abstract:

Wright et al. (2010) proposed a set of operational definitions human observers could apply to spectrograms when attempting to visually discriminate the ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) produced by rats. However, the degree to which human observers can accurately apply these definitions is unknown. In response, we evaluated three common techniques for teaching visual discriminations. Study 1 used a multiple baseline design to assess the effects of multiple-exemplar training, simplified definitions, and live training on the accuracy of three observers’ categorizations of randomly selected USV spectrograms. Sessions involved scoring 10 spectrograms with varying instructional approaches. Participants in BL (Wr) and BL (New) sessions used the Wright et al. and simplified definitions, respectively. ME (Wr) and ME (Wr+Ppt) sessions included printed and digital visual examples of the Wright et al. definitions, respectively, with post-session feedback. ME (New) sessions mirrored ME (Wr+Ppt) sessions except examples matched the simplified definitions. Live training sessions were like ME (New) sessions but included trial-by-trial feedback. Accuracy scores were lowest when participants used the Wright et al. definitions and highest following live training. Study 2 replicated these findings with three additional observers, emphasizing the efficacy of simplified definitions and live training in enhancing USV scoring accuracy.

 
30. Application of a Computerized Curriculum for Individualized Teaching on a Large Scale: Learning to Read and Write in Small Steps
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
MARCELO SALVADOR CAETANO (Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC); INCT-ECCE), Raquel Melo Golfeto (INCT-ECCE), Lidia Maria Marson Postalli (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Elenice Seixas Hanna (Universidade de Brasilia; INCT-ECCE), Deisy das Graças De Souza (Universidade Federal de São Carlos; INCT-ECCE)
Discussant: Jay Hinnenkamp (Middle Tennessee State University)
Abstract: Results from the Elementary Education Assessment System, a nationwide educational probe, have shown that only 49.4% of children in Brazil were literate in 2021. The current scenario is probably worst given that students were kept away from schools, in some cases until mid-2022, as a result of the recent SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. In order to mitigate these literacy deficits, the Learning to Read and Write in Small Steps curriculum (ALEPP) - a scientific-based computerized tool developed over decades of basic research in behavior analysis, cognitive psychology, linguistics, and others - has been successfully used over the last years by researchers and educators in Brazil. Here we briefly present the ALEPP curriculum; describe how its application escalated from applications in small groups to hundreds of students; and present some results of this expanded application, such as performance improvement from 53.3% to 99.1% in word reading tests, from 37.1% to 90.8% in tasks involving the correct selection and ordering of letters to form a dictated word, and from 27.6% to 94.2% in tasks involving writing a dictated word. This work highlights the importance of developing educational products based on scientific evidence and encourages knowledge transfer practices from research laboratories to society.
 
31. The Effects of a Pre-Training Package to Teach Note-Taking on the Formation of Equivalence Classes
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
KY JACKSON (University of Nebraska Medical Center / University of Nebraska Omaha), Sarah Frampton (University of Nebraska Omaha)
Discussant: Brissa Gutiérrez (Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México)
Abstract: Effective note-taking may enhance learning outcomes for students. Note-taking may also serve as a directly observable form of mediation within a test context. Frampton et al. (2023) applied an intervention package including stimulus fading to teach note-taking in the form of a graphic organizer (GO) during matching-to-sample baseline relations training (MTS-BRT). Moderately high yields were observed with young adults despite use of linear series training, abstract stimuli, and five-member classes. The present study utilized a pre-training intervention package to teach eight college students to construct a GO during MTS-BRT. The package included video illustration, voice-over instructions, and feedback when practiced with three three-member classes made up of familiar stimuli. Following pre-training, the effects of MTS-BRT alone with abstract stimuli in three five-member classes was evaluated. The participants efficiently completed pre-training and engaged in GO construction during MTS-BRT with the abstract stimuli. The six participants that demonstrated high levels of fidelity to the trained note-taking strategy passed the posttest on the first attempt (yield of 75%). These results replicate findings from Frampton et al. while using a more efficient intervention package. Benefits of teaching overt mediation responses are discussed as well as future directions for translation to applied contexts. Keywords: equivalence, graphic organizer, note-taking, problem solving, verbal behavior
 
32. Effects of Differential History of Stimuli Pairing With Alternative Reinforcement on Resurgence
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CARLOS JAVIER FLORES AGUIRRE (Universidad de Guadalajara), Julian Camilo Velasquez (University of Guadalajara), Cinthia Hernandez (Universidad de Guadalajara (CEIC)), L. Rebeca Mateos Morfin (Universidad de Guadalajara)
Discussant: Jay Hinnenkamp (Middle Tennessee State University)
Abstract:

Resurgence is the recurrence of a previously extinguished response with the worsening of alternative conditions. Some studies indicate that the presentation of stimuli related to alternative reinforcement during the test phase may reduce the resurgence of the target response and increase the persistence of the alternative respondent. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effects of alternative reinforcement-related stimuli in groups of Wistar rats when delivered contingently, but with differential pairing histories. In phase 1, press target lever was reinforced. In phase 2, target response was in extinction and press to an alternative lever was reinforced, accompanied by a stimulus (i.e., light) depending on a probability (0, 0.5, and 1). In phase 3, the alternative reinforcer was discontinued, and the stimulus was presented contingently to alternative response . Differential levels of resurgence were noted across groups, with more resurgence being showed for subjects without a history of association with the stimuli. Alternative responding was not maintained with the stimuli presentation for neither group. Expanding the investigation of this manipulation would allow us to understand the conditions under which the effect reported in the literature becomes robust.

 
 

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