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 #484B
EAB Monday Poster Session
Monday, May 27, 2024
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, 200 Level, Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Cammarie Johnson (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University; Simmons University)
4. Evaluation of Effects of Response Effort on Resurgence
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ELIZABETH PAIGE THUMAN (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Emma Auten (Children’s Specialized Hospital—Rutgers University Center for Autism Research, Education, and Services (CSH—RUCARES)), Kyla Stephens (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Tishera Owens (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Jane Hilts (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Emily L. Baxter (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Brandon Patrick Miller (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Resurgence is a common form of treatment relapse, therefore evaluating strategies to mitigate resurgence is a necessary area of research. The purpose of the current study was to replicate and extend previous research that has suggested that resurgence may be mitigated following differential reinforcement of an alternative response that is lower effort compared to a high-effort target response. With four participants, we compared two 3-phase resurgence conditions: an effort-manipulation condition and an equal-distance control condition. During the effort-manipulation condition, target and control responses were completed by traveling a farther distance (i.e., high effort) compared to an alternative response that could be completed on an operandum that was within arm’s reach (i.e, low effort). During the equal-distance control condition, participants travelled the farther distance to complete any of the responses. The proportion of target responding during the extinction test (i.e., phase 3) was lower during the effort-manipulation condition compared to the equal-distance control condition for all participants. Persistence of the lower-effort alternative response was observed across all extinction sessions in the effort-manipulation condition. This study provides further evidence that response effort is an important response dimension that has the potential to mitigate the resurgence of target responding and deserves additional attention in applied research.
 
5. Sooner and at an Additional Cost: Pre-Crastination in Rats and Humans
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Bryana A Thieret (St. Lawrence University ), Laken Mooney (West Virginia University), ADAM E. FOX (St. Lawrence University)
Discussant: Cammarie Johnson (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University; Simmons University)
Abstract:

Pre-crastination has previously been defined as either doing something sooner with no additional cost (pre-crastinationnC) or doing something sooner at some additional cost (pre-crastinatioNC). There is minimal pre-crastinationC research using non-humans, which this research addresses and compares with pre-crastinationC in humans (n = 50) using Rosenbaum et al.’s (2014) “bucket study” methodology. Using a “hex nut-and-rod maze,” an original maze designed by the authors to mimic the bucket study task, twelve rats were trained to move a hex nut down a rod at different positions, and tested with two hex nuts at varying adjacent positions in a runway. Results showed rats tended to choose optimally (the hex nut closer to the goal) rather than pre-crastinateC, R2 = -.964, p < .001, which has been demonstrated in humans and was replicated here, R2 = .959, p < .001. Humans demonstrated strong evidence for a preference to pre-crastinateC when compared to chance (H0: μ = 0.5), t(49) = 5.64, p < .001, while rats chose optimally/did not pre-crastinateC, (H0: μ = 0.5), t(10) = -3.25, p < .001. Pre-crastinationC is a maladaptive behavior that requires additional research to understand, but our research clearly shows the phenomenon may be restricted to humans.

 
6. Evaluating Speech Disfluencies During Interviews: An Investigation of Renewal Following Awareness Training
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
KAYLA BRACCIO (UNCW), Emily L. Baxter (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Kyla Stephens (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Makenna Stephenson (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Corey Bates (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Amanda Wilriss (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Brandon Patrick Miller (University of Kansas)
Abstract:

The concept of renewal, which refers to the recurrence of a previously decreased target behavior following a change in context, may be important for training interview skills as there are often multiple contexts. Some studies have examined the use of behavioral skills training to improve interview content, however, there has been no research on the occurrence of speech disfluencies during interviews. Awareness training has previously been successful for decreasing speech disfluencies during public speaking. The goal of the current study was to examine the effects of awareness training on the rate of speech disfluencies during interviews across contexts. Baseline consisted of a series of mock interviews with a specific interviewer (i.e., Context A). We then conducted an awareness training procedure with participants and a novel interviewer (i.e., Context B). If their rate of speech disfluencies met a specified reduction criterion, participants returned to context A. If this rate maintained, participants then moved to a final generalization test in a completely novel context (i.e., Context C). It was hypothesized that awareness training would be effective in decreasing speech disfluencies during interviews and that renewal would occur after a change in context. Results and implications of outcomes will be discussed.

 
7. PyMTS: Creating a Python-Based Matching-to-Sample
Area: EAB; Domain: Service Delivery
ALCEU REGAÇO DOS SANTOS (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Filipe César Carvalho (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Discussant: Cammarie Johnson (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University; Simmons University)
Abstract:

The development of updated, intuitive and accessible software plays a crucial role in the development of scientific knowledge. The absence of software can lead to delays in experimental work, limitations on research questions and the need to conduct table-top procedures (that are more susceptible to human error). Considering the lack of free and open-source program of Matching-to-Sample (MTS) procedure, we developed PyMTS, a software based in Python programming language. PyMTS is an executable file that runs a program based in the information provided in specific folders. The software, designed to be simple and lightweight (not requiring a lot of computer performance), can be used on any Windows computer. Different parameters can be manipulated, with a special focus on variables relevant to stimulus equivalence research. We hope that this software will help other researchers by making it easier to plan MTS procedures and establishing cooperation in the development of better procedures within behavior analysis.

 
8. Using a Virtual Reality Paradigm to Assess Relapse of Undesirable Teacher Responding
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
KYLA STEPHENS (University of North Carolina Wilmington ), Emily L. Baxter (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Kayla Braccio (UNCW), Corey Bates (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Elham Ebrahimi (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Jane Hilts (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Mercedez Machinski (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Brandon Patrick Miller (University of Kansas)
Abstract: The treatment of challenging behaviors has been studied extensively in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Previous research has demonstrated that when child challenging behavior relapses, it may be due to caregiver nonadherence to the treatment plan (i.e., relapse of caregiver undesirable responding). The present study expanded on previous laboratory models of caregiver nonadherence. We extended the study of caregiver nonadherence to teacher responding in a resurgence procedure. Utilizing Virtual Reality (VR) technology, we immersed participants in a virtual classroom environment and manipulated student behavior. A brief functional analysis (FA) was conducted to determine if social negative reinforcement maintained undesirable teacher responding (i.e., reprimands for out-of-seat student behavior). Participants then were exposed to a three-phase resurgence procedure. In Phase 1, undesirable responses were reinforced. Prior to Phase 2, we conducted a brief training on differential reinforcement procedures with the teachers. In Phase 2, desirable teacher responding (i.e., praise for in-seat student behavior) and undesirable behavior was reinforced Lastly, in Phase 3, to examine treatment adherence, both desirable and undesirable responding was placed on extinction. Results and implications will be further discussed.
 
9. Prevalence Effects on Discrimination Learning in Rats
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
RYAN BROWN (Central Michigan University), Katie Monske (Central Michigan University), Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University)
Discussant: Cammarie Johnson (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University; Simmons University)
Abstract:

In humans, reducing the prevalence of a stimulus can drastically alter measures of its detectability. Two contrasting effects have been reported in the literature. One effect is a decrease in stimulus reporting, and another is an increase in stimulus reporting. The purpose of this study is to replicate the findings from human research in rats. Using the conditional discrimination procedure of Fox, Smethells, and Reilly (Experiment 1, 2013), rats were trained to discriminate between high and low (1 and 5 Hz) flash rates of a stimulus light at either 10% or 50% prevalence of the 5-Hz flash rate. Rats trained in the 50% prevalence condition show high degrees of accuracy for both flash rates whereas rats trained in the 10% prevalence condition tend to press the 1-Hz lever regardless of the Hz of the sample stimulus. Generalization gradients will be obtained using unreinforced probe trials. In Phase 2, the prevalence conditions will be switched for the two groups of rats and another series of probe trials will be presented. Overall it is expected that the rats will continue to underreport the 5-Hz stimulus because of the greater proportion of reinforcement received in the presence of the 1 Hz stimulus.

 
10. Examining Derived Relational Frames of Opposition Across Arbitrary Stimuli
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MIRANDA MACAULEY (MacEwan University), Joel Roy (MacEwan University)
Discussant: Brandon Patrick Miller (University of Kansas)
Abstract:

Understanding how the role of language is involved in possibly shaping certain psychopathology conditions or how the role of language is used during verbally-based “talk therapies”, is an important are of research (Stewart, 2018). According to Hayes (2004), Skinner stated that “a scientifically valid study of language and cognition was possible“, and therefore, “a door was opened by Skinner” to conduct an analysis of covert operants (private events) that Hayes has coined Relational Frame Theory. This study recruited approximately 50 undergraduate psychology students to participant in a matching task experiment using arbitrary stimuli and testing thecombinatorial mutual entailmentwhen the relational frame of opposites (i.e., hold and cold, love and hate) were paired with one half of the arbitrary stimuli sets. We have thus far had mixed results, with only half of the participants successfully matching the arbitrary images as opposites after training. Additional participants will be recruited, and an additional phase will be added to evaluate the effects of adding a language instruction that may increase success in the last phase or compete with participant self-generated language rules for matching the arbitrary stimuli.

 
11. A Retrospective Analysis of Function Change Across Repeated Functional Analyses in an Intensive Outpatient Clinic
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
CASEY COGHLAN (University of Iowa), Alexander Pauls (University of Iowa), Matthew O'Brien (The University of Iowa)
Discussant: Cammarie Johnson (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University; Simmons University)
Abstract: A functional analysis (FA; Iwata et al., 1994) is considered the gold standard of behavioral assessment as it shows causality. However, repeated FAs or follow-up behavioral assessments for individuals have rarely been examined in the extant literature. This is important as there is some literature demonstrating a change in behavior function across repeated FAs. As an example, some studies have demonstrated certain variables (e.g., psychotropic medication) result in function change. In contrast to function, other behavioral measures (e.g., preference assessments) have received ample attention regarding repeated measures and changes in outcome. It is important to understand the stability of an individual's behavioral function to provide effective treatment. This poster examines two individuals who exhibited self-injurious behavior (SIB) and had repeated FAs conducted over 12 months apart. The results of their FAs indicate a change in function. In addition to sharing the results of the FAs, this poster will discuss the implications for assessment, treatment, and repeated measures of severe and challenging behavior.
 
12. An Examination of Control Conditions During Resurgence
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
JIALONG ZHEN (University of Florida), Carla N Martinez-Perez (University of Florida), Carolyn Ritchey (Auburn University), Shawn Patrick Gilroy (Louisiana State University), Toshikazu Kuroda (Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International), Christopher A. Podlesnik (University of Florida)
Discussant: Brandon Patrick Miller (University of Kansas)
Abstract:

Resurgence describes the reappearance of a previously extinguished target response when conditions worsen for an alternative response. The present crowdsourcing experiments examined control conditions used in the study of resurgence. Experiment 1 arranged during Phase 1 both the presence and absence of (1) target training and (2) alternative-response availability. Two distinct control responses with 50% opacity were available for all groups but never produced reinforcement. Upon removing alternative reinforcement from Phase 2 to 3, only the group with an alternative response in Phase 1 exhibited significantly higher target versus control responding. Experiment 2 extended these findings by examining whether increases in target versus control responding was affected by changeover requirements (COR) of zero (always dim), one, or three responses to increase control-button opacity from 50% to 100%. Only CORs of zero and three produced differential increases in target versus control responding during extinction testing. Overall, these findings suggest the similarity of training to testing conditions influence increases in target and control responding during tests of resurgence.

 
14. Evaluating the Influence of Reinforcer Quality on Escape Recovery of Roly Polies (Ardmadillium Vulgare)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
KAITLYNN FRANKS (Missouri State University), Katelyn Long (Missouri State University), Katelyn Frahm (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Brandon Patrick Miller (University of Kansas)
Abstract: In the field of behavior analysis, invertebrate species are often subjects of scientific study due to their lack of a brain. However, the Armadillium vulgare species has yet to be utilized as subject of behavior-analytic interventions. Roly Polys are recognized for their escape-maintained behavior of rolling into a ball to escape aversive stimuli, as observed in their natural environments (Schotte, 2006). Uniquely, whenever these invertebrates roll up, they are unable to access the reinforcers within their environment. To determine the extent to which the Roly Poly engages in escape-maintained behavior, potentially motivated by access to preferred reinforcers, the present study implemented a multielement by environment design. Results supported by a preference assessment indicated potential preferences for specific environmental reinforcers, indicative of their lack of time spent engaging in escape-maintained rolling position and a faster rate of unrolled behavior. Implications of the present study extend to the clinical setting of understanding how the strength of an aversive stimulus within one context outweighs the strength of a reinforcer only available in that context. Ultimately, understanding the behaviors associated with a reintroduction to a previously aversive environment further informs behavior analysts how to personalize socially valid interventions. The project also shows a novel instructional strategy in behavior analysis programs.
 
15. What-Where-When Remembering in Rats using the Odor Span Task
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
LUCY KIRBY (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Kylie Quann (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Mark Galizio (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Katherine Ely Bruce (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Cammarie Johnson (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University; Simmons University)
Abstract: Stimulus control by what, where, and when features of an event has been termed “episodic-like” remembering. We used the Rodent Odor Span Test (OST) to assess control by what-where-when stimulus properties. The OST is an incrementing non-match-to-sample procedure where selection of session-novel odors results in reinforcement; previously reinforced comparison odors do not. However, in this modification of the OST procedure, we trained three rats on the OST in two distinct apparatuses and transitioned between the contexts each day; selection of both session-novel and context-novel odors resulted in reinforcement. Rats showed high accuracy on session-novel and context-novel trials. An additional transition was added for two rats; these rats were transitioned twice during a daily testing session (Context 1, Context 2, return to Context 1). In the return to Context 1, above chance performance on probe trials showed that context-novel accuracy was under contextual control rather than recent familiarity with the odors. These results suggest behavioral control by multiple stimulus properties consistent with behavioral models of episodic-like remembering. Such animal models have important clinical implications for developing treatments for disorders characterized by loss of episodic remembering, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
 
16. Contextual Control of Responding in Rats: Evidence for Episodic Remembering
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
SKYLAR MACKENZIE MURPHY (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Elijah Richardson (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Madeleine Mason (University of North Carolina - Wilmington ), Grace Barnes (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Eric Groovin Van Leuven (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Agastya Atluri (UNCW), Madeline Spencer (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Rebecca Collins (University of North Carolina at Wilmington)
Discussant: Catherine Williams (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: There are very few studies of 5-term contingencies or contextual stimulus control in animals. In the present study, two different contexts were created within operant chambers (Constant light v. Blinking light and clicking sound) and an incrementing non-matching-to-sample procedure was arranged in both contexts to create the 5-term contingency. Responses to the first presentation of each odor in each context (S+) were reinforced on a fixed-interval 5-s schedule; repeated presentations of the same odor (S-) in the same context were not reinforced. Across the study, two, three, or four context changes were successively programmed within 48 trial sessions. Probe tests were conducted to evaluate item-in-context remembering and rats showed above chance accuracy demonstrating control by the 5-term contingency which can be taken as evidence of episodic-like remembering. Two features of the results were puzzling: First, accuracy declined on probe test performance as more context changes were introduced, and second, probe accuracy declined as the retention interval increased. These two features of the results were inconsistent with previous findings and additional research is needed to determine potential variables involved.
 
17. Nutrition Discounting and the Multiplicative Influence of Cost and Delay on Health-Related Choices
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
KAITLYN HUI (Missouri State University- student), Amanda Middleton (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University), Dana Paliliunas (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Victoria Diane Hutchinson (Saint Louis University, University of Mississippi, Irby Psychological Services)
Abstract: The present study extended existing empirical research on health-related choices as analyzed from a behavioral economic framework as well as research on multiple context control (Belisle et al., 2020). Undergraduate participants were presented with a series of hypothetical concurrent choices between nutrient dense and low-calorie meals (NDLC) and nutrient lean and high-calorie meals (NLHC), isolating the subjective value of nutrition as a commodity. Both price and delay were systematically increased on the NDLC (i.e., own-price) in order to evaluate the relative influence of both variables on health-related choices, adopting a generalized discounting framework of time and cost (Hursh & Schwartz, 2022). Increases observed in delay and cost both predicted a decrease in selection of the NDLC option and these two factors operated multiplicatively in a combined hyperbolic (delay) * hyperboloid (cost) model. Results both replicate and extend previous research in the field on multiplicative discounting frameworks to analyze health-related choices.
 
18. Evaluating the Influence That Probability of Harm to Self Versus Others Has on Ethical Decision Making of Undergraduate Students
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
KAITLYN PICALLO (University of Florida), Corina Jimenez-Gomez (University of Florida), Hanna Vance (University of Florida), David J. Cox (RethinkFirst; Endicott College)
Discussant: Catherine Williams (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract:

Behavioral practitioners may consult the BACB's ethics code, previous training, and personal experiences to navigate ethical dilemmas. However, little is known about how antecedent and consequence environmental variables influence ethical decision making (such as social and cultural variables). This study represents an initial step in evaluating the suitability of choice procedures to study culturally mediated ethical decision making with behavior analysts. We adapted the procedure used by Cox and Javed (2023) to present participants with a choice task via Qualtrics. Participants were presented with a scenario of an ethical dilemma and were asked to choose among two alternatives that varied in terms of probability of harm to self and harm to others across trials. We found that as the probability of harm for not ‘taking action' (in response to an ethical dilemma) increased, participants were less likely to select the alternative response option of ‘waiting it out’ and instead tended to choose to ‘take action’ in these scenarios. This effect was more pronounced when there was a risk of harm to others. By examining the factors that shape ethical decisions, researchers can contribute to the development of more informed and nuanced guidance for practitioners, fostering ethical conduct within the profession.

 
19. A Collaborative Approach to Developing a Comprehensive Data Collection Program for Examining Self-Injury Topographies
Area: EAB; Domain: Service Delivery
CONNOR VERRA (University of Florida), Kacie McGarry (University of Florida), Kerri P. Peters (University of Florida), Justin Boyan Han (University of Florida), Kiersten Strickland (USF - UFCAN), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Discussant: Victoria Diane Hutchinson (Saint Louis University, University of Mississippi, Irby Psychological Services)
Abstract: In the realm of behavioral analytic assessment of self-injury, the acquisition of data beyond conventional metrics necessitates the enhancement of data collection and analysis systems. This study demonstrates the process of an interdisciplinary collaboration with experts in computer programming to leverage their skills to create those systems. The initial phase of program creation involved the development of a back-end demonstration, executed through a command line interface, to conceptualize the application's functionality. This served as a foundation for implementing essential features, such as the storage and recording of client data and the user-friendly editing of data during and post-assessment sessions. Subsequently, attention shifted to the front-end development, focusing on user interaction aspects. This encompassed the design of menus, integration of buttons, and the translation of traditional body map charts into a digital format. The initiative presented elucidates the collaborative journey across disciplines, culminating in a program designed for the comprehensive collection of data pertaining to the exploration of self-injury. The platform allows researchers to scrutinize response patterns across time, advancing our understanding of this complex behavioral phenomenon.
 
20. Effect of Endowment on Betting Behaviors Within Gambling
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ISAAC PIFER (Northern Michigan University), Jacob H. Daar (Northern Michigan University)
Discussant: Catherine Williams (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract:

Endowment, a tactic frequently used by casinos and, in the modern day, electronic gambling is the process of giving a person some starting funds to gamble with, in expectation that the person will continue to spend more money once those funds are spent. Although the laboratory setting can sometimes make gambling less authentic, the substitution of telling undergraduate students that they are gambling with their extra credit suffices as proper motivation. This experiment is to see whether endowment increases or decreases higher-risk betting on a digital slot machine. Participants will be randomly assigned to a control and experimental group. Both groups will perform a simple fast facts math worksheet at the start of the experiment. Then, the experimental group will be informed that their work earned them the credits they are playing with which will be shown as a percentage of the 5 extra credit points they earn while participating in the experiment. The control group will just be given the slot machine afterwards and no correlation between the two items. Both groups will start with fifty percent of their extra credit available to bet. After playing 15 rounds of the slot machine both groups will be told they can play as long as they wish with a drop out button appearing on the screen. Before and after the experiment, a brief screening will be conducted in which the participant is asked about their perception of win rate and number of rounds. The results discussed will review the betting patterns of the control versus the experimental group alongside the information gathered from the screenings performed.

 
21. Incrementing Non-Matching-to-Sample in Rats: Generalization and Cross-Modal Transfer
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ERIC GROOVIN VAN LEUVEN (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Eliza Behler (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Mark Galizio (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Katherine Ely Bruce (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Victoria Diane Hutchinson (Saint Louis University, University of Mississippi, Irby Psychological Services)
Abstract:

Previous experiments on concept learning in animals have largely used transfer tests with novel stimuli from the same modality as the training stimuli. It has been argued that using a modality different from the one used in training would be a stronger test of relational concept learning and generalization. As same/different concept learning has been previously demonstrated in rats using non-matching-to-sample tasks with olfactory stimuli, the goal of the current study was to investigate if rats could also learn an incrementing non-matching-to-sample task with 3D plastic objects as stimuli (3D Span Task) and if relational learning would then transfer to novel 3D stimuli and olfactory stimuli. In the 3D Span Task, responding to a session-novel shape stimulus was reinforced, but responding to a stimulus already encountered within a session was not reinforced. Four rats were trained on the 3D Span Task and all four rats performed the task with high accuracy. Three of the four rats showed generalized non-matching to novel 3D stimuli and two of the four rats showed immediate transfer to novel olfactory stimuli. Results suggest that relational learning can be demonstrated in a new modality and provide some evidence of cross-modal transfer of relational responding in rats.

 
22. Investigation of Resurgence Following Differential Reinforcement Without Extinction Using a Human Operant Procedure
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Emily L. Baxter (University of North Carolina Wilmington), AMANDA WILRISS (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Rebeca Sofia Barba (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Kyla Stephens (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Tishera Owens (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Jane Hilts (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Adam M. Briggs (Eastern Michigan University), Kayla Randall (Georgia Southern University)
Discussant: Catherine Williams (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract:

Resurgence is the recurrence of a previously reinforced response following a decrease in the reinforcement conditions of an alternative response. This phenomenon is studied by conducting a series of phases that include a condition in which the target response is reinforced, then training an alternative response, and finally extinction of responses. The present study investigated a four-phase procedure that replicated the typical applied procedure of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA). The participants were university students. In Phase 1, participants were asked to earn as many points as possible by placing a ball into a basket. One point was delivered on a Fixed-Ratio (FR) 1 schedule. During Phase 2 (Pre-DRA), participants were prompted to engage in an alternative response (i.e., placing a ball into a second basket). Three points were delivered on an FR 1 schedule for each alternative response, and one point was delivered on an FR 1 schedule for each target response. Phase 3 was identical to Phase 2, except prompting was no longer provided. During Phase 4, no points were delivered for any response. Implications of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior without extinction and resurgence will be discussed.

 
23. Developing an Effective Estimation of Abilities in Physical Therapy Using Surface Electromyography and Behavioral Intervention
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ASHTON POLLACK (West Virginia University), Brennan Patrick Armshaw (West Virgina University )
Discussant: Victoria Diane Hutchinson (Saint Louis University, University of Mississippi, Irby Psychological Services)
Abstract: Behavioral components play a large role in health and wellness. The role of these components are becoming increasingly realized within the medical field. Physical therapy may be among the medical specialties to most benefit from a refocus on behavioral particulars. For instance, over 24 million Americans are affected by knee osteoarthritis, a disease commonly treated by total knee arthroplasty. While physical therapy is used to facilitate patients recovery following total knee arthroplasty, approximately 50% of patients never fully recover. Literature suggests that surface electromyographic biofeedback may be effective at improving recovery rates. However, results are often varied due to a lack of individualization. Previous work in our laboratory has developed an alternative approach to goal setting that relies on reinforcement procedures, the R-MVIC. The present study aimed to improve the current R-MVIC procedure by assessing the potential additive effects of a conjugate feedback schedule rather than a discrete feedback approach. Findings were assessed through an alternating treatment design across 12 participants. Peak amplitude was found to be greatest in the conjugate feedback condition for 8 of the 12 participants. However, no difference was found when average peak amplitude was compared. This study provides moderate evidence in favor of conjugate feedback.
 
24. Calculating Area Under Curve in Behavior Analytic Delay Discounting Studies: A Technical Comparison
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Mariah Dixon (Emergent Learning), ZHIHUI YI (Univeristy of Illinois Chicago), Mark R. Dixon (University of Illinois Chicago)
Discussant: Catherine Williams (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: Delay discounting is a well-studied phenomenon in behavior analytic research, reflecting the decrease in the perceived value of a reward as the delay to its receipt increases. This concept is central to understanding individual differences in impulsive behavior and has applications in areas ranging from addiction studies to financial decision-making. Accurately measuring delay discounting is crucial for these applications. Among multiple analytical methods, the area under the curve (AUC) is most commonly used as an index for impulsivity. Despite its widespread use, a notable gap in literature is that most studies do not report the exact method when calculating such an index. The current poster provided a review of commonly used methods to calculate AUC in delay discounting studies and contrasted their accuracy using a set of data obtained from a previous study. Results showed differing degree of over and under estimation when compared with the mathematical value. Implications for reporting and interpreting AUC values in delay discounting studies were discussed.
 
25. Effects of Stimulus Control on Responding During a Resurgence Test
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CAMERON MONTGOMERY SCALLAN (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Victoria Diane Hutchinson (Saint Louis University, University of Mississippi, Irby Psychological Services)
Abstract: Most resurgence research has focused on measuring response strength and order of reappearance during a resurgence test. However, less attention has been paid to how stimulus control develops during the acquisition phase. The current study investigated whether differences in stimulus control during acquisition affected the frequency of each response during a resurgence test. Using the Portable Operant Research and Teaching Lab (PORTL), the experimenter trained undergraduate students to emit four behaviors with a toy car. Three (push, spin, shake) were taught with the car upright and one (flip) with the car upside down. During a resurgence test, the behaviors were placed on extinction for one minute with the car beginning in an upright position. Participants emitted the three “upright” behaviors in order of recency while skipping the “flip” behavior. In some cases, participants never flipped the car. In other cases, participants flipped the car later during extinction after engaging in untrained behaviors (extinction-induced variability). These results demonstrate that participants learned a stimulus-response relationship (e.g., flip an upside-down car), rather than learning a topography (e.g., flip), supporting previous research suggesting what is learned is a behavior-environment relationship (see Donahoe, et al., 1997; Ray, 1969).
 
26. An Investigation of Resurgence in a Human Operant Continuous Procedure
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
REBECA SOFIA BARBA (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Kyla Stephens (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Kayla Braccio (UNCW), Amanda Wilriss (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Emily L. Baxter (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Catherine Williams (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: Behavioral relapse is defined as the recurrence of a behavior following a period of extinction. There are factors that have been shown to lead to the relapse of behavior. Often when in the process of extinguishing a behavior an alternative behavior is taught and reinforced. If reinforcement for the alternative response worsens, recurrence of the target response is often observed (i.e., resurgence). One obstacle in human operant research is the extinction of the target behavior. Therefore, the current study was conducted to examine if target responses would extinguish using a continuous resurgence procedure. College students were recruited as participants. Each participant experienced three sequential phases, each lasting three minutes: Baseline, differential reinforcement of an alternative behavior (DRA), and Extinction (EXT). The transition between the DRA and the EXT phase was not signaled. At the start of every session, only the target basket was present and was reinforced with one point on a fixed ratio 1 (FR 1) schedule during baseline. During the DRA phase, the alternative response was introduced and responses for the target response were extinguished. In the EXT phase no responding received reinforcement. Each participant completed three sessions. Results and implications will be discussed.
 
27. Preference for Cooperation: Influence of Variations on Reinforcement Magnitude and Response Cost
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
VERONICA LOPEZ ECHAGUE (University of Sao Paulo)
Discussant: Victoria Diane Hutchinson (Saint Louis University, University of Mississippi, Irby Psychological Services)
Abstract:

The purpose of the present study was to verify the levels of preference for a cooperative task, compared with an individual task, when manipulated: a) the reinforcing magnitude on the cooperative task; and b) the ratio for gaining reinforcers on the cooperative task. 16 men and women, aging from 25 to 40 years old, were divided into 8 pairs. They went through three experimental conditions. In Condition I, the participants could work only individually; in Condition II, they could work only cooperatively; in Condition III, the participants could choose between the two tasks. Sessions differed in terms of magnitude of reinforcement and ratio required for gaining reinforcers on the cooperative task. Results indicated that, when the reinforcer magnitude was increased, there was a preference for cooperation, and when the ratio to gain reinforcers was increased, there was a disruption in the preference for cooperation: the participants spent less time cooperating than in session 2 and made more choices than in session 2. We discuss future developments for research on cooperation, parallel with real-world problems and the recent debate on the need of new concepts such as metacontingencies and culturant to study social behavior such as cooperation.

 
28. Seeking Functional Relations With Competitive Golfers
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
SCOTT A O'DONNELL (S.A.O.B.A., LLC), Jack Spear (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Amanda Mahoney (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology ), Antonio M. Harrison (Renaissance Behavior, LLC)
Discussant: Catherine Williams (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract:

Several core concepts in behavior analysis would be relevant in an approach to golf: shaping, variability, and the categorization of behavior by function over topography. With sparse behavior analytic golf research, a translational investigation was conducted to replicate and extend Skinner (1938) with human subjects, substituting lever press force for distance to the hole. The effect of shaping on variability was investigated and functional relations were sought between golf-related dependent and independent variables even though topography, or form, was not measured. Two amateur competing golfers hit shots with an 8-iron on an indoor golf simulator. A range-bound changing criterion design (RBCC) advanced mastery criteria to investigate shaping accuracy at shorter distance goal conditions of 25 yd (22.86 m), 50 yd (45.72 m), and 75 yd (68.58 m) interspersed with baseline and probes to an out-of-range target at 200 yd (182.88 m). Participants earned gift cards at reduced distances by making three or four consecutive shots within a specified range (criteria). During data analysis, accuracy was proxied by subtracting remaining distance from the target distance, resulting in progress to the target (accuracy considering distance) allowing for comparisons of performance at different target distances. Results of the changing criterion design indicate immediate changes in participant progress to target corresponding with changes in target distance with few overlapping data points, suggesting a functional relation. Results of the shaping procedures indicated participant accuracy improved within conditions, but similar to the results of Skinner, regressed when criteria became too difficult. Maximum 8-iron progress improved for one participant but declined for the other participant. Overall, the investigation potentiates the unique role behavior analysts can serve to improve golfer performance.

 
 

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