Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Poster Session #96D
PCH Saturday Poster Session
Saturday, May 25, 2024
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, 200 Level, Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Chelsea Rose Fleck (Marcus Autism Center)
33. A Pedagogical Guide for Teaching the Behaviorisms
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
EDWARD K. MORRIS (University of Kansas), Bryan Alan Simmons (University of Kansas), Mallory Eddy (University of Kansas), Zi Wang (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Margaret Rachel Gifford (Louisiana State University Shreveport)
Abstract: Teaching behaviorism’s historical and conceptual foundations is a daunting task because behaviorism is not one point of view. It is many. The poster presents a table that describes five of them. It includes their (a) philosophical varieties (e.g., methodological dualism; metaphysical monism), (b) behaviorisms (e.g., 1, 2, 3), (c) types (e.g., classical, interbehavioral, radical, mediational), (d) subject matters (e.g., behavior, interbehavior, mediators), (e) units of analysis (e.g., two- and three-term contingencies, an integrated field, S-O-R relations), (f) founders (e.g., Watson-1, Watson-2, Kantor, Skinner, Hull, Tolman), and (g) when they flourished (e.g., 1903-1913, 1913-1930, 1930-present, 1930-1970). The table does not, of course, incorporate every behaviorism -- earlier or later. These are included, one each, in six additional versions of the table. The former are proto-behaviorisms: Thorndike’s connectionism and Pavlov’s neurophysiology. The latter are behaviorology, molar behaviorism, contextual behaviorism, and a methodological form of behavior analysis. The discussion addresses the behaviorisms’ common point of view (i.e., they study behavior), what constitutes behavior (e.g., movement, function, field), still other behaviorisms (e.g., general physiology, paradigmatic behaviorism, teleological behaviorism), cognitivism as a methodological behaviorism, and the table’s use as a pedagogical guide for teaching the historical and conceptual foundations of behaviorism.
34. Communicating Complex Causal Relations: A Simpler Approach
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
FREDRIK ANDERSEN (Østfold University College, Norway), Jon Arne Løkke (Østfold University College)
Discussant: Chelsea Rose Fleck (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Causal relationships associated with behavior are rarely simple. Typically, any isolated cause generates a potential for multiple effects, and any isolated effect follows from a set of interacting causes. Donahoe and Palmer (1989), Strømgren (2014) and Michael et al (2011) are examples of behavior analysts who address this issue. However, when causally complex behaviours are represented, they are typically represented as either tables or neural network models. These types of models are needlessly complicated to read and difficult to interpret. We suggest adopting Mumford and Anjums (2011) vector modelling of causal complexities. With minor additions, vector models can be made more intuitive and available to readers who wish to understand causal complexities in behavior. The vector models have been shown useful in modelling complex issues such as pain (see Low 2016) and has additional pragmatic benefits concerning groupings of causes in relation to possible interventions. Examples of intervention related groups are manageable/unmanageable, cheap/expensive, invasive/non-invasive. A simplification in the modelling of complex behavior has the potential for increasing the number of behaviourists addressing the challenges causal complexity presents.
35. Relational Frame Tarot: A Conceptual Explanation of Tarot, Astrology, and Other Divination Techniques
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
ERIC ANDERSON (Bowling Green State University)
Discussant: Margaret Rachel Gifford (Louisiana State University Shreveport)
Abstract: The popularity of Tarot cards and astrology have increased over recent years (Pulliam Bailey, 2021; Page, 2023). This increase brings up two interesting points for behavioral scientists. First, expressing philosophic doubt and looking for parsimonious explanations of phenomena would suggest that neither Tarot nor astrology explain changes in the lives of those who practice them. Second, the increase in popularity indicates that something about these activities is reinforcing. One possible explanation for the popularity is the usefulness of Tarot and other divination techniques as tools for self-reflection (Hofer, 2009). This presentation suggests one possible behavioral explanation of the mechanism supporting this self-reflection, specifically relational frame theory. Relational Frame Theory (RFT) suggests that symbolic thinking connections between stimuli can be explained as equivalence and non-equivalence relations between verbal behavior (Cooper et al., 2020). The poster will describe the possible relationships between specific Tarot cards (e.g., Death, the Lovers, the Moon) and brief vignettes, as well as provide an opportunity for attendees to practice self-reflection using Tarot cards.
Diversity submission 36. A Closer Look at the Perspective of Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) Working in the Home Setting With Latino Families
Area: PCH; Domain: Service Delivery
ELINA ESPAILLAT (Amigo Care ABA ), Nicole Marie Burke (Amigo Care ABA), Melissa Theodore (May Institute ), Alex Arevalo (Amigo Care ABA; Western New England University)
Discussant: Chelsea Rose Fleck (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: In recent years, there has been an interest to examine the viewpoints of behavior technicians within the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) (Bukszpan et al., 2023). This exploration of perspectives comes at a crucial juncture, coinciding with pressing concerns of burnout and high turnover rates in the ABA field (Deling et al., 2023). A notable gap exists in our understanding of the predictors of turnover for behavior technicians (Kazemi et al., 2015). Existing research that does delve into this area indicates that retention is influenced by various factors such as supervisor support (Gibson et al., 2009), personal wellbeing (Griffith et al., 2014), personality traits (Hurt et al., 2013), training and supervision (Kazemi et al., 2015), and implicit attitudes (Kelly & Barnes-Holmes, 2013). It's worth noting that the majority of these studies have focused on registered behavior technicians in school and clinic environments, leaving the in-home environment relatively understudied. Hence, the primary objective of this study was to identify consistent factors via survey that could function as predictors of dissatisfaction as well as satisfaction among therapists, particularly those working in the home environment. The aim is to intervene promptly and effectively, fostering the development of effective clinicians.
37. Unveiling Unity: Exploring Factors That Foster a Strong Sense of Community in an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Home-Based Setting
Area: PCH; Domain: Service Delivery
ALLEN FLYNN (Mt St Mary's University and Amigo Care), Nicole Marie Burke (Amigo Care ABA), Shelby Lynne Quigley (Kennedy Krieger Institute, Amigo Care ABA, Maryland Association for Behavior Analysis ), Melissa Theodore (May Institute; Amigo Care ABA), Alex Arevalo (Amigo Care ABA; Western New England University )
Discussant: Margaret Rachel Gifford (Louisiana State University Shreveport)
Abstract: In the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) home-based setting, behavior technicians play a crucial role, facing dynamic challenges in adapting to clients' evolving behavioral needs (Bukszpan et al., 2023; Leaf et al., 2016). This demanding role contributes to a significant risk of burnout and staff turnover, a concern echoed by parents of children receiving ABA services (Grindle et al., 2009). To address this concern, fostering a sense of community and a supportive organizational culture is crucial, yet it proves challenging in solitary in-home conditions. We placed and adapted community-building strategies to the unique needs of ABA professionals working in the home environment. We utilized surveys -modified and adapted from the Sense of Community Index (SCI)- to explore and measure factors conducive to building a sense of community within the in-home setting. By understanding the challenges faced by employees (i.e., BCBAs and Behavior Technicians) and measuring strategies' effectiveness, we aim to contribute insights to enhance the overall well-being and job satisfaction of ABA professionals. Our poster seeks to address the pressing issue of burnout and turnover, ultimately shaping a positive perception of ABA services within the industry.
38. The Importance of Scientific Philosophy and an Analysis of Universalism
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
CHANGZHI WU (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Chelsea Rose Fleck (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: According to Kantor (1958, p. 64), science is a cultural institution located in a cultural matrix. Scientists are obliged to distinguish science from other cultural institutions and to keep science immune to the influence of other cultural institutions. In order to do so, Kantor (1958, p. 64) constructs a philosophical system of science, which is a hierarchical matrix composed of cultural matrices, logic of science (protopostulates), metasystems (metapostulates) and specific scientific systems (postulates). However, despite his thorough description of this philosophical system and his guidance as to how scientists can use this system to minimize the influence of cultural traditions, many cultural concepts are still influential and demonstrated by scientists' behaviors in modern sciences, especially psychology. Universalism is one of the cultural traditions that is still active today. This poster aims to reveal the presence of universalism in modern psychology and show how it negatively impacts the progress of psychology.
203. An Evolutionary Approach to Verbal Behavior: Unraveling (Ontogenetic) Selection Processes in Conversational Dynamics
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
CARSTA SIMON (University of Agder, Norway)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas)
Abstract: The behavior of organisms is shaped by a blend of environmental factors spanning a species' evolutionary timeline and individual lifetimes. Natural selection elucidates how physiological and behavioral traits are changed across generations to suit the prevailing environment. Within each generation, ontogenetic selection processes further refine organismal behavior in response to the environment. This poster delves into the impact of ontogenetic selection processes driven by environmental events on verbal behavior and explores their connection to natural selection. It also underscores the significance of this link. The poster bridges these conceptual analyses with empirical studies on verbal interactions, particularly in conversations. These studies employ experimental procedures to probe variables influencing topic (word) choice, talk duration, and the distribution of talk and gaze among conversational partners. The latter is investigated in a study on matching in conversations, which looks into attempts to expand on the (molar) multiscale approach to an analysis of verbal behavior.



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