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 #292E
TBA Sunday Poster Session
Sunday, May 26, 2024
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, 200 Level, Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Jennifer Quigley (TCS Education)
51. Can the Data Output of CyberRat Pass a "Turing Test"?
Area: TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
LACY KNUTSON (South Dakota State University), Brady J. Phelps (South Dakota State University-Emeritus faculty), Danielle Seljeskog (South Dakota State University), Morgan Hunt (South Dakota State University)
Discussant: Tamara S. Kasper (Kasper Enterprises/Caravel Autism Health)
Abstract: In 2011, Behavior and Philosophy devoted one edition to examination of the computer program used in teaching behavior analysis known as “CyberRat.” One question posed was whether or not CyberRat could pass an analogue of a “Turing Test” to see if CyberRat’s videos could be distinguished from a video of an actual rat. Most contributors rated CyberRat highly. Currently, CyberRat is widely used in undergraduate and graduate courses of basic behavior analysis. In December 2023, CyberRat had over 4000 users, in 76 institutions, in nine different nations. Despite its widespread application, no one has examined CyberRat’s simulation of operant behavior in the form of data. Operant behavior, while being lawful and predictable, always displays variability. The present research examined data from virtual rats given a minimal learning history, solely the programming in CyberRat. We examined data pertaining to variability, on a CRF schedule performance as well as FR5 schedule performance, in terms of latency to the first response, total number of responses and a cumulative record of a 30 minute session. Initially, the data showed considerable variability but after repeated FR5 sessions, variability decreased, a predicted outcome with actual rats. In our evaluation, CyberRat passes another Turing Test.
52. A Parametric Analysis of Duration of Speaker Immersion Protocol on Verbal Operant Emission
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
XIAOYUAN LIU (Teachers College, Columbia University), Katherine Garcia (Teachers College, Columbia University ), Daniel Mark Fienup (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Discussant: Jennifer Quigley (TCS Education)
Abstract: The Speaker Immersion Procedure (SIP) is a mand training protocol that involves the manipulation of motivating operations to create intensive learning opportunities for children to mand. This method is regarded as an effective approach for increasing the production of vocal verbal operants in both structured and natural settings. The current study explores the effects of SIP on six preschool children with developmental disabilities over two different intervention durations: three days versus six days. During each session, participants engaged in 50 manding opportunities. The research focused on three dependent variables: 1) the number of expanded mands emitted during EO probes, 2) the number of vocal verbal operants emitted in non-instructional settings, and 3) peer interactions in free play setting. Preliminary data indicate that SIP has facilitated an increase in expanded mands during EO probes and a significant increased in vocal verbal operants in non-instructional settings among all participants. The research is in progress, and additional data collection is necessary to comprehensively determine the full extent of the experimental effect.
53. Telehealth Teachers' Training in the Use of Practical Functional Assessment
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
TULLIA SYCHRA REUCCI (Doctoral Student at Masaryk University in Brno, Currently on a Fulbritght Scholarship at MSUB, MT, USA for the year 2023/2024), Cheryl A. Young-Pelton (Montana State University in Billings), Sheri Kingsdorf (Masaryk University )
Discussant: Tamara S. Kasper (Kasper Enterprises/Caravel Autism Health)
Abstract: The rise of telehealth in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) brings many benefits to the field, particularly for underserved areas lacking qualified professionals. This is often the reality for caregivers and educators supporting individuals with developmental disabilities, who typically rely on their own knowledge and skills. Promising research now points to telehealth as a valuable tool for bridging this gap and delivering key behavioral services remotely. This study is exploring the feasibility of training teachers via telehealth in the Practical Functional Assessment (PFA). The PFA is a streamlined method for identifying the underlying factors that trigger challenging behaviors. The research comprises two stages: a pilot study and a full research study involving three educators. The full research employs multiple probes across participants design, where progress is assessed via a fidelity checklist that tracks teachers' accurate implementation of specific steps. Teachers gain skills through the use of Behavior Skills Training and following a baseline, there is a role-play intervention phase with a confederate. After mastery criteria of steps implemented correctly on the fidelity checklist is reached during this phase, teachers implement the PFA during in-situ probes with a student. The preliminary results are encouraging, suggesting significant potential for this approach.
54. Staff Training on Non-Coercive Behavior Management and Behavior Tracking System Implemented in a Juvenile Residential Facility
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
ESTEBAN CABASSA (Auburn University), Ashley Anderson (Auburn University), Anna Kate Edgemon (Auburn University), Daniel John Sheridan (Auburn University ), Aqyana Reynolds (Auburn University), John T. Rapp (Auburn University)
Discussant: Jennifer Quigley (TCS Education)
Abstract: Juvenile justice facilitates often use coercive methods to maintain the safety of staff and manage resident problem behavior. However, these techniques can be harmful and do not meet the critical needs of justice-involved adolescents. The authors evaluated the effectiveness of training on positive behavior management strategies with juvenile justice facility staff. The training included six modules focused on teaching antecedent and consequence strategies for managing and responding to problem behavior. Post-training, clinicians observed staff interacting with residents and gave in-vivo feedback directly after each 15 min observation. Researchers measured the implementation of the positive practices demonstrated in the video training as well as the frequency of staff praise and resident problem behavior during the observation. Additionally, clinicians developed and maintained a program-wide contingency management system (CMS). The CMS consisted of a large-scale token economy, data collection for resident behavior, facilitating positive interactions between residents and staff, and a feedback mechanism to assist residents with skill acquisition. Results indicated the training and feedback increased the implementation of non-coercive strategies for all dorms. The frequency of praise statements increased post-intervention; however, the frequency of resident problem behavior did not significantly decrease. Implications, limitations, and directions for future research are discussed.
55. Online Asynchronous Video and Multiple Exemplar Training to Teach Visual Analysis
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
SARAH BENDEKOVITS (The Chicago School), Tyler Ré (The Chicago School), Juan Carlos Lopez (Behavior Interventions Inc.), Tim Caldwell (TCS Education)
Discussant: Tamara S. Kasper (Kasper Enterprises/Caravel Autism Health)
Abstract: Visual analysis of behavioral data and data-based decision making are central to the effectiveness of ABA-based programming. Utilizing data to determine whether an intervention is successful or to aid in deciding how to modify programming creates an objective process for evaluating behavioral treatment. It is vital that ABA-based providers ensure that staff have the repertoire to accurately analyze behavioral data and use this analysis to determine the course of treatment. Unfortunately, training time is often limited, and it can also be costly to have staff provide direct training to teach important skills, such as visual analysis. An online asynchronous training using video-based instruction and multiple exemplar training was developed to teach visual analysis of level, variability, trend, and therapeutic effect to demonstrate if a low-cost training could improve skills in analyzing graphs. Scores from two participants that completed the entire training sequence show an increase of 15% (58-73%) and 18% (60-78%) from pre to post-test with a total training time of 24 and 18 minutes respectively, without any direct instructor time necessary.
56. Determining Dosage of Training Required for Accurate Data Entry of Behavioral Observation Data in Excel
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
BROOKE PABEN (Mississippi State University ), Grayson Edwards (Mississippi State University )
Discussant: Jennifer Quigley (TCS Education)
Abstract: Task analyses have been used in the field of applied behavior analysis to teach a variety of skills. Using task analysis allow researchers the opportunity to give participants detailed instruction on how to complete a task without having to directly train them. The purpose of this study was to examine if a task analysis was efficient enough to teach individuals how to accurately enter data from a feeding session. Researchers used start point randomization within a multiple baseline design to take participants across three different phases throughout this project. Each phase included an addition to the previous phase to better assist the participant in reaching mastery criterion. The phase following the addition of the task analysis and self-check list included variables such as modeling and a practice trial. All participants throughout this project needed the addition of the modeling phase to reach the mastery criterion. One participant needed the additional phase of a practice trail to reach mastery criterion. This research is important as it can be implemented as a structured training tool across pediatric feeding disorder labs.
57. Effects of Goal Setting and Performance Feedback on Behavior Technicians’ Interpersonal Skills
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
DANIELLA MATA (Michigan State University), Pascale Carpentier (Michigan State University), Emilia Notarianni (Michigan State University), Noel E. Oteto (Michigan State University ), Josh Plavnick (Michigan State University)
Discussant: Tamara S. Kasper (Kasper Enterprises/Caravel Autism Health)
Abstract: Applied Behavior Analysis has faced criticism for its lack of emphasis on developing the interpersonal skills of behavioral service providers. We examined the effects of a training package involving goal setting and performance feedback on interpersonal skills of three behavior technicians. This study specifically examined instances of smiling, affectionate touch, vocal affirmations, and positive body language using a 10-s partial interval time sample during 5-min observation sessions. The independent variable was a packaged intervention consisting of didactic presentation, role-play, a review of individual baseline data to set personalized goals, and frequent performance feedback. During baseline, technicians were observed during a natural environment session with a young child with autism. The packaged intervention was then sequentially administered to each behavior technician using a multiple probe across participants design, while observation sessions were continued in the same manner as baseline. Preliminary results show an increase in interpersonal skills following administration of the intervention. These initial findings suggest that interpersonal behavior of behavioral service providers can be operationally defined, measured, and improved under some conditions. The results have important implications for how behavior technicians, and possibly behavior analysts, are trained to interact with consumers.



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