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 #292I
VRB Sunday Poster Session
Sunday, May 26, 2024
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, 200 Level, Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Brenna R Griffen (Louisiana State University-Shreveport)
93. A Cross-Cultural Validation of the Generalized Pliance and Tracking Questionnaire
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
Daniel John Sheridan (Auburn University ), Ashley Anderson (Auburn University), John T. Rapp (Auburn University), SHANE HIL PHILLIPS (Auburn University)
Discussant: Brenna R Griffen (Louisiana State University-Shreveport)
Abstract: In response to mixed findings from experimental research on pliance and tracking, the Generalized Pliance Questionnaire (GPQ) and the Generalized Tracking Questionnaire (GTQ) were created to enhance empirical analyses of rule-governed behavior. However, the GPQ and GTQ have not directly been examined among individuals within the United States. The current study aimed to replicate previous research (Dudek et al., 2023; Ruiz et al., 2019, 2020) by measuring the validity of the GPQ9 and GTQ with a group of undergraduate students from an American university (N=327). Specifically, participants completed a series of self-assessed questionnaires: Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale– 21 (DASS-21), General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES), Acceptance and Action Questionnaire–II (AAQ-II), Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire (CFQ), Valuing Questionnaires (VQ), Behavioral Impulsivity Scale (BIS), Preservative Thinking Questionnaire (PTQ), Rigidity Scale (RIS), and Perseverative Thinking (PTQ). Overall, the results from the current study replicate those of previous research suggesting that pliance and tracking may be similar across different cultural contexts. Limitations, implications, and directions for future research are discussed.
 
94. An Evaluation of Successive Matching to Sample in Emergent Stimulus Relations
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
DIEGO COYLE DIEZ (The New England Center For Children), Karina Zhelezoglo (Endicott College), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento), Chata A. Dickson (New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Anne Costa Carneiro (Guia AC; UFSCar)
Abstract:

Successful performance with traditional matching-to-sample (MTS) tasks with multiple comparison stimuli requires several prerequisite skills, and these are foundational to learning new stimulus relations. An alternative approach to presenting MTS tasks, go/no-go successive matching-to-sample procedure (S-MTS), has been effective in establishing auditory-visual equivalence classes in typically developing adults (Zhelezoglo et al., 2021). Given the potential utility of these procedures for individuals with intellectual disabilities, further investigation is warranted. The current study, a direct replication of Zhelezoglo et al., was conducted with 5 typically developing participants, and the outcomes were consistent with the prior study. All participants completed a pretest for tacting, sorting, symmetry (BA/CA), and transitivity (BC/CB). Participants then underwent AB/AC baseline training and were subsequently tested on untrained performances. All participants passed symmetry and transitivity tests, as well as the sorting posttest, and 4 participants passed the tacting posttest. The findings of this study support the previous finding that S-MTS is an effective alternative to MTS for establishing auditory-visual equivalence classes.

 
95. The Effect of Differential Punishment on Autoclitic Emission
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
CORINA LEE COULTER (Berry College), Thom Ratkos (Berry College)
Discussant: Brenna R Griffen (Louisiana State University-Shreveport)
Abstract: The autoclitic is among the least studied verbal operant described by B. F. Skinner. Autoclitics are a secondary response that modifies the effect of the primary response, and there are several subtypes of autoclitics with subtle differences in function. Much of what we know about autoclitics relies on Skinner’s interpretation rather than empirical demonstrations. The focus of this study will be the qualifying autoclitic, which, among other functions, should be sensitive to the availability of punishment contingencies from the listener. In an experiment with young adults, highly distorted images of common objects will be shown to participants with a request to label them. During baseline, all responses were followed by neutral responses, but in a non-concurrent multiple baseline across participants, after a varied number of trials a differential punishment contingency was implemented. When participants modified their tact with an autoclitic, a neutral response followed. When participants tacted without an autoclitic, social punishment followed (e.g. “No, that’s not right”). On average, participants did emit more autoclitics when pure tacts were punished, but the effect was not robust. The results are examined as basic research on the autoclitic and how functional relationships between environmental variables and different subtypes of autoclitics may be examined.
 
96. Foreign Language Learning: The Benefits of Addressing Fluency
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
SADIE LYNN KLASSEN (University of Nevada, Reno), Courtney Smith (University of Nevada, Reno), Matthew Locey (Hampden-Sydney College), Anna Ingeborg Petursdottir (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Anne Costa Carneiro (Guia AC; UFSCar)
Abstract: Throughout the development of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), its technologies have been used to benefit many people experiencing various language deficits. For example, those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may have difficulties developing a verbal repertoire that allows them to easily engage with the verbal population around them. This situation can be similar to the experience of those in need of learning a foreign language. Throughout time, foreign language learning has proven to be an immensely difficult task for learners that is only now beginning to be addressed by Behavior Analysis. Various procedures have been utilized to promote the acquisition and maintenance of foreign language learning for a diverse set of languages. Some of the research and its results will be highlighted here, as well as some suggestions for future directions that address the component of fluency. Fluency research has included multiple measures used to assess features of fluency in fields like psycholinguistics, but these non-behavioral assessments tend to lack the components that are in alignment with behavior analytic assumptions. This poster will present an outline of what a behavior-analytic conceptualization of fluency is.
 
97. The Influence for Organized Model of Empathy by Training of Perspective-Taking in Relational Frame Theory
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
YASUHIRO OOSHIMA (Faculty of human science in Ritsumeikan university)
Discussant: Brenna R Griffen (Louisiana State University-Shreveport)
Abstract:

Research on perspective-taking primarily centers on understanding others, with Relational Frame Theory formulating training for this cognitive process. Another concept integral to understanding others is empathy, and various examinations have explored the connection between perspective-taking and empathy. For instance, Organized Model of Empathy delves into the relationship between perspective-taking as cognition and empathy as emotion. However, the impact of Relational Frame Theory training on empathy and perspective-taking within the Organized Model of Empathy remains unexplored. Therefore, the present study investigates the influence of perspective-taking training in Relational Frame Theory on empathy and perspective-taking as outlined in Organized Model of Empathy. Forty-three participants completed questionnaires related to Organized Model of Empathy, responding both before and after receiving training. These questionnaires, based on the Organized Model of Empathy, employed subscales measuring perspective-taking as cognitive aspects and empathy as emotional aspects. Paired t-tests revealed significant differences in perspective-taking subscales, with scores increasing after receiving the training. Additionally, scores related to emotions towards others also exhibited significant increases. Based on these results, we discussed the relationship between Organized Model of Empathy and perspective-taking formulated in Relational Frame Theory, focusing on the difference between self and others.

 
98. The Effects of a Self-Talk Immersion Protocol on Autistic Children's Social Verbal Behaviour During Play
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
HAYLEY LOUISE LOCKE (Jigsaw CABAS School), Veronica Baroni (Jigsaw CABAS School), Kate Hewett (Jigsaw School), Grant Gautreaux (Nicholls State University)
Discussant: Anne Costa Carneiro (Guia AC; UFSCar)
Abstract: Complex listener and speaker repertoires are exclusive to the human species; it is the joining of these initially independent repertoires that makes the individual “truly verbal”. Learners who are unable to acquire social behaviour by incidental environmental contingencies may have associated difficulties in reaching language milestones, learning new operants and repertoires and in functioning in a social environment. This study investigates the effects of the Self Talk Immersion Protocol (STIP), (Farrell, 2017) on the emergence of self-talk sequelics and conversational units during fantasy play in autistic children. A multiple probe design was implemented with results demonstrating emergence of self-talk during fantasy play and increased verbal operants for three out of four participants. Results of the study further support the use of the STIP as an effective play based intervention to induce self-talk behaviour for autistic children. Social verbal operants were also measured although the increases to these minimal. Vocal stereotypy as a possible barrier to social verbal behavior development is discussed and tactics to address this are suggested. Further protocols to extend these preliminary findings and support the development of social behaviour are outlined.
 
99. Intraverbal Emergence in Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing Following Multiple Exemplar Instruction
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
ANA CLAUDIA MOREIRA ALMEIDA-VERDU (Universidade Estadual Paulista), Aline Vieira (São Paulo State University; University of São Paulo), Leandra Silva (University of São Paulo )
Discussant: Brenna R Griffen (Louisiana State University-Shreveport)
Abstract:

This study verified if teaching listening operants based on selection, tact, and intraverbal via Multiple Exempla Instruction (MEI) allows for the emergence of intraverbal after teaching listening and tact with novel stimuli in two children who are deaf and hard of hearing with cochlear-implants (P1: 6yo, girl; P2: 7yo, boy) with no prior intraverbal repertoire. Teaching and testing structures consisted of discrete trials via the Magnolia® software: a) pretest of tact, intraverbal, and listening based on selection with three stimulus sets; b) teaching of listening and tact and test of intraverbal (set 1); c) MEI of tact, listening and intraverbal (set 2); d) teaching of listening and tact and test of intraverbal (set 1); e) teaching of listening and tact, and test of intraverbal (set 3); (f) posttest of tact, intraverbal, and listening based on selection. The design was multiple baselines between participants. At baseline, participants showed a varied performance of listening (below 67%) and tact (below 50%) and intraverbals stayed null regardless of how many tests were carried out before MEI. Performance in intraverbals during tests only increased for both participants after exposure to MEI. Percentage Nonoverlapping Data measures for P1 (100%, p=0,0052) and P2 (100%, p=0,0019) point to very effective interventions.

 
100. What Did You Do at School Today? Responding to Intraverbals With Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
RACHEL CAGLIANI (University of Georgia Center for Autism and Behavioral Education Research), Marli Siciliano (University of Georgia), Sara Snyder (University of Georgia)
Discussant: Anne Costa Carneiro (Guia AC; UFSCar)
Abstract:

Individuals with autism have impaired social capabilities and communication with 30% of those diagnosed with autism never developing a vocal repertoire. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) can allow for these individuals to communicate using all verbal operants. However, validated interventions are necessary for individuals to be able to communicate beyond wants and needs. Children in elementary school are often asked questions about their day by their parents, caregivers, and teachers. The answers to these questions often change from day to day making it a difficult skill to teach. The current study evaluated the effects of simultaneous prompting on increasing AAC communication in the form of individuals with autism answering questions (i.e., intraverbals) about their school days using a multiple probe design across stimuli. The question answers changed daily and were based on events that occurred throughout the student's school day (e.g., materials used, special activity). The results of the study provided support that the intervention was effective in increasing intraverbals for this population allowing participants to share personal day-to-day information. Some variations were made to the original procedure including additional teaching trials and the addition of a choice.

 
101. An Assessment of Episodic Memory for Autistic Children
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
KATE LYNNE PUDPUD (University of Florida), Jeanne Stephanie Gonzalez (University of Florida), Ciobha A. McKeown (California State University, Sacramento), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Discussant: Brenna R Griffen (Louisiana State University-Shreveport)
Abstract: Episodic memory is information about personal events in the past. The ability to accurately describe personal experiences is socially significant. For example, this skill is critical in developing meaningful relationships or during unexpected emergencies. The purpose of this poster is to assess skills of episodic memory within autistic children. In this assessment, six participants played with three different toys on three different contexts. Later, they were asked to respond to questions regarding the past play event within two different contexts: inside and outside the room where the event occurred. The questions were asked in terms of what they did (the specific event), the toy (the actions of the event) and the event’s context (the specific place). The results showcased episodic memory skill levels were individualized across participants. On average, the participants responded to all three questions more accurately when they were inside the room of the past event rather than outside. These results point to the potential of increasing accurate skills in episodic memory by actively reinforcing these behaviors.
 
102. Teaching an Adolescent With Autism to Tact Emotions During Applied Situations
Area: VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
ANNALISA GALEONE (Fondazione Oltre le Parole Onlus - Pescara), Daniele Rizzi (Fondazione Oltre le Parole Onlus - Pescara), Michela Scinto (Fondazione Oltre le Parole Onlus - Pescara)
Discussant: Anne Costa Carneiro (Guia AC; UFSCar)
Abstract:

People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have difficulties describing and labeling their private events (Hill et al., 2004; Nastri, 2019). Private events are responses that occur under the skin and are observable only by oneself (Skinner, 1953; Moore, 1980). Teaching how to describe private events, such as emotions, and to tact their controlling variables can improve the social skills, adaptive functioning, and quality of life of people with ASD (LeBlanc et al., 2003; Blair and Diamond, 2008; Van Heijst and Geurts, 2014). The present study, therefore, aims to teach an adolescent with ASD to: 1- tact his own emotions and environmental controlling variables during applied situations (e.g. tacting “I’m happy because I can use the Ipad”); 2- evaluate emerging responses in tacting other people’s emotions and environmental controlling variables during applied situations (e.g. “He is angry because the cafè is closed”). During the study we used a Concurrent Multiple Baseline Design across emotions to evaluate a teaching procedure comprised of prompting, fading and differential reinforcement, to teach 3 emotions contriving or capturing different applied situations for each and every trial. Each trial was composed by two dependent variables: tacting emotions and tacting environmental controlling variables. The participant acquired correct responses for both the dependent variables for the 3 emotions and this teaching produced emerging responses in tacting other people’s emotions. Both skills were maintained during follow up probes.

 
103. Effects of Stimulus Presentation for Tact Training on Acquisition and Generalization
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
ANNA KATE BURKE (T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability), Elissa Spinks (Behaviors Analysis Association of Mississippi)
Discussant: Brenna R Griffen (Louisiana State University-Shreveport)
Abstract: To classify a verbal operant, the environmental and controlling variables (e.g., antecedent behaviors, nonverbal stimuli, or the consequences) of the operant must be determined (Carrol & Hesse, 1987). Skinner (1957) suggests seven different verbal operants, all of which can operate under differing controlling variables, with functional independence from one another (Gamba et al., 2015). Importantly, even though the different verbal operants may seem to generalize to one another, a full verbal history of an individual’s verbal repertoire would be needed to determine if generalization across the verbal operants occurred (Gamba et al.). Gamba et al. argues that while typically developing individuals may be better equipped to generalize verbal behavior across the verbal operants, this assumption should not be made for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), language delays and impairments, and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Skinner argues that for typically developing individuals this may be due to, in part, the contingencies between mands and tacts co-occurring within an individual’s natural environment, leading to simultaneous acquisition between the verbal operants. However, this may not occur for individuals with limited verbal repertoires and additional instruction may be warranted (Gamba et al.).
 
104. Verbal Behavior Assessment of Jargon Aphasia
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
SHAWNA ASHLEY FLEMING (Evergreen Communication Therapy), Brittany Clark (Evergreen Communication Therapy )
Discussant: Anne Costa Carneiro (Guia AC; UFSCar)
Abstract: Aphasia is an acquired language disorder, often caused by stroke, that impacts one’s ability to read, write, speak and understand language. Jargon aphasia is a type of fluent aphasia, often characterized by severely distorted speech. Production in Jargon aphasia is fluent but often contains non-word errors (neologisms), word-related errors (paraphasias) and perseverations, which can make it challenging to communicate effectively. An individual with Jargon aphasia would likely struggle to convey even simple biographical information and have difficulty expressing their wants, needs, feelings, and having a conversation. Studies indicate that Jargon aphasia is poorly understood and associated with declining vocabulary size and mixed outcomes from therapy (Pilkington et al. 2017). Purpose: The current assessment was created to examine error patterns for a man with Jargon aphasia to inform an individualized treatment approach within a behaviorally-oriented intensive communication intervention for aphasia (BICA). The assessment examined the distribution of errors across echoic, tact, and intraverbal repertoires, and subsequent errors were further analyzed according to lexical and non-lexical errors and perseverative versus non-perseverative errors. The aim of the assessment was to select individualized teaching procedures and prompting strategies based on error analysis leading to a more efficient and effective therapy experience.
 
105. Behaviorally-Oriented Approach to Speech Production Treatment for an Individual With Aphasia & Acquired Apraxia
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
BRITTANY CLARK (Evergreen Communication Therapy ), Shawna Ashley Fleming (Evergreen Communication Therapy)
Discussant: Brenna R Griffen (Louisiana State University-Shreveport)
Abstract:

Aphasia and Apraxia of Speech (AOS) are neurogenic disorders primarily caused by stroke; AOS rarely occurs alone and is typically paired with aphasia (Wambaugh et al., 2014; Duffy, 2013). Aphasia is an acquired language disorder that can affect one’s ability to speak, read, write, and understand language. AOS is characterised by a slower rate of speech, difficulties in sound production, and disruptions in prosody.The combination of aphasia and AOS can significantly disrupt one’s ability to communicate. As aphasia and AOS often co-occur, designing an intervention that addresses both the speech and language deficits is critical to effective and efficient therapy. In language therapy, loose training is often utilized where there is not a rigid set of answers but rather the person with aphasia is encouraged to generate their own responses while the clinician’s role is to confirm attempts and shape the response. One approach for AOS is speech production therapy (SPT) whereby when the person with AOS emits a speech error, the clinician completes a prescribed set of steps in a specific order to coach the individual to improve their production. SPT remains one of the most investigated treatments for AOS and involves modeling, repetition, orthographic and verbal cueing, and following a treatment hierarchy (Wambaugh, Kallhoff, & Nesslera, 2021). Purpose: The current assessment was created to evaluate a novel assessment of prompts described in the SPT procedure to create an individualized therapeutic approach that combines both language and speech therapy techniques for individuals who have both aphasia and AOS.

 
106. Increasing Imitation of Vocalization Using Auditory Feedback
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
MIRANDA MACAULEY (MacEwan University), Sawyere Dilworth (Behaviour-Analytic Services and Education)
Discussant: Anne Costa Carneiro (Guia AC; UFSCar)
Abstract:

In this study, we are examining the effects of using an auditory stimulus cue, after pairing the auditory sound with a preferred stimulus, to increase imitative vocalizations made by a 6-year-old participant with autism who exhibits zero vocal words and no echoic repertoire; however, has exhibited varied vocalization sounds. Baseline sessions consisted of 10-minute sessions, with no auditory feedback. Next, a stimulus preference assessment was conducted, and the highest rated preferred stimulus was paired to an auditory cue (i.e., click sound). During 10-minute intervention sessions, when a vocalization made by the participant, the experimenter will immediately pinpoint the target sound by delivering the auditory cue. After the participant meets specified criteria (example: 0.5 vocalizations per minute or 60% of opportunities), the next vocalization will move out of baseline. Results thus far have shown slow acquisition. The poster will discuss possible variables to evaluate next if results continue in this fashion. An upcoming change to this study will be a change in criteria to move to the next vocalizations for further evaluation of variables, and/or the addition of an operant response phase to access the reinforcer and/or manipulation of motivating operations.

 
 

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