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.

Search

50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details


Previous Page

 

Poster Session #484I
VRB Monday Poster Session
Monday, May 27, 2024
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, 200 Level, Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Gladys Williams (CIEL)
90. Relational Framing to Promote Increases in Intelligence With Neurotypical Children
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
SAVANNAH RRAINE WASHBURN (Utah Valley University), William Thomas Lickiss (Utah Valley University), Julie Harrison (Utah Valley University), Caleb Stanley (Utah Valley University)
Discussant: Devon Ramey (Queen's University Belfast)
Abstract: In recent years, several studies have emerged demonstrating the effectiveness of procedures derived from Relational Frame Theory in facilitating increases in intelligence and other related behaviors. The current study aimed to extend on previous research by evaluating if exposure to relational framing tasks had an effect intelligence. The current study incorporated a multiple baseline across participants design to evaluate the effects of the intervention and was conducted with 9 neurotypical children. Experimenters obtained pre-training and post-training performances by administering the WISC-V IQ test to all participants in the study. Following the pre-training assessment, nine of the participants were exposed to a series of relational training phases, in which they were required to respond in accordance with arbitrarily applicable relational responding across a series of relational tasks. The results indicated that participants exposed to the relational training phases showed an overall increase in IQ. Taken together, the results add to a growing body of literature that support the use of RFT-based interventions to promote intelligent behavior.
 
91. Relational Mass and Coherence Evident Within ChatGPT as an Artificially Intelligent Model
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
BENTLEY ELLIOTT (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Gladys Williams (CIEL)
Abstract: ChatGPT is an artificially intelligent (AI) model that is designed to interact in a conversational way and adapt in response to user feedback. Recent research extending from Relational Density Theory has established that meaningfulness of stimuli can result in relational networks that differ in volumetric-mass-density and show resistance to change and coherence effects. Moreover, relational mass may influence certainty, where high mass coherent networks produce greater certainty in responses compared to low mass non-coherent networks. In the present study, we compared the accuracy and certainty of responses by ChatGPT given meaningful and non-meaningful stimuli classes that differed in their relational coherence. All testing was conducted in reversal designs within multiple baseline designs, treating ChatGPT at the subject-level. Reversals were accomplished by correcting performance of ChatGPT and providing new information. Tiers of the multiple baseline were achieved by refreshing the program to forget prior information it had received from the chat. Results consistently showed greater certainty for meaningful and coherent relational responses. These results have implications for non-human models of relational responding that may have utility beyond non-human animals who do not derive relations. Moreover, results have implications for understanding how complex and interdependent relational networks may interact within AI that can impact human information.
 
Diversity submission 92. Evaluating Perceptions of Family Friendly Drag Events Using Relational Density Theory
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
BREANNA LEE (Ulster University), Kam Barker (Missouri State University), Dana Paliliunas (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Devon Ramey (Queen's University Belfast)
Abstract: In March of 2023, a Tennessee law was signed, banning public performances involving "adult cabaret," including "male or female impersonators" (Tenn. Code Ann. § 7-51-1401), targeting family friendly drag events. Although the law was overturned, it generated debates largely affecting queer and trans people. This research seeks to examine perceptions of family friendly drag events through a Relational Density Theory (RDT) framework. RDT is an approach to measuring relational responding that may contribute to the formation of beliefs and opinions (Belisle & Dixon, 2020). In the present study, participants of varying political affiliations completed a multidimensional scaling (MDS) procedure in which they rated the strength of relatedness between stimuli. Stimuli included words/phrases that were taken from two main sources: (1) news coverage of family friendly drag events on Fox News and CNN (identified as the most common news stations for those with conservative or liberal political views; Mitchell et al., 2020) and (2) the Drag Story Hour website (Drag Story Hour, 2022). Responses from participants were compared between political affiliation groups, showing a visual difference in responding. Results can be used to better understand how relational responding contributes to perceptions of family friendly drag events.
 
93. Tracking Listener Repertoires: An Analysis of Three Different Assessments and Curricula
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
Taiane Will de Morais Silva (Instituto Par Ciências do Comportamento; Behave Intervenção Comportamental), ARIELA HOLANDA (Federal Institute of Parana, Brazil), Saulo Missiaggia Velasco (Instituto Par Ciências do Comportamento)
Discussant: Gladys Williams (CIEL)
Abstract: Pre-listener and listener repertoires are the building blocks for complex cognitive behavior and independence. Different labels are used to refer to these repertoires (e.g., receptive language, listener). Specific assessments treat prerequisites or part of listener repertoires in separate domains. This fractured approach may lead an instructor to be under the control of the wrong variables. Aiming to design a comprehensive categorization system of listener repertoires, four phases were conducted: selection (Phase 1) and description (Phase 2) of the material (i.e., assessments and curricula) to be analyzed; listing listener repertoires (Phase 3); and designing the categorization system (Phase 4). Phases 1, 2, and 3 were completed. Phase 4 partial data show that listener behavior is assessed: (a) with or without visual, gustatory, auditory, and tactile stimuli; (b) probing following instruction behavior; (c) requiring the selection of stimuli in a specific or a random sequence; (d) in different scenarios; (e) and observing several response topographies, rate of response, and response durations. Each repertoire varies in dimensions to be detailed by the end of this study. A figure displaying and providing data on what is assessed would facilitate tracking stimuli and responses involved in listener behavior, guiding professionals in making decisions.
 
Diversity submission 94. Understanding Perceptions of Romantic and Platonic Relationships and Sexuality
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
MAKENNA BESETT (Missouri State University), Kendra Damron (Missouri State University), Chloe Harris (Missouri State University), Bryanna Pargo (Missouri State University), Sophia Sampson (Missouri State University), Ryan Moser (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University), Dana Paliliunas (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Devon Ramey (Queen's University Belfast)
Abstract: Discrimination against nonheteronormative couples is a well-documented phenomenon within social and professional experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals. Many situations and social encounters engage with specific stereotypes or if relationships are platonic or romantic leading to judgements made when those stereotypes are broken by LGBTQ+ couples. The present study is an extension of Sickman et al (2023) to explore the perspectives of LGBTQ+ relationships in terms of romantic and platonic situations within a Relational Density Theory (RDT) framework. First using a multidimensional scaling procedure (MDS), we modeled romantic and platonic relational frames with hetero and homosexual relationships. In a second phase, participants were given both romantic and platonic scenarios with differently gendered individuals to determine the extent to which different couples come across as romantic or platonic. Results have implications to show patterns of relational framing based on heterosexual norms, and evidence to show differences in perceptions of hetero versus homosexual couples. Discussion explores limitations and potential future research opportunities.
 
95. Language in Therapy: Examining Affect and Willingness Across Common Terms in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioral Therpay (CBT), and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
MADELYN BRUTTON (Missouri State University), Logan Huckstep (Missouri State University), Joshua Luna (Missouri State University), Vinnie Daniel Orlando (Missouri State University), Caroline Stuckey (Missouri State University), Blayne Stemple (Missouri State University), Dana Paliliunas (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Gladys Williams (CIEL)
Abstract: Previous?research has found that some behavior analytic terms evoke negative emotional responses in laypersons?(Critchfield et al., 2017). Gaining a further understanding of the affective experience that individuals may experience when encountering?jargon?is important as it may negatively impact?an individual's?willingness to engage in?related therapeutic services. The following study utilized?the?Affect and Willingness Scale?to capture an individual’s affective experience and their willingness to engage with key terms related to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Applied Behavior Analysis.?A generative artificial intelligence tool created the initial?list of terms. Subsequently, a?highly qualified clinical expert from each area reviewed and selected a set of 10 terms based on their relevance and applicability. All participants?in the study?were college students attending a mid-western university. Each participant was presented with a series of terms related to the above fields and asked to rate how each term made?them feel (positive or negative) and how willing?they were?to?engage with each term. Results showed high positive and willingness to engage in ACT consistent concepts and less willingness to engage in second and third-wave behavior therapy concepts.
 
Diversity submission 96. Measuring the Effect of a Brief Values Intervention on Values-Driven Relational Responding to Support Unhoused Persons
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
LOGAN HUCKSTEP (Missouri State University), Madelyn Brutton (Missouri State University), Emily Paige Hermann (Missouri State University), Jaelyn Compton (Missouri State University), Ryan Moser (Missouri State University), Breanna Lee (Ulster University), Dana Paliliunas (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Devon Ramey (Queen's University Belfast)
Abstract: Houselessness remains a prominent issue throughout the United States. Those who are unhoused often face biases and microaggressions (Torino & Sisselman-Borgia, 2016), such as being subjected to labels such as lazy, dirty, addicted, and criminal, which may impact their access to social support (Ruff Institute of Global Homelessness, 2017). The present study sought to examine relations among a person’s identified values and helping behaviors for unhoused individuals using a Relational Density Theory framework (Belisle & Dixon, 2020). Participants completed a task using a multidimensional scaling procedure to analyze the relationship among stimuli at pre- and post-test, including their reported values, behaviors that support these values, and helping behaviors that support those who are unhoused. Participants also completed a self-report measure of their willingness to help this population. Participants were randomly assigned to two groups, completing a values-based intervention or control task. Results are interpreted in terms of the strength of relations among values and helping behavior stimuli and reported willingness to engage in behaviors that support individuals who are unhoused. We discuss avenues for future research that could be useful to guide initiatives to improve support for individuals without housing informed by relational responding and valued action.
 
97. Correcting Performance Underestimation on the PEAK Comprehensive Assessment
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
JULIA BUSAM (Missouri State University), Lindsey Nicole Holtsman (Emergent Learning STL Center ), Mark R. Dixon (University of Illinois at Chicago), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Gladys Williams (CIEL)
Abstract: The PEAK Relational Training System (PEAK, Dixon 2014-2020) provides a wide-ranging assessment and training program that incorporates Skinnerian verbal operant learning and derived relational responding expressed in contemporary Relational Frame Theories (Hayes et al., 2001). The PEAK Comprehensive Assessment (PCA, Dixon, 2021) was developed to provide the first standardized and direct assessment of verbal operant and relational operant skill development that links directly to relational training guided by PEAK. The purpose of this present study was to determine underestimation in the PCA by identifying the total number of trial blocks until mastery in mastered PEAK programs. Participants initial PCA scores along with mastered PEAK programs were gathered from preexisting client data. For each participant and mastered program, the number of trial blocks until mastery was calculated. Results showed that from the participants initial PCA, over 70 percent of total PEAK programs were mastered in the first trial block, suggesting underestimation of skills in the PCA. Data provide an estimated correction coefficient for developing PEAK programming using the PCA.
 
98. Evaluating the Maintenace of Verbal Relational Operants Following PEAK Programming
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
JENNA HUSKEY (Missouri State University), Lindsey Schneider (Missouri State University), Mikayla Campbell (Missouri State University), Kaitlyn Hui (Missouri State University- student), Stephanie Vickroy (Missouri State University), Katelyn Frahm (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University), Mark R. Dixon (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Discussant: Devon Ramey (Queen's University Belfast)
Abstract: The Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge (PEAK) Relational Training System is an assessment and curriculum tool developed for basic and advanced language skills using behavior analytic approaches (Dixon, 2016). Maintenance describes the retention of performance following the progression of time. In the present study, we wanted to determine if maintenance was achieved on previously mastered PEAK programs, both in terms of the content and the verbal relational operant (i.e., generalization to new, untrained content). Five autistic learners (five to fourteen years old) were recruited for the study. Programs were selected from the previous two months from when probes began. First, a mastery probe was conducted on the mastered stimuli from an initial program. Second, a probe with a novel set of stimuli was conducted. In cases where the participant did not show mastery of the content or the operant, relational training was conducted with the novel stimuli followed by testing with the novel and the original stimuli. Results showed that maintenance of program content was inconsistent and generalization to novel stimuli was not observed. However, faster acquisition rates were observed for retraining and reinstatement of prior learning was observed in some cases.
 
99. Bi-Directional Naming and the Emergence of Listener and Tact Relations
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
RACHEL YOSICK (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University School of Medicine), Aparna Naresh (Marcus Autism Center), Daniel E Conine (Georgia State University), Victoria Verdun (Bierman Autism Centers)
Discussant: Gladys Williams (CIEL)
Abstract: Previous research has indicated that tact training is generally more efficient than listener training; however, this research has not included assessments of Bidirectional Naming (BiN; Greer & Ross, 2008), which has been related to emergent behaviors. Bi-Directional Naming (BiN) is a capability that allows individuals to learn language incidentally or without direct teaching, by observing name-object relations (hear the name of a novel word and see the object that the word represents; Greer & Ross, 2008). The current study analyzed how BiN affected the efficiency of instruction and the emergence of untaught listener/tact relations with 3 autistic children. During baseline, we conducted a BiN assessment and listener and tact probes for 6 target sets. We then taught sets in groups of two wherein one set was assigned to tact training and the other to listener training. Following mastery of each group, additional tact and listener probes and BiN assessments were conducted. Results with the first 2 participants with low BiN levels indicated greater efficiency via tact training and limited and variable emergence of untaught tact relations. For the third participant with higher BiN levels, overall levels of emergence via tact and listener training were higher.
 
100. Exploring Psychological Flexibility in College Students With Relational Density Theory and Delayed Discounting
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
LAUREN ROSE HUTCHISON (Missouri State University ), Albert Malkin (Western University), Sarah Caimano (Western Univeristy)
Discussant: Devon Ramey (Queen's University Belfast)
Abstract: College students face pressure to maintain academic performance and manage distress in the face of both demanding educational programs and their day-to-day lives. Previous research has demonstrated the efficacy of using a relational density lens and associated methodology in the evaluation of college student’s psychological flexibility in addition to targeted interventions (Paliliunas et al., 2023) The goal of this study was to replicate the previous study by Paliliunas et al. (2023) with 19 college students, as well as evaluate delayed discounting in the context of high and low psychological flexibility scores. Four surveys were administered to students: the AAQ-II, the CompACT, the SELF, and a discounting task. Results show that flexibility scores were consistent with relational behavior as measured by the SELF. This was also demonstrated with discounting rates. Discussion for using a relational density lens and methodology in clinical practice, especially in the context of education will be discussed.
 
101. Namenauts, a Smartphone Game to Induce Bidirectional Naming in Children
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
Djenane Brasil da Conceição (Universidade Federal do Recôncavo da Bahia), JORGEANE DA MOTA TRINDADE DE OLIVEIRA (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Filipe César Carvalho (UFSCAR), Alceu Regaço dos Santos (UFSCAR), Gustavo Kruger (Campinas City Hall Health Department), Izadora Perkoski (CLOO Behavioral Insights Unit), Julio Camargo (Federal University of São Carlos), Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Discussant: Gladys Williams (CIEL)
Abstract: Considering the potential attributed to Bidirectional Naming in enhancing educational performance, we developed a smartphone game to use Multiple Exemplar Instruction (MEI) to induce the integration of listener and speaker repertoires under control of object-name relations. The MEI intersperses 48 trials containing four images of objects and their names, and four response types: matching, pointing to, saying impure and pure tacts. Reinforcers or correction follow players’ responses. NAMENAUTS tells a story of an intergalactic scientist, who lands on Earth and needs to learn names to refuel her spacecraft to return to her planet. We applied a modified version of the EGame-Flow Scale to 11 children from 6 to 11-years-old, aiming for game design improvements. Two children didn’t complete the first match, probably due to internet connection problems. Eight of the remaining participants reported comprehension of the game goals in a five-point Likert scale, and six of them judged that the game caught their attention in another similar scale (ratings with 4 or 5 points, indicating agreement or total agreement); in a third scale, eight participants totally agreed that there were improvements in their knowledge. Although the game needs further testing, initial results showed acceptability and feasibility of its use.
 
102. A Review of Large Language Models From a Developmental and Skinnerian Perspective
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
MK MOORE (University of North Texas), Daniele Ortu (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Devon Ramey (Queen's University Belfast)
Abstract: Large Language Models (LLMs) have recently demonstrated remarkable behavioral capabilities when responding intraverbally to complex prompts. Answers to the questions, far from being established intraverbal operants, demonstrate intraverbal control (Palmer, 2016) and problem-solving capabilities (Palmer, 1991). LLMs typically go through three training stages. The pretraining component involves “feeding” large amounts of written verbal content to an algorithm that learns to predict the next word or phrase based on preceding context. This stage is developmentally like fostering a listener repertoire - defined as establishing specific priming relationships (Palmer, 2009). Next, in Supervised Learning (SL), complex verbal sets (questions) are matched with other correct sets (answers). Matching is defined by the experimenter. In this stage, the experimenter is equivalent to the verbal community modeling complex answers to complex questions that cannot be solved solely via priming or intraverbally. After many matching verbal sets are provided, the model is finally given a question without an answer, and based on prior pretraining/priming and modeling, they attempt answering questions. At this stage, feedback can be provided by the person who asked the question, and Reinforcement Learning takes place. Here we discuss the parallels between the development of LLMs and the development of human verbal repertoires.
 
103. The Search for Skinner’s Verbal Operants in ChatGPT: So Close, Yet So Far
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
BRYN HARRIS (University of North Texas), Daniele Ortu (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Gladys Williams (CIEL)
Abstract: Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer (ChatGPT) is a Large Language Model (LLM) that has been trained with massive data collections and human feedback to generate verbal responses to textual prompts. Due to the recency of its public release, there is little research attempting to understand errors made by ChatGPT in the way it describes behavior analytic concepts. At the time of publication, no study has examined ChatGPT’s errors when describing Verbal Behavior (VB) from a Skinnerian perspective. The current analysis aims to elucidate the nature of errors made by ChatGPT version 3.5 when assessing its definition and use of verbal operants. Authors asked ChatGPT questions about Skinner’s primary verbal operants in a comprehensive text thread, providing correction for errors of omission or commission, and positive feedback when no errors were detected. Little to no errors were emitted when identifying and defining tacts, echoics, and textual responses. However, ChatGPT emitted both errors by omission and commission when defining mands and autoclitics. Using a Skinnerian perspective to analyze the verbal operants emitted by ChatGPT may not only improve the reliability and accuracy of LLMs, but also contribute to current understanding of the formation of a VB repertoire in both human and artificial behavior.
 
104. Artful Connections: Exploring the Relationship Between Derived Relational Responding and the Arts
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER POSEY (Endicott College), Mark R. Dixon (Endicott College; Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Devon Ramey (Queen's University Belfast)
Abstract: Appreciation of and engagement with the arts may be attributed to cognitive and emotional processes that involve the interpretation of visual stimuli. Derived relational responding refers to the ability to derive meaningful relationships between stimuli based on previously learned associations. Thus, more abstract stimuli, such as abstract art, may require advanced abilities in derived relational responding. This poster presentation aims to investigate the potential correlations between derived relational responding and appreciation and engagement with the arts. The study conducted surveyed participants about the amount of free time spent engaging with the arts, their level of agreement with values-based statements surrounding art, and scores on a portion of the PEAK Comprehensive Assessment (PCA). Participants were then presented with an array of 5 pictures with a common theme, which varied in abstractness, and asked to select their preferred picture. This was repeated across 20 sets of images. Our findings reveal correlations between derived relational responding abilities, agreement with values-based statements surrounding art, and a preference for more abstract imagery. These data are explored in this presentation along with implications for strengthening derived relational responding through exposure to art education or, conversely, strengthening enjoyment of the arts through enhancing derived relational responding.
 
Sustainability submission 154. Unlocking Language: Role of Behavior Intervention to Improve Language in a 4-Year-Old Child With Socio-Pragmatic Language Disorders
Area: VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
SONAM RAMESHCHADRA KOTHARI (Co founder butterfly learnings)
Discussant: Sandra F. Concors (ABC Consultants)
Abstract: Background: Socio-pragmatic language disorder is a complex developmental challenge characterized by communication deficits, social interaction difficulties, and repetitive behaviors. This case study addresses a significant gap in the literature by showcasing a child's remarkable transformation from language and communication difficulties to neurotypical status within just 13 months. Methods: This case report outlines the assessment, intervention, and progress of a 4-year-old child referred for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy due to behavior issues and communication deficits. The child's comprehensive assessment, using the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP), identified multiple learning barriers. A 13-month ABA intervention program was initiated to address these barriers. Results: Over 13 months, the child showed substantial progress, with reduced problem behaviors and improved communication skills. Progress was observed in manding skills, listener responses, play skills, social interactions, intraverbal abilities, generalization, and emotional understanding. The child's total VB-MAPP score increased from 45 to 162.5, indicating significant improvement. Conclusion: This case underscores the effectiveness of early and intensive ABA therapy in addressing behavior and communication challenges in children with developmental delays.
 
 

BACK TO THE TOP

 

Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh
DONATE