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.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Event Details

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Symposium #302
Teaching Environmentally Responsible Behaviors in Educational Settings
Monday, May 28, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
602 (Convention Center)
Area: CSE/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Emily Michelle Leeming (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Susan M. Schneider (University of the Pacific)
Abstract: A majority of scientists studying the earth’s atmosphere believe global warming is occurring and co-varies with increases in levels of greenhouse gasses. Resource conservation and recycling are two immediate ways individuals can contribute to reductions in greenhouse gasses. Written antecedent and consequent independent variables have been shown to increase people’s recycling behaviors in residential settings. This symposium presents three empirical papers which examine interventions designed to increase individuals’ conservation and/or recycling behaviors in educational settings, including universities and preschools. Presenters will discuss how antecedent interventions, including environmental prompts and public-service-announcement-style videos, versus self-monitoring and social prompting plus feedback affected environmentally-responsible behaviors. Furthermore, an examination of how energy-saving technological installations can effectively contribute to conservation is presented. Strategies for systematically including environmentally-responsible behaviors in university curricula are discussed and results of such data are examined across years. Based on the results and analyses of the current studies, suggestions for future research will be laid out.
Keyword(s): conservation, educational settings, environmentally responsible, recycling
Evaluating Strategies to Improve Energy Conservation in a University Setting
ELENI CANISZ (University of North Texas), Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas), Chinedu P. Eni (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Two studies investigated strategies to improve energy conservation in a university setting. In one study, observers recorded whether lights were on in unoccupied rooms at various times of day. Following a baseline in which no prompts were present, stickers reminding users to turn off lights were affixed to light switch-plates in bathrooms, break rooms, and conference rooms using a multiple baseline across settings design. Subsequently, a similar analysis of the effects of larger laminated signs with an unambiguous message was conducted. Neither intervention was effective in increasing the number of observations with lights off in unoccupied rooms. Installation of motion sensors that automatically disengaged lights when rooms were unoccupied, an unplanned intervention, effectively increased the number of observations with lights off. The second experiment evaluated the effects of a self-monitoring procedure on two sustainable behaviors within an office. A senior assistant was asked to report on light usage and energy-saver use on the copier in the office. Her reports were compared with independent observations. Results showed that her reports corresponded with independent observations, although no change in target behaviors occurred. Changes in behavior occurred when she was asked to engage in the target behaviors following her observations.

Three More Green Projects From Fresno State

CRISS WILHITE (California State University, Fresno), Angelica A. Aguirre (California State University, Fresno), Laura Nomicos (California State University, Fresno), Michelle Britten (California State University, Fresno), Kevin Loewen (California State University, Fresno), Heather Faith Waldron (California State University, Fresno)

Three course-based studies relative to climate change are presented. 1. Water savings: Students audited water-use on 2000 square feet of turf, installed efficient sprinkler heads, re-audited and found overall savings with increased turf health. 2. Behavior change: 85 students conducted individual AB-Follow-up designs. Each targeted one climate-related behavior to increase and one to decrease. Phases were one week each. Individual results were collapsed within dependent variables. They include a reduction of water use from 6,192 minutes (baseline) to 3,281 (intervention) and an increase of recycling from 267 items to 1,033. Behavior change: 46 students conducted individual AB-Follow-up designs. Independent variables assessed in earlier semesters to be most effective were used by the students. Comparing these outcomes with previous studies allows for an analysis of easily-implemented IVs that result in relatively permanent behavior change.

Teaching Preschool Children Recycling Behaviors: An Evaluation of Behavioral Components Within Public Service Announcements
CHELSEA WILHITE (University of Nevada, Reno), W. Larry Williams (University of Nevada,Reno)
Abstract: Data from a study evaluating the effects of different behavioral components imbedded within public-service-announcement-style (PSA-style) videos on preschool-aged children’s recycling behaviors are presented. The DV was measured using a four-level scoring system with higher scores being given to more accurate recycling behaviors. Four video IVs were examined, each including a different behavioral component: information, instructions, modeling, and modeling plus observed feedback. While certain video IVs did produce higher but inconsistent recycling scores, the fifth IV, in situ prompting and feedback, produced consistently high scores. Results suggest further research may be conducted to identify what combination of video and in situ IVs may produce the most significant and permanent behavior change on a wide-scale basis.



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