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 #208
CE Offered: BACB
Extending the Utility of Preference Assessments in the Classroom
Sunday, May 27, 2012
2:00 PM–3:20 PM
616/617 (Convention Center)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jennifer L. Austin (University of Glamorgan)
CE Instructor: Jennifer L. Austin, Ph.D.
Abstract: Preference assessments have frequently been used to assess the relative value of particular stimuli to individuals. These assessments are often the basis for identify potential reinforcers. The current group of studies extends the utility of preference assessments to identify preferred teaching, prompting, and reinforcement strategies with children in a range of classrooms. Data also are presented on the potential for preference assessments to identify functions of behaviour. Implications of these data on the use of preference assessments will be discussed, along with delineating directions for future research.

An Evaluation of the Efficacy of and Group Preference for Three Rates of Opportunities to Respond During Circle Time

KRISTINA VARGO (Southern Illinois University - Carbondale), Nicole Heal (Southern Illinois University - Carbondale), Jodi Elizabeth Nuernberger (Southern Illinois University - Carbondale)

Preschool teachers often use circle time for large group instruction. In order to decrease problem behaviors during instruction, research has suggested the use of highly preferred teaching procedures. Layer et al. (2008) demonstrated the utility of a group preference assessment using a concurrent chains arrangement for discrete food items and found that it accurately and efficiently identified preferences of all the participants. The current study sought to replicate and extend their findings by assessing the utility of the group preference assessment for three different teaching contexts, each varying by the rate of opportunities to respond (OTR). The results showed that the group preference assessment efficiently identified the most highly preferred OTR condition for all students. These data suggest that group preference assessments could be incorporated into large group instruction in typical preschool classrooms.


An Evaluation of the Relative Efficacy of and Preference for Prompt Delay Procedures

STEPHANIE HOOD (Southern Illinois University - Carbondale), Nicole Heal (Southern Illinois University - Carbondale), Kristina Vargo (Southern Illinois University - Carbondale)

Constant prompt delay and progressive prompt delay procedures are evidence-based teaching strategies; however, no objective data have been reported on the stakeholders preference for such procedures. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to evaluate the relative efficacy of and the relative preference for prompt delay procedures. Four preschool children experienced three teaching conditions: constant prompt delay, progressive prompt delay, and a control condition. A multi-element design was used to evaluate the relative efficacy of the prompt delay procedures at teaching pre-academic tasks while a modified concurrent-chains arrangement was used to evaluate each childs relative preference for the teaching strategies. The efficacy and preference results were idiosyncratic for all children. These results as well implication of the results are discussed.


An Evaluation of Student Preference for Behavior Interventions

TONYA M. MARSTELLER (West Virginia University), Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University)

We examined preference for and efficacy of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA), differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO), and fixed-time (FT) reinforcement schedules for escape-maintained problem behavior. Experiment 1 consisted of baseline, during which problem behavior was reinforced, and treatment, during which DRA, DRO, and FT were implemented in a mulitelement design. Both participants engaged in high rates of problem behavior during baseline, and reduced rates of problem behavior during all treatments. For 1 participant, FT resulted in faster suppression of behavior, and DRA was not as effective as FT or DRO. For 1 participant, all interventions resulted in relatively equivalent suppression of behavior. During Experiment 2, we evaluated treatment preference by allowing participants to choose the intervention prior to each session. Both participants displayed an early preference for FT. For 1 participant, this preference shifted to DRA after he was allowed to choose the order of tasks. For both participants, problem behavior was suppressed during all treatments, and remained low as schedule values were independently thinned, with few exceptions.


An Assessment of the Match Between Functional Analysis and Preference Assessment Outcomes

JENNIFER L. AUSTIN (University of Glamorgan), Amanda Louellen Lewis (University of Glamorgan), Anna Price (University of Glamorgan), Jade Shakeshaft (University of Glamorgan)

Although the gold standard for treatment planning, functional analyses are often cumbersome to implement in mainstream classrooms, particularly when teachers must arrange the contingencies for each session. It is possible that typically developing children might reveal the functions of their behaviours through their preferences for particular reinforcers. This study compared the results of a naturalistic functional analysis with the outcomes of a modified preference assessment for socially-mediated stimuli. For two of the three children, functional analysis results matched the results of the preference assessment. The implications of this research on identifying functions of behaviour, as well as areas for future research, will be discussed.




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