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 #145
CE Offered: BACB
The Role of Stimulus Control in Developing New Repertoires
Sunday, May 27, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
LL03 (TCC)
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Traci M. Cihon (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Traci M. Cihon, Ph.D.

Verbal behavior often operates under multiple sources of stimulus control (Michael, Palmer, & Sundberg, 2011). Multiple sources of control may involve unnecessary or unwanted variables that may limit a behavioral repertoire. In some cases, however, this control is a necessary and efficient way to establish new responses. The current symposium explores investigations on both ends of this arena by evaluating methods to both increase and decrease sources of stimulus control over responding. Two investigations explore unwanted sources of stimulus control by transferring control to appropriate variables, one of which evaluates the role of stimulus blocking when control is transferred from a single versus multiple sources of control. The third investigation then utilized intraverbal responses to evoke and establish novel operant response chains. Finally, the fourth explores evaluate whether the response strength (as measured by response fluency) effects the results of transfer of stimulus control in the emergence of intraverbal behavior.

Keyword(s): Multiple Control, Self-Instruction, Stimulus Control, Verbal Behavior

A Comparison of Transfer of Stimulus Control via Superimposition and Time Delay or Multiple Control on the Acquisition of Mands, Tacts, and Echoics With Children With Autism

IRINA V. PASAT (University of North Texas), Traci M. Cihon (University of North Texas)

Transfer of stimulus control is a procedure used frequently in language acquisition rooted inSkinners (1957) analysis of verbal behavior. There are inconsistencies in the applied literature regarding the role of transfer of stimulus control via stimulus fading or transfer of stimulus control using time delay. Basic research points us to the use of time delay for several reasons, one of which is stimulus blocking. Stimulus blocking may interfere with the acquisition of new verbal operants when transfer from existing verbal repertoires are used. One method to avoid stimulus blocking may be to teach verbal operants under multiple sources of control and subsequently eliminate unnecessary sources of control for each verbal operant. The current study sets up each training paradigm: transfer of control via time delay from existing to nonexisiting verbal operants (e.g., echoic to tact transfer) and multiple control (simultaneously training all operants and subsequently fading additional sources of control (e.g., echoic, mand and tact to mand). Results will be discussed in terms of variables responsible for the efficiency of each procedure across participants.


Using a Rolling Time Delay Procedure to Transfer Control of a Mand From an Intraverbal Prompt and Item to the EO in Children With Autism

MEREDITH KAYE ASKUVICH (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Tracy L. Kettering (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)

Researchers have demonstrated the effectiveness of time delay procedures to teach mands, but have had difficulty demonstrating that the responses are emitted in the absence of control by other variables. The current study evaluated the effectiveness of a rolling time delay procedure (Sweeney-Kerwin et al., 2007) to teach two children with autism to mand for items that were not present. Following an assessment to determine the stimuli controlling mand responses, an intraverbal prompt and the item were presented to the participant. The stimuli were then removed and a 2 min time delay began in which spontaneous mands could occur. Within and across session fading was used to increase the amount of time that lapsed between presentations of the discriminative stimuli. The time between the beginning of the session and the presentation of the first discriminative stimulus was also systematically increased within and across session to demonstrate that the stimulus was not exerting control over responding. The frequency of mands emitted in the absence of discriminative stimuli increased for both participants and the data suggest that the mands were under control of the establishing operation. Generalization data also demonstrated that responses generalized to novel environments and therapists


Song Lyrics as Self-Instructions to Increase Correct Responding in a Behavior Chain

LORRAINE M. BOLOGNA (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Maggi Holtzhauser (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Diana J. Walker (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Tracy L. Kettering (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)

Two methods of teaching self-instructions to 4 third grade students were compared to determine the effects on speed of acquisition. Four gross motor tasks composed of 5 steps were taught using self-instructions that prompted correct completion of each step of the task. Self-instructions were taught either as typical verbal prompts or as song lyrics. Results indicated that acquisition of tasks was idiosyncratic, with 5 task pairs acquired more quickly using song lyric self-instructions, 2 task pairs with undifferentiated acquisition speed, and 1 task acquired more quickly using typical self-instructions. Generalization and social validity were assessed by teaching each participant an individualized novel skill using their choice of method. Two participants chose song lyric self-instructions and 2 chose typical self-instructions.


Applying Precision Teaching to Component Verbal Repertoires and the Accompanying Effects on Composite Intraverbal Repertoires With Children With Autism

RACHAEL E. SHRONTZ (University of North Texas), Stephany Kristina Reetz (University of North Texas), Jeffrey Gesick (University of North Texas), Traci M. Cihon (University of North Texas)

Precision Teaching (PT) is a teaching and measurement system that often incorporates fluency-based instruction or generating fluent responding, defined by reaching a level of accurate responding that can occur within a specific timeframe. Precision teachers view skill deficits from a component-composite framework in which component skills (e.g., basic addition facts) that are not fluent may contribute to composite skill (e.g., basic multiplication facts) deficits. Researchers have recently begun exploring the role of PT on skill acquisition using a component-composite analysis. This preparation allows researchers to demonstrate steady state responding on the component skill while intervening on the composite skill. There are several advantages to using this preparation. First, it allows researchers to identify useful component-composite relations to enhance skill instruction. Second, it allows for more controlled research to explore the outcomes claimed by precision teachers. A series of studies will be presented that explores PT as an independent variable on component-composite relations for individuals with developmental disabilities.




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