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

Previous Page


Paper Session #340
Considerations in Applied Work
Monday, May 28, 2012
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
605 (Convention Center)
Area: TPC
Chair: Liliane DeAguiar-Rocha (Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY)

Behavioral Economics and the Methodological Challenge of Studying Income in the Animal Laboratory

Domain: Theory
ANA CAROLINA TROUSDELL FRANCESCHINI (Universidade de Sao Paulo), Maria Helena Hunziker (Universidade de Sao Paulo)

For decades the dialog between economists and behavior analysts has been facing obstacles, one of which is the difficulty economists find in understanding the exploration of behavioral-economic principles using animal experiments. Income is one of the most fundamental concepts in economics, also considered to be the main controlling variable of many behaviors such as consuming, working or investing, but so far it has not been picked as a relevant independent variable in the BA laboratory. BAs common lab practices to simulate income have been as a maximum number of responses or amount of goods (food, water etc.) delivered to the subjects within or outside experimental sessions. Therefore, it has been studied as a behavioral limit or as a motivational operation (deprivation). In economic theory, personal income is a flow of revenues (money) generated by work, rents, interests or dividends. Keynes (economist) proposed that there are only two units precise enough to measure quantitative economic data: quantities of money and hours of work. Work can be studied as responses, so the challenge resides in adapting the concept of money to the lab. Skinners 1953 definition of money as a generalized conditioned stimulus provides an initial step to this adaptation, suggesting that income should be environmental stimuli. However, there are many aspects of money still to be replicated and tested, as elasticity or substitutability. Behavioral economics studies should considerably develop by replicating money into laboratory procedures, therefore allowing the study of behaviors controlled by the gain, possession or loss of income.


Trauma-Informed Behavior Analysis: Effective Treatment With a History

Domain: Theory
JASON CRAIG (Grafton Integrated Health Network), Kimberly Sanders (Grafton Integrated Health Network)

Individuals with autism have sensory processing disorders that can elicit a response that is physiologically similar to the respondent behavior of activation syndrome. A trauma-informed care (TIC) model is recognized by an understanding of the neurological, biological, psychological and social effects of trauma on an individual with an appreciation for the high prevalence of traumatic experiences (Huckshorn, Stromberg, and LeBel, 2004). TIC can be a proactive approach to the treatment of individuals that considers the effects of trauma, and incorporates those effects when constructing treatment interventions. Behavior intervention plans based in the principles and practices of ABA have a place in TIC treatment planning. The sensory processing disorder in individuals with autism and traumatic or potentially traumatic life events can be painful, intense or unusual, therefore eliciting the respondent behaviors of activation syndrome. To proactively protect against the value-altering effect of these respondent behaviors when attempting to implement behavior change tactics, consideration should be given to antecedents and consequences that may be conditioned stimuli are a result of these painful, intense, or unusual events.

No Pain, No Gain: Mastering Motor Skills
Domain: Theory
PARSLA VINTERE (Queens College, The City University of New York)
Abstract: No pain, no gain is a practice motto that is often used not only by artists and athletes but also by health professionals, such as physical and occupational therapists, in motor-skill practice situations. The motto serves as a rule for behavior. It promises a learner to reach a goal – become a better artist or athlete, or overcome physical disability – through hard and painful work. At the same time, this rule may prevent the operation of other contingencies that would be effective in the absence of this rule. In terms of motor-skill development, some discomfort may be helpful in some instances while harmful in others. The purpose of this paper is to examine the motor-skill practice situations and contingencies associated with them. Because motor-skill behavior is a function of multiple contingencies it is examined by using a nonlinear approach to analysis of behavior, which may serve as an interface between verbal behavior and private events. The benefits of applying this kind of analysis in coaching and therapy are discussed.

Prompting a Change

Domain: Theory
LILIANE DEAGUIAR-ROCHA (Queens College and The Graduate Center, The City University of New York), Julianne Guadalupe (Queens College and The Graduate Center, The City University of New York), Anna Schneider (Queens College, The City University of New York), Doreen Ivory (Queens College, The City University of New York), Alicia M. Alvero (Queens College, CUNY)

Applied behavior analysis is a discipline that prides itself in being conceptually systematic. As such, maintaining a vocabulary that is coherent and truthful to both research and practice is extremely important. The term "prompt" is widely used in both research and practice of behavior analysis. Textbooks tend to define prompts by their function, generally described as a supplementary antecedent stimulus that aids in the acquisition of new behavior, and its association with a specific social disorder (SD). Oftentimes in research articles, the stimuli authors refer to as "prompts" may be serving various functions, such as that of a: discriminative stimulus, rule, establishing operation, neutral stimulus, or instruction. We reviewed 15 years (1968–1972, 1987–1991, 2006–2010) of research published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, and analyzed articles that used the term prompt in the method section. Of the 218 articles that were included in this review, only approximately 50 used the term in accordance to its current definition. We argue that an accuracy of less than 50% in its current use may lead to confusion and does not reflect technological purity prescribed by Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968). A new definition, irrespective of function, is proposed.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh