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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Paper Session #410
Analyzing Complex Verbal Behavior
Monday, May 28, 2012
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
101 (TCC)
Area: VRB
Chair: Robert Dlouhy (Western Michigan University)

Controlling Variables and Response Topographies Across Languages: A Behavior-Analytic Study of Tense

Domain: Basic Research
ROBERT DLOUHY (Western Michigan University)

The term tense is commonly used to denote the time when an action referred to in an utterance takes place. Although this notion may seem straightforward, a behavior-analytic interpretation reveals that tense is more than a simple tact of the time of an action. Tense responses are made in relation to the moment of speaking (or emission of the response) and are therefore deictic, relative to the speaker's present. The particular temporal features that are responded to differ from one verbal community to another. Linguists have studied these differences extensively, and within linguistics such studies comprise the subfield known as linguistic typology. Typological studies have never been done from a behavior-analytic theoretical view, but this paper will attempt to do so. Besides reviewing the variations of temporal relations different verbal communities respond to, this paper examines the types of response topographies community members use for tense responses. With better descriptions of contextual variables controlling tense responses and their corresponding topographies, behavior analysts will more effectively work on questions of how verbal behavior is learned.

Verbal Behavior in Short-Term Romantic Interactions: Playing the “Dating Game”
Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER A. WADE (Temple University)
Abstract: How something is said as opposed to simply what is said is often important in social interactions; this is the domain of autoclitics. The work presented here is an extension of a previous naturalistic study collecting verbal behavior during short-term potentially romantic interactions. Study one investigated the roles of a variety of verbal operants in the prediction of interest (via “yes” or “no” ratings) in a heterosexual partner during audio and video-taped speed-dating events (please see attached graph for detailed profiles of two participants out of the total 58 participants studied). Study two systematically manipulated types of autoclitics used by a confederate date “match” in an online speed-dating scenario. In particular, a variety of manipulative and descriptive autoclitics making reference to the self versus other, certainty and uncertainty, and reference to the speaker’s own motivational state were varied within and across participant interactions. Data analysis using both behavior analytic and multivariate techniques will be presented. The advantages of a behavior analytic approach to what we speak of as “flirtation” in addition to other complex social phenomena will be discussed.



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