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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Poster Session #430
OBM Monday evening poster session
Monday, May 28, 2012
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
Exhibit Hall 4AB (Convention Center)
1. An Evaluation of Training Methods on Improving Volunteer Performance of Shelter Dog-Walking Tasks
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
VERONICA J. HOWARD (University of Kansas), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Volunteers are an important feature of non-profit organizations and the American workforce, but their work performance is rarely the focus of empirical analysis. Little information is available about what methods are effective for improving the fidelity of volunteer implementation of work tasks. Experts in volunteer training assert that the quality of volunteer training is vital to sustained volunteerism (Deslandes & Rogers, 2006), but volunteers are rarely trained in a way that would maximize their contributions to an organization. Those former empirical interventions that have demonstrated improvements in volunteer performance have done so in a way that may be cost-prohibitive to nonprofit organizations (e.g. Johnson & Fawcett, 1994). The aim of the current study was to examine the effectiveness of three sequential levels of training on the correct implementation of a prescribed dog-walking procedure used in a non-profit humane society. Results indicate that volunteers performed roughly half of all steps in the dog walking procedure correctly following orientation, which consisted of didactic instruction, written instructions, and brief modeling. Adding a two hour hands-on training led by a local certified dog trainer produced only minimal improvements in volunteer performance. Adding brief individualized performance feedback and in-vivo prompting produced considerable improvements in performance.
2. A Behavorial Approach Toward Changing Cashiers' Safety Behaviors: An Investigative Field Study
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTOPHER DOWNING (Virginia Tech), Caroline Jahncke (Virginia Tech), Jessica Thai (Virginia Tech), Sarah Bayliff (Virginia Tech), E. Scott Geller (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: Credit-card fraud costs businesses, victims, and taxpayers millions of dollars each year, and it has pronounced psychological and emotional effects. Previous research in this domain has only been survey-based following a crime. However, this reactive approach still sees credit-card fraud occurring at a steady rate while offering no valid solutions, just common-sense suggestions. In an attempt to decrease the number of identity theft cases reported, the present study investigated a behavioral approach to preventing credit-card fraud. Using an A-B-A (Baseline-Intervention-Withdrawal) design at one of two grocery stores located in a southwestern Virginia college community, the present study examined the effects of a participative goal-setting and feedback intervention on increasing the frequency of cashiers identification-checking behaviors. The results revealed the intervention stores percentage of ID-checked purchases increased from 0.2 percent at Baseline to 9.7 percent during the Intervention. Then, it declined to 2.3 percent during Withdrawal, showing functional control of the intervention over the cashiers target behavior. The control stores percentage of ID-checking purchases was considerably low throughout the study. The goal-setting and feedback intervention used in the present study has real-world application to decrease the prevalence of credit-card fraud and safeguard the safety of potential victims.
3. Prevalence Rates of Greenwashing in Nondurable Consumer Goods: An Analysis of Marketing Strategies
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
JEANINE PLOWMAN STRATTON (Furman University), Haley Jones (Furman University)
Abstract: Consumers often report interest in purchasing products that are better for the environment. The 2010 Terra Group report identified recent steep trends in consumer goods being advertised as sustainable. Such labels include descriptors including the word green. However, green is often a misunderstood descriptor, lacking clarity of meaning or clarity of how the product effectively is green. This practice is called greenwashing. Criteria for greenwashing labels of nondurable goods were developed and data were collected in several retail stores to assess the occurrence of use in practice, by either the retail store or manufacture brand. The poster will present findings of the prevalence rates of nondurable consumer goods with evidence of greenwashing social product labeling practices. Data were analyzed by comparative analysis across greenwashing categories, indicating the most prevalent type of label was vagueness. Discussion will include marketing practices of products using such labels with or without verifiable evidence of green purpose, source of materials, or profits on the purchase towards green initiatives. Implications for consumers, manufacturers, and suppliers involved in such labeling practices and consumer demand of goods will be discussed.
4. Building a More Profitable Precision Teaching Center with an Organizational Behavior Management Toolbox
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
DARREN BANDY (University of Nevada, Reno), William D. Newsome (University of Nevada, Reno), Kendra L. Brooks Rickard (Fit Learning), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Payroll expenses often dominate the budgets of small businesses. Effective payroll management strategies are critical to organizational sustainability and resilience. Although staff efficiency is clearly a key variable for managing payroll expenses, productivity is not considered in traditional hourly-pay models. This poster presents data from the implementation of a performance-management system in a small precision teaching center. This system links employee pay directly to 1) individual job performance and, 2) organizational profits. Our performance management intervention outcomes, compared to baseline, include: 1) greater pay for efficient employees, 2) improved efficiency in other employees, 3) increased organizational profits and, 4) better stability in monthly profit/loss data.
5. Perceived Customer Service: An Organizational Behavior Management Approach
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
ERIC MICHAEL O'ROURKE (Central Michigan University), Carl Merle Johnson (Central Michigan University)
Abstract: As the American economy continues to shift from a predominately manufacturing economy to an information-based and service-based economy, it will be important for business-related research areas to investigate customer service and customer satisfaction. The current study utilized an organizational behavior management strategy to confirm the service behaviors necessary for customer-service satisfaction at restaurants, which were previously identified in a policy-capturing lab experiment. Satisfaction with four friendliness-related behaviors (greeting, eye contact, smiling, and thanking) and two latency-related behaviors contributed to overall customer-service satisfaction, measured via a customer-service satisfaction survey given to customers at the end of their service encounter. Satisfaction with latency-related behaviors was more predictive of overall satisfaction at fast food restaurants than family restaurants, but satisfaction with friendliness-related behaviors was not more predictive of overall satisfaction at family restaurants rather than fast food restaurants, contrary to expectations. Comparisons of behavioral observations (made by unobtrusive observers) of friendliness-related and latency-related behaviors made by cashiers and waitstaff during a baseline and survey period confirmed that surveyor presence did not affect actual service behavior expression. Exploratory analyses matching observations to surveys were not supported.
6. Effects of a Visual Prompt on Proper Dish Storage in a Pediatric Feeding Disorders Unit
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
EMILY K. RUBIO (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Sigurdur Oli Sigurdsson (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Abstract: It is important that dishes in the kitchen of a Pediatric Feeding Unit be kept clean and organized due to unit requirements and caregiver acceptability. Visual prompts may be necessary to increase proper dish storage in the pantry of an organizational setting, rather than verbal reminders; however, it is possible that the effects of a visual prompt (i.e., a sign) may lessen following prolonged exposure to it. Additionally, the content of the sign (i.e., humorous tone or neutral tone), may impact the social acceptability of the sign by staff. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to investigate whether a sign alone could facilitate proper dish storage when compared to proper dish storage with no sign. Using a reversal design, a baseline condition where no sign was posted was compared to a condition where a sign was posted. Finally, acceptability for each sign was assessed via a social validity questionnaire. Results showed that a sign posted in the dish-washing area decreased improperly stored dishes compared to those stored improperly with no sign posted; however, we saw increased variability of improper dish storage after prolonged exposure to the sign. Results of social validity questionnaires showed low acceptability for both signs.
7. The Cost for Participation: Reducing Response Effort to Increase Participation and Quality in Peer-to-Peer Observations
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
MICHAEL BOITNOTT (Appalachian State University)
Abstract: The use of shorter Critical Behavior Checklists (CBCs) when using a peer-to-peer observation process in behavioral safety have been advocated by many (i.e., Daniels & Daniels, 2006; Geller, 2005b; McSween, 1995) arguing shorter checklists will increase participation in the process thus leading to better results overall. Regardless, no literature exist which directly test the impact of shorter CBCs and the quality participation in observations. This study examined the effect of shortening the CBC in a peer-to-peer observation process for a marine oil exploration company. Safe/at-risk behavior was traditionally recorded via a 16-behavior CBC. A new 8-behavior CBC was introduced to the crews on a few target exploration vessels in a multiple baseline with matched vessels crews serving as controls. The newer 8-behavior CBC increased observation cards submitted in the target crews and also increased the quality of the completed CBCs (primarily through additional comments).
8. Evaluation of the Animal Intake Process at a Minnesota Animal Humane Society
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
RAECHEL OLSON (University of Minnesota Duluth), Julia M. Walter (University of Minnesota Duluth), Julie M. Slowiak (University of Minnesota Duluth)
Abstract: The purpose of this project was to design, conduct, analyze, and report the results of an in-depth analysis of the animal intake process at a local humane society. The humane societys workflow was defined in order to identify deficiencies in the current process. Direct observation and interviews with staff were used to create an IS process map of the current animal intake process. In collaboration with the organizations staff, deficiencies in the current process were identified, and an improved, SHOULD, process map was created. An overview of the analysis, along with recommendations for process and general performance improvement, was presented to the staff in order to improve the efficiency of the animal intake process. Recommendations were categorized under three main themes: increasing effective communication, minimizing environmental distractions, and developing a formal routine. Future observation of the staff will be conducted to determine how well proposed recommendations were implemented and maintained.
9. Improving Instruction: Evaluating the Effects of Guided Notes on Post-Test Performance During Employee Orientation
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
SUSAN A. RAPOZA-HOULE (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Didactic lectures are a commonly used instructional approach in universities and in the workplace. Lecture based instruction is simple, efficient, and versatile. However, it may require little active responding from the student. This is problematic given research suggesting students learn best when actively engaged in learning instructional material (Bost & Riccommini, 2006). One strategy developed to address this problem is �Guided notes�. Guided notes are a modified form of instructor�s notes that requires active student responding (Heward, 1994). Research in this area has been conducted with; incarcerated juveniles (Hamilton, Seibert, Gardner, & Talbert-Johnson, 2000); high school students with learning disabilities (Lazarus, 1991); and college students (Heward, 1994), (Barbetta & Skarruppa ,1995), (Austin, Lee, Thibeault, Carr, & Bailey, 2002), (Neef, McCord, & Ferreri, 2006). The present study extends previous research by comparing the effects of guided notes versus completed notes on a pre to post lecture assessments of knowledge of instructional staff in a human service organization. Results indicate that performance on a 15 item assessment in both note conditions increased post lecture (M 8.05; range 2-11). The mean increase in quiz performance was lower with completed notes (M 6.9) relative to guided notes (M 9.2)



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