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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Poster Session #99
#99 Poster Session (TPC)
Saturday, May 24, 2008
6:00 PM–7:30 PM
South Exhibit Hall
143. A Comparison of Preference Assessments and Reinforcer Effectiveness.
Area: TPC; Domain: Applied Research
NATALIE BARON (The May Institute), Jennifer Dawn Magnuson (The May Institute), Stefanie Fillers (The May Institute), Shawn F. Vieira (The May Institute), Hanna C. Rue (The May Institute)
Abstract: This study compared four preference assessments. The preference assessments compared in this study were multiple stimulus without replacement, competing stimulus, paired stimulus and response restriction. After the preference assessments were conducted, a reinforcer quality test was implemented to see if high and low-ranked items functioned as reinforcers. Results indicated that high-ranked items during the preference assessment did not necessarily function as reinforcers. In addition, several low-ranked items identified in the preference assessment functioned as reinforcers during the reinforcer quality test.
144. Notation of Behavioral Operations in Behavior Analysis: Status in Modern Textbooks.
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
JON A. LOKKE (University College of Ostfold), Erik Arntzen (Akershus University College )
Abstract: One of the major objectives in natural science is to describe aspects of the natural world quantitatively. Furthermore, effective means of communicating significant patterns of the same world to students are necessary. Among necessary means are syntax for describing variables, operations, processes, causal relations, and functions. Syntax is central for precision, and theories involving mathematical equations or logical notations are generally more precise and exhausting than traditional verbal statements. We have reviewed a sample of well-known textbooks for document inconsistency (e.g., negative punishment, negative reinforcement, and motivational operations). Inconsistency and partial lack of notation foster problems communicating behavior analysis to a broader audience—especially teaching behavior analysis in colleges and universities. We also present a tentative notation proposal based on earlier work by the Lokke, Arntzen, and Lokke (2005).
145. Functional Analytic Psychotherapy: Where It Has Been and Where It Should Go.
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
CHRISTOPHER L. BARNES (Illinois School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: This poster aims to address the history of Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) in terms of research and clinical applications. A comprehensive literature review will discuss significant contributions to the investigation of FAP as well address further areas of research which may provide a comprehensive understanding of its current limitations. Additionally, this poster will present basic clinical findings which may be utilized to generate further research questions in order to build generalizations of FAP, especially as it relates to settings that serve individuals with chronic mental illness.
146. Aversive Shock Therapy: An Argument For and Against Its Use.
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
CHRISTOPHER L. BARNES (Illinois School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Punishment is generally defined as an environmental change contingent on behavior that produces a decrease in responding over time (Michael, 1993). Numerous procedural variations of punishment have been developed for clinical use. Results of research conducted over the past four decades have shown that punishment is effective in reducing problem behavior in clinical populations, and in some cases, may be an essential component to treatment (Kazdin, 2001; O’Brien, 1989). However, the introduction of aversive shock therapy to treat problem behavior in clinical populations has remained controversial for many years (Begelman, 1971; Iwata, 1988; Kitchener, 1991; Johnston, 1991). Because of this controversy, the issue of aversive shock therapy will be addressed through the works of Richard Kitchener, Leonard Krasner and D. A. Begelman. This poster will present arguments for and against the use of aversive shock therapy and allow attendees to determine their professional position based on these existing arguments.
147. Efficiency in Making Accurate Data Based Decisions: A Comparison of Visual Displays.
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
ELIZABETH LEFEBRE (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Charles T. Merbitz (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Michael Fabrizio (Fabrizio/Moors Consulting)
Abstract: This poster examines three data display methods that are currently used within the field. Equal interval graphs, data tables and Standard Celeration Charts have been compared and accuracy and efficiency in making data-based decisions on each has been assessed.
148. A Preliminary Analysis of the Stimulus Value of Functional versus Nonfunctional Reinforcers.
Area: TPC; Domain: Applied Research
TAMARA L. PAWICH (Eastern Michigan University), Marilyn K. Bonem (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Current empirical guidelines emphasize the necessity of conducting functional analyses to identify the idiosyncratic function of operant responses. This information is then typically incorporated into effective behavior reductio contingencies. Yet the literature demonstrates that incorporating nonfunctional, preferred stimuli are also effective in reducing problem behaviors within various behavior reduction techniques. These findings are not predicted by theories related to functionality, but have not been thoroughly examined. Currently, preference assessment methods are utilized when selecting a nonfunctional reinforcer to use within these schedules. However, when functional reinforcers are utilized, they are typically not assessed for preference value. In a preliminary analysis of the relative stimulus value of functional reinforcers, the present study will compare tangible stimuli, including the functional reinforcer, in a paired choice preference methodology. Results will be discussed in terms of theoretical considerations, including whether function and preference both contribute to reinforcement value or whether they are simply part of the same construct. Although not evaluated during this presentation, future research will examine the relative contributions of functionality and preference within noncontingent reinforcement schedules in order to determine the predictive response suppression value of stimuli of various preference levels compared to functional tangible reinforcers.
149. A Visual Comparison of Information.
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
KERIN ANN WEINGARTEN (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Analyzing visual displays of information can be quite the subjective phenomenon. (Our data speaks for our experimental integrity, yet we do not have any gold-standards for displaying the information.) Are we making data-based decisions as a function of the same stimuli? What behavior is the graph controlling in the viewer? Our response to the data is being controlled by more than just the data itself including not only our history of reinforcement but also our emotion, the color, axes, data density, grids, vibrations, aesthetics, etc. A comparison of various graphs depicting the same data sets taken from popular publications are displayed and evaluated.



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