Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis InternationalĀ® (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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #488
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Advances in Verbal Behavior Research
Monday, May 29, 2017
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 3A
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: David Legaspi (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)
Discussant: Einar T. Ingvarsson (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Andrea Mazo, M.S.
Abstract: In recent years, verbal behavior research has focused on developing procedures that increase the efficiency of verbal behavior acquisition. This body of research is generally translational, focusing on (a) the development of procedures that preclude the functional independence of verbal operants, (b) translating basic procedures to clinical populations and socially significant behaviors (i.e., using equivalence-based instruction to teach verbal operants, incorporating metacontingency packages to increase social skills and intraverbals/conversation), or (c) answering basic research questions while focusing on the clinical aspects that would most benefit from its solution (i.e., the effects of motivating operations on tact acquisition in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders). When translated to clinical practice, these procedures can enhance the efficiency of verbal behavior acquisition, which can help decrease the gap between the verbal behavior repertoire of children with developmental disabilities and that of their typically developing peers. This symposium will provide an overview of the aforementioned lines of research, with a focus on directions for future research and clinical implications.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Motivating Operations, Private Events, Stimulus Equivalence, Verbal Behavior

An Examination of the Metacontingency Utilizing Activities With Embedded Interlocking Contingencies to Promote Social Interactions

MEGAN FULTS (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), William Root (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Mariela Castro (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Samantha Lee Kohn (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Christina L Chancey (Southern Illinois University of Carbondale), Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)

The current investigation examined the effectiveness of a metacontingency package in two experimentations. In experiment one, the metacontingency was utilized by embedding activities with interlocking behavioral contingencies to examine its effectiveness on reciprocal social interactions in two females diagnosed with an Intellectual Disability. Results demonstrated an increase of the dependent variable by the metacontingency activities. The results of experiment one were the premise for experiment two, which was to examine whether the metacontingency activities that were effective in increasing reciprocal social interactions were an effect of the metacontingency or an effect of engaging in an activity together. Experiment two utilized two activity types, parallel and metacontingency activities, to determine their relative effect on self-talk behavior, reciprocal social interactions, and conversational units in two males diagnosed with an Intellectual Disability. Results suggested that there were no relative effects demonstrated by the two activity types on self-talk behavior, however results demonstrated an increased effect by the metacontingency activities relative to the parallel activities on reciprocal social interactions and conversational units.


Motivating Operations and Tact Acquisition

MIRELA CENGHER (City University of New York, The Graduate Center), Daniel Mark Fienup (Queens College, City University of New York)

Research has shown that typically developing children tact at a higher rate when deprived of social interaction as compared to when satiated. The purpose of this study was to further examine the effects of presession social interaction on the acquisition of tacts. The participants were three children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, who learned tacts following presession conditions of deprivation of social interaction, satiation of social interaction, and control. Maintenance probes were conducted 2 weeks and 1 month following training. A functional analysis of language demonstrated that the newly acquired words functioned as tacts. All three participants learned tacts more efficiently following deprivation of social interaction, as compared to satiation or control. This study extended the literature by demonstrating the effects of pressession social interaction on tact acquisition.


The Emergence of Intraverbals Following Equivalence-Based Instruction in a Young Male With Autism

Kelly Della Rosa (Alpine Learning Group), Jamie Fitzgerald (Alpine Learning Group), JAIME DEQUINZIO (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)

Past research has demonstrated that oral labeling can emerge following equivalence-based instruction (Groskreutz et al., 2010). We designed an equivalence-based protocol to determine if intraverbals would emerge following EBI. A pretest/posttest control group experimental design was used to examine the effects of teaching specific conditional relations among stimuli representing planets, on the emergence of untaught relations, as well as intraverbals (i.e., answering questions about the planets). Class A was the written name of the planet (i.e., Neptune, Mars, and Saturn), Class B was a picture representing each planet, and Class C was a fact about the planet (e.g., has rings made of ice). A match-to-sample protocol using a linear training structure was used. Pretests were conducted for all relations and with the exception of C-A, scored at or below 50%. During a pretest for answering questions about planets, the participant scored 0%. The participant responded correctly on 100% of the trials during the posttest of all relations and answered 70% of the posttest questions accurately. The teaching as usual control comparison included questions about a different set of planets (i.e., Venus, Earth, and Jupiter) and facts that were taught using discrete trial instruction. The participant could not answer any questions from this set of planets during the pretest. After the participant was directly taught to answer these questions, he was able to answer 70% of the questions correctly. Results indicate that, for this participant, accuracy of intraverbal responding that emerged following EBI was similar to that trained directly using DTI.

Effects of Dictation Taking and Spelling Responses in Children While Using Overt Indicators to Measure Covert Processes
ANDREA MAZO (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University), Samantha Smalley (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Samuel Nathan Krus (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), David Legaspi (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)
Abstract: Several studies have demonstrated that conditions can be arranged to promote increases in a nontargeted verbal operant following instruction of another verbal operant. Furthermore, Palmer (2010, stated that in order to fully understand behavior at the covert level, we must expand our repertoire of experimental and analytical tools. One way to expand our experimental procedures is to use covert indicators to measure overt processes. In this study we used a multiple baseline design with embedded probes to evaluate the effects of an instructional protocol on 2 nontargeted verbal repertoires (taking dictation and vocal spelling) in children ages 6-7. The children were divided into two groups. The first group was instructed in taking dictation with vocal probes to test for the emergence of vocal spelling of the words. The second group was instructed in vocally spelling the words with written probes to test for the emergence of written responses. In addition, covert indicators were operationally defined and measured throughout the study for each child. Results indicate that each child demonstrated the emergence of nontargeted verbal operants. In addition, we developed a possible measure to indicate covert thinking at the overt level.



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