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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Invited Symposium #34
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Bi-Directional Naming: Perspectives From Four Laboratories
Saturday, May 27, 2017
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Hyatt Regency, Capitol Ballroom 1-3
Area: DEV/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate )
Discussant: Julian C. Leslie (University of Ulster)
CE Instructor: R. Douglas Greer, Ph.D.

Behavioral analyses of the stimulus control for the phenomena characterized as bi-directional address critical issues in verbal behavioral development, verbal behavior, and relational responding. Laboratories have investigated naming as (a) derived relations, (b) its effects on other derived relations, (c) as well as the identification of experiences that contribute to the onset of naming as a behavioral developmental cusp. We present the perspectives of four laboratories on bi-directional naming.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Bi-directional responding, Multiple exemplars, Naming
Target Audience:

The target audience consists of all behavior analysts with a theoretical and/or practical interest in the emergence, "generativity," or "explosion" of verbal skills in young children, and in how the basic behavioral principles can be utilized in teaching children with language delays more effectively.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe components of bidirectional naming; (2) explain how the emergence of naming can be considered as a behavioral developmental cusp that involves the incidental learning of "names for things;" (3) describe naming in terms of different theoretical perspectives or research foci.

Experiences That Establish Naming Types and What Happens Afterwards

R. DOUGLAS GREER (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)

Naming types have been identified as verbal behavior developmental cusps that result from a history of experiences. Different types of naming have been identified according to the stimuli controlling stimuli including: (a) naming involving actions, (b) additional auditory stimuli, (c) exclusion conditions, (d) familiar and unfamiliar stimuli, and (e) additional auditory stimuli. Some children who do not demonstrate naming can do so after several interventions and their educational prognosis improves as a result.

Greer is Professor of Psycholgy and Education at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Teachers College of Columbia University where he heads the MA and Ph.D. programs in behavior analysis and the education of students with and without disabilities. He has served on the editorial boards of 10 journals, published over 200 research and theoretical articles in more than 20 journals and is the author of 13 books in behavior analysis. Two of his most recent books are translated into Korean, Spanish, and Italian. Greer has sponsored 216 doctoral dissertations taught over 2,000 teachers and professors, originated the CABAS model of schooling used in the USA, Ireland, Italy, and England, and founded the Fred S. Keller School ( He has done basic and applied experimental research in schools with students, teachers, parents, and supervisors as well as pediatric patients in medical settings. He and his colleagues have identified verbal behavior and social developmenal cusps and protocols to extablish them when they are missing in children. He is a recipient of the Fred S. Keller Award for Distinguished Contributions to Education from the American Psychology Association, a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, recipient of May 5 as the R. Douglas Day by Westchester County Legislators. He has served as guest professor at universities in China, Spain, Wales, England, Japan, Korea, India, Ireland, Italy, USA, and Nigeria.

Bidirectional Naming as a Problem Solving Strategy

CAIO F. MIGUEL (California State University, Sacramento)

Humans often solve problems by engaging in a variety of strategies, some of which involve talking to themselves. This requires that they speak with understanding. Bidirectional Naming (BiN) is the term used (in behavior analysis) to refer to the ability to react as a listener to one's own speaker behavior. In this talk, I will describe basic, translational, and applied studies supporting the role of BiN in the development of complex skills such as categorization and analogical reasoning. Evidence for the role of BiN as a problem solving strategy comes from positive performances on complex matching-to-sample tasks after the use of verbal behavior training alone, and also from spontaneous vocalizations on the specific verbal strategies utilized by participants during or after task completion.

Dr. Caio Miguel is an associate professor of Psychology and director of the Verbal Behavior Research Laboratory at California State University, Sacramento. He is also an adjunct faculty at Endicott College, MA, and at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Dr. Miguel has published over 50 articles and book chapters on basic and applied research related to verbal behavior and derived stimulus relations. He is the past-editor of The Analysis of Verbal Behavior (TAVB) and currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA). He is the recipient of the 2014 award for Outstanding Scholarly Activities by the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies at Sacramento State, and the 2014 Outstanding Mentor Award by the Association for Behavior Analysis International. Dr. Miguel is a regular speaker at conferences all over the world.

Classes of Equivalent Stimuli as Antecedents in Verbal Operants

DEISY DAS GRAÇAS DE SOUZA (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)

In the paper that gave rise to the study of stimulus equivalence, Sidman (1971) used the terms name/naming to generically designate responses under the discriminative control of pictures and printed words. In Skinnerian terms, he was referring to tact and textual relations. In Sidman's study, these discriminated operants emerged as a by-product of learning stimulus-stimulus relations. Although the response in a tact (or textual behavior) occurs under the control of a specific stimulus, if that stimulus is a member of an equivalence class, this implies that the response comes under the control of the class as a whole. The class, in turn, involves at least the primary item or environmental aspect, the spoken word/s, which was/were conventionally related to this item by the learner's verbal community [in the tact], and the corresponding printed word/s [in textual behavior]. Consequently, the learning history established listening and speaking behaviors in the same individual. This presentation will illustrate the formation of equivalence classes and the development of listening comprehension, tact, and textual behaviors in a sample of deaf children with cochlear implants.

Deisy de Souza is Full Professor at the Psychology Department, Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar), Brazil, where she teaches behavior analysis in graduate and undergraduate courses in Psychology, and in Special Education. She obtained her Ph.D. in experimental psychology at Universidade de São Paulo (USP), under the direction of Carolina Bori, and held a post-doctoral position at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, working with Charlie Catania. She has published articles and book chapters on non-human and human relational learning, including studies applying the stimulus equivalence paradigm to investigate the acquisition of symbolic relations involved in reading and writing, and in developing curricula to teach those skills. She is past-Associate Editor of Acta Comportamentalia, and currently serves as Editor of the Brazilian Journal of Behavior Analysis (BJBA). She is the recipient of the 2015 Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior by the Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Special Interest Group, of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.



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