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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Symposium #40
CE Offered: BACB
Maximizing Learning Through Generative Instruction
Saturday, May 27, 2017
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 3A
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Megan R. Heinicke (California State University, Sacramento)
Discussant: Judah B. Axe (Simmons College)
CE Instructor: Megan R. Heinicke, Ph.D.

This symposium includes four studies that attempted to assess the effectiveness of different instructional methods to generate novel behavior and/or novel stimulus control. The first study assessed the effectiveness of matrix training to teach college students to play notes and rhythms on a piano. The second study also utilized matrix training to overcome faulty stimulus control when teaching children with autism to answer questions containing compound stimuli (multiple control). The third study compared instructive and general feedback when teaching visual-visual matching on the emergence of novel speaker and listener skills in children with autism. Finally, the fourth study compared different types of multiple exemplar instruction and instructive feedback on the acquisition of tacts in children with autism. All procedures were shown to be effective and efficient in teaching the targeted skills.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Instructive Feedback, Matrix Training, Multiple Control, Mutiple Exemplar
An Evaluation of Matrix Training to Teach Piano Notes and Rhythms to College Students
EMILY DARCEY (California State University Sacramento), Jocelyn Diaz (California State University, Sacramento ), Careen Suzanne Meyer (California State University, Sacramento), Clara Cordeiro (California State University, Sacramento ), Svea Love (California State University, Sacramento ), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess matrix training to teach eight college students to play music notes and rhythms on the piano. We conducted three experiments using a multiple baseline design across participants to assess the effects of the intervention over recombinative generalization. During training, we taught participants to tact compound stimuli consisting of a note and a rhythm, and then tested to see whether they could tact and play novel note-rhythm combinations. We also assessed whether participants could tact and play in the presence of auditory stimuli, as well as play a musical piece comprised of previously learned compounds. We observed recombinative generalization, and novel piano play across all participants. However, during posttests no one played or tacted auditory stimuli to proficiency, a skill often considered to be very difficult to master, even by musicians. Results suggest that matrix training is an effective procedure to teach basic music skills in college students.

Evaluating the Effects of Similar and Distinct Discriminative Stimuli During Conditional Auditory Discrimination Training With Children With Autism

ANGELICA A. AGUIRRE (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Linda A. LeBlanc (LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting LLC), Catherine Anne Miltenberger (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Kaneen Smyer (Ivymount School)

As part of early intensive behavioral intervention, children with autism are taught to answer personal information questions that might prove useful in conversation (e.g., What is your favorite food? and What is your favorite color?). In these questions, multiple auditory stimuli are presented as part of the compound discriminative stimulus (i.e., what favorite color/food) and each of those stimuli must control responding for the child to give a viable answer. Often children with autism who master one of these targets (e.g., favorite food) consistently fail to acquire subsequent targets (e.g., favorite color) because the previously learned common component of the auditory stimulus (i.e. favorite) controls responding to the exclusion of the unique component (i.e., what is your favorite color?). Although this clinical concern is common, to date no studies have directly examined strategies for overcoming this faulty auditory stimulus control. This study used an adapted alternating treatments design to compare the use of training sets with programmed overlap of component auditory stimuli (i.e., matrix training) to training sets with no overlap of question components (i.e., non-matrix training). The effects of these two arrangements were evaluated on trials to criterion and percentage accuracy. Preliminary results suggest all participants reached mastery faster with at least one target set in non-matrix training compared to the set in matrix training. The effects of training will be evaluated on a third set of stimuli for generalization.


An Evaluation of Instructive Feedback on the Emergence of Novel Language for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

CATHERINE COPSEY (California State University, Sacramento), Kimberly Magat (California State University, Sacramento), Megan R. Heinicke (California State University, Sacramento), Adrienne Jennings (California State University Sacramento), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento), Amy S. Polick (Florida State University Panama City)

Researchers have recently evaluated instructive feedback as a method to increase the efficiency of language acquisition procedures for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Practitioners implement instructive feedback by including additional stimuli, or secondary targets, within a teaching trial with the goal that clients will acquire the secondary targets with little to no direct teaching required. The current study aimed to evaluate whether the use of instructive feedback over general praise during training of a matching task resulted in faster skill acquisition for three children with autism. Additionally, we tested if listener responding, tacts, and intraverbals emerged as a function of differences in praise statements. The results indicated that instructive feedback was no more efficient than general praise in teaching matching skills. However, participants were more likely to engage in novel verbal operants following instructive feedback suggesting some benefit of the procedure. Clinical implications and future research directions will be discussed.


Comparing Procedures on the Acquisition and Generalization of Tacts for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

LAUREN K. SCHNELL (Caldwell University), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University), Tiffany Kodak (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee), Casey Nottingham (Caldwell University)

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often emit new skills in a limited range of contexts, and these responses do not readily generalize without proper planning. The purpose of the current study was to directly compare serial to concurrent multiple exemplar training using total training time per exemplar, mean total training time, and exposures to mastery measures of efficiency across three children diagnosed with ASD. Additionally, we assessed the efficiency of presenting secondary targets in the antecedent and consequence portions of learning trials and evaluated generalization to tacts not associated with direct teaching. Results suggested that all training conditions produced acquisition and generalization for trained and untrained exemplars, respectively. However, the serial multiple exemplar training condition was most efficient for two participants, whereas the instructive feedback condition was the most efficient for the third. Findings are discussed in light of previous studies and areas for future research.




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