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 #264
CE Offered: BACB
Relating to Others: Computer-Based Applications on Perspective Taking and Ostracism
Sunday, May 28, 2017
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Hyatt Regency, Capitol Ballroom 5-7
Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Madison Gamble (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Discussant: Maureen Flynn (Metropolitan State University of Denver)
CE Instructor: Maureen Flynn, Ph.D.

Social contingencies are important in shaping a number of repertoires, both positive and problematic. For example, perspective taking skills and how we respond to social exclusion are significant predictors of our ability to respond meaningfully and effectively to a range of challenges. Recent work on this topic has emphasized that our repertoire for relating to others is interdependent with how we relate to ourselves. The current symposium will review data from two studies exploring social contingencies and behavior. The first paper will compare the impact of three writing activities (self-esteem, self-compassion, and self-expression) on response to ostracism. The first paper will review the development of a standardized, behavioral assessment of deictic relational responding (the relational repertoire thought to underlie perspective taking) for the Deaf. Clinical implications of both studies for assessment and treatment will be discussed along with a general discussion on audience-selected topics.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): ostracism, perspective taking, self-compassion
Deictic Relational Responding and Perspective Taking in the Deaf
REBECCA COPELL (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: Perspective taking is an understanding another’s private experiences (e.g., perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and memories) as distinct from one’s own. This ability is studied predominantly as a developmental phenomenon called theory of mind (TOM) and has been assessed primarily in terms of predicting false beliefs, social behavior, or emotional reactions in different situations. Previous data examining perspective taking skills in the deaf are mixed, with some studies showing typical development and others reporting marked deficits. This inconsistency may be able to be contributed to differences in culture or language confounded with perspective taking skills in assessments developed for English-speaking hearing individuals. Relational Frame Theory offer a behavioral conceptualization of perspective taking that is based in deictic relational responding – relational responses that involve discrimination of a particular perspective (i.e., here vs. there, or now vs. then). The Deictic Relational Task was created to assess perspective taking in terms of deictic relational responding. This paper will review the literature on the conceptualization and assessment of perspective taking in Deaf individuals, describe the adaptation of the Deictic Relational Task for use with Deaf individuals, and review pilot data on their performance.
The Comparative Utility of a Self-Compassion and Self-Esteem Intervention for Experiences of Ostracism
RUSSELL ANDERSON (University of Denver), Trisha Raque-Bogdan (University of Denver)
Abstract: Ostracism is a ubiquitous social phenomenon that has debilitating consequences, such as heightened aggression, decreased self-regulation, and suppressed immune and cardiovascular functioning. Research suggests that, compared to behaviors that bolster self-esteem, self-compassion behaviors better attenuate the negative effects of ostracism, and the current study tests the tenability of this relationship in the context of a direct ostracism event. Participants will divided into three groups, and all groups will be exposed to a standardized ostracism experience through a computerized exclusion manipulation (i.e., Cyberball). Subsequently, participants will be exposed to either a brief self-compassion writing intervention, a self-esteem writing intervention, or an emotional expression writing control. Mood, distress level, aggression, and shame will be measured before and after the exclusion event and respective interventions. The negative effects of the exclusion manipulation will be examined for replication, and the degree of change in these factors will be examined for divergence between conditions. Clinical implications will be discussed.



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