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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Poster Session #456
Monday, May 29, 2017
12:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall D
Chair: Edward K. Morris (University of Kansas)
47. A Theoretical Comparison of Behaviorism and Humanism
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
ZOE ALEXIS BARBARA (Salem State University), Darlene E. Crone-Todd (Salem State University)
Discussant: Neville Morris Blampied (University of Canterbury)
Abstract: Both Behaviorism and Humanism as philosophies in psychology provide a way to approach the human condition. Behaviorism as the philosophy underlying Skinner's Science of Behavior, is often contrasted with Maslow's Humanistic Hierarchy of Needs. Theorists on both sides tend to emphasize the differences between the two approaches in an adversarial manner. However, we argue that both philosophies emphasize helping individuals live more fulfilling lives, and that the behavioral approach makes this scientifically possible for more people than traditional approaches. While Humanism may provide an artful way to discuss human development, Behaviorism is what makes development possible for more people in a more systematic way. A conceptual analysis diagram will be presented and discussed at the poster to provide a theoretical and conceptual analysis of the two approaches. It is hoped that this poster will stimulate discussion regarding the pros and cons of a synthesis between the two philosophies, resulting in a combined approach we term Humanistic Behaviorism.
48. Responding to Mischaracterizations of Behavior Analysis
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
MOLLY A BARLOW (University of Florida), Andrea Carolina Villegas (University of Florida ), David J. Cox (University of Florida)
Discussant: Neville Morris Blampied (University of Canterbury)
Abstract: Many scientific disciplines develop technical language that requires significant time, education, and training to master. This is also true for behavior analysis. Technical language, while important for precision of communication amongst scientists within a field, can make communication difficult between two people trained in different disciplines. In addition, use of specialized language may lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding between two people from disparate disciplines. This confusion can be further compounded by theoretical assumptions that may vary across members of different disciplines. Without addressing published miscommunication and misunderstanding of our science, behavior analysts allow these errors about our field to perpetuate. Using a recent publication aimed at comparing behaviorism and humanism, we demonstrate how behavior analysts can respond to authors communicating misinformation about our science and philosophy. We discuss the importance of reply articles, and use the example article to highlight ways to respond to errors regarding applied behavior analysis and behaviorism. Finally, we demonstrate how to address and discuss concerns voiced by individuals in other disciplines about the current state of behavior analysis.
49. Behavior is always a Statistical Measure
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
JONATHAN E. FRIEDEL (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), Melissa J. Swisher (Purdue University), William DeHart (Utah State University)
Discussant: Neville Morris Blampied (University of Canterbury)
Abstract: Behavior analysts generally eschew statistical analyses in favor of experimental analyses (Sidman, 1960). The behavior analyst's pursuit of the prediction of behavior are at odds with the uncertainty that is an important feature of statistics. If we can predict behavior then why would we rely on the uncertainty inherent to statistical analyses? This rejection of statistical analyses is itself at odds with our basic conceptual framework of behavior. Our field is built on the concept of stochastic emission of responses from a response class. The definition of a "response" out of "response classes" can be considered an instance of the statistical concepts of "members" out of "populations." Similar to how behavior analysts are most commonly interested in predictions about response classes, the statistician is most commonly interested in predictions about populations. When the core of our conceptual framework is itself a statistical statement, we should not blindly reject statistical analyses and should consider them as just another tool in the experimentalist's kit. Importantly, the benefits of having behavior analysts with the ability to speak to other fields and disciplines (e.g., occupational safety and health) through a common ground of statistical analyses will be discussed.
50. A Behavior Analytic Account of Stereotype Threat
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
LAUREN DIANE BROWN (University of Nevada, Reno), W. Larry Williams (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Neville Morris Blampied (University of Canterbury)
Abstract: Although behavior analysis has contributed a great deal to the understanding and study of learning in humans, much of the research and general statistics on learning occurs in other fields (e.g., education and social psychology). The field of social psychology specifically has discussed the conditions under which members of particular groups that identify as members of those groups are likely to perform better or worse than other groups on standardized and non-standardized tests. This concept is often referred to as stereotype threat (Steele & Aronson, 1995). Although there are many assumptions offered by social psychologists as to why stereotype threat occurs, researchers have not evaluated the function of language, especially that proposed by Relational Frame Theory (RFT; Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, & Roche, 2001) in the learning process, and how RFT may further refine past theories on how stereotype threat operates. This poster aims to define and discuss the concept of stereotype threat as it relates to the performances of different groups of people on various academic tests, how these stereotypes operate from a behavior analytic and RFT perspective, and to discuss the implications that such research can have on society.
51. Stimulus Equivalence Evolution of Concepts: From Set to Graph Theory
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
CELSO SOCORRO OLIVEIRA (UNESP - Sao Paulo State University)
Discussant: Neville Morris Blampied (University of Canterbury)
Abstract: Since 1982, papers on Stimulus Equivalence and Teaching-Learning processes have been published on a variety of experiments including different objects of study based on sets, each text with different number of elements, applied to different subjects and with a diverse diagnosis. The number of sets were also tested and it introduced some pitfalls on the basic Set Theory used because had mathematical properties which were similar to the matching-to-sample procedures used at that time. But the basics on this theory did not respond to the increase on the number of objects or the number of sets, making necessary some improvements introducing words such a node, nodal distance and arcs, which do not belong to the earlier Set Theory. The introduction of new words did not have the complete system explained by stimulus references, as some authors are still trying to find, but proved that the paradigm of Stimulus Equivalence changed the basic Mathematics of Sets into another area called Graph Theory, not yet known by the classic school of behaviorists. The Graph Theory has as its main concepts the words node, arcs and graph. There are properties such as nodal distance, weight of the arc, node properties, paths, trees, and many others yet to be included in the behavior experiments and papers to be published. The first steps are already on the way by exposing the idea of using Graphs and its Theory, proposed in 1567
52. Visual Analysis of Within-Subject Data: A comparison Across and Between Certification Levels
Area: PCH; Domain: Applied Research
EDGAR CARDOZA (University of the Pacific), Matthew P. Normand (University of the Pacific)
Discussant: Neville Morris Blampied (University of Canterbury)
Abstract: Behavior analysts typically rely on the visual inspection of behavioral data to draw conclusions about the effects of experimental manipulations and behavioral interventions in practice. Although previous research has consistently produced low levels of interrater agreement, more recent research (Kahng et al., 2010) reported much higher levels of agreement. The purpose of the current study was to replicate and extend the findings of Kahng et al. In Experiment 1, editors and editorial board members of several journals and doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analysts provided dichotomous responses and numerical ratings to indicate whether a set of simulated ABAB graphs displayed experimental control. In Experiment 2, Masters-level BCBAs responded the same way to same graphs presented in Experiment 1. High levels of interrater agreement (ICC=.83; mean kappa=.84) were found in Experiment 1, whereas relatively lower levels of agreement (ICC=.69; mean kappa=.69) were found in Experiment 2.
53. Transition States in Single-Case Experimental Designs: Implications for Practitioners and Researchers
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
KRISTEN BROGAN (Auburn University), John T. Rapp (Auburn University)
Discussant: Neville Morris Blampied (University of Canterbury)
Abstract: We reviewed volumes 27 to 37 in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis to determine the percentage of single-case experimental design graphs that depicted transitions states. Results show that (a) 12.9% of graphs with acceleration interventions and 17.8% of graphs with deceleration interventions produced transitions and (b) 10.3% of graphs containing only antecedent interventions and 16.1% of graphs with consequent interventions produced transitions. The implications of these findings for practitioners and researchers are briefly discussed.
54. Has Behavior Analysis Found its Heart? Assessing Social Validity Trends in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Area: PCH
ADITT ALCALAY (Autism Partnership Foundation), Julia Ferguson (Autism Partnership Foundation), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Kara Reagon (Beacon Services of Connecticut), Norma Torres (Autism Partnership Foundation), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership Foundation), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Discussant: Neville Morris Blampied (University of Canterbury)

Wolf (1978) outlined the importance of social validity measures within applied behavior analytic research. Carr et al. (1999) provided an analysis of social validity trends within the first 31 years (1968-1998) of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA). The purpose of the current study was to extend Carr and colleagues' analysis of social validity trends in JABA to include issues published since Carr et al., additional measures, and further analysis of social validity trends. Implications for the field of applied behavior analysis and future research are provided.

55. Diet and Exercise Failures: A Theoretical Extension of Relapse
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
SONIA LEVY (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Chelsey Brown (The Chicago School of Professional Pscyhology), Joshua Garner (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Neville Morris Blampied (University of Canterbury)
Abstract: Obesity is a noncommunicable disease that is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, and cancer (WHO, 2016). While there are many ways to treat obesity, approximately 80% of those who attempt a diet or exercise program fail to achieve and/or maintain their weight loss (Ross et al., 2005). This article assesses the problem of obesity and the failure to maintain treatment outcomes through a conceptual analysis of relapse. This includes analyzing not only the behaviors of individuals who are obese, but their surrounding environments. This article includes discussion of resurgence, renewal, reinstatement, and behavioral momentum theory, which may provide additional information and guidance when creating treatment plans related to obesity and obesity-related disorders. Assessing obesity through a behavior analytic lens of relapse may lead to better adherence and maintenance of obesity treatment programs, but also decrease the burden that obesity and obesity relapse has on the health-care system.
56. Assessment of Single Case Research Syntheses in Special Education
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
SETH KING (Tennessee Technological University), Argnue Chitiyo (Tennessee Technological University)
Discussant: Neville Morris Blampied (University of Canterbury)
Abstract: Efforts to introduce empirically validated interventions into special education practice have increasingly involved synthesizing disparate forms of research, including single-case designs. However, specific search parameters have the potential to influence recommendations for research and practice. Similarly, the various approaches to effect size calculation and data analysis have the potential to skew the interpretation of intervention efficacy. This study identified systematic literature reviews featured in special education research journals from 2004 - 2014 that explicitly included single case research designs. Characteristics and methods of single case reviews were subsequently assessed. Of the reviews identified in the initial search (n = 980), approximately 15% evaluated single case research. Results suggest that syntheses of single case design (a) potentially overstate the effectiveness of interventions through an emphasis on peer-reviewed research and (b) forego visual analysis of data in favor of relatively limited forms of nonparametric analysis. A discussion of implications for literature reviews of single case design studies will follow the description of findings.
57. Rationalism and Behavior Analysis
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
LUCAS ALEXANDER HALEY COMMONS-MILLER (Dare Institute), Michael Lamport Commons (Dare Institute)
Discussant: Neville Morris Blampied (University of Canterbury)
Abstract: Having behavioral analysis mimic the logical causality of rationalism is an extreme error and limitation. As curious as it may seem, the three part contingencies proposed by Skinner closely parallels the linear causality proposed in rationalism. This can be seen by linear causal sequencing of stimulus situation, behavior and then consequences. What is missing is that not all contingencies contact organismic behavior. This is determined: a) by the behavioral-developmental stage the organism on the task presented in the situation; b) by the match between the evolutionarily determined behavior and behavior control. The solution to this problem has been to: a) Multiply the opportunity for reinforcement as represented by what members are present in very large concurrent schedules times; b) the stage of the organisms on such tasks and the value of the discounts. For example, using multiple regressions, species and types of reinforcers decays for different species and different reinforcers might be examined.
58. Facebook: Exploring Utility Through Behavior Analysis
Area: PCH; Domain: Applied Research
Discussant: Neville Morris Blampied (University of Canterbury)
Abstract: There has been a significant increase in the use of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Although these trends have been noted, there remains a dearth of evidence regarding why people continue to use these applications for work and personal purposes. This poster describes the underlying principles of behavior that may be maintaining the use of social media. Specifically, the researchers explored the following terms: Reinforcers, Punishers, Motivating Operations, Discriminative Stimuli, and Modeling. Each term was explored individually as it applied to Facebook. Within the poster, the terms are defined, examples of how each relates and/or applies to common Facebook activities are provided, and rationales are provided to explain the lure to Facebook from a behavior analytic perspective. In conclusion, future research ideas are suggested that look at additional terms and may demonstrate a correlation between the rate of Facebook use from a behavior perspective within certain populations.



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