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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #603
CE Offered: BACB
Ready, Set, GOAL! Applications of Goal Setting and Performance Feedback Across Populations, Behaviors, and Settings
Monday, May 25, 2020
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Level M4, Independence E
Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Janice Frederick (The ABRITE Organization)
CE Instructor: Janice Frederick, Ph.D.

Goal setting has utilized across populations and settings to promote behavior change. An extensive literature documents the effectiveness of goal setting to increase a myriad of desirable behaviors including physical activity, academic responding, vocational task completion and beyond. Relatively fewer studies have involved the use of goal setting to decrease or eliminate responding. Performance feedback has been demonstrated to enhance the effects of goal setting. The current symposium examines utilization of goal setting and performance feedback with varied populations and target behaviors. First, a study examining the impact of goal setting and text message feedback on daily step counts of participants employed by a behavioral health organization will be presented. Next, the outcomes obtained for general education students exposed to a treatment package involving goal setting and daily feedback will be discussed. Finally, an analysis of the effectiveness of goal-setting combined with performance feedback and differential reinforcement of diminishing rates of behavior for decreasing challenging behavior exhibited by students with autism in a school setting will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): DRD, Goal Setting, Performance Feedback
Target Audience:

Behavior Analysts and students

Learning Objectives: 1. Attendees will be able to describe components of behavioral intervention package designed to improve students’ academic performance. 2. Attendees will be able to describe the effects of vocal, written, and/or visual performance feedback methods methods on student goal performance. 3. Attendees will be able to list key elements of intervention based on Differential Reinforcement of Diminishing Rates.
Decreasing Challenging Behavior in School Setting with a Combination of Goal-Setting, Performance Feedback, and Differential Reinforcement of Diminishing Rates of Behavior Without Extinction
(Applied Research)
Kinga Wolos-Zachmeier (The ABRITE Organization), SAM GARCIA (The ABRITE Organization)
Abstract: A growing body of research has demonstrated the effectiveness of goal-setting and performance feedback for increasing various desirable behaviors. The purpose of the current study is to determine the effectiveness of goal-setting combined with performance feedback and differential reinforcement of diminishing rates of behavior for decreasing challenging behavior in a school setting. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants design was employed. Participants 1 and 2, both 11 years old and diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, were both fully included in general education classrooms in two public schools. Participant 3, 17 years old, was attending a non-public school. All participants had engaged in disruptive behaviors throughout the school day. The intervention was effective in significantly decreasing the rate of challenging behavior for all three participants. Challenges specific to delivering ABA services in a school setting will be discussed along with limitations of this study and possible future directions.

The Present, Positive, Participant Project: Outcomes for General Education Students Exposed to a Behavior Analytic Intervention Package

(Applied Research)
Janice Frederick (The ABRITE Organization), CAITLIN ELIZABETH MANNING (The ABRITE Organization), Marlena Jacobson (The ABRITE Organization)

This study examined the effectiveness of goals setting, behavioral contracting, performance feedback, and a reinforcement contingency on goal mastery for general education students ranging from the elementary to high school levels. Each of the 13 participants had ended the preceding school year with a failing grade in one more core academic subjects. In addition to a failing grade, participants were identified by school site team administrators as students of ‘concern’ due to poor attendance, limited classroom engagement, and/or failure to complete homework. During the initial intervention phase, participants worked with a ‘coach’ to set a goal related to performance in a specific core academic subject. Participants received daily feedback related to their goal via paper, email, or text message depending on grade level and each attended a brief weekly meeting with a ‘coach’ during which they received feedback via a graph of their performance relate to their goals. Goal specific measures included percentage of weekly assignments submitted, percentage scores on homework submitted, and overall grade percentages. A component analysis was initiated with 3 of the final participants to examine the effects of each component of the intervention package. Overall results indicate that this relatively low-cost and minimally invasive intervention was effective in increasing student performance on goal related tasks.

The Effects of Goal Setting and Daily Feedback from a Coach on Number of Steps Taken by Users of Activity Trackers
(Applied Research)
Kinga Wolos-Zachmeier (The ABRITE Organization), SEAN GALE KOTZMAN (The ABRITE Organization), Caitlin Elizabeth Manning (The ABRITE Organization), Kellie Bohlke (The ABRITE Organization), Agueda Maria Flores Silva (The ABRITE Organization)
Abstract: Sedentary lifestyle has been linked to multiple health problems. Use of activity trackers is increasing, however research has shown that wearing an activity tracker alone is not always effective in increasing physical activity. The current study employed a concurrent multiple baseline across participants design to determine whether daily goal setting and feedback delivered via text message from an anonymous coach would increase participants’ daily step counts. The three participants, who had already used an activity tracker, were recruited from employees of The ABRITE Organization. The results suggest that the intervention was effective in increasing average daily steps for all three participants. However, the increase in steps from baseline to intervention varied between participants and between days of the week. Possible explanation of the results, the limitations of the current study, and implications for future research will be discussed.



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