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; Online; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #403
CE Offered: BACB
Expanding the Use of Assessment Tools: Clinical Applications to OBM and OBM to Health Behaviors
Monday, May 25, 2020
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Area: OBM/CSS; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jonpaul D. Moschella (California State University, Fresno)
Discussant: Denys Brand (California State University, Sacramento)
CE Instructor: Marianne L. Jackson, Ph.D.

Many assessment tools have been developed to assess a specific range of behaviors with specific populations. In addition, they often have a substantial body of research supporting their effectiveness to do so. Two examples of this are Functional Analysis (FA) methodology and the Performance Diagnostic Checklist (PDC), with the former most commonly used with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to assess significant behavioral excesses, and the latter most commonly used with adults in organizations to assess barriers to effective work performance. Such tools may have greater utility outside of these immediate areas and this symposium will present two examples of such expansion. The first presentation will discuss the use of FA procedures with 10 individuals on a simple data-entry task. Results suggest that the various antecedent and consequence variables presented were not differentially effective and that goal setting and rule-governed behavior may be responsible for the maintenance of behavior. The second presentation will discuss the use of the PDC to improve the health behaviors of four athletes. The resulting interventions produced some mixed results and the implications and future directions will be discussed. The symposium will conclude with some comments and thoughts from our esteemed discussant.

Target Audience:

Practicing BCBAs, BCBAs who are administrators or supervise others, BCBAs practicing in areas of health behaviors or in the areas of sports performance

Learning Objectives: 1) Attendees will be able to describe the uses and variations of feedback 2) Attendees will be able to describe the use of a functional analysis to examine behaviors other than problem behavior 3) Attendees will be able to describe how the PDC can be used to assess the function of performance problems in athlete executive health behaviors
WTF(F): What’s the Function of Feedback?
MARIANNE L. JACKSON (California State University, Fresno), Jonpaul D. Moschella (California State University, Fresno), Vanessa Gowett (California State University, Fresno), Alexis Barajas (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract: Feedback is a widely used, but poorly understood, intervention in behavior analysis. Current research has noted a lack of clarity in how feedback is defined in terms of basic principles and a need to examine it in terms of the functions it serves. The current study utilized a functional analysis methodology to examine the effects of feedback on a simple data-entry task. This occurred as positive reinforcement, in the form of brief praise and/or money on gift cards, negative reinforcement in the form of escape from mild reprimands, and nonsocial forms of reinforcement. Participants were 10 undergraduate students, aged 20-33, and the effects were examined using a multielement design. Data suggest that the various forms of feedback did not have differential effects on performance, with all participants performing similarly across all conditions. This suggests that possible rule governance, specifically goal setting, alone may have been responsible for performance, regardless of the direct contingencies arranged by the experimenters.
Extending the Performance Diagnostic Checklist to Assessing Health Behaviors in Athletes
ISABELLA MARIA CAMELLO TAN (University of Southern California FirstSteps for Kids), Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
Abstract: Applied behavior analysis methods have often been used in the field of sports. Intervention packages have been created to facilitate acquisition of new skills, improve techniques for existing skills, and promote better practice and competition behaviors. Though the efficacy of ABA techniques has been demonstrated multiple times, there is a paucity of research regarding assessment in sports. The Performance Diagnostic Checklist (PDC) is an assessment tool often used in organizational settings to identify barriers to efficient performance. This study aims to determine the utility of the PDC for improving health behaviors among athletes. Using a multiple baseline design, interventions based on the PDC are being evaluated with individuals who play sports. The interventions are expected to increase engagement in the target behavior chosen by the participants. Four people are participating in the study – two currently in the intervention phase, and two in the baseline phase. The intervention has produced mixed results thus far. Implications and future directions will be discussed.



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