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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Program by Invited Tutorials: Monday, May 26, 2014

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Invited Tutorial #322
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Trigger Analysis with Behavioral Description: Combining Experimental and Descriptive Methods
Monday, May 26, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W180 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Scott T. Gaynor, Ph.D.
Chair: Scott T. Gaynor (Western Michigan University)
Presenting Authors: : ENNIO C. CIPANI (National University)

Experimentally manipulating antecedent and/or consequent variables has generally been conducted in analogue assessment conditions. In some individual clinical cases, the discriminative stimuli for problem behavior in the natural setting(s) may have unique stimulus control over such behavior. If this is the case, then a false negative may occur during an analogue assessment with one or more functions. Hence, in those particular cases, a method that would allow for an experimental manipulation in the natural setting(s) would be preferable. A technique termed trigger analysis (Rolider, 2003) requires a clinician to induce a hypothesized establishing operation (EO), with personnel in the natural target setting(s). The data collected can then provide the relative probability of the problem behavior (as well as latency data) across a number of inducements (trials) over time. In this tutorial, Dr. Cipani will illustrate such a procedure for use in natural context assessments. This assessment methodology can be enhanced by the observer providing a descriptive analysis of functional and nonfunctional behaviors under such EO inducements. By combining both the experimental (trigger analysis) and descriptive (behavioral description) methodologies, a clinician can obtain valuable information on the response class that produces the abolishing operation (AO), as well as an anecdotal analysis of behaviors which are currently ineffectual in abolishing the EO. This can then lead to a better understanding of the strength of alternate more desirable forms in the client’s repertoire (see Appendix A; Cipani & Schock, 2011 for an operant analysis of replacement behaviors). This information has implications for treatment design. A function-based classification system comprising 13 categories (Cipani & Schock, 2011) will be used to exemplify the procedures in this assessment method. In particular, Dr. Cipani will demonstrate how trigger analysis with behavioral description would apply to such functions as (A) access to attention or tangible reinforcers, and (B) escape and/or avoidance of unpleasant social situations, difficult tasks/assignments, or lengthy tasks assignments.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, graduate students, and anyone interested in trigger analysis.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to (1) Delineate the assessment procedures of the assessment method: trigger analysis with behavioral description; (2) Develop hypothetical data for a putative function involving the descriptive component of this method; and (3) Explain how this hypothetical data would suggest function-based intervention.
ENNIO C. CIPANI (National University)
Ennio Cipani, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist (since 1983) in California and a full professor in the school psychology program at National University. He has published numerous articles, chapters, books, and software in the areas of child behavior management and behavioral consultation. His books include Punishment on Trial (2004--free online for students, practitioners and faculty at and a textbook he co-authored with Keven Schock entitled Functional Behavioral Assessment, Diagnosis and Treatment: A Complete System for Education and Mental Health Settings (2nd edition, 2011; see book review at Dr. Cipani has been doing in-home and in-school behavioral consultation for families with children with severe problem behaviors since 1981. He has had clinical experience with a wide range of children who have developmental disabilities as well as assessing and treating children in the mental health and social service system (with a broad range of mental-disorder diagnoses). He has dealt with a variety of behavior problems, conducting assessment and intervention activities in natural environments (i.e., homes and classrooms) and then training direct-line people to engage in a parenting or teaching management repertoire that produces changes in child behavior. This breadth of clinical experience is reflected in the above two books, which present many case examples from his clinical practice. In addition to having his own caseload responsibility since 1981, he also was clinical director of Cipani & Associates. In this role, he enhanced his problem-solving acumen from supervising the clinical work of some of the finest master’s level employees a behavior analyst could want; most notably Steve Taylor, Ron Pekarek, Jennifer Young, Steve Witherspoon, Dr. Dan Martin, and Yolanda Bell.
Keyword(s): Trigger analysis
Invited Tutorial #359
CE Offered: BACB
The Poisoned Cue and its Implications for the Treatment of Children With Autism
Monday, May 26, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W180 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AAB/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Jesus Rosales-Ruiz, Ph.D.
Chair: Erica N. Feuerbacher (University of Florida)
Presenting Authors: : JESUS ROSALES-RUIZ (University of North Texas)

Much is known about discriminative stimuli established using either reinforcing or aversive stimuli and about how these stimuli work as conditioned reinforcers or conditioned aversive stimuli. However, little is known about discriminative stimuli established using both reinforcing as well as aversive events. For this type of stimulus, it has been reported that the interaction between reinforcing and aversive events makes the discriminative function somewhat different from other discriminative stimuli (Hearst & Sidman, 1961). Karen Pryor (2002) called this phenomenon the Poisoned Cue. She suggested that a cue, or SD, that is established using both reinforcing and aversive events leads to the breakdown of the behavior preceding and following the cue. This may be because of an increase in avoidance behaviors and the uncertainty that exists regarding the consequence that will follow. The Poisoned Cue phenomenon is important because it reflects the majority of teaching situations in the real world. SDs in the real world are rarely taught with purely positive reinforcement or purely aversive consequences. This tutorial will present an experimental analysis of the Poisoned Cue, teach participants how to identify situations that involve Poisoned Cues, and discuss solutions for overcoming the effects of Poisoned Cues.

JESUS ROSALES-RUIZ (University of North Texas)
Jesus Rosales-Ruiz is an associate professor at the University of North Texas in the Department of Behavior Analysis. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 1995, under the mentorship of two pioneers in the field of behavior analysis, Donald M. Baer and Ogden R. Lindsley. Dr. Rosales-Ruiz is one of the few scientists in the world studying animal training from both the theoretical and applied perspectives. He, along with his students, has greatly contributed to the understanding of the science and practice of animal training. He also studies the antecedent control of behavior, generalization, behavioral cusps, fluency-based teaching, treatment of autism, teaching of academic behavior, rule-governed behavior, and contingency-shaped behavior. He has served on several editorial boards, including the Journal of Precision Teaching and Celeration, the European Journal of Behavior Analysis, and the International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy. He also has served as a reviewer for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, the Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Behavioral Processes, and the Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Bulletin. Dr. Rosales-Ruiz is a fellow of the Eastern Psychological Association, a trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies and a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.
Keyword(s): conditioned stimuli, discriminative stimuli, poisoned cue
Invited Tutorial #390
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Oops! Learning From the Mistakes of Others: Implications for Observational Learning and Children with Autism
Monday, May 26, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W180 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Jennifer Lynn Hammond, Ph.D.
Chair: Jennifer Lynn Hammond (Trumpet Behavioral Health)
Presenting Authors: : BRIDGET A. TAYLOR (Alpine Learning Group)

Some children with autism can learn to imitate a wide variety of functional responses. For example, many can be taught to imitate actions with objects, the play behavior of peers, and the social responses of others. Less well documented are strategies that teach children with autism under which conditions imitation is advantageous, and under which conditions it is not. In order for a child with autism to learn through observation, he must learn how to discriminate the contingencies applied to modeled responses. This presentation will outline an assessment protocol to identify prerequisites for observational learning and research directives to teach children with autism to selectively imitate by discriminating the consequences applied to another's responses. Video-taped examples will illustrate components of the assessment, and preliminary outcome data on several children with autism will be presented.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, graduate students, and anyone interested in the autism field.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to (1) Define observational learning; (2) Define selective imitation and discuss why it is an important component response of observational learning; and (3) Identify components of a proposed assessment for observational learning.
BRIDGET A. TAYLOR (Alpine Learning Group)
Dr. Bridget A. Taylor is co-founder and executive director of Alpine Learning Group and is senior clinical adviser for Rethink. Dr. Taylor has specialized in the education and treatment of children with autism for the past 25 years. She holds a doctorate of psychology from Rutgers University and received her master's degree in early childhood special education from Columbia University. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a licensed psychologist. She is an associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and serves on the editorial board of Behavioral Interventions. She is a member of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and a board member of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment. She serves on the Autism Advisory Group for the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies and the Professional Advisory Board for the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts. Dr. Taylor is active in the autism research community and has published numerous articles and book chapters on effective interventions for autism. Her recent research interest is in identifying effective strategies to promote observational learning in children with autism.
Invited Tutorial #391
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Momentum Theory: A Review and Implications for Practice
Monday, May 26, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W183a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Joel Eric Ringdahl, Ph.D.
Chair: Andrew W. Gardner (Northern Arizona University)
Presenting Authors: : JOEL ERIC RINGDAHL (Southern Illinois University)

The field of Applied Behavior Analysis has seen a recent increase in the amount research conducted related to the maintenance of treatment effects, relapse of problem behavior, and what basic behavior analysis has to say regarding these events. Dr. Ringdahl and his students and colleagues at Southern Illinois University and the University of Iowa have been investigating how behavioral momentum theory can be explored and used to inform the development of interventions for severe problem behavior exhibited by individuals with developmental disabilities, and used to evaluate the strength of these treatments. This tutorial will review basic behavioral findings related to the aforementioned areas. In addition, implications for practice will be discussed as they relate to the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior. Data from recently published or presented applied research projects will be used to illustrate the direct link between basic findings and applied outcomes.

JOEL ERIC RINGDAHL (Southern Illinois University)
Dr. Joel E. Ringdahl is an assistant professor in the Behavior Analysis and Therapy Program in the Rehabilitation Institute. He received his Ph.D. (1999) and M.A. (1995) in psychology from Louisiana State University and a B.S. (1992) also in psychology from the University of Florida. Dr. Ringdahl is a licensed psychologist in the state of Iowa and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. He has served as an associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and is currently an editorial board member for Research in Developmental Disabilities, Journal of Behavioral Education, Education and Treatment of Children, Research Reviews Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, and Behavior Analysis in Practice. Dr. Ringdahl's research interests include functional analysis and treatment of severe behavior problems exhibited by individuals with developmental disabilities, stimulus preference assessments, functional communication training, and translational research in the area of behavioral momentum theory and behavioral economics. Dr. Ringdahl has published several peer-reviewed articles and has been a researcher on National Institutes of Health-funded projects.



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