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.


Seventh International Conference; Merida, Mexico; 2013

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #34
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Teaching Writing Without Writing: A Joint Stimulus Control Analysis

Monday, October 7, 2013
5:30 PM–6:20 PM
Salon Merida (Fiesta Americana)
Area: EDC; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Lanny Fields, Ph.D.
Chair: Deisy das Gracas De Souza (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
LANNY FIELDS (Queens College, City University of New York), Jack Spear (The Graduate School of CUNY), Joshua Cooper (The Graduate School of CUNY)
Dr. Lanny Fields received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1968. He is a psychology professor at Queens College, City University of New York. Dr. Fields is a member of the American Psychological Association: Fellow, Divisions 2, 6, and 25; The Psychonomic Society; Sigma Xi; the American Psychological Society; the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies; and the Eastern Psychological Association. He has served on the editorial boards of the European Journal of Behavior Analysis, Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and The Psychological Record. His research interests are variables that induce the formation of conceptual classes, and that enhance the ability to categorize and classify information, and the neural substrates of concept formation.

Typically, undergraduate psychology majors have difficulties writing complete and accurate descriptions of information presented in graphs that depict the interactive effects of two variables on behavior. Training visual-visual conditional discriminations between graphs and written descriptions did not improve the written descriptions of graphs. The graphs and corresponding textual descriptions have many elements that must be attended to if they are to influence writing behavior. Traditional conditional discrimination training does not require attention to all of those pictorial and textual elements. Training of conditional discriminations designed to ensure attention to all features of the graphs and printed text resulted in dramatic improvements in the written descriptions of these complex graphs. The establishment of joint stimulus control by all elements of graphs and their corresponding printed texts (a selection-based repertoire) induced accurate written descriptions of complex graphs (a production-based repertoire). Thus, students learned to write without writing.

Target Audience:

The presentation will be of interest to those who are also interested in equivalence class formation, stimulus control, and behavioral implications for education, and secondarily, relational frame research.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the event, participants should be able to:  --Describe the traditional approach to teaching students to write accurate and complete descriptions of the information presented in complex graphs.  --Describe the traditional mode of conditional-discrimination training that can be used to teach graph-text correspondences.  --Describe how joint, stimulus-control procedures can be incorporated into conditional discrimination training to ensure attention to all elements of complex stimuli. --Describe what selection-based repertories can induce production-based performances of varying complexity?



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