Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis

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Effects of computer-based training on procedural modifications to standard functional analyses

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 23:45

Few studies have evaluated methods for training decision-making when functional analysis data are undifferentiated. The current study evaluated computer-based training to teach 20 graduate students to arrange functional analysis conditions, analyze functional analysis data, and implement procedural modifications. Participants were exposed to training materials using interactive software during a 1-day session. Following the training, mean scores on the posttest, novel cases probe, and maintenance probe increased for all participants. These results replicate previous findings during a 1-day session and include a measure of participant acceptability of the training. Recommendations for future research on computer-based training and functional analysis are discussed.

Categories: Academic Journals

Guest Eds & Revs Acknowledgement

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 07:51
Categories: Academic Journals

Call for Nominations

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 07:51
Categories: Academic Journals

Teaching children with autism to request help with difficult tasks

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 21:35

We taught three children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder to request help using an interrupted chain procedure during which we manipulated task materials such that the child was either incapable or capable of independently completing a link of a behavior chain. We initially observed undesirable generalization of requests for help during capable trials when teaching was introduced during incapable trials for two participants and to a lesser extent for the third participant. However, with repeated exposure to differential prompting and reinforcement across incapable and capable trials, differential responding was observed across EO-present and EO-absent trials for all three participants during both teaching sets and one generalization set that was never exposed to teaching procedures. These findings suggest that it is important to consider the antecedent conditions under which the response should occur when teaching children to request help.

Categories: Academic Journals

Transfers of stimulus function during roulette wagering

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 22:25

Twenty-five recreational gamblers were initially asked to place bets on either red or black positions on a roulette board in a simulated casino setting. Each participant was then exposed to a stimulus pairing observing procedure which attempted to develop equivalence classes between one color (black or red) and traditionally positive words (e.g., love, happy, sex) and another color (black or red) and traditionally negative words (e.g., death, cancer, taxes), in the absence of consequence manipulations. Twenty-one of the twenty-five participants demonstrated greater response allocation to the color position on the roulette board that participated in a relational network with the positive words. Variations in sequencing of experimental conditions had no impact on poststimulus-pairing wagers, but did impact tests for equivalence accuracy.

Categories: Academic Journals

Go/no-go procedure with compound stimuli with children with autism

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 02:50

The go/no-go with compound stimuli is an alternative to matching-to-sample to produce conditional and emergent relations in adults. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of this procedure with two children diagnosed with autism. We trained and tested participants to respond to conditional relations among arbitrary stimuli using the go/no-go procedure. Both learned all the trained conditional relations without developing response bias or responding to no-go trials. Participants demonstrated performance consistent with symmetry, but not equivalence.

Categories: Academic Journals

Teaching metaphorical extensions of private events through rival-model observation to children with autism

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 22:31

The study evaluated the efficacy of observational learning using the rival-model technique in teaching three children with autism to state metaphorical statements about emotions when provided a picture, as well as to intraverbally state an appropriate emotion when provided a scenario and corresponding metaphorical emotion. The results provide a preliminary evaluation of how an observational teaching strategy may be effective in teaching children with autism to correctly tact emotions when given metaphors.

Categories: Academic Journals

A method to establish stimulus control and compliance with instructions

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 22:30

We evaluated a unique procedure to establish compliance with instructions in four young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who had low levels of compliance. Our procedure included methods to establish a novel therapist as a source of positive reinforcement, reliably evoke orienting responses to the therapist, increase the number of exposures to instruction–compliance–reinforcer contingencies, and minimize the number of exposures to instruction–noncompliance–no reinforcer contingencies. We further alternated between instructions with a high probability of compliance (high-p instructions) with instructions that had a prior low probability of compliance (low-p instructions) as soon as low-p instructions lost stimulus control. The intervention is discussed in relation to the conditions necessary for the development of stimulus control and as an example of a variation of translational research.

Categories: Academic Journals

Evaluating behavioral skills training to teach safe tackling skills to youth football players

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 22:26

With concussion rates on the rise for football players, there is a need for further research to increase skills and decrease injuries. Behavioral skills training is effective in teaching a wide variety of skills but has yet to be studied in the sports setting. We evaluated behavioral skills training to teach safer tackling techniques to six participants from a Pop Warner football team. Safer tackling techniques increased during practice and generalized to games for the two participants who had opportunities to tackle in games.

Categories: Academic Journals

The effects of preference assessment type on problem behavior

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 22:25

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who engage in problem behavior maintained by access to tangibles may exhibit more problem behavior during certain preference assessments. We compared three common preference assessments to determine which resulted in fewer problem behaviors. The paired stimulus and multiple-stimulus without replacement assessments produced higher rates of problem behavior than the free operant (FO) assessment, suggesting that the FO assessment may be the most appropriate assessment for individuals who engage in problem behavior maintained by access to tangibles.

Categories: Academic Journals

Parent-implemented behavioral skills training of social skills

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 22:10

Impairment in social skills is a primary feature of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Research indicates that social skills are intimately tied to social development and negative social consequences can persist if specific social behaviors are not acquired. The present study evaluated the effects of behavioral skills training (BST) on teaching four parents of children with ASDs to be social skills trainers. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across parent–child dyads was employed and direct observation was used to assess parent and child behaviors Results demonstrated substantial improvement in social skills teaching for all participants for trained and untrained skills. Ancillary measures of child performance indicated improvement in skills as well. High levels of correct teaching responses were maintained at a 1 month follow-up. This study extends current literature on BST while also providing a helpful, low-effort strategy to modify how parents can work with their children to improve their social skills.

Categories: Academic Journals

Effects of mastery criterion on the emergence of derived equivalence relations

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 03:40

In this study, we manipulated mastery criterion form (rolling or block) and stringency (across 6 or 12 trials) and measured the emergence of derived relations. College students learned neuroanatomy equivalence classes and experienced one of two rolling mastery criteria (6 or 12 consecutive correct responses) or a block mastery criterion (12 trials in a block) during training. The study found that block and rolling mastery criteria produced similar outcomes. Effectiveness was hampered when the criterion was less stringent.

Categories: Academic Journals

Teaching children with autism to respond to disguised mands

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 03:35

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have difficulty inferring the private events of others, including private verbal behavior (e.g., thoughts), private emotional responses, and private establishing operations, often referred to as “perspective taking” by the general psychology community. Children with ASD also have difficulty responding to disguised mands. Skinner's description of the “disguised mand” is verbal behavior wherein the speaker's mand directly describes neither its reinforcer nor the corresponding establishing operations. Appropriate responding to disguised mands is required for successful social interaction, making it a social skill worth teaching to children with ASD. We used a nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants design to investigate the effects of a multiple exemplar training package consisting of rules, role play, and feedback for teaching three boys with ASD to respond to disguised mands. The intervention was effective and generalization to novel disguised mands and people was observed.

Categories: Academic Journals

Effects of response-contingent stimulus pairing on vocalizations of nonverbal children with autism

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 03:35

Research on stimulus–stimulus pairing to induce novel vocalizations in nonverbal children has typically employed response-independent pairing (RIP) procedures to condition speech sounds as reinforcers. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a response-contingent pairing (RCP) procedure on the vocalizations of three nonverbal boys diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. During RCP, adult-delivered sounds that were either paired with a preferred item (target sounds) or not (nontarget sounds) were presented contingent on a button-press response. In Experiment 1, RCP was compared with an RIP procedure, in which the timing of sound presentations was yoked to the preceding RCP session. RCP produced a greater effect on all participants' target vocalizations than RIP. Experiment 2 demonstrated the effects of differential reinforcement of the vocalizations induced in Experiment 1. The results suggest that RCP may develop vocalizations more reliably than RIP procedures.

Categories: Academic Journals

Evaluating increased effort for item disposal to improve recycling at a university

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 03:30

An evaluation of increased response effort to dispose of items was conducted to improve recycling at a university. Signs prompting individuals to recycle and notifying them of the location of trash and recycling receptacles were posted in each phase. During the intervention, trashcans were removed from the classrooms, and one large trashcan was available in the hallway next to the recycling receptacles. Results showed that correct recycling increased, and trash left in classrooms increased initially during the second intervention phase before returning to baseline levels.

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A Monte Carlo evaluation of masked visual analysis in response-guided versus fixed-criteria multiple-baseline designs

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 23:20

We developed masked visual analysis (MVA) as a structured complement to traditional visual analysis. The purpose of the present investigation was to compare the effects of computer-simulated MVA of a four-case multiple-baseline (MB) design in which the phase lengths are determined by an ongoing visual analysis (i.e., response-guided) versus those in which the phase lengths are established a priori (i.e., fixed criteria). We observed an acceptably low probability (less than .05) of false detection of treatment effects. The probability of correctly detecting a true effect frequently exceeded .80 and was higher when: (a) the masked visual analyst extended phases based on an ongoing visual analysis, (b) the effects were larger, (c) the effects were more immediate and abrupt, and (d) the effects of random and extraneous error factors were simpler. Our findings indicate that MVA is a valuable combined methodological and data-analysis tool for single-case intervention researchers.

Categories: Academic Journals

Teaching conversational speech to children with autism spectrum disorder using text-message prompting

Mon, 09/04/2017 - 06:11

The present study was designed to teach conversational speech using text-message prompts to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in home play settings with siblings and peers. A multiple baseline design across children was used. Children learned conversational speech through the text-message prompts, and the behavior generalized across peers and settings. Maintenance of treatment gains was seen at 1-month follow-up probes. Social validity measures indicated that parents of typically developing children viewed the participants' conversational speech as much improved after the intervention. Results are discussed in terms of the efficacy of text-message prompts as a promising way to improve conversational speech for children with ASD.

Categories: Academic Journals

The effects of receptive and expressive instructional sequences on varied conditional discriminations

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 00:11

Many Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) curricula recommend teaching receptive responding before targeting expressive responding (Leaf & McEachin, 1999; Lovaas, 2003). However, a small literature base suggests that teaching expressive responses first may be more efficient when teaching children with ASD and other developmental disabilities (Petursdottir & Carr, 2011). The present study employed an alternating treatments design to compare the effects of three instructional sequences to teach feature, function, and class to three children diagnosed with ASD: (a) receptive–expressive, (b) expressive–receptive, and (c) mixed. The results suggested that expressive–receptive was the most efficient training sequence for all three participants. Additionally, greater emergent responding was observed with the expressive–receptive training sequence.

Categories: Academic Journals

Step it up! Using the good behavior game to increase physical activity with elementary school students at recess

Sat, 08/12/2017 - 00:45

We evaluated the effects of a modified version of the Good Behavior Game (GBG) on the number of steps taken by students during school recess. We divided a class into two teams, and awarded the team with the highest step counts at the end of each game raffle tickets for a school-wide lottery. The GBG was compared to recess periods without the game using an alternating-treatments design. Students took more steps while playing the GBG than they did during recess periods without the game.

Categories: Academic Journals