Proportion of Available Points Predicts Student Attendance in College Courses

Abstract

One intervention used to increase attendance at collegiate class meetings is to provide points for activities that take place in class; however, the percentage of course points necessary to facilitate high attendance is unknown. In Experiment 1, we assessed the relation between the relative percentage of points available for in-class activities and student attendance across three psychology courses. Across all three courses, students were more likely to attend on class days when higher percentages of course points were available for in-class activities. In Experiment 2, we replicated our findings from Experiment 1 while assessing the relation between the absolute value of points available and student attendance across two additional psychology courses. The results of Experiment 2 show that the absolute number of points available influenced attendance less than the relative value of course points available for in-class activities. Our findings suggest that instructors should consider the relative value of points available on class days when attempting to design course activities to maximize attendance.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


Laboratory Measures of Aggression in Methadone Patients Pre- and Postdose

Abstract

Purpose

Studies with humans have shown that acute opioid administration increases aggressive behavior, but no laboratory study has yet investigated whether opioid withdrawal produces comparable effects.

Methods

This study investigated whether mild opioid deprivation affected aggression in 6 males and 6 females (N = 12) undergoing methadone maintenance therapy. Aggressive behavior was measured using the point subtraction aggression paradigm (PSAP). Trait aggression was assessed using the Buss–Perry Aggression Questionnaire. Behavior on the PSAP and mood ratings on the Profile of Mood States questionnaire (POMS) were measured on two separate days; once before and once following the participant’s daily methadone dose, with order counterbalanced across participants.

Results

There were no effects of opioid withdrawal on aggressive responding, control response rates, monetary reinforced responding, or self-reports of mood. Rates of responding on the monetary-reinforced option increased across sessions regardless of condition, suggesting an exposure effect.

Conclusion

These data suggest that mild opioid deprivation occurring 24 hours following methadone administration in individuals undergoing methadone maintenance therapy does not increase aggression, at least in individuals showing low levels of aggressive behavior and low measures of trait aggression. Because participants reported no mood changes and there were no direct measures of withdrawal, it is possible that 24 hours of methadone deprivation produced no withdrawal in these participants. It remains to be determined whether more prolonged deprivation might generate more significant changes in mood and/or changes in aggressive behavior.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


Effects of Reinforcement Context on Initial Link Responding in Concurrent Chain Reinforcement Schedules

Abstract

Previous research shows that relative initial- and terminal-link temporal duration influences concurrent chain choice proportions. However, little research has examined whether reinforcement outside of either links influences concurrent chain choice proportions and/or response rates. We examined this by conducting an experiment in which 11 pigeons responded on concurrent chain schedules that alternated with either fixed interval (FI) or fixed time (FT) reinforcement schedules. FI and FT schedules provided reinforcement every 20, 60 or 180 s. Concurrent chain schedules provided reinforcement on average every 60 s. Concurrent chain schedules were never available at the same time as the FI or FT schedule. Most pigeons decreased choice proportions as the temporal duration of the FI or FT schedules increased, similar to the initial-link effect. Consistent with behavior contrast research, initial link response rates significantly increased as reinforcement rate decreased during the FI and FT schedules. This is the first study to show that reinforcement outside of a concurrent chain schedule can significantly change choice proportions. The initial link response rate result suggests a novel way to look at initial link response rates, outside of changing reinforcement rates and temporal duration.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


Effects of Programmed Errors of Omission and Commission During Auditory-Visual Conditional Discrimination Training With Typically Developing Children

Abstract

This series of translational studies investigated the effects of programmed treatment-integrity errors on skill acquisition for typically developing children during trial-and-error instruction for auditory-visual conditional discriminations. In Experiment 1, we examined the effects of errors of omission and commission with reinforcement delivery during 17% to 18% of trials compared to high-integrity instruction and a control condition. Programmed treatment-integrity errors impacted the efficiency of instruction. In Experiment 2, we increased the percentage of trials with errors of omission and commission to 20% to 30%. Higher percentages of errors of omission and commission impacted the efficiency of instruction for one participant and the efficacy of instruction for the other participant.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


A Risk-Reduction Model of Sharing: Role of Social Stimuli and Inequity

Abstract

The present study experimentally investigated human cooperation (sharing) in a laboratory foraging task that simulated environmental variability and resource scarcity (shortfall risk). Specifically, it investigated whether a risk-reduction model of food sharing derived from the energy budget rule could predict human cooperative behavior. Participants responded on a computer task for money and were given the choice between working alone or working with others and pooling earnings. Earnings could be kept only if the sum exceeded an earnings requirement (i.e., a need level). The effects of social variables on sharing were investigated to determine whether they constrained optimal decision making. The experiments investigated choice when participants were told the partner was a computer or a (fictitious) partner (Experiment 1) and when the earnings between the participant and partner were inequitable (Experiment 2). The results showed that social variables had no effect on decision making. Instead, sharing patterns were in accord with predictions of the risk-reduction model. These results provide additional evidence that a risk-reduction model of food sharing derived from risk-sensitive foraging models may be useful for predicting human cooperation for monetary outcomes.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


An Investigation into the Relationship between the Gender Binary and Occupational Discrimination Using the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure

Abstract

The social construction of gender-as-binary plays an important role within many contemporary theories of gender inequality. However, to date, the field of psychology has struggled with the operationalization and assessment of binarist ideologies. The current article proposes a technical framework for the analysis of the gender binary and assesses the suitability of the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) as a measure of binarist gender beliefs. Forty-seven undergraduate students (26 female; M age = 23.84) completed two IRAPs assessing the coordination of certain traits exclusively with women and others exclusively with men. Effects found on the IRAP were in the expected direction (i.e., relating men but not women with certain traits and women but not men with other traits). In addition, the traits ascribed to men within the IRAP were evaluated as more hirable by a large majority of participants (83%) on an explicit preference task. The results therefore support the arguments that, first, gender traits do seem to be framed oppositionally in language and, second, this binary may underpin existing gender hierarchies in certain contexts.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


Promoting Psychological Flexibility on Tolerance Tasks: Framing Behavior Through Deictic/Hierarchical Relations and Specifying Augmental Functions

Abstract

Recent research is advancing in the analysis of the defusion and self-based exercises used in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) through relational frame theory (RFT) terms. This study aimed to analyze the effect of two RFT-defined defusion protocols in promoting psychological flexibility by altering the discriminative functions of avoidance of aversive private events. Thirty participants first responded to several questionnaires. Subsequently, participants were exposed to 2 experimental tasks (pretest): a cold pressor and an aversive film. Participants were then randomly assigned to 3 experimental conditions: (a) a control condition, (b) a defusion protocol based on framing one’s own behavior through deictic relations (Defusion I), and (c) a defusion protocol that also included hierarchical relations and giving regulatory functions to that discrimination (Defusion II). Finally, participants were again exposed to the 2 experimental tasks (posttest). Results showed that participants who received the defusion protocols performed better in the posttest than did the control participants, and that Defusion II participants showed higher tolerance than Defusion I participants.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


Categorical Discrimination of Sequential Stimuli: All S Δ Are Not Created Equal

Abstract

Pigeons were exposed to a novel variation of a stimulus discrimination task previously used with rats as a slot machine analog. We sought to replicate and extend characterizations of structural characteristics of responding, determine relations between those characteristics and identify predictors of individual differences in performance. Pecking during a “collect” phase produced food if and only if the keylight was red for the entire sample phase. In other trial types, the keylight was green, or started red and turned green after one or two pecks. The opportunity to respond was available for 5 s in all collect phases, permitting multiple responses per trial. Pigeons were less likely to peck in collect phases when sample stimuli were not all red, and when they did peck, it was at a lower rate. However, consistent with reactions to near wins in other slot machine tasks, there was more responding in collect phases that followed sample phases when the red keylight turned green after two pecks. Among initial response characteristics, response rate in trials that resembled near wins was the best predictor of terminal responding. Supporting their characterization as measures of stimulus control, collect proportions were negatively correlated with response times in the sample phase. Supporting their characterization as measures of conditioned reinforcing value, latency and response rate in collect phases were positively correlated, but neither was systematically correlated with proportion or sample phase response times. Ultimately, isolating measures of stimulus control and conditioned reinforcement may help determine the mechanisms responsible for near-win effects.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


The Relation Between Sorting Tests and Matching-to-Sample Tests in the Formation of Equivalence Classes

Abstract

Using the simultaneous protocol, 20 college students attempted forming three 5-member equivalence classes (A → B → C → D → E). In Group 1, baseline training was followed serially with a sorting test, a matching-to-sample (MTS) test of derived relations, and a second sorting test. In Group 2, baseline training was followed with an MTS test, a sorting test, and a second MTS test. In Group 1, initial sorting showed the immediate emergence of three classes for five, one, or two classes for three, and no classes for two participants, respectively. The MTS test documented equivalence classes for three of the first five, one of the next three, and none for last two participants, respectively. Across participants, 19 of 27 classes in sorting (70 %) predicted presence/absence of corresponding equivalence classes in MTS tests. For three participants in Group 2, initial MTS testing showed immediate emergence of all equivalence classes with their maintenance in follow-up sorting tests. Three others showed no classes in MTS testing and emergence of all during sorting, documenting delayed emergence of classes. The last MTS test documented equivalence for one of these three participants. Two others showed no class formation in any test. With five of 16 participants who showed class formation in sorting, the positioning of the stimuli in sorting reflected the nodal structure of the classes. Variables that should increase prediction of equivalence classes by sorting were discussed.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


Equivalence Based Instruction by Group Based Clicker Training and Sorting Tests

Abstract

Equivalence classes were formed of the names (A), time periods (B), and characteristics (C) of three stages of prenatal development of the students in a classroom. The baseline relations for these classes (AB and CB) were established on a group basis by the students in a classroom through the use of “feedback-enhanced clicker-training”. Thereafter, class formation was tracked on an individual basis with a very quickly administered sorting test. Classes emerged immediately for 84 % of 32 students in a single 75-minute class session. Thus, many students showed the immediate formation of equivalence classes when training was done on a group basis with a feedback-enhanced form of clicker training, and a sorting test was used to track class formation. We also considered some likely mechanisms that could account for learning the baseline relations by individual participants during clicker training. Finally, we considered the feasibility of using a clickers and sorting protocol to implement equivalence-based instruction.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


Implicit Cross-Community Biases Revisited: Evidence for Ingroup Favoritism in the Absence of Outgroup Derogation in Northern Ireland

Abstract

Despite their application in virtually every area of psychological science, indirect procedures have rarely been used to study how Catholic and Protestants automatically respond to one another in Northern Ireland. What little evidence that does exist suggests that automatic ingroup favoritism occurs alongside outgroup derogation. That is, Catholics and Protestants automatically evaluate ingroup members more positively than outgroup members, and also evaluate outgroup members more negatively than ingroup members. The current study addresses a methodological limitation in this early work and provides the first (non-relativistic) assessment of intergroup relational responding in a post-conflict setting using the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP). Contrary to earlier findings, participants displayed evidence of ingroup favoritism in the absence of outgroup derogation.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


Effects of reward magnitude, alcohol and cigarette use on social discounting in Japan and United States college students

Abstract

Social discounting occurs when participants share more of a reward with individuals with whom they are close to, relative to those more distant individuals. Previous social discounting studies have shown consistent effects of drug use and reward magnitude on sharing. However, previous cross-cultural social discounting studies have not incorporated reward magnitude or drug use as factors that may influence discounting. The current experiment randomized 569 American and Japanese university students into either a standard ($150; ¥15,500) or large ($1,500; ¥155,000) magnitude condition where participants made choices about allocating hypothetical rewards to individuals at varying social distances. Participants also self-reported cigarette and alcohol use. There was no social discounting difference between American and Japanese participants at the standard reward magnitude. However, American participants shared more than Japanese participants at the large reward magnitude, replicating a previous study. Only Japanese participants showed a magnitude effect. Including age, gender, or cigarette and alcohol use as covariates did not change the main findings. However, similar to previous social discounting studies, cigarette use was a significant predictor for social discounting. Cross-cultural social discounting differences between American and Japanese participants were accounted for by reward magnitude.


Sun, 29 Jan 2017, 4:00 pm


An Analysis of U-Value as a Measure of Variability

Abstract

The variability in behavior has frequently been assessed using a measure known as the U-value. Of concern in this article were the limits and constraints on U-value as a measure of variability. The relation between the U-value and aspects of variability was examined using three sets of simulated data. Our analysis demonstrates that the U-value as a measure of variability on its own fails to capture repetitive patterns in the sequence of responding. The U-value was shown to reflect the evenness of the distributions of responses across the categories/options used; however, when the number of categories actually used by the participant differed from the total number available, the relation between U-values and the number of categories allocated with responses was shown to be nonlinear. It was also shown that the same value of U can represent different levels of evenness in response distributions over categories, depending on the number of categories/options actually used. These constraints and limitations are discussed in relation to how researchers might report on behavioral variability.


Wed, 25 Jan 2017, 4:00 pm


Effects of Meaningful Stimuli Contained in Different Numbers of Classes on Equivalence Class Formation

Abstract

Previous experiments have investigated the function of using pictures or meaningful stimuli on equivalence class formation. For example, when attempting to form three 5-member classes (A→B→C→D→E), findings have shown that pictures used as C stimuli have increased the probability of producing equivalence class formation relative to when all stimuli in the stimulus set are abstract. The present experiment extends the literature by examining whether the formation of equivalence classes varies as a function of having three (C1, C2, and C3), two (C1 and C2), or one (C1) stimulus as a picture in a set of abstract stimuli. Hence, 60 participants were randomly assigned to 4 different experimental groups: 0-picture group or abstract group (ABS), 1-picture group (1PIC), 2-pictures group (2PIC), and 3-pictures group (3PIC). In addition, we had a reference group with abstract shapes only. The findings from the present experiment showed that 2 of 15 participants in the ABS formed classes. Also, two of 15 participants in the 1PIC formed classes, 8 of 15 participants in the 2PIC formed equivalence classes, and 12 of 15 members in the 3PIC formed classes. The statistical analysis supported the notion that equivalence class formation is a function of the number of pictures in a potential equivalence class.


Tue, 27 Dec 2016, 4:00 pm


A Review of Relational Frame Theory Research Into Deictic Relational Responding

Abstract

Relational frame theory (RFT) is a modern behavioral approach to human language and cognition that accounts for complex human behavior, such as perspective taking in terms of derived relational responding. According to RFT, a history of reinforcement for relating deictic relations, such as I–you, here–there, and now–then, may lead to the emergence of a sophisticated repertoire of perspective taking. This theoretical understanding of complex behavior has resulted in the design of interventions to establish these repertoires when deficient. This study analyzes the contributions made to date by the deictic relations approach to perspective taking in typically and atypically developing children and adults. A total of 34 articles published between 2001 and 2015 were selected (26 empirical and 8 nonempirical). The results indicate an expansion of empirical evidence into deictic relations. However, there is still a need for empirical work on its application to atypical development and clinical populations. Future research directions are discussed.


Mon, 26 Dec 2016, 4:00 pm


Effects of a Reinforcement Schedule Controlling Energy of Pigeons’ Pecking Response

Abstract

Operant behavior involves many physical dimensions, including time, force, location, and distance. Energy is an important dimension in foraging behavior or motor response. Kono (Learning & Behavior, 41, 425–432, 2013) developed a schedule in which the controlling variable was the energy of responses, calculated by dividing the squared value of the distance between two consecutive responses by the squared value of the interresponse time, or the elapsed time between the two responses. This energy schedule demonstrated the possibility of differential reinforcement of the energy of responses, but the effect was relatively weak. Kono (Learning & Behavior, 41, 425–432, 2013) proposed that this weak effect could have been caused by two features of the adjusting procedure: the use of two or more schedules and variation in the reinforced energy of responses across trials depending on the subjects’ previous choice. The present study employed a single energy schedule whose requirement was fixed throughout the session. The results showed that the energy of responses increased as the requirement of the energy schedule increased. In addition, the degree of increase was greater for distance of responses than for time of responses. These results suggest that the energy schedule is a suitable method for controlling the energy of behavior, and the distance of responses has a greater effect than time.


Tue, 20 Dec 2016, 4:00 pm


Omission Training Results in More Resurgence than Alternative Reinforcement

Abstract

Resurgence refers to the reemergence of a previously reinforced response following the extinction of a more recently reinforced response. In a published study, resurgence occurred to a lesser extent following differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) than differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) with pigeons, but this effect has not been replicated with humans. We conducted a within-subject comparison of resurgence following DRA and DRO, using a human-operant preparation. Six college students earned points by clicking a mouse button across two-component multiple schedules. During both baseline components, points were delivered for the first click to a black circle after 2 s. Responding on the black circle decreased during the second phase, using a DRA in one component and a DRO in the other component. We tested for resurgence by terminating point deliveries (extinction) during both components in the third phase. For three of the participants, more resurgence occurred in the component previously associated with DRO than the component previously associated with DRA. The other three participants showed more resurgence in the first component experienced during extinction, regardless of whether that component was associated with DRA or DRO. However, resurgence was exacerbated when the first component during extinction was DRO rather than DRA. Although sequence influenced resurgence, DRA may be preferable to DRO as an intervention when resurgence is a concern.


Tue, 20 Dec 2016, 4:00 pm


Responding and Learning by Exclusion in 2-Year-Olds: The Case of Adjectives

Abstract

Responding by exclusion, usually investigated using a baseline of auditory-visual conditional discriminations for which auditory samples are names, is a robust phenomenon; however, it lacks generality to other lexical word classes. This study had two purposes: (1) to assess the generality of learning by exclusion to word–object property relations, and (2) to evaluate the effect of additive exclusion trials on learning outcomes. Children (aged 24 to 29 months) were taught auditory-visual baselines for three object name–object relations (Noun condition) and/or three adjective (emotion) names–facial expressions relations (Adjective condition). Each baseline and its associated tests were presented sequentially; the order was counterbalanced across participants. After baseline performance met criterion, exclusion, control, and learning outcome trials in extinction were intermixed with reinforced baseline trials, and followed by additive reinforced exclusion trials and learning outcome tests. More trials to criterion were required to establish the Adjective baseline, but the exclusion and learning outcome results of both conditions were comparable, suggesting that responding and learning by exclusion have generality across stimulus (lexical) types. Additive exclusion trials increased learning outcomes, especially for one type of learning probe. The necessary and sufficient tests to determine learning outcomes of exclusion responding still deserve discussion and investigation.


Wed, 7 Dec 2016, 4:00 pm