CalABA California Association for Behavior Analysis Awards


The B. F. Skinner Foundation sponsors this award for graduate student research. Two awards of $500 each are available.

2015 Research Award Winner:

59212Charisse A. Lantaya
California State University, Sacramento
An Evaluation of Successive Matching-to-Sample in the Development of Emergent Stimulus Relations

Traditionally, behavior analysts have studied stimulus equivalence using a matching-to-sample (MTS) preparation. While researchers have demonstrated the utility of MTS to produce conditional discriminations or equivalence classes, MTS requires several prerequisite skills for a learner to accurately respond. Without these prerequisites, MTS may produce faulty stimulus control. Basic research has shown that alternatives to MTS such as compound stimulus discrimination and successive matching-to-sample (S-MTS) has been sufficient to produce relational responding. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of S-MTS as an alternative method for the establishment of stimulus relations with adults. S-MTS trials consisted of the presentation of a single sample stimulus followed by one comparison on a fixed location on the screen. Depending on the relation of the sample and comparison stimuli, the participants touched (i.e., go) or did not touch (i.e., no-go) the comparison stimulus. Twenty-four undergraduate college students participated in the study. Following training of baseline relations (AB/BC), participants received tests to evaluate whether untrained relations (i.e., BA/CB and AC/CA) emerged. Results indicated that S-MTS may be a viable alternative to traditional MTS to establish emergent relations. This study has direct implications for participants for whom traditional multi-stimuli array MTS procedures may be challenging.

2014 Research Award Winner:

candiceCandice Hansard
California State University, Northridge

Video Modeling to Train Undergraduates to Conduct a Paired-Stimulus Preference Assessment

 The number of children in need of behavior analytic services far exceeds the number of behavior analyst who can train and supervise staff to implement assessments and behavior change plans with fidelity. As such, it is of paramount importance to find ways to maximize a supervisor’s time in field. Graff and Karsten (2012) were the first to find that a self-instructional package was sufficient for novel staff to correctly conduct a multiple-stimulus without replacement (MSWO) and paired-stimulus (PS) preference assessment. Shapiro et al. (in preparation) replicated this study and found that 28% of participants still required feedback and in vivo modeling. To maximize supervisor time, I propose to use a video that includes instruction and modeling to teach undergraduates how to conduct a preference assessment. I will train five undergraduate students to reach the mastery criteria of 90% or above across two consecutive trials. All participants will view a video that includes instruction and modeling and will be asked to conduct a PS preference assessment with a simulated client.

2013 Research Award Winner:

marnieMarnie Shapiro
California State University, Northridge
Maximizing Supervisors’ Efficiency: The Use of Enhanced Written Instructions to Teach Undergraduates to Implement a Stimulus Preference Assessment

Training of staff to implement preference assessments is of paramount importance because the efficacy of behavior change programs depends upon staffs’ ability to identify stimuli that may function as reinforcers for individual consumers. Thus, the purpose of my study is to replicate the methods used by Graff & Karsten (2012) and to extend and correct for the authors’ self-disclosed limitation. At baseline, I will randomly assign participants to one of two baseline conditions. In the replication condition, three participants will receive Graff & Karsten’s (2012) modified version of the methods section from Fisher et al. (1992). In the extension condition, I will simulate a baseline condition to approximate a real life setting (Iwata et al., 2000). Namely, the remaining three participants will receive instructions on a piece of paper that specify that they need to determine a consumer’s preference. I hypothesize that participants will reach the mastery criterion independent of the type of instructions given at baseline. Results from this study may contribute to a body of scientific knowledge which can improve training and supervision procedures used in applied behavior analysis. Full abstract.

2012 Research Award Winners:

johnatanJonathan Fernand
California State University, Sacramento
The Effect of Choice Between Non-preferred foods on the Food Consumption of Individuals With Food Selectivity
Full Abstract




bryonBryon Miller
University of the Pacific
Behavioral Assessment of Physical Activity in Young Children
Full abstract



2011 Research Award Winner:

Sean Blumberg
University of the Pacific
The Effect of Parent Modeling on the Rate of Food Consumption in Children

2010 Research Award Winner:

Lesley A. Macpherson
California State University, Sacramento
A Comparison of Response Interruption and Redirection on Vocal and Motor Stereotypy

2009 Research Award Winner:

Marla D. Saltzman
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles
An Evaluation of Multiple Exemplar Training on the Emergence of Reverse Foreign-Language Intraverbals and Listener Responding