Disputas: Heidi Skorge Olaff

Heidi Skorge Olaff will defend her thesis «Variables influencing Bidirectional Naming» for the PhD in Behavior Analysis.

Trial Lecture

Thursday 28 november, 2019, at 10.00-10.45.
Title: "Are relation-frame theories of verbal behavior necessary?"

Public defense

The candidate will defend her thesis 28 november at 12.15.

We ask the audience to take their seats in good time before the public defense commences.

Ordinary opponents

Leader of the public defense


    Laster inn ...
    • Abstract

      The society is encountering an increased prevalence of children diagnosed with autism, who need prolonged specialized language intervention to achieve essential verbal behavior in order to succeed in everyday life.

      Concerning verbal behavior for children with autism, an essential target is the emergence of bidirectional naming (BiN), which is defined as the integration of speaker and listener behavior within an individual. BiN embraces a range of different critical skills, among them is enabling children to learn from observing models in typical classrooms. Therefore, it is important to facilitate an understanding of different variables affecting BiN.

      • Study 1 examined the effect of the most commonly used intervention to improve BiN skills, such as multiple response-exemplar training (MRET) and the role of the echoic during the exposure of novel stimuli, before BiN probes were conducted.
      • Study 2 aimed to compare operant discrimination procedure (ODT) and stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure related to the establishment of conditioned reinforcers.
      • In Study 3, the outmost effective procedure was used in an applied context to establish conditioned social reinforcers to improve BiN. Additionally, the role of the echoic was addressed.
      • Study 4 examined the effect of repeatedly probing BiN alone.

      When BiN probes did not suffice to establish BiN skills, MRET was introduced. Furthermore, the long-term effect of BiN as a result of the independent variables were measured, as well as the impact of testing speaker responses before listener responses, and vice versa. Besides, MRET is a successful procedure to establish BiN, and the ODT procedure effectively established conditioned social reinforcers, which probably influence BiN. Joint control is discussed and is likely a central aspect of most variables which influence bidirectional naming. However, an important implication of BiN research is that we need to change the means of probing, because BiN probes alone increase these skills.