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ABATSAutomated Bit Access Test System
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Overall, the IRAP data showed the predicted separation between the two groups of teachers in that the ABATs showed effects that were antipunishment and proreinforcement for both good and bad behavior, whereas the MTs showed effects that were propunishment for bad behavior and proreinforcement for good behavior.
Predictably, the ABATs reported significantly greater Knowledge of ABA relative to the MTs.
Results from the individual trial types indicated that ABATs showed proreinforcement biases for both good and bad behaviors, with a strong bias against punishment for good behavior and a weak and nonsignificant bias against punishment for bad behavior.
While there were no differences in the ratings of punishment between the two groups, the ABATs rated the acceptability of reinforcement on the BIRS and on the Likert scales as significantly greater than did the MTs.
That is, on the explicit measures, the MT group reported antipunishment biases for good and bad behaviors, similar to the ABAT group; while on the implicit measure the MTs showed propunishment biases for bad behavior, while the ABATs did not.
In the current sample, the ABATs reported having greater knowledge of ABA and engaged in more ABA training compared to the MTs.
This was somewhat consistent with the results from the current research in that the MTs showed a propunishment bias for bad behaviors but an antipunishment bias for good behavior, while the ABATs showed a weaker antipunishment bias for bad behavior compared to good behavior.
It may be argued that the ABATs had greater exposure to the controversies surrounding behavioral interventions and thus may have responded in a more socially desirable manner on the explicit measures (i.e., reinforcement was more acceptable than punishment, regardless of the behavior).
The final sample included 15 primary school teachers (3 males, 12 females, age range: 28-55, M =33.13) employed in mainstream primary school settings (MTs) and 15 tutors (1 male, 14 females, age range: 20-32 years, M =25.73) employed in ABA schools for children with autism (ABAT).
The means and standard deviations for each of the 19 explicit measures for the ABAT and MT groups are presented in Table 5.
For each model, one of the explicit relative rating measures was entered as a predictor of group status (ABAT or MT) for the first step, and the overall D-IRAP measure was entered as the second step in the model.
Thus, the IRAP was significantly more effective than each of the explicit measures at predicting whether the participants were in the ABAT or MT groups.