Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Behavior Analysis Related Abstracts

4 Comparative Study of Static and Dynamic Representations of the Family Structure and Its Clinical Utility

Authors: Marietta Kékes Szabó


The patterns of personality (mal)function and the individuals’ psychosocial environment influence the healthy status collectively and may lie in the background of psychosomatic disorders. Although the patients with their diversified symptoms usually do not have any organic problems, the experienced complaint, the fear of serious illness and the lack of social support often lead to increased anxiety and further enigmatic symptoms. The role of the family system and its atmosphere seem to be very important in this process. More studies explored the characteristics of dysfunctional family organization: inflexible family structure, hidden conflicts that are not spoken about by the family members during their daily interactions, undefined role boundaries, neglect or overprotection of the children by the parents and coalition between generations. However, questionnaires that are used to measure the properties of the family system are able to explore only its unit and cannot pay attention to the dyadic interactions, while the representation of the family structure by a figure placing test gives us a new perspective to better understand the organization of the (sub)system(s). Furthermore, its dynamic form opens new perspectives to explore the family members’ joint representations, which gives us the opportunity to know more about the flexibility of cohesion and hierarchy of the given family system. In this way, the communication among the family members can be also examined. The aim of my study was to collect a great number of information about the organization of psychosomatic families. In our research we used Gehring’s Family System Test (FAST) both in static and dynamic forms to mobilize the family members’ mental representations about their family and to get data in connection with their individual representations as well as cooperation. There were four families in our study, all of them with a young adult person. Two families with healthy participants and two families with asthmatic patient(s) were involved in our research. The family members’ behavior that could be observed during the dynamic situation was recorded on video for further data analysis with Noldus Observer XT 8.0 program software. In accordance with the previous studies, our results show that the family structure of the families with at least one psychosomatic patient is more rigid than it was found in the control group and the certain (typical, ideal, and conflict) dynamic representations reflected mainly the most dominant family member’s individual concept. The behavior analysis also confirmed the intensified role of the dominant person(s) in the family life, thereby influencing the family decisions, the place of the other family members, as well as the atmosphere of the interactions, which could also be grasped well by the applied methods. However, further research is needed to learn more about the phenomenon that can open the door for new therapeutic approaches.

Keywords: Behavior Analysis, psychosomatic families, family structure, family system test (FAST), static and dynamic representations

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3 Behavior Analysis Based on Nine Degrees of Freedom Sensor for Emergency Rescue Evacuation Support System

Authors: Young-Bok Choi, Maeng-Hwan Hyun, Dae-Man Do


Around the world, there are frequent incidents of natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, and snowstorms, as well as man made disasters such as fires, arsons, and acts of terror. These diverse and unpredictable adversities have resulted in a number of fatalities and injuries. If disaster occurrence can be assessed quickly and information such as the exact location of the disaster and evacuation routes can be provided, victims can promptly move to safe locations, minimizing losses. This paper proposes a behavior analysis method based on a nine degrees-of-freedom (9-DOF) sensor that is effective for the emergency rescue evacuation support system (ERESS), which is being researched with an objective of providing evacuation support during disasters. Based on experiments performed using the acceleration sensor and the gyroscope sensor in the 9-DOF sensor, data are analyzed for human behavior regarding stationary position, walking, running, and during emergency situation to suggest guidelines for system judgment. Using the results of the experiments performed to determine disaster occurrence, it was confirmed that the proposed method quickly determines whether a disaster has occurred.

Keywords: Disaster, Behavior Analysis, nine degrees of freedom sensor, emergency rescue

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2 A Comprehensive Methodology for Voice Segmentation of Large Sets of Speech Files Recorded in Naturalistic Environments

Authors: Ana Londral, Burcu Demiray, Marcus Cheetham


Speech recording is a methodology used in many different studies related to cognitive and behaviour research. Modern advances in digital equipment brought the possibility of continuously recording hours of speech in naturalistic environments and building rich sets of sound files. Speech analysis can then extract from these files multiple features for different scopes of research in Language and Communication. However, tools for analysing a large set of sound files and automatically extract relevant features from these files are often inaccessible to researchers that are not familiar with programming languages. Manual analysis is a common alternative, with a high time and efficiency cost. In the analysis of long sound files, the first step is the voice segmentation, i.e. to detect and label segments containing speech. We present a comprehensive methodology aiming to support researchers on voice segmentation, as the first step for data analysis of a big set of sound files. Praat, an open source software, is suggested as a tool to run a voice detection algorithm, label segments and files and extract other quantitative features on a structure of folders containing a large number of sound files. We present the validation of our methodology with a set of 5000 sound files that were collected in the daily life of a group of voluntary participants with age over 65. A smartphone device was used to collect sound using the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR): an app programmed to record 30-second sound samples that were randomly distributed throughout the day. Results demonstrated that automatic segmentation and labelling of files containing speech segments was 74% faster when compared to a manual analysis performed with two independent coders. Furthermore, the methodology presented allows manual adjustments of voiced segments with visualisation of the sound signal and the automatic extraction of quantitative information on speech. In conclusion, we propose a comprehensive methodology for voice segmentation, to be used by researchers that have to work with large sets of sound files and are not familiar with programming tools.

Keywords: Behavior Analysis, automatic speech analysis, naturalistic environments, voice segmentation

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1 Character Development Outcomes: A Predictive Model for Behaviour Analysis in Tertiary Institutions

Authors: Rhoda N. Kayongo


As behavior analysts in education continue to debate on how higher institutions can continue to benefit from their social and academic related programs, higher education is facing challenges in the area of character development. This is manifested in the percentages of college completion rates, teen pregnancies, drug abuse, sexual abuse, suicide, plagiarism, lack of academic integrity, and violence among their students. Attending college is a perceived opportunity to positively influence the actions and behaviors of the next generation of society; thus colleges and universities have to provide opportunities to develop students’ values and behaviors. Prior studies were mainly conducted in private institutions and more so in developed countries. However, with the complexity of the nature of student body currently due to the changing world, a multidimensional approach combining multiple factors that enhance character development outcomes is needed to suit the changing trends. The main purpose of this study was to identify opportunities in colleges and develop a model for predicting character development outcomes. A survey questionnaire composed of 7 scales including in-classroom interaction, out-of-classroom interaction, school climate, personal lifestyle, home environment, and peer influence as independent variables and character development outcomes as the dependent variable was administered to a total of five hundred and one students of 3rd and 4th year level in selected public colleges and universities in the Philippines and Rwanda. Using structural equation modelling, a predictive model explained 57% of the variance in character development outcomes. Findings from the results of the analysis showed that in-classroom interactions have a substantial direct influence on character development outcomes of the students (r = .75, p < .05). In addition, out-of-classroom interaction, school climate, and home environment contributed to students’ character development outcomes but in an indirect way. The study concluded that in the classroom are many opportunities for teachers to teach, model and integrate character development among their students. Thus, suggestions are made to public colleges and universities to deliberately boost and implement experiences that cultivate character within the classroom. These may contribute tremendously to the students' character development outcomes and hence render effective models of behaviour analysis in higher education.

Keywords: Behavior Analysis, Character Development, predictive model, tertiary institutions

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