Using Equivalence-Based Instruction to Teach Those Interested in Law Enforcement the Function of Behavior
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Research has shown that equivalence-based instruction (EBI) can be an effective and efficient way to teach relations with arbitrary stimuli. A benefit to this teaching method is that it can be done on a computer, without an instructor present in vivo. This allows those who need training to receive it during times such as COVID-19, or in areas that do not have qualified professionals to provide training. This present study occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic and was executed in a 100% remote format. The study investigated teaching the four functions of behavior (attention, escape, tangible, automatic) via equivalence-based instruction to those interested in law enforcement. This study provides further evidence that using equivalence-based instruction can be a successful teaching method. All five participants were able to meet the mastery criterion of 100% in the posttest after receiving between four to seven trial blocks in the training phase. Only two of the five participants required remedial instruction in the training phase before meeting the mastery criterion of 100% in the posttest. Participants were also able to effectively generalize some of the relations to novel examples. Future areas of research should include using current law enforcement officers in this study and expanding the relations to include de-escalation techniques and behavior intervention plans.