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Association for Behavior Analysis International

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43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #417
CE Offered: BACB
The Culture of Science
Monday, May 29, 2017
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Hyatt Regency, Mineral Hall A-C
Area: CSS/PCH; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: Mitch Fryling, Ph.D.
Chair: Genevieve M. DeBernardis (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Scientific disciplines are cultural entities to the extent that they involve individual behavior that is organized around shared stimulus functions, including values, standards, and more. The present symposium focuses on factors that influence the behavior of individual scientists, emphasizing those factors that both strengthen and threaten progress within individual sciences and the larger domain of science more generally. The first presentation focuses on the growing impact of technology and widespread access to information on scientific disciplines. In particular, the presentation considers the manner in which such information is used and its relationship to philosophical competence. The second and third presentations focus on factors that relate to the novelty of scientific work. Of particular emphasis are practices that reduce the likelihood of individual scientists pursuing novel or creative areas of research and scholarly inquiry. The first of these presentations focuses on the impact of notoriety or success, with the second focusing on the ways in which journal editorial practices impact the pursuit of creative work, including various ethical issues related to these matters.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
The Google Scholar
DOMINIQUE STEDHAM (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Over the last century society has undergone a substantial paradigm shift involving conventional changes in and rapid evolution of material, social, and philosophical conditions. With the advent of informational technological systems, a transition in the behavior of scholars composing varying scientific disciplines emerged. The accelerating pace of change resulting from the age of information technology has expanded the scholar’s contact with various constructs. This expanded contact results from an increase in the access to a high volume of information and a decrease in the time it takes to access it (Hayes, 2001). As such, it has altered scholarly activity requiring a shift in emphasis concerning the development of competent scholarly repertoires. It is argued that the more familiar the scholar is with the philosophical assumptions of their scientific discipline, the more likely they will be able to not only interact with the available materials, but to generate novel and significant contributions (Kantor, 1971). The scholars of today must question how this change in access has influenced their scientific contact with both events and constructs. This paper will identify and expand upon the differences between the repertoires of these scholars and moreover will discuss the implications on training competent scientific scholars.
Fame and Fortune
LINDA J. PARROTT HAYES (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: This paper considers a conventional notion that fame and fortune are the outcomes of good works from a societal standpoint. The value of these outcomes and the means by which they are achieved are discussed in two domains of psychological work. It is argued that fame and fortune may be attained in the professional domain without cost to the profession. In this domain, pursuit of these outcomes is just another profession. More specifically, fame and fortune are products of marketing. By contrast, it is argued that that neither of these outcomes can be attained in the scientific domain without cost to the science. Instead, the pursuit of fame and fortune turns scientists into professionals. This is the case because the raw outcomes of scientific work are not consumed by society absent the marketing of society-ready translations. As such, the good that the work of scientists, operating as scientists, is capable of achieving is traded for fame and fortune.
Editors and the Progress of Science
MITCH FRYLING (California State University, Los Angeles)
Abstract: The novelty of scientific research and scholarly inquiry within scientific disciplines seems central to disciplinary progress. Novel research and scholarship is not always easy to come by, though. In fact, a number of factors may actually work to prevent creative research from being pursued by scientists. One of those factors pertains to common publishing practices within different scientific groups. The present presentation focuses on the role of editors in the progress of science, and considers how editors may both advance and hinder novel scientific research. Indeed, editors may be more likely to support work that is consistent with existing work, including their own, as opposed to that which looks at things from a different way, perhaps questioning existing ways of thinking. The unfortunate outcome of this circumstance is scientific research that becomes routine and dull; a ritualistic enterprise (Kantor, 1953). At the same time, sciences have conventions and standards, and it is the role of editors to honor those standards. It is hoped that a careful consideration of these issues will highlight how Editors can be most helpful in ensuring progress while at the same time honoring disciplinary standards.


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