IT should be notified now!

Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

Donate to SABA Capital Campaign
Portal Access Behavior Analysis Training Directory Contact the Hotline View Frequently Asked Question
ABAI Facebook Page Follow us on Twitter LinkedIn LinkedIn

Ninth International Conference; Paris, France; 2017

Event Details

Previous Page


Paper Session #121
Topics in Behavioral Development: Theory
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
5:30 PM–6:20 PM
Studio DE, Niveau 2
Area: DEV
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Parsla Vintere (CHE Senior Psycholgical Services; Elaine Kaufman Cultural Center)
Behavior Variability and the Study of Human Development
Domain: Theory
MIKE PERFILLON (student), Martha Pelaez (Florida International University), Vinca Riviere (University of Lille )
Abstract: What are the intersections between Developmental psychology and behavioral variability? Developmental psychology studies how an organism that is born with a limited repertoire grows and develops new complex behaviors. For a long time, developmental psychologists have considered development as a steady state stage-like process (Piaget, 1967). In this context, the variables under investigation are studied through smoothed developmental trajectories (Van Geert, 2002). The stage theories approach has been to considered these unstable patterns of behavior as inherent variables that cannot be controlled and that do not provide relevant information for the identification of the emergent patterns expected during a stage development (Pelaez, Gewirtz, & Wong, 2008). However, the fact is that the analysis is not so simple given that some unstable patterns and fluctuation is the norm during these developmental periods and cusps. In this paper we present an alternative for dealing with these behavioral fluctuations in development also known as behavior variability. Our approach is to consider behavior variability as a critical outcome that can be modified by manipulating the contingencies in the environment. We will explain why a systems approach and behavior-analytic principles can provide pertinent information for understanding human development and behavioral fluctuations. Further, we will emphasize that different approaches have led to different interpretations of fluctuations in development and suggest a different way to conceptualize human development; one that requires the study of behavior variability (not ignoring it), and its definition and operationalization.
Practice Makes Perfect: Motor Skill Learning
Domain: Theory
PARSLA VINTERE (Elaine Kaufman Cultural Center)
Abstract: The human motor skills have been studied for nearly a century. These skills are acquired through a gradual trial-and-error process. For the past 40 years there have been an increased interest in studying expert performance in sports and performing arts. Research on the development of expertise by means of deliberate practice is receiving much attention and having potential implications for education and training of athletes and performers. The question is, what it takes to become an expert? What are the practice characteristics in terms of its quantity and quality? Does practice make perfect? Majority of the studies conducted in this area represent cognitive and neurocogntive perspectives. The purpose of this paper is to examine the components of deliberate practice in motor-skill learning from the behavioral analytic perspective. A particular attention will be given to the conceptualization of a given motor skill and variable contingency analysis in practice situations. Possible collaborative research directions will be discussed for developing, if not perfect, optimal motor-skill performance.


Modifed by Eddie Soh