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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #188
CE Offered: BACB
Unleashing Applied Animal Behavior: Dissemination of Behavioral Science Through Practice Part Two
Sunday, May 27, 2018
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, Marina Ballroom D
Area: AAB/TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Janie A. Funk (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Christy A. Alligood (Disney's Animal Kingdom)
CE Instructor: Janie A. Funk, M.A.

Demonstrating the efficacy of behavior analysis with respect to real-world problems is one key to dissemination of our science. Accomplishment of this objective requires presentation of our science in a manner obviously relevant to and easily understood by potential consumers. One emerging movement that has been successful to this end is within the area of applied animal behavior. Last year, leaders of this movement provided accounts of their efforts within special settings, and provided recommendations for addressing potential challenges likely to present during interdisciplinary collaborations. This year, the discussion will be continued with new accounts of collaborative efforts that have advanced our science in under-served areas of applied animal behavior. Further suggestions for extending our reach to new populations, and discussion of techniques for doing so, will be provided. While presented in the context of applied animal behavior, invaluable information will be provided for anyone interested in sharing the science of behavior.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): animal training, community outreach, dissemination, interdisciplinary collaboration
Target Audience:

Board Certified Behavior Analysts and others who aspire to extend the reach of behavior analysis through practice, especially in, but not limited to, the area of applied animal behavior.


Improving the Quality of Life for Zoo Animals With ABA

SUSAN G. FRIEDMAN (Utah State University)

ABA principles, procedures and ethical standards are directly relevant to improving the quality of life for zoo animals. A basic course was developed to improve zoo keepers ABA knowledge and skills. In this presentation, the course learning objectives will be discussed along with three case studies in which the fundamental tools of ABA (e.g., functional assessment and intervention design), were successfully applied to a self-injuring elephant, a fearful rhino, and an orangutan surrogate mother roughly handling a young baby.


Improving the Quality of Life of Zoo Keepers With ABA

KATHRYN L. KALAFUT (Antioch College)

As speakers in this symposium will demonstrate, the principles, procedures and ethical standards of ABA are relevant to improving the quality of life for zoo animals. But as in most animal settings, to increase the well-being of an animal in a zoo, you must first engage with their humans. This presentation will take a look at a typical day in the life of an animal caregiver, and discuss how this knowledge should inform how scientists approach and effectively engage with these institutions. There is great potential in the collaboration between behavior analytic researchers and captive animal environments. The goal of this presentation is to share some approaches that have yielded both effective and ineffective means for this type of collaboration.


A Top-Down Strategy to Equine Behavior Education

ROBIN L. FOSTER (University of Puget Sound)

Horses have a long history as domestic livestock and working animals, which has shaped and continues to influence policies and management practices. A growing demographic of horse owners have demanded change, and applied animal behaviorists are stepping up to meet that demand. Horse owners are typically dispersed, living in rural areas, and they seek advice about behavior issues from their local veterinarians, farriers, or trainers, very few of whom have received education in equine behavior. A top-down approach to disseminating information about ABA can help address these challenges. We teach an e-course on resolving fear-based behaviors in horses, and have marketed it to professionals by offering continuing education units. The course also has practical value to equine professionals; flight is horse's primary defense, thus fear-based behaviors are common and can impact the horse's health and performance, create a risk of serious injury to horses and humans, and result in lost revenue and increased expenses. An advantage to a top-down approach is that most equine professionals already have the skills and experience to successfully implement methods taught remotely. In addition, the course increases recognition of the role behaviorists play in equine care, distinct from veterinary care and training.


Training the Guide Dog: An Untapped Opportunity for the Behavior Scientist

JANIE A. FUNK (University of Nevada, Reno), W. Larry Williams (University of Nevada, Reno), Melia Shamblin (University of Nevada, Reno)

Nearly 20 organizations nationwide are responsible for training guide dogs. Overwhelmingly, they report less-than-ideal behavioral outcomes. In fact, the nation's most successful guide dog organization report that the majority of dogs are dismissed from their training program secondary to problem behaviors that are not medical or so-called species-specific. This is problematic because poor behavioral outcomes limit the extent to which the visually-impaired may engage safely with their communities. This presentation will provide an account of the gaps found in the literature addressing guide dog training, and offer behavior scientists suggestions for further developing a pragmatic line of research. Additionally, this presentation will discuss opportunities for the behavior scientist to contribute to development of assessment and training methods that aim to improve the quality of life of the guide dog, its trainers, and its consumers. Finally, with such ambitious objectives towards influencing the training of guide dogs, strategies for amicable collaborations will be provided.




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