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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Invited Panel #201
Is Evolution Science the Umbrella? Creating an Integrated Framework for Understanding, Predicting, and Influencing Human Behavior
Sunday, May 27, 2018
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, Grand Ballroom 7-9
Area: SCI; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Michael J. Dougher (University of New Mexico)
CE Instructor: Michael J. Dougher, Ph.D.
Panelists: YVONNE BARNES-HOLMES (Ghent University), ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute), STEVEN C. HAYES (University of Nevada, Reno), DAVID SLOAN WILSON (Binghamton University)

Since before Skinner’s “Selection by consequences,” behavior analysts have acknowledged the natural alliance among the sciences that commonly rely on selection as a fundamental cause and sufficient explanation of behavior. In that vein, several behavior analysts have explicitly called for a closer integration of evolution and behavior science, and some have incorporated evolutionary principles in proposed expansions and modifications of behavior theory. However, it is only recently that a fully integrated, data-driven, evolution-based science of behavior has emerged with both conceptual and empirical implications for behavior scientists. A fundamental assumption of this approach is the reciprocal influence of evolution on behavioral processes at multiple levels of analysis, individual, symbolic and cultural. The participants in this panel are the principal architects of this integration, and each will discuss their specific conceptual and empirical contributions. A panel discussion format was selected specifically to allow audience participation in the discussion.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: PENDING
Dr. Barnes-Holmes is a professor in the department of Experimental Clinical and Health Psychology at Ghent University. Her interests include relational frame theory, contextual behavior science, and acceptance and commitment therapy.
ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute)
Anthony Biglan, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist at Oregon Research Institute. He is the author of The Nurture Effect: How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve our Lives and Our World. Dr. Biglan has been conducting research on the development and prevention of child and adolescent problem behavior for the past 30 years. His work has included studies of the risk and protective factors associated with tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use; high-risk sexual behavior; and antisocial behavior. He has conducted numerous experimental evaluations of interventions to prevent tobacco use both through school-based programs and community-wide interventions. And, he has evaluated interventions to prevent high-risk sexual behavior, antisocial behavior, and reading failure. In recent years, his work has shifted to more comprehensive interventions that have the potential to prevent the entire range of child and adolescent problems. He and colleagues at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences published a book summarizing the epidemiology, cost, etiology, prevention, and treatment of youth with multiple problems (Biglan et al., 2004). He is a former president of the Society for Prevention Research. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Prevention, which released its report in 2009 documenting numerous evidence-based preventive interventions that can prevent multiple problems. As a member of Oregon’s Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission, he is helping to develop a strategic plan for implementing comprehensive evidence-based interventions throughout Oregon. Information about Dr. Biglan’s publications can be found at
STEVEN C. HAYES (University of Nevada, Reno)
Dr. Hayes received his Ph.D. from West Virginia University and currently serves as professor in the behavior analysis program in the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Hayes has a record of voluminous research and substantial impact, within behavior analysis and beyond, with 43 books and more than 600 publications. He is one of only three behavior analysts in the world with an h-index above 100 in Google Scholar ( He is the principal developer of relational frame theory and acceptance and commitment therapy, highly influential behavior analytic approaches to language and cognition, and evidence-based intervention, respectively, that have generated considerable research and achieved widespread adoption. Dr. Hayes’s contributions to teaching and service have also been exemplary. He served as department chair at UNR, and with Linda Hayes launched the behavior analysis program there. Dr. Hayes has held many influential service (e.g., president of Division 25, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science [ACBS], and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies [ABCT]) and editorial (e.g., AE of JABA) positions, and has received numerous awards for his work (e.g., the SABA Awards for International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis and the Impact of Science on Application, the APA Don Hake Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from ABCT). His contributions span philosophical, methodological, basic, and applied domains with remarkable breadth and depth.
DAVID SLOAN WILSON (Binghamton University)
David Sloan Wilson is SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University and President of the Evolution Institute, a nonprofit organization that formulates public policy from an evolutionary perspective. He has made foundational contributions to evolutionary theory and is widely credited for helping to revive Multilevel Selection Theory, which explains how adaptations can evolve (or fail to evolve) at any level of a multi-tier hierarchy of biological or human social units. He has also been influential in expanding the study of evolution beyond the biological sciences to include all aspects of humanity, both inside and outside the Ivory Tower. His books include Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society (2002), Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives (2007), The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve my City, One Block at a Time (2011), and Does Altruism Exist? Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others (2015). His next book, titled This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution and Evolving the Future, will be published in 2019.



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