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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Symposium #242
Understanding the Success and Failure of Goal-Oriented Behaviors and its Consequences
Sunday, May 26, 2019
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Swissôtel, Event Center Second Floor, Montreux 1-3
Area: DEV; Domain: Translational
Chair: Patrice Marie Miller (Salem State University)
Abstract: This symposium discusses the foundations of goal-oriented behaviors in relation to task completion and developmental stage. The first paper explores the notion of incomplete performance of a series of behavior chains and subsequently an end “task goal”. It specifies why such interruptions or “breaks” in a behavior occurs in humans. These long-term broken chains prevents further development in behavior and achievement of ultimate goals in various domains. The failure of reaching set goals and the inability to resolve them can often lead people to question the meaningfulness in life and existential crises. The second paper uses the Model of Hierarchical Complexity (MHC) to illustrate the requirement of attaining a certain behavioral-development stage needed to successfully overcome one’s existential crisis. The MHC is a behavioral-developmental stage-based framework for scoring the hieratical complexity of a behavioral task and assigning individuals to a developmental stage according to their performance on a task. The third paper is a cross-cultural study of goal-oriented behavior on human capital flight of highly-skilled individuals. Demographic information, reasons for migrating, and MHC developmental stages of the sample are analyzed to examine behaviors of those who choose to migrate versus those do not.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): behavioral tasks, cross-cultural development, existential crisis, MHC

Broken Chains: An Analysis of Why Chains of Task Sequences are Left Incomplete in Humans Preventing Them From Reaching Their Ultimate Goal

Simran Malhotra (Dare Association, Inc), LUCAS ALEXANDER HALEY COMMONS-MILLER (Dare Institute)

A simple behavior usually occurs in the presence of a stimulus followed by a response. This response then obtains a reinforcer depending on the reinforcement contingency. In a sequence from a behavioral chain, the response serves as a stimulus for a different response. That response leads to reinforcement, depending on the reinforcement contingency. Multiple sequences make up a chain of behavior. The chain of behavior is complete when the “task goal” is met. Chained behaviors are often rule-governed. One essential rule is that each step in the sequence has to be completed in order to move to the next step. Completion of sequences eventually leads to completion of the chain of behavior. The failure to complete even one step in the sequence prevents the completion of that particular sequence, making it impossible to complete the chain or “task goal”. This paper will discuss what causes interruptions in or “breaks” chains of behavior in humans, in turn preventing them from achieving their goals. It also discusses the ways in which one can prevent long-term broken chains taking into account the value of completing tasks in the RIASEC (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Entrepreneurial and Conventional) domains.


The Nature and Explanations of Existential Crises

Mansi Shah (Dare Association, Inc), MARK KEFFER (Dare Association, Inc)

This talk outlines the background, nature, explanations existential crises. About 75% of people have unresolved existential crisis. Existential crises occur in route to discovering meaning in life through successful resolution of conflicts. The route itself is explored as one which is identifiable due to historical periods of time increasing the overall availability of choice within societies. There is a further key differentiation between availability and accessibility of choice. Each crisis differs in their complexities and the goals that are pursued in desire of their resolution. These goals are further explored within the scope of their fulfillment or lack thereof. Furthermore, the explanations of existential crises are broken down into sociological, cultural and biological factors. They all play key and differing roles in how they structure not only the occurrence of existential crises but also a person’s likelihood to resolve their crises. Existential crises themselves should be regarded not negatively but positively for its allowing of people to find the meaning that they desire in their lives. People resolve for themselves what their true interest are and how to fulfill them through behavioral choice. Conformity and lake of “smarts” interfere with finding such meaning.

Brain and Skill Drain in Relation to Model of Hierarchical Complexity
(Basic Research)
MANSI J SHAH (Dare Association, Inc)
Abstract: Human capital flight is the emigration of highly skilled or well-educated individuals. The net benefits of human capital flight for the receiving country are sometimes referred to as a "brain gain". The net sending country costs are referred to as a "brain drain". Such migrations occur because of several attractions: 1) more open-minded societies; 2) opportunity to pursue one’s interests; 3) latest technology; 4) higher salaries; 5) greater comfort; 6) better standard of living. This study focused on 3 groups of people: a) Never moved anywhere; b) Moved within the country; c) Moved to a different part of the world. Interests and Behavioral-Developmental Stage scores were collected. To understand the reasoning for not migrating and migrating, 60 participants filled out a survey along with a self-report interview. We found out people migrated because: 1) higher salaries and job satisfaction; 2) Education; 3) Better Health Care; 4) Standard of living and 5) Safety. The 2017 census report showed the percentage of people migrated from 2000 to 2017 from different regions of the world. Finally, we ran a correlation between the interest and stages. We found a strong positive correlation between education and professions in relation to the MHC stages.



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