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 #479
CE Offered: BACB
Impacting Others and the Home We Share: Psychological Flexibility, Prosocial Behavior, and Ecological Behavior
Monday, May 27, 2019
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Fairmont, B2, Imperial Ballroom
Area: CSS/CBM; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Rebecca Copell (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Discussant: Karen Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi)
CE Instructor: Karen Kate Kellum, Ph.D.
Abstract: Behaving in ways that impact our relationships and physical environment positively is subject to many challenges. Amongst them is one’s willingness to experience the discomfort associated with our impact on each other and our planet such that effective behavior can be shaped. Psychological flexibility involves engagement in personally meaningful behavior, even when doing so increases discomfort. This symposium includes analyses of socially meaningful behavior through the perspective of the psychological flexibility model. Each presentation examines how psychological flexibility and associated repertoires might moderate the impacts of contextual manipulations on socially meaningful behavior. The first presentation will examine how an educational video on climate change might impact ecological behavior differently, depending on participants’ psychological flexibility. The second presentation considers the role of flexible connectedness in explaining relations between parenting and altruistic behavior. Finally, patterns between findings, lessons for future research, and implications for broad scale intervention to improve socially meaningful behavior will be discussed.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Altruism, Prosocial Behavior, Psychological Flexibility
Target Audience: Behavior Analysts interested in social issues
Learning Objectives: (1) describe how psychological flexibility and related factors converge with the parenting context to influence altruistic behavior (2) describe how psycholoigcal flexbility influences responsiveness to climate change education in terms of behavior change and behavior change intentions
Parenting Prosocial Prodigies: What Matters Most?
CALEB FOGLE (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: The effects of parenting practices have been of consistent interest to the general public, as current parents and parents-to-be ask researchers and practitioners; “what matters most?” In order to explore the importance of parenting practices, they can be conceptualized either categorically in terms of parenting style, or continuously in terms of the degree care and overprotection they exhibit. The current study focuses on parenting practices effects on altruism and other prosocial behaviors. Altruistic behaviors can be defined in this case as a behavior in which some sort of expended effort or physical cost outweighs any sort of promised or potential reward. The current study investigated if perceived parenting predicted altruistic behavior in a decision making task. Next, components of flexible connectedness (empathic concern, perspective taking, and psychological flexibility) were explored as moderating and mediating factors in the relationship between parenting and altruism. Surprisingly, inflexible parenting styles tended to predict altruistic behavior, and none of the flexible connected factors explained this relationship. Implications for parent training and further research will be discussed.
Psychological Flexibility as a Predictor of Ecological Behavior Change After Informational Intervention
JESSICA CRIDDLE (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Meagan Perkins (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: Climate change is a well-documented phenomenon affecting humankind as a whole, yet a large portion of individuals who understand this fact do not engage in behavior to address it. Avoidance of climate change and the prosocial behaviors needed to halt this condition may be related to psychological inflexibility, defined in the therapeutic approach of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as dominance of aversive control. Psychological flexibility entails the ability to change behavior to match values even as it increases aversive stimulation. To examine this relationship, over 200 college students completed self-report questionnaires to assess psychological flexibility and attitudes toward humankind's relationship with the environment. Participants were then exposed to three educational videos on climate change and selected a list of behaviors they would be willing to adopt. Finally a subset of participants chose to receive seven daily surveys to assess progress in achieving these behavior changes. Both behavioral intentions and self-reported behavior were predicted from psychological flexibility. Convergence and divergence of these effects will be discussed along with implications for intervention.



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