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

Previous Page


Symposium #222
Cooperation and Pro-Environmental Behaviors: From Conceptualization to Developing Applications
Sunday, May 26, 2019
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Fairmont, B2, Imperial Ballroom
Area: CSS/PCH; Domain: Theory
Chair: Rita Olla (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Aecio De Borba Vasconcelos Neto Vasconcelos Neto (Universidade Federal do Para)

Cooperation among members of groups, or between groups, represents the challenge of these days. Understanding how cooperative behaviors can be developed and promoted, both at conceptual level and in the applied field becomes strategic. This symposium will address several perspectives on cooperative behavior, starting with a conceptual discussion of ways language may affect cooperation at the sociocultural and behavioral levels of analyses. In the process, we will analyze the important contribution by the Nobel Prize in Economics, Elinor Ostrom in the form of the eight Core Design Principles, associated with successful management of common resources. In this context, pro-environmental behavior can be seen as a form of cooperation in managing the common resources of our planet. Accordingly, an important step in our analysis of cooperation is the development of applied tools to foster individuals’ cooperative choices in relation to the environment and, in principle, for any social situation in which cooperation and not competition is required for the benefit of everybody.

Instruction Level: Basic

Some Conceptual Perspectives on Cooperative Behavior: Rule Governance and Ostrom’s Core Design Principles

RITA OLLA (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)

Multilevel Theory of Selection offers a biological model to explain cooperative behaviors (seen as traits) that may challenge the traditional Darwinian view of natural selection favoring only the individuals. Cooperation in groups, established in order to manage conditions that benefit the individuals but that each individual cannot accomplish alone, is often negatively affected by behaviors of members of the same community that are able to take advantage from the group effort but do not contribute to cover the associated cost for its production. This situation may end up negatively affecting the survival of the community itself. Nobel Prize in Economics Elinor Ostrom defined eight Core Design Principles (CDPs) that characterize communities able to avoid the exploitation and the destruction of the common resources (as portraited by Gareth Hardin’s Tragedy of the commons) without resorting to an external regulating authority or privatizing their use. By drawing upon the behavioral analytic, as well as sociological perspectives, we will discuss the importance of verbal networks and rule-governance in the analysis of cooperation.


The Elect: Developing a Game for the Teaching of Pro-Environmental Behaviors

SILVIA REGINA DE SOUZA ARRABAL GIL (Londrina State University), Marcela de Oliveira Ortolan (Universidade Estadual de Londrina)

Human actions are causing damage to the environment and technologies that promote effective environmental education need to be developed and evaluated. Games have been used to teach different behaviors, as they improve the involvement of the student in the task and enable new contents to be learned. Building an educational game assumes a set of steps which, if they are followed, increase the likelihood of the game fulfilling its education and recreational function. The objective of this symposium is to describe and discuss the process of building a game aimed at teaching pro-environmental behaviors - “The Elected”. The process began by describing the game’s goal. We then specified the contingencies for achieving the game’s goal and established its formal elements - technology, mechanics, story and aesthetics. The game tells the story of a world in which the environment has collapsed, and humankind has been sent to outer space, but some people have been elected to return and make the Earth an inhabitable planet once more. The game should be played collectively, enabling the teaching of relevant social behaviors such as cooperation. A large number of people who use board games justifies the development of this type of technology.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh