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 #251
CE Offered: BACB
Sticky Interventions for Environmentally Relevant Behaviors
Sunday, May 26, 2019
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Fairmont, Lobby Level, Cuvee
Area: CSS/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Thomas Anatol Da Rocha Woelz (PUC-SP)
Discussant: Mark P. Alavosius (Praxis2LLC)
CE Instructor: Mark P. Alavosius, Ph.D.

Most behaviors recommended to slow, prevent or adapt to global warming entail delayed consequences that may be inadequate to maintain behavior change. A challenge to any effort to organize behaviors responsive to climate change is increasing the current value of those behaviors to individuals, organizations and communities and consideration of their value to future generations. A framework for research and practice to govern consumption of community resources and preserve natural capital for future generations might consider what determines ‘sticky’ interventions that persist over time and attract others to invest in their expansion. Central to this framework are principles governing collective action, policies that define contingencies and organizational models that promote valuing of natural resources over unchecked consumption. Presentations in this symposium will highlight the emerging discussions and research associated with socially relevant issues.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Social Issues, Sticky Interventions
Target Audience:

Academicians, students, and practitioners who are interested in performance improvement in organizations.

Learning Objectives: The audience will describe the foundation (concepts, principles, methodology) underlying contingency analysis at the cultural level of selection. The audience will discuss the behavior analytic account of implicit bias as related to emerging socio-cultural issues. The audience will list behaviors and results that align with a behavior analytic discussion of wellbeing.

Methodological Developments for Evaluating Bicycle Lane Implementation on Urban Mobility

Felipe Leite (Imagine Behavioral Technology - Fortaleza/Brazil), MIGUEL ABDALA PAIVA MACIEL (Federal University of Ceará), Gerôncio de Oliveira Filho (University of Fortaleza), Carlos Rafael Fernandes Picanço (Universidade Federal do Para), Thais Maria Monteiro Guimarães (Federal University of Pará), Felipe Augusto Gomes Wanderley (Imagine Behavioral Technology), Hernando Borges Neves Filho (Imagine Behavioral Technology)

Large populations in urban centers leads to increasing complexity and concurrency between contingencies that affect individuals and groups. Modern urban mobility debates focus on how to implement policies that address this issue in an environmentally conscious account. Private automobiles are the preferred transportation in urban centers, however bicycles are gaining attention as an environmentally friendly alternative. This presentation discuss methodological developments to measure the impacts of the implementation of bicycle lanes on the use of bicycles as a basic means of transport. Counting of individuals biking were conduct in two two-hour time intervals by two independent observers on four days before bike lane implementation and four days after implementation. Follow-ups with equal measures were made in two months after the bicycle lanes are open. Video feeds from public security cameras were obtained, which allowed the use of BORIS software. A complementary software was developed in PASCAL to increase measurement precision from the video feeds in BORIS. Preliminary results indicated precise measurement and high IOA (≥90%). These developments are important to discuss the difficulties of evaluating public policies in developing countries such as Brazil, which can have direct implications for efficient urban planning and sustainable development.


Programming and Implementation of a Cultural Design for Solid Waste Management

(Applied Research)
Carla Morello Hayashi (Londrina State University), CAMILA MUCHON DE MELO (State University of Londrina)

Solid waste management has often been target of interventions in behavior analysis therefore this research had the purpose to develop a cultural design to this practice. Two studies were made in a community. The first one followed a systematized guidance used to cultural designs and 21 people participated. The procedure was divided into two stages to gather information about the community demand for pro-environmental practices and about the inappropriate practice of solid waste management. As a result, the cultural design was planned. The second study consisted of the implementation of a cultural design and 33 children participated. It was divided into: environment modification, instruction activities, gamification strategy and a practical activity. A baseline procedure was performed before the interventions and at the end of the program, two follow-up sessions were held. After each phase, the products of behaviors were measured. The results showed that the proportion of correct discards in Follow Up I and II was significantly higher than the first baseline (p = 0,0001?5%), as well as the proportion of separations by recyclable and organic items in both Follow Ups was significantly higher than the second baseline (p = 0,0001?5%). It was concluded that the cultural design was effective.

A Metacontingency Account of a Community’s Response to a Natural Disaster
JOSE ARDILA (University of Nevada), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno), Mark P. Alavosius (Praxis2LLC)
Abstract: Weather and climate disasters are increasing threats for the survival of human communities across the globe (IPCC, 2018). The aim of this presentation is to analyze the ways by which the citizens of Puerto Rico responded to Hurricane María’s landfall. For this purpose, we used the elaborated account of the metacontingency (Houmanfar, Rodrigues, and Ward, 2010) to analyze the community’s process of recovery and adaptation. First, we will provide an overview of Glenn’s (2004), and Houmanfar and colleagues’ (2010), accounts of the metacontingency. Next, we will offer a descriptive analysis of the adaptive actions of puertorricans in the aftermath of Hurricane María. At the individual level, we will identify cultural responses with respect to institutionalized stimulus functions (cf. Kantor, 1982). At the group level, we will identify the cultural milieu (i.e. contextual variables) as well as the macro and metacontingencies involved in Puerto Rico’s recovery and adaptation. The results of this analysis have theoretical and applied implications. At the theoretical level, the 5-term metacontingency effectively orients scientific work towards the identification of the psychological and sociological factors involved in the human response to natural disasters. At the applied level, identifying these factors can potentially inform future preventive, recovery, and adaptive measures and procedures.
Evidence-Based Advocacy
MARK A. MATTAINI (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago)
Abstract: Human behavior is at the root of each of the major interlocking issues facing current societies and the global environment, including climate change, growing authoritarianism, violence, poverty, and the struggles of refugee populations. The evidence that those issues are genuine, serious, and structurally-based is overwhelming, and each is associated with serious violations of human rights. Reshaping the practices of human societies to address these issues is extraordinarily difficult, especially when the existence and importance of each remains controversial within the general public and across cultures. There are at least three related and apparently valuable responses under these conditions: Advocacy, Activism, and Accompaniment. There is an enormous literature related to each of these strategic options (Mattaini, 2013; Mattaini & Holtschneider, 2016); comprehensive, established evidence bases that can guide those practices are, however, not well developed. One of the projects being pursued by the Coalition of Behavior Science (organized by ABAI) therefore, is assembling a knowledge base to effectively guide evidence-based advocacy for sustainability and social and environmental justice, drawing on existing literature and current events, interpreted and conceptualized from a behavior science perspective. Coalition efforts in this area will be sketched in this presentation.



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