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 #362
CE Offered: BACB
EAHB SIG Distinguished Contributions Award: Celebrating the Contributions of Dr. Kathryn J. Saunders
Sunday, May 26, 2019
6:00 PM–6:50 PM
Swissôtel, Concourse Level, Zurich E-G
Area: EAB/EDC; Domain: Theory
Chair: J. Adam Bennett (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Denice Rios Mojica (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Denice Rios Mojica, M.A.

The Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Special Interest Group invites you to formally recognize the contributions of Dr. Kathryn J. Saunders. Dr. Saunders's research interests have long focused on the Experimental Analysis of Behavior with extensions into Applied Behavior Analysis. A colleague of Dr. Saunders will reflect on her many contributions toward advancing our understanding of complex human behavior. Subsequently, Dr. Saunders will deliver comments reflecting upon her career and a topic of her choosing. Please join us to celebrate the contributions of Dr. Kathryn Saunders.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Human Operant, Multidisciplinary, Reading
Target Audience:

Researchers and practitioners

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the social significance of effective reading instruction; (2) summarize the underlying behavioral processes (e.g., stimulus control) that are foundational to reading; (3) discuss the interdisciplinary nature of reading instruction and research.
On the Importance of Component Discriminations: A Case History
CAROL PILGRIM (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: A wise man once argued (Sidman, 1986) that science suffers when its advocates do not take the time to establish, train, and build on a body of systemized principles, characteristic measurement techniques, and standard investigative procedures. A wise woman (Saunders & Spradlin, 1989, 1990) once demonstrated the necessity of such basic component discriminations for advancing the study and understanding of more complex performances (e.g., arbitrary matching-to-sample and stimulus equivalence). This talk will highlight features of Dr. Saunders’ career that exemplify the benefits to be accrued from holding true to this analytic strategy
Studying Behavioral Processes That Underlie Reading Difficulties in the Human-Operant Lab
KATHRYN SAUNDERS (The University of Kansas)
Abstract: Reading is required to thrive in our culture. Yet approximately 20% of children have great difficulty learning to read, despite receiving phonics-based instruction. Unfortunately problems often occur in developing the foundation upon which further growth depends––reading words that have not been taught directly. The result is a cascading, long-term negative impact on reading achievement. Over the last few decades, reading scientists have identified previously unappreciated prerequisite and component skills associated with success in learning to read. These skills can be analyzed in the human-operant laboratory, and the analysis applied to the development of improved instruction. In particular, the behavioral process of abstraction, along with precise stimulus control in relational learning (which can be surprisingly difficult to achieve), are critical to early reading success. The relevance of laboratory work on stimulus control to problems in reading instruction has made my collaborations with researchers from Speech/Language, Communication Disorders, and Educational Psychology a seamless, not to mention essential, process. I will discuss scientific ties to the reading literature, the inherently interdisciplinary nature of behavior analysis, and illustrate the acceptance of behavior-analytic thinking among researchers who are working together to solve a problem.



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