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 #294
CE Offered: BACB
Building Better Teams With Prosocial: Employee Engagement in the Workplace, Cultural Competence, and Core Design Principles for Groups
Sunday, May 26, 2019
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Fairmont, Lobby Level, Cuvee
Area: CSS/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Tiffany Dubuc (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
CE Instructor: Tiffany Dubuc, M.S.

The Prosocial process is rooted in economics, evolution science, and contextual behavior science and offers a process for teams and groups to identify core values, determine those behaviors most valued by the group, and in doing so facilitate cooperation and sharing of resources (Wilson, Ostrom, & Cox, 2013). The method is a six-step process, components of which include, the Acceptance Commitment Training (ACT) Matrix (Polk, Schoendorff, Webster, & Olaz, 2016), eight Core Design Principles (CDPs) for group interaction (Wilson, Ostrom, & Cox, 2013), and a planning for actionable goals, and measurement of team interactions (Atkins, 2018). This symposium will give examples of implementing the individual and group ACT Matrix to influence values clarification and behaviors related to employee engagement in a public service organization and cultural competence within clinical settings. Additionally, examples of a process for operationalizing the eight core design principles with different groups will be shared, making these principles observable and measurable within and across groups to facilitate flexible and healthy group dynamics to positively impact cooperation, performance, and well-being.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): ACT Matrix, Cooperation, Culture, Prosocial
Target Audience:

Behavior Analysts, Researchers and Practitioners

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will gain an overview of all 6 steps of the Prosocial process 2. Participants will gain an understanding of the ACT Matrix tool and possible applications related to employee engagement and cultural competency in groups 3. Participants will learn the 8 Core Design Principles of cooperative groups, how to define principles, and suggestions for measurement.

Psychological Flexibility in the Workplace: Examining the Use of the Prosocial Matrix for Increasing Employee Levels of Psychological Flexibility and Rates of Participation in Work-Related Tasks

(Applied Research)
BRITTANY MAZUR (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Julia H. Fiebig (Ball State University; ABA Global Initiatives LLC), Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)

Creating and maintaining a positive and productive work environment has been the focus of researchers in various disciplines for decades, yet, research examining systematic methods for increasing job satisfaction and job performance remains limited. This study investigated how a brief 45-minute work group session utilizing The Prosocial Matrix (a visual tool representing psychological flexibility processes and grounded in Relational Frame Theory and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) impacted work task engagement and levels of psychological flexibility across three work groups in one public service organization. Defined work tasks were used to measure rates of employee engagement, in addition to using the Work-Related Acceptance and Action Questionnaire pre- and post intervention. Analysis of results will be shared along with discussion of suggestions for future applications and research. Results provide additional information regarding the potential benefits of utilizing the Prosocial Matrix as means for altering levels of work task engagement and psychological flexibility among work group populations.


Examining the Use of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Matrix to Facilitate Difficult Conversations: A Clinician’s Approach to Cultural Competency

(Service Delivery)
TIFFANY DUBUC (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)

Entrusted with the clinical, educational, social and/or behavioural progress of our clients in today’s culturally dynamic and ever-changing world can be challenging. The need for cultural competency, and thoughtful dissemination of Western therapeutic practices has never been greater. In this talk, participants will be exposed to a Psychological Flexibility model of cultural competency, with an emphasis on values as verbal stimuli which may alter the reinforcement function of those responses previously involved in direct and aversive conditions. The ACT Matrix will be explored as a tool for facilitating culturally-competent clinical practices amongst teams. It is hypothesized that an approach to cultural competency that is based in contextual behaviour science will be more meaningful and effective than traditional “rule-based” approaches (which may prove to be ineffective or even counter-productive). The presentation is applicable to all clinicians looking to increase the cultural competency of their team members.

Overview of the Prosocial Core Design Principles and Suggestions for Operationalizing to Enhance and Further Develop Behavioral Measures
(Service Delivery)
REBECCA A. WATSON (ABA Global Initiatives, LLC; RSU13), Julia H. Fiebig (Ball State University; ABA Global Initiatives LLC)
Abstract: How does a behavior scientist help groups identify what behaviors are most critical to gain optimal team outcomes? Using an evidence-based method that improves teamwork for groups of any kind, the Prosocial method provides a functional blueprint for a group to increase behaviors that matter in accordance with group values. Values are seen as conduits that inform an individual’s behavior (Ciarrochi, Fisher, & Lane, 2011) and are the result of an individual’s history of responding and reinforcement (Skinner, 1971). To connect values to behaviors this process involves using the Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) Matrix and Elinor Ostrom’s Core Design Principles (1990) to help groups clarify common purpose, build flexibility and cultivate collaborative relationships for group wellbeing and improved performance of the team. In this talk, we will introduce the Core Design Principles and share practical suggestions for operationally defining each principle to enhance the utility of the Prosocial process in order to pair it with performance management methods.



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