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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Paper Session #136
Sociological Topics in Behavior Analysis
Saturday, May 23, 2020
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Level M1, Georgetown
Area: PCH
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Carolina Laurenti (State University of Londrina)
Could Behavior Analysis be a Psychology for Women?
Domain: Theory
CAROLINA LAURENTI (State University of Londrina; State University of Maringa)
Abstract: The institutionalization of feminist psychology in the 1970s was portrayed and analyzed by several articles published at the time. Some of these articles acquired historical importance by systematizing cardinal issues to the project of a feminist psychology. They not only demonstrated limitations on psychology’s proposals in explaining female behavior and experience, but also indicated what psychological theory and practice would have to consider in order to constitute a psychology for women (and not against women). Starting from the examination of these classic articles, the aim of this paper is to verify compatibilities and incompatibilities (theoretical, methodological, and practical) between the initial project of a feminist psychology and Radical Behaviorism. How far do feminist psychology’s critiques of psychology at that time reach behavioral psychology? Would there be potentialities in Radical Behaviorism for the construction of a psychology for women? Ultimately, could Behavior Analysis be considered a feminist psychology in the terms defined by emerging feminist psychology? The answers to these questions may shed light on the roots of the remaining tensions between Behavior Analysis and feminist psychology.
A Behavior Analytic Perspective on Values in Behavior Science, Practice, and the Larger Culture
Domain: Theory
RICHARD G. SMITH (University of North Texas)
Abstract: The current paper discusses the concept of "values" from a behavior-analytic perspective and applies the concept to behavior-analytic science and practice. A behavior-analytic conception of values suggests that they may best be described as differential sensitivities to different types of consequences as reinforcement or punishment. That is, what humans value (or devalue) is apparent in the types of behavioral consequences around which repertoires and performances are shaped and organized. The paper seeks to examine how sensitivities to scientific, professional, personal, and societal consequences may affect our scientific and professional behaviors. The author will discuss how values may be conditioned and describe how different sensitivities to reinforcement can produce different professional and personal trajectories. It is proposed that “imbalances” in sensitivities can result in problematic patterns of scientific and professional behavior, and that there may be evidence of such imbalances in our current practices., Some current values-based challenges faced by behavior analysts will be described, and suggestions about how we might best address some of these challenges will be offered.



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