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.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #212
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Problematic Mobile Phone Use as Impulsive Choice: A Behavioral Economic Approach
Sunday, May 30, 2021
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Erik Arntzen (Oslo Metropolitan University)
CE Instructor: Yusuke Hayashi, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: YUSUKE HAYASHI (Pennsylvania State University, Hazleton)

Mobile phone use is ubiquitous in our society. While some people use it in a reasonable manner, others use it excessively and/or in a problematic manner (e.g., while driving). In this presentation, I will discuss what behavior analysis can do with the societal issue of problematic mobile phone use. From a behavioral economic perspective, problematic mobile phone use is fundamentally a choice controlled by competing reinforcement and/or punishment contingencies that involve a trade-off between multiple consequences (e.g., a smaller-sooner reinforcer vs. a larger-later reinforcer). Based on this conceptualization, I will illustrate how some behavioral economics principles, such as delay/probability discounting and demand analysis, can be utilized to understand, predict, and potentially control some forms of problematic mobile phone use, such as texting while driving, media multitasking, and excessive social media use. I will also argue that this conceptualization of problematic mobile phone use as choice can direct our attention to identifying the environmental/contextual variables that affect the choice, and that this conceptual/philosophical framework, along with strong data, is what behavior analysis can offer to other disciplines in an effort to combat the societal issue of problematic mobile phone use.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

basic and applied behavior analysts; graduate students

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define problematic mobile phone use as an impulsive choice; (2) describe how delay/probability/social discounting and demand analysis can be applied to problematic mobile phone use; (3) describe how behavior analysis can contribute to predicting and controlling problematic mobile phone use.
YUSUKE HAYASHI (Pennsylvania State University, Hazleton)

Yusuke Hayashi is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the Pennsylvania State University, Hazleton. His current research interests lie in understanding basic behavioral processes, such as sensitivity to delayed/probabilistic reinforcers and valuation of reinforcers, as well as translating basic principles to solve societal problems, such as problematic mobile phone use. He completed a pre-doctoral fellowship at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health as well as a post-doctoral training at the University of Kansas. He earned his Ph.D. in psychology from West Virginia University, his M.S. in behavior analysis from the University of North Texas, and his B.A. in history from Keio University in Tokyo, Japan (his unofficial minor was behavior analysis, though). He also enjoyed his carrier as an IT engineer before he crossed the ocean and headed toward Texas. Dr. Hayashi is currently an associate editor of European Journal of Behavior Analysis and an editorial board member of Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. He is active in publishing his work outside of behavior analysis, hoping to maximize the impact that behavior analysis can make on our society.




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