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 #400
CE Offered: BACB
Analyzing Behavior-Environment Interactions: Why Movement Cycles Matter
Monday, May 31, 2021
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
Chair: Michael D. Hixson (Central Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Jesus Rosales-Ruiz, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: JESUS ROSALES-RUIZ (University of North Texas)

A movement cycle is a repeatable unit of behavior. It specifies a starting position and a series of behavior-environment interactions that continue until the organism is back at the starting point and can begin the movement cycle again. The concept of the movement cycle was developed and refined by Ogden Lindsley, although he attributed the original idea to B. F. Skinner. Movement cycles were fundamental during the early development of precision teaching. They appeared on the Standard Celeration Chart and were used to define units of behavior. Although the concept of the movement cycle is central to the description of behavior, it has largely been forgotten by modern behavior analysts. In this talk, we will trace the historical roots of the concept of the movement cycle. Then, we will explore why movement cycles are still relevant from a theoretical perspective and how they can help you better understand the nature of reinforcement. Thinking in terms of movement cycles will give you a new perspective when defining units of behavior for measurement, planning out your teaching steps, and setting your criteria for reinforcement.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

This presentation will be of interest to basic and applied researchers interested in mechanisms of behavior change and to practitioners who work in a variety of applied settings.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe a movement cycle; (2) identify behavioral definitions containing movement cycles; (3) describe how movement cycles can be used to improve shaping.
JESUS ROSALES-RUIZ (University of North Texas)

Jesús Rosales-Ruiz is an associate professor at the University of North Texas in the Department of Behavior Analysis. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 1995, under the mentorship of two pioneers in the field of behavior analysis, Donald M. Baer and Ogden R. Lindsley. Jesús is one of the few scientists in the world studying animal training from both the theoretical and applied perspectives. He, along with his students, has greatly contributed to the understanding of the science and practice of animal training. Jesús also studies the antecedent control of behavior, generalization, behavioral cusps, fluency-based teaching, treatment of autism, teaching of academic behavior, rule-governed behavior and contingency-shaped behavior. He has served on several editorial boards, including the Journal of Precision Teaching, the European Journal of Behavior Analysis, and the International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy. He has also served as a reviewer for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, the Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Behavioral Processes, and PLOS ONE. Jesús is a fellow of the Eastern Psychological Association, a trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies and a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.




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