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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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #445
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Not Quite Human: Black Folks, Racialization, and Social Context
Monday, May 31, 2021
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Tom G. Szabo (Florida Institute of Technology)
CE Instructor: Tom G. Szabo, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: BRUCE HAYNES (University of California, Davis)

Our actions often seem spontaneous. Motivation for action seems to come mysteriously from within. But B.F. Skinner argued that social behavior is in fact not spontaneous (Skinner, 1938). We are in reality products of our lived experiences. But what happens when we derive fixed rules about other people in the present based on experiences in the past? Skinner was committed to understanding the relationship between the learned categories we deploy in social interactions and the different social contexts that produce meaning (contingencies of reinforcement). Sociologists have detailed how social encounters are taking place within racialized spaces (Lewis 2003; Haynes 2006; Anderson) that marginalize (Eberhardt 2019) and stigmatize (Hughes 1963; Wacquant 2008; Anderson 2011) Black Americans who are widely perceived to be associated with poverty (Duneier 2016)), crime and criminalization (Muhammad 2019), and cultural and social dysfunction (Moynihan 1965). Stigmatization and marginalization leads to a “deficit of credibility” that devalues black voices (Anderson 2011). In this talk, I will link a functional contextual approach (Hayes 1993) to a fuller understanding of the historical context of racial classification and scripted racial differences, and offer behavioral psychologists new ways to better identify contingencies of reinforcement in a social context. This approach is parsimonious and consistent with a radical behavioral world view.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Behavioral Analysis, Psychologists, Social Workers, Clinical Psychologists, School Counselors, Teachers

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) critique the cultural and social context of the American system of racial categorization; (2) analyze the significance of segregation in maintaining the context for the reproducing "systemic racism;" (3) analyze the significance of segregation in maintaining the context for micro aggression and implicit bias.
BRUCE HAYNES (University of California, Davis)
Dr. Haynes was born in Harlem, New York. After receiving his BA in sociology from Manhattanville College, he conducted applied research under sociologist and jury expert Jay Schulman, selecting juries for trials throughout New York State. From there he went on to earn a doctorate in sociology from the City University of New York (1995) and was appointed Assistant Professor of Sociology and African-American Studies at Yale University in 1995. In 2001, he joined the faculty at the University of California, Davis, where he now serves as Professor of Sociology. In addition, he is a Senior Fellow in the Urban Ethnography Project at Yale University. His research interests include ethnographic projects with an eye toward linking everyday social life to the historical contexts in which life unfolds. His work crosses disciplinary boundaries of American Studies, Community and Urban Sociology, Race and Ethnic Relations, Religion, and Jewish Studies while it remains embedded squarely in traditional historical and qualitative methodologies of Sociology.



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