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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Panel #396
CE Offered: BACB/QABA — 
Diversity submission Why Language Matters in a Social Justice Framework: Exploring the Implications of Language on Social Issues and Developing New Verbal Repertoires (A Compassion and Social Justice: Contributor Series)
Monday, May 31, 2021
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Area: CSS/PCH; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: Lauren Schnell, Ph.D.
Chair: Meredith Andrews (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
ERIN DONOVAN (Beautiful Humans Change; Capella University)
LAUREN SCHNELL (Hunter College)
LAUREN ALICIA GOODWYN (Seton Hall University)

Our verbal behaviour is an essential skill for navigating our social world and our inability to understand the value of the words we use can contribute to social conflicts, aggression, racial bias, prejudice, discrimination, and many other social issues. In an effort to combat these societal limitations and move towards an inclusive culture in which everyone’s individuality is championed; our language must be explored and compassion, perspective-taking, and empathy must be promoted. In this panel we will discuss a behavior-analytic description of perspective-taking and its role in establishing compassion skills and utility in social justice, overcome the deeply ingrained societal gender binary system in favour of a compassionate, gender expansive society, and how our language establishes and can topple societal prejudice. Behaviour analysis can replace current behaviours around social relations and replace them with compassion. The anticipated result would lead to impactful acquisition of social justice rights for those from marginalized populations.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Target Audience:

Intermediate - BCBAs and BCBA-Ds ~ A discussion on verbal behaviour and ways in which our language informs our social world and the need to see the value of the words we use as it relates to social conflicts (e.g., aggression, racial bias, prejudice, discrimination, and many other social issues).

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) learn verbal behavioural strategies to engage in compassion, perspective-taking, and empathy; (2) recognizing the importance of language in societal injustices towards marginalized groups; (3) promoting a workplace culture in which language matters and developing anti-discriminatory practices and policies
Keyword(s): Compassion, perspective taking, relational frame, verbal behavior



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