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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Symposium #278
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Diversity submission Acting to Save the World: An Update on Projects of the Behaviorists for Social Responsibility SIG
Sunday, May 30, 2021
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Area: CSS; Domain: Theory
Chair: Michaela Smith (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Richard F. Rakos (Cleveland State University)
CE Instructor: Traci M. Cihon, Ph.D.

The Behaviorists for Social Responsibility Special Interest Group (BFSR SIG) is interested in addressing B.F. Skinner’s question, “Why are we not acting to save the world?”. The mission of BFSR is to expand applications of behavior analysis and cultural analysis addressing global issues such as social justice, environmental justice, and human rights. The primary focus of BFSR has been on expanding the work of Biglan (1995) and Mattaini (2013), using a matrix analysis to identify the practices that support, oppose, motivate, and select the development and utilization of scientific behavioral systems to address social issues. The work of the Matrix Project has resulted in the identification of 28 societal sectors. Working groups, informed by the larger Matrix Project, further develop these sectors, apply the matrix analyses to important issues, and develop resources to affect change. This symposium will highlight the work of several of these working groups. The first presentation will provide an overview of the BFSR Matrix Project and will describe the development of an online training system to support BFSR Matrix Project volunteers. The remaining presentations will highlight the work that is being conducted by three BFSR working groups: sustainability; education, diversity, equity, and inclusion; and community resilience.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): community resiliance, cultural analysis, diversity, sustainability
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe how to apply a matrix analysis to address social issues; (2) explain how a matrix analysis helps to identify the interdependencies among environmental variables that evoke or sustain practices related to social issues; (3) identify at least one action step that they can take as a behavior analyst to become involved in addressing social issues.
Diversity submission Diversity submission An Introduction and Brief Overview of the Behaviorists for Social Responsibility Special Interest Group’s Matrix Project
MICHAELA SMITH (University of North Texas)
Abstract: The matrix analysis, adapted from Kurt Lewin’s (1951) force field analysis methodology, was expanded by Biglan (1995) and Mattaini (2013) to consider large, complex societal issues and examples of nonviolent struggles, respectively. Their work focused on adding the environmental variables that evoke and sustain the actions of key actors and sectors and the interdependencies among them. Mattaini and Luke (2014) built upon this work and initiated the BFSR Matrix Project. The aim of which is to increase the application of culturo-behavioral systems science to critical societal sectors and to increase the number of behavior analysts interested in culturo-behavioral systems science as applied to social issues. Since 2014, BFSR volunteers have identified 28 critical sectors, and have formed several topic-specific working groups that span multiple sectors. The working groups are responsible for systematically analyzing the sector or issue, developing and arranging environmental variables that promote and sustain desired practices, considering the resulting shifts, and revising the sector/issue as determined by the data. The purpose of this presentation is to provide a summary of the BFSR Matrix Project, give an overview of the current working groups, and briefly introduce a newly developed online training for future BFSR Matrix Project volunteers.
Diversity submission Diversity submission It Takes a Village: Working Together to Address a Super Wicked Problem
HOLLY SENIUK (Behavior Analyst Certification Board), Traci M. Cihon (University of North Texas), Molli Luke (Behavior Analyst Certification Board), Molly Benson (Bershire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy), Jonathan W. Kimball (Behavior Development Solutions), Julia H. Fiebig (Ball State University; Applied Global Initiatives LLC), Sarah Lichtenberger (Behavior Analyst Certification Board)
Abstract: Climate change has been identified as a “super wicked problem” and is the most pressing issue facing humanity today. The sustainability working group of the Behaviorists for Social Responsibility Special Interest Group (BFSR SIG) is focused on applying the matrix analysis to facilitate the growth of behavior analysts working in the area of sustainability. The sustainability working group has created resources to help behavior analysts connect with the sustainability literature and identify action steps to begin work in this area (e.g., bibliography, interviews). The working group is currently working collaboratively with the Behavior Analysis for Sustainable Societies (BASS) SIG using the matrix analysis to identify the practices that ABAI SIGs can engage in to support practices that encourage behavior analysts to address sustainability within their selected special interest areas. The primary goal is to identify several immediately feasible and some more challenging but doable practices and to then create the resources necessary to support these practices. This presentation will highlight the work of the sustainability working group, describe the resources created, and share the future goals of the working group.
Diversity submission Diversity submission Expanding Behavioral Systems Work Among Behavior Analysts: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Education Working Group
TEMPLE S LOVELACE (Duquesne University), Jovonnie L. Esquierdo-Leal (University of Nevada, Reno), Nahoma Maytal Presberg (Behaviorists for Social Responsibility), Holly Seniuk (Behavior Analyst Certification Board), Traci M. Cihon (University of North Texas), Valdeep Saini (Brock University)
Abstract: In the midst of a new social movement, there is a clarion call for educational efforts and actions that address age-old social issues such as systemic racism, poverty, environmental justice, and more. To begin developing content pertaining to these issues, members of the Behaviorists for Social Responsibility Special Interest Group (BFSR SIG) of ABAI initiated the Matrix Project. Within this effort, members identified specific practices that contribute to expanding and promoting behavioral systems work among 28 societal sectors, including behavior analysis programs, students, and faculty. The Education Diversity Equity and Inclusion working group of BFSR has used the matrix analysis to identify resources that serve as antecedents for practices to train students and professionals in social and environmental issues such as sample course units on sustainability. This presentation will focus on the findings of a recent needs assessment administered by the DEI working group to inform the development of resources that behavior analysis faculty and practitioners can use to integrate social issue topics into their current practice. Implications of the findings as well as future initiatives will be discussed.
Diversity submission Diversity submission Pathways to Recovery: Community Resilience
KHADIJAH AL-FARAJ (National University, Elk Grove Unified School District ), Jose Ardila (University of Nevada)
Abstract: System level factors are key to understanding major structural issues facing current communities, including climate change, violence, racial and gender discrimination, and global refugee crises. Human communities also face increasing threats to their cultural survival from weather and social disasters, demanding immediate and long-term action plans. Intervening on community practices to address these issues is challenging, especially when urgent action is needed to recover from immediate disasters (e.g., hurricanes, mass shootings).There are at least three necessary “behavioral-system kernels” in the pathway to community recovery: preparedness plans (prepare), reactive measures (react), and resilient actions (recover).The goals pursued by the community resilience subcommittee, therefore, are (a) assemble resources to make it easier for behavior analysts and students of behavior analysis to study systemic factors associated with community resilience and (b) build assessment tools to evaluate community resilience. An overview of the notion of community resilience in behavior analysis and subcommittee efforts in this area will be explained in this presentation.



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