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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #501
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Skinnerian Themes in Psychology
Monday, May 30, 2022
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 154
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
Chair: Michael D. Hixson (Central Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Michael D. Hixson, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: MURRAY J. GODDARD (University of New Brunswick)

Selected writings of B. F. Skinner will be shown to have several, sometimes quite striking, similarities with current psychological research. This includes research supporting Skinner’s position that the environment can alter human behavior outside conscious awareness and research by Daniel Wegner and Emily Pronin supporting Skinner’s warnings that introspection is a common, but flawed, habit in folk psychology. In addition, Skinner’s writings will be shown to be compatible with the critical psychiatry movement and (perhaps surprisingly) some shared worldviews between B. F. Skinner and Noam Chomsky will be outlined.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Behavior analysts, psychologists, graduate students

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss current research supporting Skinner’s position that the environment can alter human behavior outside conscious awareness; (2) identify similarities between Skinner’s writings with Daniel Wegner’s “illusion of conscious will” and Emily Pronin’s “introspective illusion”; (3) outline how Skinner’s emphasis on the environmental determinants of behavior is shared by the critical psychiatry movement; and (4) articulate some compatibilities in the worldviews of B. F. Skinner and Noam Chomsky.
MURRAY J. GODDARD (University of New Brunswick)
Murray Goddard is an Honorary Research Professor at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. He received his PhD in 1987 from McMaster University under the supervision of Herb Jenkins, a leading researcher in Pavlovian conditioning and a pioneer in the development of the autoshaping preparation. As a graduate student, Herb Jenkins had also occasionally served as B. F. Skinner’s teaching assistant at Harvard. From 1993-1994, Murray was a Research Scientist at Duke University and was the recipient of a University Merit Award in 1999 and a University Teaching Award in 2002 and 2012. His previous research explored fundamental associative processes in Pavlovian conditioning and was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. His current research explores similarities between the writings of B. F. Skinner and current research in psychology, the critical psychiatry and critical psychology movements, and the writings of Noam Chomsky.



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