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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Symposium #297
CE Offered: BACB
Human Development in Psychological Perspective
Sunday, May 29, 2022
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 102A
Area: DEV/PCH; Domain: Theory
Chair: Laura Barcelos Nomicos (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Genevieve M DeBernardis (University of Nevada, Reno)
CE Instructor: Mitch Fryling, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium focuses on the broad topic of human development. The first presentation focuses on the study of human development, generally speaking, and considers on how behavior analysts have contributed to work in this area. Behavior analytic contributions will be considered in the context of other developmental work, and the distinguishing features of behavior analytic work will be highlighted. The second half of this presentation provides an overview of the interbehavioral distinctions between biological, psychological, and cultural development, with implications for strengthening both disciplinary and interdisciplinary work. The second presentation focuses on the topic of aging in particular, describing biological, psychological, and cultural aspects of the aging process. The author will consider particular topics pertinent to aging (e.g., memory), and how psychological processes associated with these topics develop as we age. Finally, the discussant of the symposium will provide comments on each of the presentations. In particular, drawing upon their expertise in child development, the discussant will relate the presentations to larger themes within the developmental literature.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): development, interbehavioral
Target Audience: Intermediate audience - pre-requisite skills involve general understanding of basic behavioral principles, radical behaviorism, and an interest in conceptual analysis.
Learning Objectives: 1) Describe challenges associated with the study of human development 2) Distinguish between biological, psychological, and cultural development 3) Explain two behavioral processes associated with aging
Human Development in Behavior Analysis
MITCH FRYLING (California State University, Los Angeles)
Abstract: Understanding human development is fundamental to many disciplines and fields of work, including psychology, biology, education, medicine, and more. Indeed, in applied settings developmental knowledge may help to identify appropriate goals for intervention, understand what to expect and when, and more. While all of this work may be similar in the focus on studying sequences of events, or how one thing leads to another, the study of human development is broad and may focus on distinct areas. This presentation considers how behavior analysts have contributed to the study of human development, including both conceptual analyses and empirical research. Strengths of this work will be highlighted, and opportunities for further behavior analytic work in this area will be described. Finally, drawing upon interbehavioral psychology, the presentation will review the distinction between biological, behavioral, and cultural development, and provide examples related to everyday life. Distinguishing between these different types of development may strengthen the work in each of the respective areas as well as facilitate interdisciplinary efforts.
The Unbecoming of Age
LINDA J. PARROTT HAYES (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Along with changes of a biological sort, and in keeping with them, as individual’s psychological repertoire deteriorates with advancing age. Some changes of the biological sort, such as failing eyesight or hearing loss, may be remediated by eyeglasses or a hearing aid. Bones and joints may be fortified or replaced, and so on. So valuable is the property of youth in culture that the deterioration of biological characteristics is resisted, an intention facilitated by the partially implicit character of perception. And the tendency to resist aging becomes even more pronounced for women who, by virtue of the additional value attached to beauty, aspire to maintain this property in themselves beyond the natural course of its demise. By contrast, the deterioration of the psychological repertoire, as observed in memorial and intellectual difficulties, is not so readily corrected. For the most part, these changes are failures of responding with respect to verbally attributed and substitutive properties of stimuli, coupled with the disruptions to other activities produced by them. This presentation is focused on the psychological aspects of aging including the nature and implications of the repertorial decline, as well as the reasons and means by which it resisted and disguised.



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