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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Special Event #14
CE Offered: BACB
Opening Event and Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis Award Ceremony
Saturday, May 28, 2022
8:00 AM–9:20 AM
Ballroom Level 3; Ballroom East/West
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Erin B. Rasmussen (Idaho State University)
CE Instructor: Erin B. Rasmussen, Ph.D.

SABA Award for Distinguished Service: Deisy de Souza


A Long-Lasting Partnership for the Study of Symbolic Behavior From a Behavioral Perspective

This presentation will summarize the achievements of The National Institute of Science and Technology on Behavior, Cognition, and Teaching, as an example of a collective effort in developing and applying Behavior Analysis to the understanding of relational learning and symbolic behavior. I have been coordinating the Institute since 2008, but its foundations were laid long before, under the leadership of Carolina Bori, Maria Amelia Matos, and Julio de Rose. Strong contributions from the E.K. Shriver Center research group and other internationally renowned researchers also helped to shape our research theme, which has been explored in basic, translational, and applied research. The Institute’s Basic research program is devoted to the development of new knowledge and new methodologies relevant to the understanding of symbolic function. The translational research component seeks the validation of new principles or procedures derived from basic studies in preliminary clinical/educational trials. The applied research component intends to develop feasible solutions to the challenge of providing scientifically based procedures in typical service settings, such as schools, clinics, etc. The integration of these research components demonstrates how basic, translational, and applied research constitute a continuum, leading from basic knowledge to service implementation. The Institute has devoted considerable effort in developing teaching programs to promote symbolic behavior and to remedy deficits in this repertoire, aiming to reach increasingly larger groups. Over the years, we have reported the main results of reading programs, but the Institute has also invested in math, music, and second language acquisition, and their prerequisites, with a particular interest in some challenging populations that may need intervention for the development or rehabilitation of symbolic repertoires. The Institute has also invested in the formation of human resources at all levels, from undergraduate students to post-doc researchers, many of which have been incorporated as members of the research team, thus increasing the Institute’s potential for research and application.

DEISY DE SOUZA (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)

Deisy de Souza is Full Professor at the Psychology Department, Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar), Brazil, where she teaches behavior analysis in graduate and undergraduate courses in Psychology, and in Special Education. She obtained her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology at Universidade de São Paulo (USP), under the direction of Carolina Bori, and she held a post-doctoral position at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, in Charlie Catania’s Laboratory. She has published articles on avoidance behavior, choice, discriminative learning, and cooperative behavior in non-human subjects, and articles, books, and book chapters on human relational learning, including studies applying the stimulus equivalence paradigm to investigate the acquisition of symbolic relations involved in reading and writing repertoires, and to develop curricula to teach those skills. She is past-Editor of the Brazilian Journal of Behavior Analysis (BJBA), past-Associate Editor of Acta Comportamentalia, and she is currently a member of the Board of Editors of JEAB. She was President and member of the Council of the Brazilian Association of Psychology and member of the Brazilian Association of Psychology and Behavioral Medicine. She received the 2015 Distinguished Contributions to the Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Award from the Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Special Interest Group (EAHB SIG), she is a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), and she is currently the International Representative in the ABAI Executive Council and in the SABA Board of Directors.


SABA Award for Scientific Translation: Stephen Higgins


Leveraging the Reinforcement Process to Improve Health

This presentation will briefly review how the reinforcement process underpins drug use and addiction and can be leveraged to reduce illicit and licit drug use. This potential also extends to improving other challenging public-health problems (e.g., preventing unplanned pregnancies) and adherence with life-saving secondary prevention interventions (e.g., cardiac rehabilitation). Because these health problems are often overrepresented in socio-economically disadvantaged populations, reinforcement-based interventions are also important to reducing health disparities.

STEPHEN HIGGINS (University of Vermont)
Stephen T. Higgins, Ph.D., is Director of the University of Vermont’s Center on Behavior and Health, and Principal Investigator on multiple NIH grants on the general topic of behavior and health, including an NIGMS Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) award, a NIDA/FDA Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science award, and a NIDA institutional training award. He is the Virginia H. Donaldson Endowed Professor of Translational Science in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychological Science. He has held many national scientific leadership positions, including terms as President of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence and the American Psychological Association’s Division on Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse. He has received numerous national awards for research excellence including a 2001 NIH-MERIT Award (NIDA), 2001 Don Hake Basic/Applied Research Award (Div 25, APA), 2011 Brady-Schuster Award for Outstanding Behavioral Science Contributions to Psychopharmacoloy or Substance Abuse (Div 28, APA), and a 2017 Mentorship Award (College on Problems of Drug Dependence). He is the author of more than 425 journal articles and invited book chapters and editor of a dozen volumes and therapist manuals in behavior and health.

SABA Award for International Dissemination: Carbone Clinic


“We Happy Few, But Why So Few?”: Dissemination of Radical Behaviorism as a Response to Skinner

In 1981, at the Association for Behavior Analysis annual meeting in Milwaukee, B. F. Skinner presented his “We Happy Few” paper. He lamented about the small number of behavior analysts ready to solve societal problems with behavior analytic methods. In the 40-year period since Skinner’s remarks there has been a substantial increase in the number of behavior analysts. The majority of these individuals are applied behavior analysts responding to the demand for their service to children and adults with autism. While these behavior analysts are addressing a social issue of extreme importance, does their training also prepare them to disseminate the philosophy of radical behaviorism through their daily interactions leading to cultural benefits, e.g., end poverty, eliminate societal inequities, etc? Schlinger (2015) suggests that graduate training programs in behavior analysis that are responding to the demands of the autism epidemic, are not taking advantage of the opportunity to broaden the influence of the field by providing training in the conceptual and theoretical aspects of behavior analysis. Through the Carbone Clinics’ efforts to meet the needs of children with autism internationally, we have acknowledged the need for training in the philosophy of our science by incorporating heavy emphasis upon radical behaviorism. This emphasis can be found in our approach to treatment, trainings and workshops as well exposing our staff to a generalized approach consistent with Michael’s (1977) notion of “Radical Behaviorism as a Way of Life.” Where and how we have approached this dual-purposed mission of international dissemination will be discussed during this brief talk.

Dr. Vincent J. Carbone is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctorate and New York State Licensed Behavior Analyst. He received his graduate training in behavior analysis at Drake University and a doctorate in education from Nova-Southeastern University. He ecurrently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Penn State University and previously taught in the graduate programs in Behavior Analysis at the European Institute for the Study of Human Behavior (IESCUM), in Parma, Italy, and at the Medical School at the University of Salerno, Salerno, Italy. His behavior analytic research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, Behavior Modification, and others. He has provided the requisite university training to hundreds of board certified behavior analysts in the U.S. and internationally. He is the 2017 recipient of the “Jack Michael Outstanding Contributions in Verbal Behavior Award” from the Association for Behavior Analysis International’s Verbal Behavior Special Interest Group. Currently, he serves as the director of the Carbone Clinics in London, UK and Dubai, UAE. All clinics provide behavior analytic consultation, training and therapeutic services to children and young adults with autism and developmental disabilities. The Carbone Clinic is the 2022 recipient of the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis (SABA) award for “International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis”. Dr. Carbone currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the B. F. Skinner Foundation.

SABA Award for Enduring Programmatic Contributions: Drake University


The Nonlinear Path of Drake University’s Program in Applied Behavior Analysis

The history of the behavior analysis program at Drake University is long and has undoubtedly experienced a nonlinear path over the last 50 years. Scott Wood, Kenneth and Maggie Lloyd were instrumental in initiating the Master’s program at Drake University in 1974. Four new positions that were added in 1974 were filled by behavior analysts including William Klipec and Larry Alferink in the experimental analysis of behavior (EAB), and John Williams and Maryann Powers in applied analysis of behavior (AAB). Through the seventies the program earned a strong national reputation for excellence in both EAB and AAB with an additional specialists’ degree in school psychology. During this time, in the mid to late 70s, the department, and its faculty, was a prime mover in the organization of Midwestern Association of Behavior Analysis (MABA) and the separation from Midwestern Psychological Association (MPA), which ultimately lead to the formation of the Association of Behavior Analysis (ABA; later added International; ABAI). Despite the contributions to the field, the weight of factors that contributed to its success ultimately led to the demise of the program during the late 80s. Nonetheless, the department continued its emphasis on behavior analysis and continued to send undergraduates to doctoral programs in behavior analysis developed in the 80s. Through the 2000’s, faculty in the program have worked to address the need for behavior analysts within Iowa with faculty holding leadership positions within the Iowa Association for Behavior Analysis. Their contributions led to licensure within the State of Iowa for behavior analysts and professional recognition by the Board of Educational Examiners thus continuing to impact the landscape of the profession on a broader scale. Dr. Klipec will expand upon the history of the department describing the height of the program and the pressures faced at a small liberal arts institution.

WILLIAM KLIPEC (Drake University)
Dr. Klipec received a B.A. from Kent State University, a M.A. from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Arizona. His main field is behavioral neuroscience and biological bases of learning. Dr. Klipec's primary instructional areas are statistics and research design, learning, and history of psychology and history of neuroscience. His research uses behavioral pharmacology, and electro-encephalography (EEG) recorded from rat brains during ongoing performance of behavioral tasks to investigate the relationship between the mesolimbic reinforcement systems and basic learning processes. Recent research has investigated the relationship between EEG and rat models of Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia, and the role of cellular mechanisms in dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area in cocaine addiction.

Honoring the Legacies of Illustrious Contributors to the Science of Behavior


With sadness and great admiration, we pay tribute to several remarkable individuals who left tremendous footprints in our field. We honor the legacy left behind by these friends, colleagues, and mentors whose contributions are indelible in the fabric of our discipline. While they may be lost to us, the importance of their research, writing, and the many people they have inspired will endure for decades to come.

Target Audience:

All convention registrants are welcome and encouraged to attend.




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