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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Paper Session #352
Expanding Behavior Analysis to Criminal Investigations
Sunday, May 29, 2022
5:30 PM–5:55 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 156B
Area: PCH
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Kodey Lai (Arizona State University)
Expanding Behavior Analysis to Criminal Investigations
Domain: Theory
KODEY LAI (Arizona State University)
Abstract: Criminal investigations today employ many tools, and some are used without absolute standards or, in many cases, rigorous scientific evidence. If the United States government can severely impact an individual’s life by placing them in prison using techniques lacking standards and scientific evidence, it is critical that evidence is beyond a reasonable doubt. While these tools are not all that is needed for a ruling, they are used to help find and predict the behavior of unknown subjects during criminal investigations. Behavior Analysis today is designed to understand human behavior to the point of having some prediction and control. But tools like criminal profiling, crime mapping, and statement analysis that are used to predict future behavior use a mentalistic ideology. Behavior Analysis abides by rigorous standards and protocols but has been unable to avoid the narrow scope of developmental disabilities. In the cases of the U.S. court systems, however, this might be more ethical. If behavior analysis is supposed to understand behavior, one must ask whether Behavior Analysis can predict or influence future criminal behavior. This paper proposes an increase in collaboration to further expand behavior analysis and a scientific standard for criminal investigations.



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