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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Poster Session #522
PCH Monday Poster Session: Even-Numbered Posters
Monday, May 30, 2022
2:00 PM–3:00 PM
Exhibit Level; Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Joseph D. Dracobly (University of North Texas)
34. Human Rights, Applied Work, and Helping Others in Behavior Science
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
JOSE ARDILA (University of Nevada), Will Fleming (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno), Wilson López-López (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana)
Discussant: Joseph D. Dracobly (University of North Texas)
Abstract: The concept of human rights is central to applied work of behavior scientists, especially of those working closely with communities. However, a technical account of human rights is lacking in the literature. At present, there are multiple cultural behavioristic orientations towards constructing theory on human rights. We argue that a field-oriented analysis of human rights is, therefore, warranted at this point. Specifically, this paper addresses the issue of human rights relying on two recently developed interbehavioral concepts pertaining to cultural events: cultural reaction systems (Fleming & Hayes, 2021), and power and sanction contingencies (Ribes et al., 2016). Our aims are identifying and defining social contingencies involved in the protection of human rights, as well as those involved in their violation. Although we understand social contingencies as those comprising the behavior of two or more individuals, we will depart from a strict Skinnerian perspective of social behavior and culture. Using the Colombian cultural context as an ongoing example, relations between human rights and the role of psychologists in community work will be identified.
36. Investigating the Acceptability of Interventions Described in Behavior Analytic Jargon
Area: PCH; Domain: Applied Research
HAILEY EVELYN DONOHUE (University of the Pacific), Matthew P. Normand (University of the Pacific)
Discussant: Joseph D. Dracobly (University of North Texas)
Abstract: a. Some have argued that behavior analysts have insulated themselves by eschewing the vernacular and adopting idiosyncratic and sometimes counterintuitive technical terms to describe their science and practice. Because of this, behavior analysis plays a minor role in psychology and related fields and effective behavior-change interventions go unused. All told, studies evaluating the effects of behavior-analytic jargon are mixed. Studies that provided technical terms independent of context have produced unfavorable results, whereas studies that have provided technical terms in context have produced positive or neutral results, overall. This study evaluated the effects of behavioral jargon on the acceptability ratings of several applied behavior analysis interventions described in terms of varying target behaviors, populations, and settings. Participants were adults living in the US recruited via Amazon mTurk. In a virtual survey, we presented brief vignettes adapted from published research articles that were described in either jargon or non-jargon versions. All vignettes were rated as acceptable. There were no appreciable differences in the rated acceptability of interventions described with or without jargon based on visual inspection of the graphed data.
Diversity submission 38. A Critique of Colonialism and Modern Aid in Africa: What Would Skinner Say?
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
NICOLE RENEE SMILAK (Endicott College; Encompass International), Robert F. Putnam (May Institute)
Discussant: Joseph D. Dracobly (University of North Texas)
Abstract: In Skinner’s chapter titled The Ethics of Helping People, he states, "By giving too much help, we postpone the acquisition of effective behavior and perpetuate the need for help" (Skinner, 1978, p. 63). Through years of living cross-culturally in various African countries, the first author has seen this demonstrated not only in organizations but also as part of the very fabric of society. The detrimental effects of helping and its impact, as described by Skinner, are especially evident in African countries that were formerly colonized and continue through the delivery of modern aid by western nations. Robust reinforcement contingencies surround the helper and the helped, which creates and maintains a reciprocal dominating/dependent relationship that has stifled growth in the past and continues to do so in the present. Considering that behavior analysis was born in the western world, any dissemination efforts to formerly colonized African countries will perpetuate the power dynamic conceived from colonial 'helping' practices. In this paper, suggestions will be outlined for behavior analysts interested in international dissemination, specifically looking at the role of participatory community development in alleviating colonial relations between these regions.



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