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.


11th International Conference; Dublin, Ireland; 2022

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #3
How Applied Behaviour Analysis May Benefit From a Taxonomy of Science Communication Aims
Friday, September 2, 2022
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Area: AUT/CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Julian C. Leslie (Ulster University)
CE Instructor: Olive Healy, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: OLIVE HEALY (Trinity College Dublin)

For many years authority figures in the science of behaviour analysis have attempted to place a spotlight on the conspicuous factors that have acted as impediments to the dissemination and utility of the strategies and interventions drawn from basic and applied science findings in this field. A number of these impediments have been empirically investigated and some have been described in relation to a misrepresentation of the science to the general public. Ongoing research shows that these impediments continue to present a significant challenge to researchers and practitioners specifically in the application of behaviour change procedures to those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. More importantly, ongoing impediments to dissemination and implementation of effective practices may prevent numerous individuals who may truly benefit from science-based behavioural methods to improve in many areas of their lives. This presentation addresses why behaviour analysis may still be considered a generic science and provides an analytical framework of science communication to bridge the gap between behaviour analysis findings and the public including education, health and social care sectors as well as stakeholders themselves. It will be argued that one of the most important elements of such a framework should ensure that a diversity of perspectives about the applications of behaviour analysis held by different groups are considered when solutions to the dissemination of behaviour analytic strategies are pursued.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Students of Behaviour Analysis, practitioners in the field of Behaviour Analysis, professionals interested in behavior change, researchers within the field of developmental disabilities and behavior change.

Learning Objectives: The audience will be able to (1) describe the characteristics of science communication; (2) identify the aspects of applied behavior analysis that could benefit from reframing within a science communication framework; (3) understand a framework of science communication for the dissemination of behavior change strategies; (4) describe ways in which the applications of behavior analysis could become a mainstream strength in relevant sectors.
OLIVE HEALY (Trinity College Dublin)
Dr. Olive Healy is a Behavioural Psychologist and Doctoral Board Certified Behaviour Analyst® with over 20 years of clinical expertise in neurodevelopmental disorders including Autism. She is Director of the Masters programme in Applied Behaviour Analysis at the School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin. After serving for seven years as Lecturer in Psychology (2006-2013) at NUI Galway, Olive joined the School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin and is now an Associate Professor in Psychology. Olive negotiated with government to establish the first state-funded evidence-based school in Ireland under the auspices of the Comprehensive Application of Behaviour Analysis to Schooling® in 1998. She spent 10 years engaged in knowledge transfer from leading scholars at Columbia University NY to expert schooling established to educate children with autism and complex needs in Ireland. Olive lead the establishment of five further evidence-based educational centres for Autism and disseminated knowledge and skills through ongoing collaboration with US experts. She was a founding director of the first research centre for neurodevelopmental disorders in Ireland at NUI Galway in 2012. Her research focuses on the treatment of challenging behaviour and co-morbid conditions in Autism and related developmental disorders. She now acts as Principal Investigator of an Enterprise Ireland funded project InterAcT (Accomplish & Thrive) within Trinity College Dublin. She is Associate Editor of four leading international journals contributing to peer review and research dissemination in the field of behavioural psychology. She has authored over 80 academic papers and book chapters published in both behaviour-analytic and mainstream psychology journals.



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