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.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Panel #77
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission It's Not Just Racism: The Framing of Political Extremism
Saturday, May 27, 2023
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 2B
Area: CSS; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: Natalie A. Parks, Ph.D.
Chair: Ryan Sain (Mary Baldwin University)
NATALIE A. PARKS (Saint Louis University)

In the United States, it is sometimes taken for granted that those who stand for Black Lives Matter are also pro-choice and anti-death penalty, even though these topics and issues are not clearly interrelated functionally or topographically. Have you wondered why those who practice racism also seem to practice homophobism, are pro-life, and believe in cutting taxes? To move towards a more socially just society, we must first understand the interrelatedness of seemingly unrelated topics including racism, classism, ageism, abortion, taxation, abolishing police, and freedom. Stimulus class formation occurs when a group of stimuli evoke functionally similar responses. The panelists and chair of this presentation have conducted preliminary exploratory research and hypothesized that stimulus classes exist that evoke responses with topics that are seemingly different, both topographically and functionally, often sometimes contradictory. Further, we will discuss how to identify functional reinforcers that establish beliefs (i.e., verbal behavior) and actions. A conversation regarding stimulus equivalence and nonequivalence of extremist parties will occur, focusing on the behavioral phenomena that both form and maintain these classes as well as how to change them.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

This panel discusses interlocking contingencies, stimulus class formation, and stimulus equivalence and nonequivalence. Participants should be well versed in these topics prior to attending.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Identify how stimulus classes that contain seemingly unrelated topographical and functional classes form 2. State how the development of extremist groups are the similar 3. Identify at least one strategy to change a stimulus class to move away from extremism and towards a more socially just society
Keyword(s): classism, diversity, interlocking contingencies, stimulus equivalence



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