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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Symposium #203
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Behavior Analysis, Functional Relationships, and Criminal Justice
Sunday, May 28, 2023
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom H
Area: PCH/CSS; Domain: Theory
Chair: Jurnee Skylar Dunn (Salem State University)
CE Instructor: Darlene E. Crone-Todd, M.A.
Abstract: There are many ways that behavior analysis can be helpful in the study of criminal behavior or the criminal justice system. An understanding of both the individual contingencies that lead to criminal behavior such as homicide, and the more complex interlocking behavioral contingencies that shape individuals and the collective behavior of citizens, police officers/law enforcement, lawyers, and judges are important for both understanding and predicting behavior. In this symposium, the presentations will cover these contingency analyses, and one will provide an overview of how our science of behavior can allow behavior analysts to branch out to areas such as the prevention of domestic violence, organizational behavior management for police officers, and restoration programs for competency to stand trial. Thus, the symposium will cover how understanding behavioral contingencies and functional relationships are essential in all these levels of analysis and application.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Criminal Justice, Diversity, Expanding ABA, Functional Relationships
Target Audience: Basic knowledge of behavior analytical principles.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to apply behavior-analytic principles to the criminal justice system, recognize behavioral contingencies that are outside the realm of developmental disabilities and creatively think about the diversity in behavior analysis.
Diversity submission 

Interlocking Behavioral Contingencies in the Criminal Justice System

Brooke Mann (Salem State University), DARLENE E. CRONE-TODD (Salem State University)

Operant behavior is strengthened or weakened by consequences that vary in terms of magnitude, quality, and variability. An individual’s history of reinforcement and punishment are therefore important in predicting behavior, and this includes choices people make in each moment of time. When people choose between immediate and long-term consequences, important factors include time constraints, training history, and magnitude and probability of threat versus avoidance of threat/aversive outcome. Within the criminal justice system, there are interlocking behavioral contingencies working at the meta level that involve the interplay between groups of people undergoing a variety of these factors. The factors shape the individual and collective behavior of citizens, police officers/law enforcement, lawyers, judges, etc. In this presentation, we will focus on a model of how the interlocking behavioral contingencies intersect, and why behavioral skills training is important.

Diversity submission Behavior Analysis Assists the Criminal Justice System
TIMOTHY TEMPLIN ( Endicott College)
Abstract: There are many uses of behavior analysis to further the study of criminology, or otherwise assist in criminal or civil legal proceedings, as well as juvenile or adult correctional programs. Areas of interest related to this field have been reviewed in the literature, and in current practice, for this presentation. Among areas where ABA can branch into criminal justice include prevention of domestic violence, organizational behavior management for police officers, and restoration programs for competency to stand trial. The dissemination of ABA within the criminal justice field is also important, and the different areas of focus are covered by the Forensic Applied Behavior Analysis (FABA) Special Interest Group (SIG) within the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).
Diversity submission Behavioral Contingencies in Homicide
KODEY LAI (Arizona State University)
Abstract: Behavior analysis has the goal of being able to change behavior, specifically to describe, predict and control behavior. The assumption is that an individual’s learning history will affect their chosen actions and behaviors. Using this assumption, behavior analysis claims to predict and control behavior. There should be consistency in how homicide offenders act using this principle, in their past behavior, criminal history, and behaviors at the crime scene. Information from an individual’s learning history of previous years should therefore make it easier to predict homicide offenders. In this presentation, behavior analytic principles will be used to analyze behaviors and permanent products that are observable at the crime scene to show characteristics that should be present in everyday life, even with offenders of homicide.



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Modifed by Eddie Soh