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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Invited Paper Session #182A
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Behavior Analysis and Racial Prejudice: Empirical Research and Perspectives for Intervention
Sunday, May 28, 2023
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Convention Center 401/402
Area: TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Daniel Mark Fienup (Teachers College, Columbia University)
CE Instructor: Julio C. De Rose, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: JULIO C. DE ROSE (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract: Behavior analysis has much to contribute to the study of prejudice, and in particular racial prejudice. Well-established behavioral processes are involved in this complex social phenomenon. These processes include discrimination and generalization, stimulus equivalence and other kinds of derived relations, and the transfer or transformation of stimulus functions. This presentation will consider studies dealing with one particular aspect of prejudice: relational responding linking racial groups with negative attributes. Some studies with children have shown that it is possible to reverse such prejudicial relations in the laboratory, and that the reversion may persist for several weeks. Furthermore, current studies are attempting to address some important questions raised by these earlier works, such as: 1) How sensitive and valid are our measures of relations between races and attributes? 2) How can we increase the effectiveness of procedures to counteract these relations? 3) Can similar procedures be effective with older participants, such as adolescents and adults? 4) Can the findings of such research be useful to generate educational interventions against prejudice? Behavior analysis shows potential to make a meaningful contribution to the understanding and change of racial prejudice but needs to increase research efforts to address critical questions so far unanswered.
Instruction Level: Advanced
Target Audience:

Researchers and students interested in the behavioral aspects of prejudice and in possibilities of intervention.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Identify behavior principles involved in racial prejudice; (2) Describe and discuss experimental procedures to investigate prejudice as well as how to counteract it; (3) Identify shortcomings of the behavior-analytic research on prejudice and directions for future development; (4) Identify perspectives for intervention on prejudice.
JULIO C. DE ROSE (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Ph.D. at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, in 1981, and postdoctoral Fulbright fellow at the Shriver Center for Mental Retardation, in Waltham, MA (1984-6). Currently, Professor of Psychology at the Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil, and Research Director of the Brazilian National Institute of Science and Technology on Behavior, Cognition and Teaching. Author or co-author of more than 170 articles and chapters on experimental, applied, and conceptual Behavior Analysis. Served in the editorial boards of several international journals in the field of Behavior Analysis, and currently Associate Editor of The Psychological Record.



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