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

Program by Professional Development Series Events: Saturday, May 27, 2023


Panel #11
Diversity submission PDS: Gaining Professional Experience as an International Student
Saturday, May 27, 2023
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Convention Center 401/402
Area: TBA/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Zeinab Hedroj (University of Nebraska Medical Centre (UNMC))
JENNIFER L COOK (University of Manitoba)
NANNI PRESTI (Kore University)
SARAH C. MEAD JASPERSE (Emirates College for Advanced Education)

International students aid in the dissemination of applied behavior analysis to other countries and provide an intersectional and diverse perspective to everyday practice. However, international graduate students in the United States struggle with finding employment during their education per their Verified International Stay Approval (VISA) Restrictions. Student Verified International Study Approval (VISA) Restrictions restrictions curb the professional development of these students which puts them at a disadvantage compared to their peers by the time they graduate. The purpose of this panel is to go over some of the questions and struggles facing international students and to provide them with resources to find professional opportunities to supplement their education. The panel discussion will be compromised of three experts in the field of applied behavior analysis working as educators and clinicians internationally. Each panel member will have an opportunity to discuss their experiences as international scholars, some barriers to practice, and potential solutions to these challenges.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Behavior Analysis, Diversity, Employment, International Students
Panel #47
PDS: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is Not the Only Way: Lessons From Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Supervisees About Multidisciplinary Collaboration
Saturday, May 27, 2023
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Convention Center 406/407
Area: TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Paige Currie (New Directions Child & Adolescent Partial Hospitalization Program/CRCSI)
AMANDA MILES (West Virginia University)
KACEY RENEE FINCH (West Virginia University)
ALANNAH N KNIGHT (Smith Group Behavioral Consulting, Auburn, AL)

Working with a team, in some capacity or another, is an inevitable experience for those working in helping professions. Despite the inevitability and prevalence of working with professionals from other disciplines, these skills are rarely taught outside of in-vivo practice while accruing experience hours. Collaboration with team members who do not share philosophical worldviews for service delivery may be an unfamiliar, and daunting, experience for emerging BCBAs. Panelists have worked in a variety of collaborative settings, including schools, feeding clinics, residential facilities, and outpatient clinics. The panelists have learned valuable lessons through these experiences about effective communication with those from other disciplines, scopes of practice and competence, building and maintaining rapport, collaborative treatment development, and how to navigate disagreements should they arise. This panel will serve to answer questions about navigating interpersonal dynamics when collaborating with other professionals and how to seek out learning opportunities that foster this skill development.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): collaboration, interdisciplinary, supervision
Panel #55
PDS: A Discussion of New Books on Modern Science and Technology, Social Media, and Longtermism
Saturday, May 27, 2023
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 3C
Area: CSS/PCH; Domain: Theory
Chair: Rita Olla (University of Nevada, Reno)
RICHARD F. RAKOS (Cleveland State University)
JONATHAN KRISPIN (Valdosta State University)

Behavior analysts working to address systemic social-cultural problems need a thorough understanding of the multi-level context in which the issue is embedded, knowledge that almost always is found in disciplines other than behavior analysis. This PDS panel, sponsored by Behaviorists for Social Responsibility SIG, brings to the attention of behavior analysts three new books of social importance, with the goal to both inform and prompt further interest in the target social problems. Each panelist will offer commentary on one book. Mark Alavosius will reflect on “How the World Really Works: The Science Behind How We Got Here and Where We're Going” by Vaclav Smil. Jonathan Krispin will discuss "The Chaos Machine: The Inside Story of How Social Media Rewired Our Minds and Our World” by Max Fisher. And Rich Rakos will comment on “What We Owe the Future” by William MacAskill, a book that suggests “longtermism” is “the idea that positively influencing the longterm future is a key moral priority of our time.” Each of the panelists will present a brief overview or summary of the book’s main thesis, identify its strengths, offer critiques, and suggest links with or relevance for behavior analysis and Culturo-Behavior Science. Panelists will limit their commentary to 10-12 minutes each, leaving time for panelist interaction and audience participation.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Behavior science, Longtermism, multidisciplinarity, sustainability
Panel #85
PDS: Cultivating Student Repertoires to Produce Societal Change: Why Are We Not Teaching People to Save the World?
Saturday, May 27, 2023
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Convention Center 406/407
Area: TBA/CSS; Domain: Theory
Chair: Samantha Denegri (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology - Chicago Campus)
SHARLET D. RAFACZ (Western Michigan University)
ANDRESSA SLEIMAN (Florida State Unviersity)
ROCCO G CATRONE (The Chicago School Professional Psychology)

B.F. Skinner’s ample optimism in the adoption of behaviorism had, apparently, almost vanished by the time he asked, “why are we not acting to save the world?” (Skinner, 1982; Skinner, 1987). The newfound cynicism seemed rooted in the observation that society had seemingly evolved inclinations for unhealthy choices, extreme views, and a general penchant for self-serving behaviors (Chance, 2007). Decades later, Dixon et al. (2018) echoed the question, asking why we still were not acting to save the world, noting that the research surrounding Relational Frame Theory (RFT) provides empirical tools and technologies that did not require another thirty years’ wait to act. For example, RFT research has yielded applications across diverse topics such as examination and reduction of stigma and racism, understanding psychological processes that may lead to acts of terrorism, enhancing multicultural training, and increasing compassion. In addition, general applications of behavior analysis have also informed cultural science, applications to health and safety, and workplace improvement. Broad application and adoption of these techniques likely requires many fluent change agents. Skinner (1987) saw education as a key dimension of transmitting such scientific practices for widespread dissemination. Therefore, behavior analytic graduate programs could play a key role in promoting scientific skill sets and well-rounded professional repertoires well equipped to meet the mainstream, encourage collaboration, and tackle daunting societal issues facing society. However, to date, many program offerings seem to be structured around the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credential and related applications, rather than these wider aims. Thus, this panel will attempt to reframe the original question and ask the following: why are we not training people to save the world?

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Mainstream, Organizational-Behavior-Management, Relational-Frame-Theory, Societal-Change



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