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.

  • AUT: Autism

    BPH: Behavioral Pharmacology

    CBM: Clinical/Family/Behavioral Medicine

    CSE: Community Interventions, Social and Ethical Issues

    DEV: Behavioral Development

    EAB: Experimental Analysis of Behavior

    EDC: Education

    OTH: Other

Fourth International Conference; Australia, 2007

Program by Invited Events: Monday, August 13, 2007

Manage My Personal Schedule


Invited Paper Session #2

Opening Event: A Changing World

Monday, August 13, 2007
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
JANET S. TWYMAN (Headsprout)
Dr. Janet S. Twyman is the Vice-President of Instructional Development at Headsprout, where she is a major contributor to the development of Headsprout’s Generative Learning Technology and the effort to build that technology into highly effective educational programs. Dr. Twyman developed the research methods and systems that led to Headsprout’s ground breaking scientific formative evaluation model of program development, coordinating all elements of instructional design, scripting, graphic creation, animation, sound engineering, story development and writing, software engineering, and usability testing within the research model. She earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University Teachers College and holds certification as an elementary and special education teacher and as a principal/school administrator. Formerly the Executive Director of the Fred S. Keller School and an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University Teachers College, Dr. Twyman has been a long-time advocate and investigator of research-based instruction and systems design. While at the Keller School and Columbia University, she conducted research and taught courses focusing on effective instruction, technology and education, teacher development, and systems approaches to effective education. She has published and presented widely on verbal behavior, instructional design, systems approaches, and on topics of broader conceptual interest. She serves on the board of numerous organizations and has served ABA as a member, Chair of the Graduate Program Accreditation Processes, Applied Representative, and, most recently, as President.

Earth went from the beginning of human history until the 1800s A.D. before its population reached one billion. A mere 200 years later the world population has expanded to over 6 billion. As the global human population explodes to nearly 9 billion by 2050, the social and environmental impact will be vastand by some predictions, dire. What does this have to do with us? One common trait shared by each of the 9 billion people is that they will behave. They will act upon the world and change it, and also be changed by their actions. Who better to help understand and influence that change than behavior analysts? Our robust science, founded on basic principles and equipped with the knowledge of how to predict and control behavior, is critical in addressing the contingencies that operate in relationships, organizations, communities, societies, and in the world. Our findings and influence are already evident in remarkably varied and diverse domains across the globe and this conference will accentuate that considerable work.

Invited Paper Session #3
CE Offered: BACB

Does Reinforcement Really Increase the Probability of Prior Responses?

Monday, August 13, 2007
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
CE Instructor: Michael C. Davison, Ph.D.
Chair: Randolph C. Grace (University of Canterbury)
MICHAEL C. DAVISON (University of Auckland)
Dr. Michael C. Davison Michael was raised in the United Kingdom and completed his BSc (with honors) in Psychology at Bristol University. He then came to New Zealand on a Commonwealth Scholarship and completed his Ph.D. (on punishment) at Otago University, and stayed there for a year as a lecturer. He then spent a year as lecturer at University College London before returning to New Zealand and taking a lectureship at Auckland University, where he has remained, moving up through the ranks to full professor in 1987. He was given a DSc for research in 1982, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1987, and received a Silver Medal for research from the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2001. He has been Associate Editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and has served many terms on the editorial board of that journal. He currently holds appointments as a Research Associate at The Liggins Institute, and in the National Research Centre for Growth and Development. His interests are in the quantitative analysis of choice, both from a theoretical perspective and, more recently, as applied to developmental influences on learning.

The law of effect has been a fundamental principle of behaviour analysis since 1898, but is it true and is it helpful? I will review a series of recent results from animals that question this law, and suggest an alternative conception that may understand some troubling results, and may imply some changes in the application of behaviour analysis.

Invited Paper Session #9
CE Offered: BACB

B. F. Skinner as Visionary: Walden Two

Monday, August 13, 2007
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Area: CSE; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: Julie S. Vargas, Ph.D.
Chair: Janet S. Twyman (Headsprout)
JULIE S. VARGAS (B. F. Skinner Foundation)
Dr. Julie S. Vargas is the daughter of B. F. Skinner. She taught elementary school before getting her doctoral degree in educational research. She was a faculty member at West Virginia University from 1966 to 2004, where she worked with prospective and practicing teachers and published three books on contingency management in education. Professor Vargas helped found the B. F. Skinner Foundation in 1989 and is its president. In 2004, she moved with her husband to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where the Foundation now has its offices.

Skinners status is widely acknowledged as experimenter, engineer, and theorist. Equally important is his role as a visionary. He analyzed what behavioral science implied for ethical issues and raised concerns about social practices. In the explicit tradition of utopian thinkers, he dramatized these issues and concerns in his utopian novel, Walden II. This presentation presents a synopsis of these issues and concerns, linking their relevance to contemporary problems and quoting from his book in Skinners own voice.

Invited Paper Session #16
CE Offered: BACB

Triple P as a Public Health Approach to Parenting: Current Status and Future Directions.

Monday, August 13, 2007
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Matthew R. Sanders, Ph.D.
Chair: John Tanner Blackledge (University of Wollongong)
MATTHEW R. SANDERS (University of Queensland)
Dr. Matthew Sanders is a Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of the Parenting and Family Support Centre at The University of Queensland. He conducts research and has published extensively in the area of parenting, family psychology, and the prevention of behavioural and emotional problems in children. He is the founder of the internationally recognised Triple P-Positive Parenting Program, which has won a National Violence Prevention Award from the Commonwealth Heads of Government in Australia and is now run in 15 countries around the world. He has received an International Collaborative Prevention Research Award from the Society for Prevention Research and is a fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and the Academy of Experimental Criminology. He is a Visiting Professor in the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester and also the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Oxford. He has been a consultant to the Council of Europe on Positive Parenting.

A public health approach to parenting intervention offers communities an increasingly evidence-based suite of interventions for strengthening parenting skills at a whole of population level. As experience in the practical implementation of such a strategy develops, some of the special challenges begin to emerge. These include how to evaluate such whole of population interventions, dealing with ethnic diversity, managing program fidelity and program drift, and how to secure political and multiagency support. This presentation uses the experience of the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program to review the evidence that underpins the public health approach and discusses a range of professional issues that may influence the effectiveness of the approach.

Invited Paper Session #19
CE Offered: BACB

Key Areas for Intervention for Children with Autism for Interpersonal Competency

Monday, August 13, 2007
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Marjorie H. Charlop, Ph.D.
Chair: William L. Heward (The Ohio State University)
MARJORIE H. CHARLOP (Claremont McKenna College)
Dr. Marjorie H. Charlop-Christy is Professor of Psychology at Claremont McKenna College and the Director of The Claremont Autism Center, her renowned research and treatment center for children with autism and their families. Through her research, teaching, and writing, Dr. Charlop-Christy has made prolific contributions to the field of autism. Dr. Charlop-Christy has hundreds of professional conference presentations, workshops, and publications in the field of autism to her credit. Her book How to Treat the Child with Autism has been translated into Spanish and Chinese. Her upcoming book How to do Incidental Teaching with Autistic Spectrum Disorders will soon be released. Dr. Charlop-Christy has served as both Associate Editor, Editorial Board member, and ad hoc reviewer for numerous journals in the field of autism/mental retardation and applied behavioral analysis. She is known for her informative yet lively presentation style.

Deficits in interpersonal or social competency is a core feature of children with autism. Interpersonal competency has been defined as specific, identifiable skills that form the basis of social interactions, such as the contextually appropriate application of motor, cognitive, and affective behaviors. The literature is replete with various applications of ABA-oriented social skills programs. However, many programs are limited to acquisition of isolated social behaviors, or small changes in such, without pervasive generalization and maintenance effects. As well, only recently have we started to address deficits in perspective taking and the autistic childs predictions and responses to how others behave in social contexts. This presentation will focus on interventions that have been empirically verified, and have shown the most promise in terms of generalization and maintenance of interpersonal competency for children with autism. These interventions focus on such behaviors as greetings, social initiation, perspective taking, and verbal interactions. Procedures to be discussed will include Naturalistic Teaching Strategies, Incidental Teaching, Video Modeling, and Photo Scheduling. The efficacy of these types of interventions for interpersonal competency will be discussed.

Invited Paper Session #25
CE Offered: BACB

If Applied Behavior Analysis Has So Much to Offer Education (and It Does), Why Does Education Take Such Limited Advantage of Its Findings?

Monday, August 13, 2007
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: William L. Heward, Ph.D.
Chair: Neil T. Martin (The Treehouse Trust)
WILLIAM L. HEWARD (The Ohio State University)
Dr. William L. Heward has had an international impact on improving the education and treatment of people with disabilities by influencing the ways many teachers provide education to those children. He has accomplished this not only through his writing but also his university teaching and advising, consulting to schools and other educational programs, his extensive research programs in the field and numerous presentations at professional meetings for researchers and practitioners. Dr. Heward is perhaps best known for his publication (with Dr. John O. Cooper and Professor Timothy E. Heron) of the extremely widely-read Applied Behavior Analysis, an introduction to behavior analysis. Dr. Heward has written five other books, including Exceptional Children: An Introduction to Special Education, in its eighth edition and translated into multiple foreign languages. In addition, Dr. Heward has published more than 100 journal articles and book chapters, and has served on the editorial boards of The Behavior Analyst, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Teacher Education and Special Education, Education and Treatment of Children, and Behavior Modification. In addition, Dr. Heward’s peers recognized him for his contributions to education by awarding him the 2006 American Psychological Association's Division 25 Fred S. Keller Behavioral Education Award.

Applied behavior analysiss (ABA) pragmatic, natural science approach to discovering environmental variables that reliably influence socially significant behavior and to developing a technology that takes practical advantage of those discoveries offers humankind our best hope for solving many of our problems. Unfortunately, ABA has had limited impact on society. Using public education as the exemplar, this presentation will explore the question, If ABA is so wonderful, why dont we (society) make greater use of it? Improving the effectiveness of education is one of societys most important problems, and for more than four decades applied behavior analysis has provided powerful demonstrations of how it can promote learning in the classroom. In spite of this evidence, behavior analysis is, at best, a bit player in efforts to reform education. Dr. Heward will identify a dozen reasons why ABA is ideally suited to help improve education, review a somewhat longer list of reasons that work against the widespread adoption of behavioral approaches in education, and suggest some actions that practitioners and researchers can take to enhance and further ABAs contributions to effective education.

Invited Paper Session #30
CE Offered: BACB

Behavior Analysis and AIDS Education: The Evolution of a Self-Management Program.

Monday, August 13, 2007
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Thomas A. Brigham, Ph.D.
THOMAS A. BRIGHAM (Washington State University), Ryan Sain (Washington State University), Dana F. Lindemann (Washington State University)
Dr. Thomas A. Brigham has been a major contributor to the understanding of self-management and self-control by taking such basic research findings as those on choice and preference and effectively extending them to applications among young people. He has published 53 papers and 7 books, including co-editing the influential Handbook of Applied Behavioral Research. He has served as Associate Editor of Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and on the editorial boards of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, The Behavior Analyst, and Behavioral Interventions. Dr. Brigham has held several distinguished positions, including an Erskine Fellowship at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand and a Senior Visiting Fellowship at University College in Cardiff, Wales. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Behavior Analysis and won the ABA Outreach Award in 1992. At Washington State University, he was honored with the Mullen Teaching Award, the College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award, and the Sahlin Award. He has also served the field of Behavior Analysis as President of Northwest ABA and as an Area Coordinator for the ABA convention program.

Psychology 106 (Psychology applied to daily living: Dealing with friends, alcohol, and sex) and its supporting structure are the product of analyzing literature on AIDS prevention, especially the work of Kelly and his associates (e.g., Kelly, 1995a, 1995b) and the Fishers (e.g. Fisher et al., 1996), and several years of our own research (Brigham, Gilbert, Donahoe, Thomas, & Zemke, 2002; Horn & Brigham, 1996; Lindemann, Brigham, Harbke, and Alexander, 2005). The resulting program has several critical features worth noting. First, as a graded one-credit course offered as an optional component of Introductory Psychology, it has both academic and experiential content. Second, the course involves small sections of approximately 20 students with instruction based on discussion and exercises with minimal lecture. Third, students actively and systematically collect data on their own behavior and evaluate the information in relation to their own goals and values. Fourth, teams of two junior-senior-level undergraduate peer instructors trained in both the course content and instructional procedures teach the sections. Finally, information on HIV/AIDS is presented within the context of an integrated conceptual framework for personal and sexual decision-making that also covers other STIs, sexual assault, and related issues. The features of the program have evolved as a function of experimental and qualitative research and continue to be assessed each time the class is taught. The results of several experiments assessing the effectiveness of the program show it reduces student high-risk sexual behavior, reduces student alcohol consumption and increases the numbers of students practicing abstinence. The American Association of Colleges and Universities has recognized the course as a model AIDS education and prevention program. Also, the course is currently taught at several other universities across the United States and we are working to introduce it at universities in South Africa.

Invited Paper Session #37
CE Offered: BACB

Engaging People with Dementia in Life.

Monday, August 13, 2007
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: R. Mark Mathews, Ph.D.
Chair: Linda A. LeBlanc (Western Michigan University)
R. MARK MATHEWS (University of Sydney)
Prof. R. Mark Mathews is Sesquicentenary Chair of Ageing, Health and Disability at the University of Sydney. Professor Mathews received his Ph.D. in 1980 and previously held faculty appointments at the University of Hawaii and the University of Kansas. He is a Fellow of the Gerontology Society of America and received a distinguished teaching award from the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. His research has been designed to contribute to understanding of factors that affect successful aging and application of that knowledge to social programs that optimize independence and autonomy. His behavioral gerontology research has been published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Journal of Clinical Geropsychology, Journal of Gerontological Nursing, Journal of Housing for the Elderly, and Alzheimer’s Care Quarterly. He is currently an investigator on research grants from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute and the Australian Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing. He has served as lead investigator on over USD$3,200,000 in grants funded by the National Institute on Aging, the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association, Kansas Department on Aging, Michigan Department of Health, and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

Dementia is the largest single contributor to the cost of care in nursing homes today, and the prevalence of dementia continues to increase at a much greater rate than both the total population and the older population. Dementia is associated with a decline in reasoning, memory, and other cognitive functioning that often results in challenging or disruptive behaviors such as agitation, aggression, repetitive questioning, and wandering. This decline also impairs the ability of the person to carry out many activities of daily living. The physical environment and well-meaning caregivers can exacerbate these behavioral excesses and deficits. Nursing home staff often ignores independent behaviors, but respond to dependent behaviors with enabling responses. This presentation will describe a range of environmental redesign and staff training procedures that have been demonstrated to help people with dementia engage in life and re-acquire a number of daily living.




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