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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.

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  • AUT: Autism

    BPN: Behavioral Pharmacology and Neuroscience

    CBM: Clinical/Family/Behavioral Medicine

    CSS: Community, Social, and Sustainability Issues

    DDA: Developmental Disabilities

    DEV: Behavioral Development

    EAB: Experimental Analysis of Behavior

    EDC: Education

    OBM: Organizational Behavior Management

    PCH: Philosophical, Conceptual, and Historical Issues

    PRA: Practice

    TBA: Teaching Behavior Analysis

    VRB: Verbal Behavior

    SCI: Science

    OTH: Other

44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Program by Invited Events: Saturday, May 26, 2018


 

Invited Paper Session #18
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/QABA/NASP
Skinner's Operationalism, Selectionism, Loving Infinitely, and Building the Deepest Connection With Others in ABA Practice and ACT
Saturday, May 26, 2018
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, Grand Ballroom 7-9
Area: CBM
CE Instructor: Thomas G. Szabo, Ph.D.
Chair: Amy Murrell (University of North Texas)
THOMAS G. SZABO (Florida Institute of Technology)
Thomas G. Szabo, Ph.D., BCBA-D is a professor at Florida Institute of Technology. He graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno under the mentorship of W. Larry Williams and Steven C. Hayes. Over the last decade, Dr. Szabo has sought to develop iterations of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) suitable to the needs of ABA practitioners and within their specialized scope of practice. He has offered ACT training to parents, children, senior executives and frontline staff, and couples learning effective partner skills. With his students, Dr. Szabo is currently investigating behavioral flexibility training and a variety of applied-RFT strategies to promote learning and improved performance. Dr. Szabo is also the second chair of an international non-governmental organization, Commit & Act, which teaches women, children, and couples in Sierra Leone behavior-based strategies for partnership and empowerment.
Abstract: In "The Operational Analysis of Psychological Terms," Skinner proposed that the science of behavior needs a contingency analysis of the contexts in which scientists use terms. A term is valid only when it increases the scientist's capacity for prediction and influence, and not merely when it produces socially mediated reinforcers such as the approval and agreement of other scientists. Years later, Skinner continued to evolve contingency analysis in terms of Darwinian theory, which involves variation, selection, and retention. In this talk, I will argue that the pragmatic aims of ABA hinge upon these two conceptual advances and that Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) offers practitioners a way to harness Skinner's conceptual horsepower in service of helping others. In the ACT approach, ABA workers start where folks are at and talk with them about what they value most. About love. Family. Pain. Laughter. Building this kind of connection with stakeholders in ABA is neither unprofessional, nor is using common sense language an invitation to mentalism. It is the catwalk from unworkable essentialism to pragmatic contextualism. In this talk, I will bridge the conceptual with the pragmatic by sharing single case design data from our work with parents and children.
Target Audience: BCBAs, BCBA-Ds, and others interested in bridging theory and practice.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify four arguments in Skinner (1945); (2) identify the main tenets of Skinner (1981); (3) examine a behavioral analysis of love and family connection; (4) evaluate the ACT approach to generating flexible patterns of behavior in challenging human contexts; (5) examine single case design data from two ACT ABA studies.
 
 
Invited Panel #46
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/QABA/NASP
Contextual Behaviorism: A Panel With Discussion
Saturday, May 26, 2018
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, San Diego Ballroom B
Area: SCI
CE Instructor: Yvonne Barnes-Holmes, Ph.D.
Chair: Yvonne Barnes-Holmes (Ghent University)
CAIO F. MIGUEL (California State University, Sacramento)
RUTH ANNE REHFELDT (Southern Illinois University)
JONATHAN J. TARBOX (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
Dr. Caio Miguel is a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Verbal Behavior Research Laboratory at California State University, Sacramento. He is also an adjunct faculty at Endicott College, MA, and at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Dr. Miguel has published 60 articles and book chapters on basic and applied research related to verbal behavior and derived stimulus relations. He is the past-editor of The Analysis of Verbal Behavior (TAVB) and currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA). He is the recipient of the 2013-2014 award for outstanding scholarly work by the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies at Sacramento State, and the 2014 Outstanding Mentor Award by the Association for Behavior Analysis International. Dr. Miguel is a regular speaker at conferences all over the world.
Dr. Ruth Anne Rehfeldt is a Professor in the Rehabilitation Services undergraduate program and an affiliated faculty in the Behavior Analysis and Therapy program. She holds a Ph.D. (1998) and MA (1995) from the Behavior Analysis Program (in Psychology) at the University of Nevada, and a BA (1993) in psychology from the University of Puget Sound. She is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst at the doctoral level. Dr. Rehfeldt has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in research methods, behavioral assessment, principles of behavior, introduction to behavior analysis, verbal behavior, and radical behaviorism. Dr. Rehfeldt has authored nearly 100 articles and book chapters, primarily in the areas of derived stimulus relations and verbal behavior. Dr. Rehfeldt has served as the editor of The Psychological Record for 12 years and has been an editorial board member for a number of behavior analytic journals over the years. She has co-edited one textbook with Yvonne Barnes-Holmes, entitled Derived Relational Responding: Applications for Learners with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities: A Progressive Guide to Change, and is currently co-editing a textbook tentatively entitled, Applied Behavior Analysis of Language and Cognition, with Mitch Fryling, Jonathan Tarbox, and Linda Hayes.
Dr. Tarbox is the Director of Research and Regional Clinic Director at FirstSteps for Kids, in the greater Los Angeles area. Dr. Tarbox has published two books on autism treatment, as well as over 60 peer-reviewed articles and chapters in scientific texts. Dr. Tarbox is a past member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders and a current member of the editorial boards of The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, Behavior Analysis in Practice, Behavioral Development Bulletin, and Behavior Modification. Dr. Tarbox’s research interests include teaching complex language, social, and cognitive skills, as well as the assessment and treatment of feeding disorders and severe challenging behaviors.
Abstract: This session is coupled with, and immediately follows, a SQAB tutorial on contextual behaviorism presented by Dr. Dermot Barnes-Holmes. Panelists will be asked to speak briefly about their research program and to bring questions designed to foster discussion with audience members. The goal is to generate ideas and collaborative efforts among basic, translational, and applied scientists. The tutorial and panel discussion have arisen because the Society for the Quantitative Analysis of Behavior (SQAB), an organization that emphasizes fundamental sciences related to behavior analysis, meets immediately before ABAI. The tandem meetings of these two organizations present opportunities for attendees to hear about core sciences related to behavior analysis. The SQAB tutorials have provided an excellent spur for such discussions but we (SQAB and ABAI's Science Board) wish to take this a step further. This panel discussion, which represents a partnership between SQAB and ABAI, will create a setting in which basic and applied scientists, as well as practitioners, can meet to discuss applications of the topics raised in a SQAB tutorial.
Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience: Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe principles of contextual behaviorism; (2) link contextual behaviorism to Skinner's verbal behavior theory; (3) explain how practical issues in applied behavior analysis are tied to contextual behaviorism.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #95
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/QABA/NASP
Using Evidence-Based Kernels to Create Nurturing Environments in Groups and Organizations
Saturday, May 26, 2018
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Marina Ballroom G
Area: OBM
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Magnus Johansson, Ph.D.
Chair: Julie M. Slowiak (University of Minnesota Duluth)
MAGNUS JOHANSSON (Oslo and Akershus University College for Applied Sciences)
Magnus Johansson is a licensed psychologist, former CEO of a private care organization, and for the last 9 years he has been working as a consultant, primarily with leadership and group/organization development using Organizational Behavior Management and Contextual Behavioral Science. Clients include private and public sector organizations with a very wide variety of types of business. During the last two years Magnus has collaborated with Leif Andersson to develop and deliver a time-efficient management training intervention for the Swedish Migration Agency. Magnus has also done work on cultural adaption and pilot testing of the PAX Good Behavior Game in Sweden, as well as being involved in the ProSocial project (www.prosocial.world). He has recently initiated a research project at the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, aiming to develop behavioral measures of Nurturing Environments in groups and organizations, and to investigate the effects of multi-tier and multi-level interventions to improve nurturance, using the concept of evidence-based kernels.
Abstract: Creating work environments that allow humans to thrive and be healthy over time, while also collaborating to increase efficiency in their work is a challenge for any kind of organization. Developing key skills and behaviors that become a natural part of the day to day work is a challenge for every behavior change consultant. An evidence-based kernel is a behavior–influence procedure shown through experimental analysis to affect specific behaviors (Embry & Biglan, 2008). Existing evidence shows that a variety of kernels can influence behavior in context, and evidence suggests that frequent or sufficient use of some kernels may produce longer lasting behavioral shifts. Nurturing Environments (Biglan, Flay, Embry & Sandler, 2012; Biglan, 2015) describes key areas in evolving a healthy culture: minimizing toxic social conditions, increasing reinforcement of prosocial behaviors, limiting problem behaviors, and promoting psychological flexibility in the pursuit of one’s values and goals. This presentation will show how these concepts, coming from research in prevention, can be applied in various ways in non-clinical contexts, with special focus on organizations, groups and communities.
Target Audience: Professionals working with behavior change in any context, interested in doing practical work in evolving leadership, organizations and groups.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe Nurturing Environments and how the field of prevention science can provide useful concepts and interventions in non-clinical settings; (2) discuss several evidence-based kernels and their application in working with leadership and group development; (3) provide examples from a leadership program with specifics of how to use the concept of evidence-based kernels in delivering training.
 
 
Invited Panel #140
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/QABA/NASP
Behavioral Economics and Public Policy: A Panel With Discussion
Saturday, May 26, 2018
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, San Diego Ballroom B
Area: SCI
CE Instructor: Matthew W. Johnson, Ph.D.
Chair: Matthew W. Johnson (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
MIKHAIL KOFFARNUS (Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute)
SUZANNE H. MITCHELL (Oregon Health & Science University)
BETHANY R. RAIFF (Rowan University)
Mikhail Koffarnus received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is currently a Research Assistant Professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. Dr. Koffarnus' research focuses on understanding drug abuse and developing drug abuse treatments from a behavioral economic perspective. Decision-making processes are often disrupted in drug users, leading to a systematic preference for immediately available rewards like drugs over delayed rewards like improved health or gainful employment. His active areas of research aim to understand and counteract this pattern, and include the use of technology to facilitate contingency management interventions, the neural correlates of risky and impulsive decision making, and the abuse liability of cigarettes and other nicotine products. Additionally, he has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology.
Suzanne H. Mitchell, Ph.D., is a Professor at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, with secondary appointments in Psychiatry and in the Oregon Institute for Occupational health Science. She obtained her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees at the University of Hull, England and her Ph.D. at SUNY-Stony Brook, USA. Her dissertation focused on the economics of foraging behavior of rats, examining the role of the energetic costs and benefits in feeding. Her committee was chaired by Howard Rachlin, whose influence made her sensitive to the role of temporal costs as well as energetic costs in determining the value of food rewards. During a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago, Dr. Mitchell worked with Harriet de Wit, Ph.D. using behavioral economics as an explanation for use of alcohol, nicotine/cigarettes, and amphetamine in humans. During that time she also began collaborating with Jerry Richards, Ph.D. on delay discounting studies with rats. Following her postdoctoral work, Dr. Mitchell was an assistant professor at the University of New Hampshire, where she continued to explore recreational drug use using behavioral economic models. She moved her lab to OHSU in 2001 from the University of New Hampshire to devote more time to research, particularly looking into why drug users tend to be more impulsive than non-drug users using human and animal models. Most recently she has returned to her earlier interests in energetic costs and her research has increased its scope to include effort-related decision-making in clinical populations. She has received funding from various NIH institutes (NHLBI, NIAAA, NIDA and NIH), has served on several study sections as a member and as an ad hoc participant, and has received awards for education and mentoring.
Dr. Raiff graduated from the University of Florida in 2008 with her PhD in Psychology, with an emphasis in Behavioral Pharmacology. She worked as a principal investigator for four years at the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. before moving to the Department of Psychology at Rowan University, where she is now an Associate Professor. Dr. Raiff's primary research interests include developing and evaluating the integration of technological innovations with behavioral economic interventions for promoting healthy behavior. Dr. Raiff is currently developing two video games which use a contingency management intervention with nonmonetary incentives to encourage people to quit smoking. In addition to her work on smoking cessation, Dr. Raiff has also evaluated technology-delivered behavioral interventions for improving diabetes management and physical activity. Dr. Raiff was the 2015 recipient of the B. F. Skinner New Researcher Award for Applied Research, from Division 25 of the American Psychological Association. She holds a vested interest in developing cost-effective, scalable, and sustainable treatments, using the principles of behavioral economics, to address many of society’s unhealthy behaviors.
Abstract: This session is coupled with, and immediately follows, a SQAB tutorial on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy presented by Dr. Steven Hursh. Panelists will be asked to speak briefly about their research program and to bring questions designed to foster discussion with audience members. The goal is to generate ideas and collaborative efforts among basic, translational, and applied scientists. The tutorial and panel discussion has arisen because the Society for the Quantitative Analysis of Behavior (SQAB), an organization that emphasizes fundamental sciences related to behavior analysis, meets immediately before ABAI. The tandem meetings of these two organizations present opportunities for attendees to hear about core sciences related to behavior analysis. The SQAB tutorials have provided an excellent spur for such discussions but we (SQAB and ABAI's Science Board) wish to take this a step further. This panel discussion, which represents a partnership between SQAB and ABAI, will create a setting in which basic and applied scientists, as well as practitioners, can meet to discuss applications of the topics raised in a SQAB tutorial.
Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience: Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe behavioral economic principles; (2) link basic behavioral economic ideas to practical solutions; (3) provide examples of behavioral economic solutions to policy-level concerns.
 

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