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

    EAB: Experimental Analysis of Behavior

    EDC: Education

    OBM: Organizational Behavior Management

    PCH: Philosophical, Conceptual, and Historical Issues

11th International Conference; Dublin, Ireland; 2022

Program by Invited Events: Friday, September 2, 2022


 

Invited Paper Session #3
CE Offered: BACB/QABA
How Applied Behaviour Analysis May Benefit From a Taxonomy of Science Communication Aims
Friday, September 2, 2022
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Auditorium
Area: AUT/CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Julian C. Leslie (Ulster University)
CE Instructor: Olive Healy, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: OLIVE HEALY (Trinity College Dublin)
Abstract:

For many years authority figures in the science of behaviour analysis have attempted to place a spotlight on the conspicuous factors that have acted as impediments to the dissemination and utility of the strategies and interventions drawn from basic and applied science findings in this field. A number of these impediments have been empirically investigated and some have been described in relation to a misrepresentation of the science to the general public. Ongoing research shows that these impediments continue to present a significant challenge to researchers and practitioners specifically in the application of behaviour change procedures to those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. More importantly, ongoing impediments to dissemination and implementation of effective practices may prevent numerous individuals who may truly benefit from science-based behavioural methods to improve in many areas of their lives. This presentation addresses why behaviour analysis may still be considered a generic science and provides an analytical framework of science communication to bridge the gap between behaviour analysis findings and the public including education, health and social care sectors as well as stakeholders themselves. It will be argued that one of the most important elements of such a framework should ensure that a diversity of perspectives about the applications of behaviour analysis held by different groups are considered when solutions to the dissemination of behaviour analytic strategies are pursued.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Students of Behaviour Analysis, practitioners in the field of Behaviour Analysis, professionals interested in behavior change, researchers within the field of developmental disabilities and behavior change.

Learning Objectives: The audience will be able to (1) describe the characteristics of science communication; (2) identify the aspects of applied behavior analysis that could benefit from reframing within a science communication framework; (3) understand a framework of science communication for the dissemination of behavior change strategies; (4) describe ways in which the applications of behavior analysis could become a mainstream strength in relevant sectors.
 
OLIVE HEALY (Trinity College Dublin)
Dr. Olive Healy is a Behavioural Psychologist and Doctoral Board Certified Behaviour Analyst® with over 20 years of clinical expertise in neurodevelopmental disorders including Autism. She is Director of the Masters programme in Applied Behaviour Analysis at the School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin. After serving for seven years as Lecturer in Psychology (2006-2013) at NUI Galway, Olive joined the School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin and is now an Associate Professor in Psychology. Olive negotiated with government to establish the first state-funded evidence-based school in Ireland under the auspices of the Comprehensive Application of Behaviour Analysis to Schooling® in 1998. She spent 10 years engaged in knowledge transfer from leading scholars at Columbia University NY to expert schooling established to educate children with autism and complex needs in Ireland. Olive lead the establishment of five further evidence-based educational centres for Autism and disseminated knowledge and skills through ongoing collaboration with US experts. She was a founding director of the first research centre for neurodevelopmental disorders in Ireland at NUI Galway in 2012. Her research focuses on the treatment of challenging behaviour and co-morbid conditions in Autism and related developmental disorders. She now acts as Principal Investigator of an Enterprise Ireland funded project InterAcT (Accomplish & Thrive) within Trinity College Dublin. She is Associate Editor of four leading international journals contributing to peer review and research dissemination in the field of behavioural psychology. She has authored over 80 academic papers and book chapters published in both behaviour-analytic and mainstream psychology journals.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #13
CE Offered: BACB
Value Driven Cultural Change
Friday, September 2, 2022
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Auditorium
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Carol Pilgrim (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
CE Instructor: Ramona Houmanfar, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: RAMONA HOUMANFAR (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

This presentation will provide an overview of the elaborated account of metacontingency with the primary focus on ways this perspective offers points of entry to alter contextual factors influencing cultural practices. The elaborated account of culturo-behavior analytic concepts of metacontingency and macrocontingency will be discussed in the context of value-based approach toward the analysis of cultural change. Moreover, the role of cultural milieu as a mediating factor in this interaction will be highlighted. The discussion of cultural phenomena also acknowledges the behaviors of verbally sophisticated consumers interacting with the many aggregate products of cultural entities as well as the verbal contexts within which members of organized groups operate. The presentation will also highlight the recent experimental and conceptual analyses associated with the role of context in the selection of cooperation and resilience.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

General

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1)The audience will describe the foundation (concepts, principles, methodology) underlying analysis of cooperation and resilience at the socio-cultural level; (2) The audience will discuss the behavior scientific account of verbal behavior as related to selection of interlocking behaviors in organized entities; (3) The audience will list behaviors and associated outcomes that align with a behavior scientific discussion of values at the psychological level; (4) The audience will list behaviors and practices plus associated outcomes that align with a behavior scientific discussion of values at the organizational level; (5) The audience will list behaviors and cultural practices plus associated outcomes that align with a behavior scientific discussion of values at socio-cultural level.
 
RAMONA HOUMANFAR (University of Nevada, Reno)
Dr. Ramona A. Houmanfar is Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Behavior Analysis Program at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). She currently serves as the trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, Chair of the Organizational Behavior Management Section of Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, editorial board members of the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, and Behavior & Social Issues, and Co-Coordinator of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Board at the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). Dr. Houmanfar has served as the editor of Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, senior co-chair of the ABAI convention, Director of the Organizational Behavior Management Network and President of the Nevada Association for Behavior Analysis. Dr. Houmanfar has published over seventy peer reviewed articles and chapters, delivered more than 100 presentations at regional, national, and international conferences in the areas of behavioral systems analysis, cultural behavior analysis, leadership in organizations, rule governance, communication networks, instructional design, and bilingual repertoire analysis and learning. Her expertise in behavioral systems analysis and cultural behavior analysis have also guided her research associated with implicit bias, cooperation, situational awareness, decision making, and value based governance. Dr. Houmanfar has published three co-edited books titled “Organizational Change” (Context Press), "Understanding Complexity in Organizations", and “Leadership & Cultural Change (Taylor & Francis Group). Some recent accomplishments include being awarded ABAI Fellow designation, and publication of a co-edited book titled “Applied Behavior Science in Organization” (Taylor & Francis Group) sponsored by ABAI.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #18
CE Offered: BACB/QABA
How to Use "Implicit Tests" in Behavior Analysis Without the Smoke and Mirrors
Friday, September 2, 2022
10:30 AM–11:20 AM
Auditorium
Area: EAB; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Julian C. Leslie (Ulster University)
CE Instructor: Bryan Roche, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: BRYAN ROCHE (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Abstract:

Implicit testing within behavior analysis has been a rather radical development over the past 15 years. Much of the early work was theoretically informed by Relational Frame Theory and progressed using a mixture of top-down and hypothetico-deductive approaches. Many test features and behavioral quantification methods were borrowed directly from the eponymous Implicit Association Test, and involved questionable social cognitive stimulus presentation and scoring methods. The Function Acquisition Speed Test (FAST), in contrast, was designed from the ground up in a painstaking research programme intended to expunge all mentalism from implicit testing, draw on well understood behavioral phenomena such as resistance to change, and use learning rates, rather than response time measures as a key dependent measure. It aims to enhance stimulus control in implicit testing, and clarify behavioral process. The FAST has uses in the analysis of stimulus relatedness in both social research and education settings, and might be used as a proxy for social attitudes, if attitudes are understood fully in functional terms. This talk will outline the behavior-analytic development of the FAST method for quantifying the relatedness of stimuli and “class strength,” and illustrate how the method can be used in a variety of novel social research contexts.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Postgraduate students and early career researchers

Learning Objectives: Following this presentation, participants should be able to: (1) Describe the core methodology of most “implicit tests”; (2) Critique the main barriers to providing high quality behavioral data using popular implicit tests; (3) Outline some features of the FAST method that make it a functional approach to “implicit testing”.
 
BRYAN ROCHE (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Dr. Bryan Roche is Associate Professor at Maynooth University Ireland, where he has held tenure since 2001. His early research work was on the development of Relational Frame Theory (RFT) and its application to the functional understanding of a wide variety of complex human behaviors, such as sexual, social and clinically relevant behaviors (e.g., avoidance and anxiety). In recent years he has co-developed an online RFT-based intervention called SMART (Strengthening Mental Abilities with Relational Training), designed to enhance general cognitive ability, usually in educational settings. However, he has also maintained a keen interest in the development of “implicit test” style class assessment methodologies, such as the FAST (function acquisition speed test) for indexing stimulus class “strength” in social and educational contexts. He is author of over 100 peer reviewed papers and book chapters.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #33
CE Offered: BACB/QABA
Using Behaviour Analysis and Behavioural Economics to Frame Messages Effectively
Friday, September 2, 2022
11:30 AM–12:20 PM
Auditorium
Area: CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Deisy De Souza (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
CE Instructor: Louise A McHugh, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: LOUISE A MCHUGH (University College Dublin)
Abstract:

We face many societal challenges that require a group level response. Education and insight alone do not motivate behaviour change for individuals to support the group. Integrating techniques from Behaviour Analysis and Behavioural Economics has a lot to offer in terms of enhancing motivation towards behaviour for societal good. Behavioural Economics tells us that messages framed in terms of losses are more motivationally impactful than the equivalent messages framed in terms of gains. Adherence to guidelines that would be beneficial at the individual level (e.g., medication adherence) or societal level (e.g., climate change) can be low when people perceive the messaging as coercive, irrelevant or unfair resulting in counterproductive resistance. This is a common response to warning messages framed in terms of potential risks and costs. Fortunately, a wide range of evidence-based behavioural techniques are specifically designed to reduce counterproductive resistance. These techniques are designed to help individuals clarify their own motivators for behavioural change; and to teach psychological skills that can motivationally enhance messages. The current talk will provide insight into how to adopt behaviour analytic principles to support the development of more effective messaging to motivate effective behaviour change that will support individuals and groups.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Academics and practitioners interested in effective messaging to change behavior at individual or group levels.

Learning Objectives: 1. At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe the latest message reframing advancements in RFT research; (2) Discuss the implications of RFT for behaviour change in public messaging and beyond; (3) Identify the needs for future research in Behavior Analysis and public messaging.
 
LOUISE A MCHUGH (University College Dublin)
Louise McHugh is a Professor of Psychology at University College Dublin. She is a world leading expert in Contextual Behavioural Science (CBS) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). She has published over 100 papers and her H index is 40. Her work has been funded by national and international funding bodies such as the Irish Research Council, the Health Research Board, FP7, the British Academy, the ESRC and the Leverhulme Trust. Louise has been a Fellow of the Association for Contextual Behavioural Science since 2014. Prof. McHugh is the Director of the UCD CBS lab. Ongoing research projects in the CBS lab involve behavioural interventions for people experiencing homelessness (funded by the IRC), smoking cessation (funded by the IRC and the HRB) and interventions for patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (in Collaboration with St Vincent’s University Hospital Dublin). Prof McHugh 2015 I have been an Associate Editor for the Journal of Contextual Behavioural Science.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #36
CE Offered: BACB/QABA
On the Ethics of Treating Automatically Reinforced Behavior: Self-Injurious Behavior and Stereotypy
Friday, September 2, 2022
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Auditorium
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Carol Pilgrim (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
CE Instructor: William Ahearn, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: WILLIAM AHEARN (New England Center for Children)
Abstract:

Automatically reinforced behavior presents substantial challenges to clinicians when developing behavioral interventions. This presentation will examine that questions of how, when, and whether automatically reinforced behavior should be treated. Self-injury is problem behavior that is sometimes maintained by automatic reinforcement and can pose the risk of significant and, in some cases, life threatening harm. On the other hand, stereotypy is nearly always automatically maintained but rarely leads to injury. Ethical considerations for clinicians will be discussed and the risks and benefits of both treating and not treating self-injury and stereotypy be explored. Some applied research on evaluating and treating stereotypic behavior will be reviewed with a focus on effective interventions for building core adaptive living and social skills.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Applied Behavior Analysts

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Attendees will be able to discuss why automatically reinforced behavior is difficult to treat; (2) Attendees will be able to discuss why it is sometimes necessary and sometimes not necessary to treatment automatically reinforced behavior; (3) Attendees will be able to discuss why self-injury is a more pressing concern for intervention and which treatment strategies are likely to be effective; (4) Attendees will be able to discuss why stereotypy is a less pressing concern for intervention and why treatment strategies should first attempt to foster appropriate behavior.
 
WILLIAM AHEARN (New England Center for Children)
Bill Ahearn, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LABA, is Director of Research at the New England Center for Children. Dr. Ahearn is currently the chair of the board that licenses behavior analysts in Massachusetts and serves as Editor-in-Chief for Behavioral Interventions. He also serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and previously served on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis for about 20 years. Bill has published extensively, including on the treatment of repetitive behavior, treating pediatric feeding disorders, and examining predictions of the Behavioral Momentum metaphor. He was named the 2009 American Psychological Association - Division 25 awardee for Enduring Contributions to Applied Behavioral Research (Nate Azrin award) and as CalABA’s 2020 Outstanding Contributor. Bill is also a past-President of APBA and BABAT.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #50
CE Offered: BACB/QABA/NASP
Phonological Abstraction is a Critical Prereading Skill - Without it, Learning to Decode (Sound Out) Untaught Words is Severely Compromised
Friday, September 2, 2022
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Auditorium
Area: EDC/EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Deisy De Souza (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
CE Instructor: Kathryn Saunders, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: KATHRYN SAUNDERS (The University of Kansas)
Abstract:

Reading is required to thrive in our culture. Yet approximately 20% of children have great difficulty learning to read, including many who have received phonics-based instruction. Unfortunately, problems often occur in developing the foundation upon which further growth depends––reading words that have not been taught directly. That is, many children have difficulty “sounding out” (also called “decoding”) words that are new to them. The absence of this skill has a cascading, long-term negative impact on reading achievement. Over the last few decades, reading scientists have identified previously underappreciated prerequisite and component skills that are critical to success in learning to read novel words. One of the most important skills is termed “phonemic awareness.” Phonemic awareness conforms precisely to Skinner’s conceptualization of abstraction, in that it involves responding to individual elements—small units of sound (phonemes)—that are “smeared together” is within larger complex auditory stimuli (whole syllables). Abstracting phonemes from whole spoken syllables is critical to learning relations between letters and sounds within whole words. Learning the sounds of individual letters, although helpful, does not provide the examples, nonexamples, and contrasts necessary to promote abstraction. The relevance of laboratory work on developing abstraction to problems in reading instruction, especially for children with ID and speech impairments, has made my collaborations with researchers from Speech/Language, Communication Disorders, and Educational Psychology a seamless, not to mention essential, process. I will discuss scientific ties to the reading literature, the inherently interdisciplinary nature of behavior analysis, and illustrate the acceptance of behavior-analytic thinking among researchers who are working together to solve a problem.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Scientists interested in determinants of abstraction and concept formation and teachers and speech-language therapists responsible for teaching early prereading skills.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Name the behavioral process that drives phonemic awareness; (2) Explain how to choose exemplar stimuli to promote abstraction, including how the stimuli should relate to one another; (3) Provide a minimal set of examples that would promote attention to and abstraction of vowel sounds in three-letter, consonant-vowel-consonant words.
 
KATHRYN SAUNDERS (The University of Kansas)
Dr. Saunders is a Senior Scientist in the Life Span Institute at the University of Kansas, where she is a member of the NICHD-funded Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center. Her current primary research interest is in the basic-process informed development of computerized instructional programming for early reading skills, with a specific focus on phonemic awareness and the alphabetic principle. There is incontrovertible evidence that the skill of phonemic awareness greatly enhances the benefit that children derive from phonics instruction. Phonemic awareness can be defined as the abstraction of individual phonemes from whole syllables. As such, the conceptualization of how to promote abstraction provided by Skinner (in Verbal Behavior), Englemann and Carnine (In Theory of Instruction) is a scientific interest in common with Speech-Language and Special Education Instructors. In addition to crossing scientific disciplines, her career has combined basic research on relational learning with applied research on the development of individualized instructional programming, and her publication record reflects a combination of publications in both basic and applied journals, the latter in both Behavior Analytic and Speech-Language journals. Her work has been funded nearly continuously for over two decades, primarily by NICHD, but recently by the Institute of Education Sciences. She also has been the PI for two NIH postdoctoral training grants. Dr. Saunders is a Fellow and former President of Division 25 of the American Psychological Association, a Fellow and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), a voting member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, and the 2019 winner of the Distinguished Contribution Award for substantial long-term contributions to the Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior (ABAI). She has served several terms on the editorial boards of JABA, JEAB, and The Behavior Analyst, and as an Associate Editor for the latter two journals, as well as numerous guest reviews for other journals in the fields of BA, Speech-Language, and Intellectual Disabilities.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #56
CE Offered: BACB
Using Behavior Analysis to Understand the Links Between Genetics and Behavior
Friday, September 2, 2022
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Auditorium
Area: BPN/EAB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Julian C. Leslie (Ulster University)
CE Instructor: Suzanne Mitchell, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: SUZANNE MITCHELL (Oregon Health & Science University)
Abstract:

Behavior analysts seek to identify factors that influence behavior, which enables them to predict future responses and develop therapeutic plans by which maladaptive behaviors can change. Usually behavioral science concentrates on environmental factors, but with the implicit understanding that the biology of the organism is critical for determining an individual’s responses to environmental events and the efficacy of consequences to reinforce or punish those responses. This presentation will provide an overview and examples of how genotype influences brain structure and function, thereby providing the canvas on which environmental conditions and outcomes can yield general behavioral effects, as well as providing the source of individual differences. Correlational and experimental techniques by which conclusions linking genes to behavior will be described and critically evaluated.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Behavior Analysts

Learning Objectives: At the end of this presentation, audience members will be able to: (1) Describe at a basic level how differences in genes can result in differences in behavioral phenotypes, including psychopathologies; (2) Describe at least two experimental designs that are used to identify to role of genes in behavioral phenotypes, including psychopathologies; (3) Describe at least two examples of behavior analytic approaches being used to understand the genotype-phenotype relationship.
 
SUZANNE MITCHELL (Oregon Health & Science University)
Suzanne H. Mitchell, Ph.D., is a Professor at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in the Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychiatry departments, and in the Oregon Institute for Occupational Health Sciences. She obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Hull, England and her Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her thesis examined 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 focusing on using behavioral economics as an explanation for use of alcohol, cigarettes, and amphetamine in humans. Dr. Mitchell moved her lab to OHSU in 2001 from the University of New Hampshire to devote more time to research examining 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 and understanding the genetic bases of choice. She has been continuously funded through NIH since 2003, has served on numerous NIH study sections as a member and as an ad hoc participant, and has received awards for education and for mentorship. She is currently the Science Board coordinator for the Association of Behavior Analysis International, President-Elect of the Society for the Quantitative Analysis of Behavior, and an Associate Editor for the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.
 

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