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.

Culturo-Behavior Science for a Better World; Online; 2020

CE by Type: PSY


 

Invited Paper Session #4
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/NASW
Behavioral Science and Community Health Improvement
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
11:00 AM–12:00 PM EDT
Online
Domain: Systems
Chair: Mark A. Mattaini (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago)
CE Instructor: Mark A. Mattaini, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: VINCENT FRANCISCO (University of Kansas)
Abstract:

While the field of applied behavioral science has provided many solutions for individual-level behavior change, much work is left to be done to ensure that these interventions and strategic approaches reach their potential to improve population-level health impacts. This presentation will focus on the advantages of integrating three seemingly disparate fields—behavioral science, community psychology and public health. By integrating key aspects of these fields of study, we can take advantage of the key strengths of each field and fulfill the promise of applied behavior analysis in creating a context which is more successful than before. Theoretical underpinnings of this approach will be presented, and examples of successful adaptation and intervention will be provided.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify the issues related to understanding the influence of culture on behavior; (2) apply behavior analytic principles conceptually at every level of the social ecology; (3) communicate how behavior analysis can expand the science and practice of behavior change to achieve population-level behavior change.
 
VINCENT FRANCISCO (University of Kansas)

Dr. Vincent Francisco is Kansas Health Foundation Professor of Community Leadership in the KU Department of Applied Behavioral Science, and Director of the Center for Community Health and Development, a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre at the University of Kansas. In his work, he uses behavioral science methods to help understand and improve conditions that affect population health and health equity. He publishes widely in the areas of health promotion, capacity building, and community-based research and intervention. Dr. Francisco is a co-developer of the Community Tool Box, a widely-used Internet-based resource for promoting community health and development.
He brings expertise and experience to implementing community–based research, especially for prevention of HIV and chronic disease. He has years of experience mentoring undergraduate and graduate researchers and practitioners with community-based organizations throughout the United States and abroad. He has experience designing and implementing community-based and participatory HIV and sexual risk reduction interventions since he was a member of the Adolescent Medicine Leadership Group, Chair of the Community Prevention Leadership Group, and a member of the Executive Committee of the NIH Adolescent Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions from 2003 through 2011. He has 11 years of experience in partnering with community-based organizations in North Carolina for applied health promotion research that includes access to care, risk reduction for HIV and sexual risk reduction, as well as capacity building for empowerment of marginalized groups.
In addition, he has considerable experience working in residential and day treatment programs (e.g., Spaulding Youth Center, Rhode Island Hospital), working on primary prevention of youth violence, drug and alcohol use among teens, teen pregnancy prevention, diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention. He has been a consultant with numerous federal and state agencies on community-based and community-engaged approaches to prevention and treatment of behavioral disorders, and is recognized internationally as a resource among foundations and governmental agencies.

 
 
Invited Paper Session #6
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/NASW
Toward a More Just and Effective Response to Youth Homelessness
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
2:00 PM–3:00 PM EDT
Online
Domain: Systems
Chair: Mark A. Mattaini (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago)
CE Instructor: Mark A. Mattaini, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: CASEY HOLTSCHNEIDER (Northeastern Illinois University)
Abstract:

Each year, an estimated 4.2 million unaccompanied youth ages 13-25 experience homelessness in the United States. The threats facing young people in housing crisis are many and their potential impacts, harrowing. Youth are at high risk for physical and sexual victimization, mental and physical illness, involvement with the criminal justice system, and face serious threats to their education, their future economic stability, and their lives. This presentation will critically examine the current approach to services for youth in situations of homelessness in the United States. Directly informed by the lived experience of young people, it calls for a shift in our understanding of the nature and scope of the problem and consequently, our practice and policy strategies being implemented to address it.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the general scope and nature of youth homelessness in the United States; (2) identify harms youth experience as a result of current policy and practice approaches; (3) explain alternative strategies to better support young people at both a practitioner and structural level.
 
CASEY HOLTSCHNEIDER (Northeastern Illinois University)
Dr. Casey Holtschneider is an assistant professor of social work at Northeastern Illinois University and has spent the last 20 years working with young people experiencing homelessness. Dr. Holtschneider completed her PhD at the University of Illinois at Chicago where her dissertation research investigated the long-term impact of housing and support services for youth in situations of homelessness in Chicago, IL. Her findings raised critical concerns with regard to: the systemic barriers and further harm youth experience when accessing services; the prioritization and quality of those services; and the continued structural violence that leads to and perpetuates poverty and homelessness for youth. In effort to act on these findings, in 2014 Dr. Holtschneider teamed up with a group of former participants in, and directors of, homeless youth services in Chicago and together they founded the LYTE Collective where Dr. Holtschneider currently serves as executive director. At LYTE, the team is now implementing youth homelessness intervention models that are youth-driven, evidence-guided, and grounded in anti-oppressive practice while they simultaneously work toward necessary structural change. 
 
 
Invited Paper Session #9
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/NASW
A Behavior Analytic Perspective on Social Welfare Policy
Thursday, October 8, 2020
8:30 AM–9:30 AM EDT
Online
Domain: Systems
Chair: Mark A. Mattaini (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago)
CE Instructor: Mark A. Mattaini, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: BRUCE THYER (Florida State University)
Abstract:

This presentation provides a review of the application of elementary principles of operant behavior (both contingency-shaped and rule-governed behavior), toward the conceptualization, design, and evaluation of social welfare policy. All social policy is intended to influence human behavior, and it does this most often through the contrived manipulation of contingencies of punishment and, sometimes, reinforcement. Policies that use contingency management are provided to support this thesis, examples illustrating the use of positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, negative punishment, shaping, and extinction. A form of within subject research designs known as time series studies are ideally suited to evaluate the outcomes of social welfare policies. Too often social welfare policies are devised on the basis of common sense, and lack a strong empirical background of successful experimental pilot testing under real life conditions. Thus, it is common for such policies to be ineffective, or to produce short or long term results that are harmful. Behavior analysts can contribute to the improvement of local communities and our larger society by contributing their expertise in altering human behavior via the design of new welfare policies, the modification of existing programs, and the critical analysis of ineffective ones.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the fundamental contingencies underlying the mechanisms of action of selected social welfare policies; (2) predict, using behavioral principles, the long-term future success or failure of a contemporary proposed (not yet adopted) national social welfare policy; (3) identify, using behavioral principles, why a previously implemented national or state social welfare policy failed to produce the intended effects.
 
BRUCE THYER (Florida State University)

Bruce Thyer, Ph.D. is a Distinguished Research Professor with the College of Social Work at Florida State University. A BCBA-D, he is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Florida and Georgia. He has devoted much of his career to promoting the adoption of behavior analysis within the field of social work. He has been a reviewer for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and a former Associate Editor with that journal. He has published widely in the ABA literature and also in the fields of social work, psychology and psychiatry.

 
 
Invited Symposium #10
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/NASW
Poverty and Welfare Policy Symposium
Thursday, October 8, 2020
9:30 AM–10:30 AM EDT
Online
Domain: Systems
Chair: Mark A. Mattaini (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago)
CE Instructor: Mark A. Mattaini, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium will examine the issue of global poverty and analyze policies aimed to reduce poverty from a behavioral perspective. Presenters will offer a conceptual framework for chronic poverty and considerations in collecting and interpreting data related to public policy issues including child welfare practice. Potential actions and technological advancements will be discussed for providing adequate social services and breaking the cycle of chronic poverty to achieve a better world.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe chronic poverty from a behavioral perspective; (2) discuss possible government interventions to incentivize the poor to change their decision making; (3) identify the conditions in which “deep learning” procedures may be employed in the analysis of behavioral data; (4) recognize the types of data that are inappropriate for analysis by way of conventional statistical procedures; (5) discuss how socioeconomic determinants serve as antecedents to large-scale societal problems, including violence; (6) identify examples of the application of behavioral approaches to address social problems that are influenced by poverty, through cross-sector collaboration
 

Following the Data: Behavior Analysis in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

CHRIS NINNESS (Behavioral Software Systems)
Abstract:

Behavior analysts have long recognized the benefits of closely following their data; however, the data we are following may be changing faster than the tools we employ to analyze it. Recently, a variety of parametric and non-parametric statistical techniques have become popular alternatives to our foundational tactics in scientific research--even when the data at hand defies the underlying critical statistical assumptions. This problem even saturates behavior analytic investigations that focus on the evaluation of complex data related to public policy issues in areas such as poverty, geriatrics, and child welfare practice. Indeed, it is not uncommon to find statistical artifacts and anomalies tainting articles within many of our most prestigious journals within the disciplines of social services, criminal justice, and urban development. To further complicate this issue, many of our current technological advances are generating nonlinear, non-independent, and non-normal outcomes. In the face of this research enigma, there exists a much more powerful and precise set of classification and prediction platforms for researchers in the behavioral sciences. Unlike conventional statistical strategies, these systems do not entail critical assumptions pertaining to linearity, homoscedasticity, statistical independence, or normality. In this paper, we explore the many ways in which several artificial intelligence systems and related neural network models are capable of accurately classifying and predicting outcomes employing data that is inconsistent with the assumptions underlying conventional statistics. We argue that these models have potential application to a broad spectrum of behavior analytic goals.

Chris Ninness earned BS and MS degrees in Psychology as well as a Ph.D. in College Teaching in Psychology (with a secondary emphasis in software development) from the University of North Texas. He also earned a Ph.D. in School Psychology from Texas Woman’s University. He became a senior research analyst for the Dallas ISD software development and applied research group and then a supervising school psychologist for the Denton Independent School District. Later, he completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Kennedy-Krieger Institute and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Behavioral Pediatrics. Chris went on to become Director and Professor of the School Psychology Doctoral Program at Stephen F. Austin State University. He has served as Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and The Psychological Record, and he is on the board of editors for Behavior and Social Issues. Presently, Chris is developing artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction software at Behavioral Software Systems.
 

Examining Socioeconomic Determinants as Antecedents to Violence Using a Behavioral Community Approach

JOMELLA WATSON-THOMPSON (University of Kansas)
Abstract: There is increased attention to addressing problems of significant societal concern, which disproportionately affects marginalized populations and communities. The history and application of behavioral community approaches for addressing problems in communities including poverty and violence is explored. The integration of behavioral community approaches to examine socioeconomic determinants, including poverty, as antecedents to violence is presented. The importance of promoting cross-sector and multidisciplinary collaboration to advance behavioral community approaches within the context of addressing poverty is discussed. The presentation examines strengths, challenges, and opportunities for using a behavioral science approach to examine poverty as a socioeconomic determinant of health and well-being.

Dr. Jomella Watson-Thompson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science, and the Director of the Center for Service Learning at the University of Kansas. She is also an Associate Director with the Center for Community Health and Development. She attained a Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychology and a Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Kansas. She applies behavioral science methods and interventions to improve how communities address issues related to community health and development. Her research has focused on behavioral-community approaches to neighborhood development, substance abuse prevention, and youth and community violence prevention. Dr. Thompson supports community-engaged scholarship using participatory approaches to address social determinants or factors that may contribute to disparities, particularly for marginalized groups and communities. She has researched the effects of community-based processes and behavioral-community interventions to promote mobilization and change in communities.  Dr. Thompson has co-authored articles on community capacity-building, youth development, and prevention and received numerous federal, state and local funding awards.  She is as an Associate Editor with Behavior and Social Issues.  Dr. Thompson has extensive experience providing training, technical support and evaluation for coalitions and community-based initiatives.

 

Promoting Intersectoral Action to Address Chronic Poverty and Social Exclusion

ROBERTA LEMOS (Virginia Tech Carilion)
Abstract:

Although the world has made huge efforts to overcome global poverty, 10% of the world's population still lives in extreme poverty without access to the most basic needs such as water, sanitation, health, and education. Some families experience this condition for many years facing a situation that is difficult to emerge from. Previous studies have shown that the constraints of poverty induce a focus on immediate and safe payoffs. This situation becomes a cycle that perpetuates from generation to generation. This presentation will explore ways policy can be designed to incentivize individuals in the lower socioeconomic class to change their decision-making behaviors. Based on a behavioral perspective, we will: 1) present a conceptual framework for chronic poverty, 2) discuss government policies aimed at reducing poverty, and 3) illustrate how intersectoral actions can provide adequate social services to alter the options faced by impoverished families and help address poverty and social exclusion.

Roberta Freitas Lemos, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Addiction Recovery Research Center at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech Carilion. In her current position, Dr. Freitas Lemos leads two in-laboratory multi-week experiments examining decision making, behavioral economics, and policy in cigarette smokers and a pilot study focused on understanding motivations for use of diverted buprenorphine. Dr. Freitas Lemos has over 10 years of experience acting on a range of municipal, state, and federal government programs developing opportunities to improve public policy based on behavioral principles. She has personally coordinated the implementation of large-scale social programs directed to vulnerable groups in different municipalities in Brazil. Dr. Freitas Lemos most recent position was as an advisor of the Vice-Minister at the Ministry of Social Development in Brazil (current Ministry of Citizenship). She has also worked as a social policy expert at the Ministry of Human Rights and the Ministry of Health in Brazil. Her interests include Translational Research, Behavioral Science, and Social Protection and Health Policies. Dr. Freitas Lemos has a BA in Psychology from Pontifical Catholic University in Sao Paulo and a BA in Sports Sciences from the University of Sao Paulo. She also completed a study-abroad semester at the University of Porto, Portugal. Dr. Freitas Lemos received a Masters in Experimental Psychology with a focus on Behavior Analysis from Pontifical Catholic University in Sao Paulo. In addition, she took a graduate course in Public Management from Cândido Mendes University. Dr. Freitas Lemos received her PhD in Behavioral Sciences from the University of Brasília. She also visited the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington D.C. for a semester to collaborate with the Social Protection and Division during her Ph.D. studies.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #11
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/NASW
Applied Behavior Analysis at the Margins: Opportunities for Public Health Expansion in Marginalized and Underserved Communities
Thursday, October 8, 2020
11:00 AM–12:00 PM EDT
Online
Domain: Systems
Chair: Mark A. Mattaini (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago)
CE Instructor: Mark A. Mattaini, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: KASTON ANDERSON-CARPENTER (Michigan State University)
Abstract:

Much of the applied behavior analytic literature centers on changing individual behavior in a controlled environment, yet behavior analysis research and practice has critical applications in community and population-level behavior. Its application to the field of public health, for instance, provides scientists with a technology for functional contextual analyses of behaviors related to health conditions such as HIV acquisition and substance use disorder. This talk focuses on how applied behavior analysis can further expand to address critical public health issues within marginalized and underserved communities. Special attention will be given to cultural considerations in developing, implementing, and evaluating behavior-analytic interventions in these populations.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe appropriate differential reinforcement procedures for behavior change in immigrant and refugee populations; (2) identify extensions of behavioral cusps in behavior change related to HIV and substance use; (3) describe setting events and motivating operations that influence public health behaviors in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer populations.
 
KASTON ANDERSON-CARPENTER (Michigan State University)

Dr. Kaston D. Anderson-Carpenter is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University. He also holds appointments as Core Faculty in the MSU Consortium for Multicultural Psychology Research and Affiliate Faculty in the MSU Institute for Public Policy and Social Research. He earned his Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychology from The University of Kansas and a Master of Public Health degree with honors from The University of Kansas School of Medicine. He also earned a Master of Arts degree in Experimental Psychology and Applied Behavior Analysis from McNeese State University. Additionally, is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral (BCBA-D) and Licensed Behavior Analyst in the state of Michigan.
Dr. Anderson-Carpenter’s research focuses on substance use and determinants of health in underserved and marginalized communities. Since 2010, Dr. Anderson-Carpenter has worked with local community organizations, state coalitions, and policy makers to address socially important issues affecting marginalized and underserved populations. He has worked in many areas, including substance use and HIV/STI prevention, LGBTQ+ health, and Arab American health. Dr. Anderson-Carpenter’s work has been published in a number of journals and is the 2015 recipient of the G. Alan Marlatt Award for distinguished Scientific Early Career Contributions by the Society of Addiction Psychology.

 
 
Invited Symposium #13
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/NASW
Research and Training on Culturo-Behavior Science
Thursday, October 8, 2020
2:00 PM–3:00 PM EDT
Online
Domain: Systems
Chair: Mark A. Mattaini (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago)
CE Instructor: Mark A. Mattaini, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Several behavioral programs are advancing the culture of behavioral science. These presenters will offer recent research across universities in the U.S. and Brazil relevant to large scale behavior change and social activism. Topics discussed will focus on how culturo-behavior scientist can use research to inform and impact public policy.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify basic science as an important tool in culturo-behavior science; (2) identify basic knowledge as power in modern world, and scientific literacy as social activism; (3) discuss some aspects of the Brazilian academic environment that selected approaching social issues from a behavior analytic account; (4) discuss strategies to present social issues in Culturo-Behavior Science to students; (5) describe 1-3 ways in which behavior scientists may start to explore CBS as their own interest area; (6) describe 1-3 ways in which behavior scientists may be able to cultivate and develop students’ interests in CBS.
 

Teaching Students Cross-Sectoral and Multidisciplinary Approaches to Societal Challenges

INGUNN SANDAKER (Oslo Metropolitan University)
Abstract:

Universities should highlight the consequences of antagonistic approaches to societal challenges. These are often paralleled into ideological frontiers. Even though there are need for highly specialized competencies to solve some of the wicked problems society encounter, the ability to exploit and explore complementary solutions increases as complexity grows. On all levels, from agent interaction to policy makers, the multidisciplinary behavioral insight offers tools that more effectively and more efficiently meet intended goals and address the real needs of citizens and end-users. Government interventions are often based on deductive approach, assuming human behavior to be profoundly rational and implementing reforms at full scale. By using the growing body of behavioral insights, one might debias this process by moving away from sometimes unrealistic assumptions of rationality to discover the actual behavior of individuals through problem identification, behavior analysis, experimentation and trialing that tests multiple policy responses at a smaller scale to determine the best course of action in a cost-effective manner. This will enable our students to not only addressing societal challenges, but also ability to contributing to the solutions.

Dr. Ingunn Sandaker is a professor and program director of the Master and Research Program Learning in Complex Systems at Oslo and Akershus University College. She also initiated the development of the first Ph.D. program in behavior analysis in Norway. She has been the program director since it was established in 2010. She received her Ph.D. in 1997 at the University of Oslo with a grant from the Foundation for Research in Business and Society at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration. Her thesis was a study on the systemic approach to major changes in two large companies; one pharmaceutical company and one gas and petroleum company. During preparations for the Olympic games in Sydney, Australia, and Nagano, Japan, she was head of evaluation of a program aiming at extending female participation in management and coaching and assisting the Norwegian Olympic Committee’s preparations for the games. For a number of years, Dr. Sandaker worked as an adviser on management training and performance in STATOIL and Phillips Petroleum Co. in Norway. She also was project manager for Railo International who in cooperation with the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration ran a project preparing the electricity supply system in Norway for marked deregulations. Serving as a consultant on top level management programs in Norwegian energy companies, her interest has been focused on performance management within a systems framework. Trying to combine the approaches from micro-level behavior analysis with the perspective of learning in complex systems, and cultural phenomena, she is interested in integrating complementary scientific positions with the behavior analytic conceptual framework.
 

Do Behavior Analysts Really Study That? Bringing Social Issues to the Discussion of Behavior Analysis in Brazil

AECIO BORBA VASCONCELOS NETO (Universidade Federal do Para)
Abstract:

Behavior analysis is well known in Brazil as one of the main approaches to experimental psychology, and a clinical practice to intervene with neurotypical or delayed developmental audiences. Less known in the country is how behavior analysis may approach social issues and systemic interventions. Although this has been an area of intense growth in Brazil in the last two decades, most of the students in psychology don't know that behavior analysis deals with such topics. This presentation discusses some of the contingencies and metacontingencies that selected approaching social issues in Brazil, especially how Psychology Faculties and students over the years in general (Behavior Analysis in it) have been part of social movements and directly related to social sciences since the 1970s. The presentation finish with some of the strategies used to propagate this area among students in Brazil.

Psychologist Aécio Borba graduated from Universidade Federal do Ceará (2004), and received his master’s (2007) and Ph.D. (2013) in Behavior Theory and Research from Universidade Federal do Pará, where he is an Adjunct Professor. Dr. Borba works in behavior analysis, with research interests including cultural selection and subjectivity; and work and organizational psychology, with an emphasis in Organizational Culture. He is a visiting research scholar (2018-2020) at the University of North Texas, Denton (USA).
 

Getting Started in Culturo-Behavior Science

TRACI CIHON (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

As a recently formalized specialization, Culturo-Behavior Science (CBS) explores how to take behavior science to scale; how to better understand the influences of social, institutional, and cultural variables on cooperative and competitive behavior; and how behavior science can contribute to solving some of the world’s most pressing problems. However, determining where to start and what strategies to use to develop expertise in an emerging specialization may prove challenging. Opportunities to be mentored, join labs, take formal courses, and conduct research in CBS are not yet widely available. Nonetheless, the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas has been instrumental in providing such opportunities for students, faculty, and scholars (i.e., the Behavior and Culture Lab coordinated by Glenn from 2006-2012). Recently, we have rekindled such efforts with the creation of the Cultural Design and Systems Lab (Cihon, Becker, & Ortu 2018 to present) and the provision of graduate-level coursework in CBS. The goal of this presentation is to describe our recent efforts to provide opportunities for students, faculty, and scholars to pursue their interests in CBS and to make tangible suggestions for students, faculty, and scholars interested in getting started in CBS.

Dr. Traci Cihon received her master’s degree from the University of Nevada-Reno and her PhD from The Ohio State University. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis at The University of North Texas where she teaches graduate level courses in ethics and behavioral systems analysis and the undergraduate Organizational Behavior Management courses. Dr. Cihon has developed behavioral interventions for individuals with and without disabilities in home and school settings both domestically and internationally. Her scholarship focuses cultural and-behavioral systems science, verbal behavior, international and interdisciplinary work, and behavioral education. At UNT, Dr. Cihon co-leads the Cultural Design & Systems Lab, conducting research that contributes to our understanding of how cultural phenomena develop from a systems and selectionist perspective. In addition, she serves on editorial boards for several peer-reviewed journals including The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, Behavior and Social Issues, Perspectives on Behavior Science, and the American Annals of the Deaf. Her most recent projects include co-editing a special section of Perspectives on Behavior Science focused on cultural and behavioral systems science and co-editing Behavior Science Perspectives on Culture and Community, part of a new ABAI book series - both with Dr. Mark Mattaini, and serving as the editor for a special section in Behavior and Social Issues on papers developed from the 5th Think Tank on Cultural Analysis.

 

Basic Science is Also a “Real-World Problem”: Knowledge as Power and Scientific Literacy as Social Activism

MARCELO BENVENUTI (Universidade de São Paulo)
Abstract:

For many social activists and applied researchers, once a technology that can solve a social problem is found, basic science loses its importance. For them, dealing with “big issues” is more important than investing in abstract understanding or predicting natural phenomena. In fact, ideas such as social justice, human rights, and environmental changes require urgent solutions. For this reason, knowledge directly related to behavior changes on a large scale is usually viewed as more important for social change than the ones made by basic science. The first is assumed to deal with “real-world problems” while the second is viewed as something abstract and distant from social demands in a world that claims for social change. However, the knowledge that comes from basic science is probably the most fundamental source of power in modern societies and more than an initial step to technology and innovation. Technology and innovation is only one aspect of scientific development. This presentation stands that basic science in culturo-behavior science is also a “real-world problem” in the sense that it explores fundamental questions of human existence, constantly reviews our comprehensions on our basic phenomena, provides a deep understanding of why certain practices works or not and connects us with other sciences. This is what makes scientific literacy a key component for social activism: we cannot only be efficient to promote behavior and social change in large scale, we must also inform people about what behavior means, what is cultural practices, so people can independently make better decisions in their daily lives. I will try to highlight the need for a mutual relationship among basic science, applied science, programs for behavior change in large scale, and scientific literation as a mission for culture-behavior science.

Marcelo Benvenuti is Assistant Professor of Psychology at University of São Paulo (USP), where he coordinates the Social Behavior Lab. He received his BA from Pontifícia Universidade de São Paulo (PUC-SP) and his PhD from USP. He served as Assistant Professor of Behavior Analysis at PUC-SP from 2000 to 2007. He also served as Invited Professor at Universidade de Brasília (UnB) from 2007 to 2011. He is also part of the research tem from the National Institute About Behavior, Cognition and Teaching (INCT-ECCE). Benvenuti's research aims to investigate social behavior and cultural practices His laboratory investigates issues related to metacontingencies, inequity aversion, morality, social aspects of superstitious behavior and illusion of control using mainly laboratory behavioral studies, but also surveys and economic games. The ultimate goal is to discuss units of analysis that define social behavior and social interactions in cultural practices.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #19
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/NASW
Implementing Behavior Analysis at Scales of Social Importance
Friday, October 9, 2020
11:00 AM–12:00 PM EDT
Online
Domain: Conceptual
Chair: Mark A. Mattaini (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago)
CE Instructor: Mark A. Mattaini, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: ROBERT HORNER (University of Oregon)
Abstract:

The principles of behavior analysis hold great promise for addressing many of the major challenges faced in society. Yet the applications of behavior analysis remain limited in scope and breadth. This session will focus on the large-scale application of applied behavior analysis in educational settings. Emphasis will be given to identifying the core features of effective educational environments, and the process for implementing those features with high fidelity, sustainability, and at scales of social significance. Experience over the past two decades with implementation of positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) in over 27,000 schools will be described.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify three trends currently affecting the adoption of applied behavior analysis in education; (2) define the critical elements needed to operationally define an educational “practice”; (3) describe the central role of “fidelity measurement” for large-scale adoption of behavioral practices; (4) define “contextual fit” as a core component for defining behavioral interventions that are used at scales of social significance.
 
ROBERT HORNER (University of Oregon)
Rob Horner is an emeritus professor of special education at the University of Oregon. His research has focused on applied behavior analysis, positive behavior support, multi-tiered instructional systems, stimulus control, equity in education, and systems change. He has worked for the past 20 years with George Sugai in development and implementation of school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS). Over 27,000 schools are implementing PBIS nationally. Research, evaluation and technical assistance outcomes from this effort indicate that investing in the development of a positive social culture is associated with improved social, behavioral and academic gains for students. Dr. Horner has been the editor of the Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, co-editor of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, and associate editor for both the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and the American Journal on Mental Retardation. Dr. Horner is recipient of multiple awards, including the 2002 AAMR Education Award, the 2006 ABA Public Service in Behavior Analysis Award, the 1996 APA Fred Keller Educational Researcher Award, and the 2014 AERA Distinguished Researcher Award.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #22
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/NASW
Interdisciplinary Action Supporting Cultures of Social and Environmental Justice
Friday, October 9, 2020
3:30 PM–4:30 PM EDT
Online
Domain: Conceptual
Chair: Mark A. Mattaini (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago)
CE Instructor: Mark Mattaini, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: MARK MATTAINI (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago)
Abstract: This presentation will draw from and integrate concepts and data presented by invited speakers throughout this conference, exploring the promise and challenges of transdisciplinary efforts for pursuing a common core goal: sustainable, just, and reinforcing societies. To structure the material that follows, Dr. Mattaini will first outline and exemplify scientifically grounded, operational definitions of social and environmental justice and their interrelation. He will then review promising ecological approaches for supporting cultures striving to operationalize and realize such societies, and the cultural systems analytic methods from which such approaches emerge. Integrating material from the conference presentations, recent developments in the Behaviorists for Social Responsibility’s Matrix Project, and his earlier work in the book Strategic Nonviolent Power: The Science of Satyagraha, the speaker will explore examples of constructional community and social action, policy advocacy, and where necessary, civil disobedience. Given the structural realities present in contemporary societies, including the ethical challenges presented to professionals and scientists in situations of marginalization, inequity, and multiple forms of oppression, the presentation will end with a call for critical self- and collective reflection directed toward reshaping models of community and cultural analysis and intervention, and committing to the actions identified by that reflection.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define social and environmental justice in operational terms; (2) explain the advantages of taking a constructional, transdisciplinary approach to social change; (3) identify at least three ethical challenges in efforts supporting social change, and responsible approaches for responding to those challenges.
 
MARK MATTAINI (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago)
Mark Mattaini, DSW, ACSW, holds an emeritus appointment at Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he was previously director of the doctoral program. He has developed, implemented, and researched behavioral strategies for individual, family, organizational, community and policy level interventions in the US, Canada, and Latin America, increasingly emphasizing advocacy, accompaniment, and activism in recent years. Consistent with that emphasis, his recent scholarship has focused on nonviolent action supporting social justice, and behavioral systems science at the cultural level. He is a research affiliate of the UIC Center for Research on Violence, and has chaired 25 dissertations related to responses to social issues. Most of his Ph.D. graduates are engaged in research and practice with marginalized populations, including those victimized by—and perpetrating—violence, and in developing evidence-guided supports for young people experiencing homelessness and social exclusion. Dr. Mattaini is author or editor of 13 books, two of the most recent being Strategic Nonviolent Power: The Science of Satyagraha, and Leadership for Cultural Change: Managing Future Well-Being, as well as numerous other publications. Editor of the interdisciplinary journal Behavior and Social Issues, Dr. Mattaini has served on the editorial boards of multiple journals in behavior analysis and social work. ABAI Convention Program Board Coordinator from 2013-2017, he has also been a long-time member of the Board of Planners for Behaviorists for Social Responsibility, the oldest ABAI SIG.
 

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