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.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Symposium #457
CE Offered: BACB
Ethical Dissemination of Behavior Analysis: Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities of Social Media
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
204B (CC)
Area: CSE/TPC; Domain: Theory
Chair: Neal Miller (University of Memphis)
Discussant: Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Neal Miller, Ph.D.
Abstract: Behavior analysts are passionate about communicating to the general public about the benefits of our science, but have often struggled to get this message across in an effective way. These presentations will examine unique issues related to dissemination of behavior analysis through new electronic media. Both the risks and benefits of these tools will be examined through the lens of our ethical responsibilities as a field of study and practice. Current trends in social media use will be discussed along with examples of how behavior analysis is currently represented online. Specific recommendations will be made regarding ways behavior analysts can harness the potential of social media and web-based technologies to bring the message of behaviorism to a broad audience. In addition, the presentations will examine ways that online behavior can be better studied using the tools of behavior analysis to identify reliable functional relations, thus moving the complex job of dissemination away from being an art towards being a science.
Keyword(s): Dissemination, Ethics, Social Media
Behavior Analysis and Social Media: Applying Scientific Tools to Assess the Impact of Online Dissemination
NEAL MILLER (University of Memphis), Jonathan W. Ivy (Mercyhurst University)
Abstract: The recent proliferation of social media sites has placed the field of behavior analysis in a potentially challenging position. Scientists and practitioners of ABA may not be trained in the effective use of electronic media, and as a result may not be prepared share the knowledge derived from our science to a global online audience. However, the same scientific methods we use to evaluate functional relations between behavior and environment can be applied to dissemination through social media. We will explore the ways behavior analysts can experimentally evaluate the effects their social media behaviors have on an audience, and discuss ways to navigate the ethical challenges posed by these new forms of dissemination.
Behavior Analysts and Social Media: Becoming Socially Savvy Scientists
AMANDA N. KELLY (Keiki Educational Consultants)
Abstract: What to do about social promiscuity? The fact is “everyone’s doing it”, but the question is “are we doing it right”. From a survey conducted, via online sample, 100% of respondents report using social media sites for personal use and 95% reported using online media for professional use. When asked, “do you ever make comments related to your work or profession via electronic means (including email, voice recording, online social media sites), 87% of respondents replied “yes”. Regarding professional electronic behavior, the following percentages of use were reported: 95% email; 38% Facebook; 18% Pinterest; 12% Twitter. As students and practitioners, we can use social media sites to exchange ideas or swap references to readings and appropriate literature of behavioral principles and interventions. When asked, “where do you go for expert advice”, respondents surveyed indicated that they were “somewhat likely” to use online forums for discussion and to search the topic on Twitter or Facebook. Appropriate use of social media sites for businesses, includes marketing and promoting services, or advertising upcoming promotions or events. Using such means to solicit testimonials from current clients however is not. As students, scientists, and practitioners of behavior analysis, we can use social media in our favor. Of course, with great responsibility, also comes great risk. The purpose of this presentation will be to review, discuss, and suggest ways behavior analysts can become socially savvy scientists.



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