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Association for Behavior Analysis International

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Ninth International Conference; Paris, France; 2017

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #74
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Fifty Years of Research in Complex Human Reinforcers
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
10:30 AM–11:20 AM
Scene AB, Niveau 0
Area: PCH
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: R. Douglas Greer, Ph.D.
Chair: Martha Costa Hubner (University of São Paulo)
R. DOUGLAS GREER (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Dr. R. Douglas Greer is Professor of Psychology and Education at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Teachers College of Columbia University where he heads the MA and Ph.D. programs in behavior analysis and the education of students with disabilities. He has served on the editorial boards of 10 journals, published over 200 research and theoretical articles in more than 20 journals and is the author of 13 books in behavior analysis. Two of his most recent books are translated into Korean, Spanish, and Italian. Greer has sponsored 216 doctoral dissertations taught over 2,000 teachers and psychologists, originated the CABAS? model of schooling used in the USA, Ireland, Italy, England and founded the Fred S. Keller School ( He has done basic and applied experimental research in schools with students, teachers, parents, and supervisors as well as pediatric patients in medical settings. He and his colleagues have identified verbal behavior and social developmental cusps and protocols to establish them when they are missing in children. He is a recipient of the Fred S. Keller Award for Distinguished Contributions to Education from the American Psychology Association, a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, recipient of May 5 as the R. Douglas Day by Westchester County Legislators. He has served as guest professor at universities in China, Spain, Wales, England, Japan, Korea, India, Ireland, Italy, USA, and Nigeria.
Abstract: After over five decades of research in behavior analysis devoted to behaviors of making and choosing music, learning of behaviors, teaching behavior and a cybernetic teaching system, as well as verbal behavior and its development, I think I have really been studying reinforcers rather than behavior. I shall describe why I think that identifying and establishing reinforcers that humans can learn (or not learn) to contact suggests the sources of multiple responses to single stimuli and single responses to multiple stimuli. Build reinforcers and the reinforcers will continue to add new responses, new motivational conditions, and numerous discriminative stimuli. Learned reinforcers and motivational conditions make complex human behaviors and contextual control possible.
Target Audience: Licensed behavior analysts, psychologists, graduate students.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe what is meant by the statement, “build reinforcers and behaviors will follow;" (2) describe how conditioned social reinforcers lead to new verbal behavior developmental cusps; (3) describe what is meant by reinforcers for observing responses should be in place before teaching certain discriminations.



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