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Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis InternationalĀ® (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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Ninth International Conference; Paris, France; 2017

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #84
From the Clinic to the Lab and Back
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
11:30 AM–12:20 PM
Scene AB, Niveau 0
Area: DEV
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Per Holth, Ph.D.
Chair: M. Jackson Marr (Georgia Tech)
PER HOLTH (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)
Professor Per Holth received his license to practice psychology in 1983, and his Ph.D. in 2000, with a dissertation on the generality of stimulus equivalence. His clinical work has been in services for people with autism and developmental disabilities, in psychiatric units, and in the military services. His research activities span basic research, on stimulus equivalence and joint attention, as well as applied work and management of large research projects. Per Holth has taught classes in behavior analysis and learning principles at the University of Oslo and Oslo and Akershus University College (OAUC) since 1982, and joined the faculty of OAUC and the Program for learning in complex systems, as an associate professor in 2004 and as full professor in 2006. He teaches classes in all behavior-analytic education programs at OAUC. He has written for peer-reviewed publications on basic research, applied work, and philosophy of science; served on several editorial boards; and he has a member of the editorial troika of the European Journal of Behavior Analysis for 15 years. He has been a program co-coordinator of the TPC area of ABAI, is currently a program co-coordinator for the development area, and he is on the board of directors of the B. F. Skinner Foundation. His current research interests have drifted in the direction of basic experimental work with animals and humans.
Abstract: An important modern challenge concerns how to make sure that we use the behavioral science that we already have. However, it is also a challenge to make sure we have the basic science that we need. For example, when working with children with autism, both of these challenges seem constantly relevant. Although basic behavioral science may in some areas be far more advanced than what we have thus far been able to implement in the general services for children with autism, there are also some striking holes in our basic knowledge. The present paper will address some of these shortcomings. For example, when children with autism deviate from other children in the range of stimuli that reinforce their behavior, a highly relevant question concerns how, most effectively to establish new stimuli as conditioned reinforcers. We do not really know. Further, if we simply establish standard reinforcing stimuli, such as other peoples nods and smiles, as conditioned reinforcers, can the children learn standard things from the natural environment, like typically developing children, without much contrived “teaching?” Another important issue has to do with the fact that shaping requires behavioral variability, and we need to know more about how such variability is most effectively established?
Target Audience: Licensed behavior analysts, psychologists, graduate students.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe examples where more work is needed to make sure we use the behavioral science we already have; (2) Describe examples where we need more basic research in order to supply practical solutions to socially important problems; (3) Describe alternative procedures that may produce conditioned reinforcers.



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