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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Special Event #144
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Presidential Scholar Address: Evolution and Contextual Behavioral Science: An Integrated Framework for Understanding, Predicting, and Influencing Human Behavior
Saturday, May 26, 2018
6:00 PM–6:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Grand Ballroom 7-13
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Michael J. Dougher (University of New Mexico)
CE Instructor: Michael J. Dougher, Ph.D.

Evolution and Contextual Behavioral Science: An Integrated Framework for Understanding, Predicting, and Influencing Human Behavior


The study of evolution in relation to human affairs lags behind the study of evolution in biology by about a century. During this period, the many basic and applied human-related disciplines developed into sophisticated bodies of knowledge that were poorly integrated with each other or with evolutionary theory. That is now rapidly changing. I will provide a broad overview of the integration in progress and how it can lead to positive intentional change at all scales, from individuals to the planet.

DAVID SLOAN WILSON (Binghamton University)
David Sloan Wilson is SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University and President of the Evolution Institute, a nonprofit organization that formulates public policy from an evolutionary perspective. He has made foundational contributions to evolutionary theory and is widely credited for helping to revive Multilevel Selection Theory, which explains how adaptations can evolve (or fail to evolve) at any level of a multi-tier hierarchy of biological or human social units. He has also been influential in expanding the study of evolution beyond the biological sciences to include all aspects of humanity, both inside and outside the Ivory Tower. His books include Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society (2002), Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives (2007), The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve my City, One Block at a Time (2011), and Does Altruism Exist? Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others (2015). His next book, titled This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution and Evolving the Future, will be published in 2019.
Target Audience:

The presentation is targeted to a broad applied behavioral science audience.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss the complex history of psychological and social thought during the 20th century; (2) discuss the conceptual unification in progress; (3) discuss how the unification can be applied to real-world positive change efforts.



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Modifed by Eddie Soh