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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W86
CE Offered: BACB — 
Diversity submission Cultural Concerns in the Development of Professional Ethics for Behavior Analysts
Friday, May 22, 2020
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
To Be Determined
Area: PCH/AUT; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: William L. Holcomb, Ph.D.
WILLIAM L. HOLCOMB (The New England Center for Children)
Description: As the number of Board Certified Behavior Analysts® (BCBA)worldwide increases, the probability that an individual BCBA would be practicing in a novel or different culture continues to increase. This is particularly likely in the use of applied behavior analysis (ABA) in the treatment of individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities (given the proportion of BCBAs who practice in these areas and the world-wide demand for services). The presentation will review the general development of ethical standards and the differences between moral, ethical, and legal codes, especially as they apply to practicing ABA. Next, a behavior analytic concept of culture as defined by Skinner will be introduced and contrasted with non-behavior analytic models of the effects of culture on ethics (e.g., Hofstede’s cultural dimensions model, guidelines for cultural ethics in business, etc.). Throughout the presentation, examining how these variables affect and are addressed by the BACB® Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts will be stressed. Scenarios encountered in applied settings will be presented illustrating potential ethical dilemmas across cultures. Participants will identify section(s) of the BACB® Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts relevant to determining if an ethical conflict has occurred and what action should be taken.
Learning Objectives: The attendee will: 1. State the difference between moral, ethical, and legal dilemmas and identify an appropriate plan to resolve the dilemma. 2. State a behavior analytic-based definition of culture, and give at least one example of how cultural differences may affect practice. 3. Identify at least one personal value connected to the participant’s cultural history. 4. Recognize ethical conflicts and identify means of resolving these conflicts according to the BACB® Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts. 5. Identify potential conflicts in two scenarios and cite the applicable sections and elements of the BACB® Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts that address the conflicts.
Activities: Activities will include lecture, discussion, review of brief written material, and small group breakouts. Scenarios illustrating potential ethical dilemmas across cultures will be provided for participant practice in using the BACB® Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts as a starting point for determining solutions.
Audience: Intermediate to advanced professionals involved with evaluation, treatment and monitoring of individuals diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities (Provides additional training for individuals with experience and training on the topic) at the post graduate training level. No one needs to be excluded.
Content Area: Theory
Instruction Level: Advanced



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