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.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Paper Session #100
Conceptual Issues in the Analysis of Culture and Culturally Sensitive Care
Saturday, May 27, 2023
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom D
Area: PCH
Chair: José G. Ardila-Sánchez (University of Nevada, Reno)
Aesthetics in Interpersonal Relations
Domain: Theory
JOSÉ G. ARDILA-SÁNCHEZ (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The analysis of phenomena in terms of stimuli and responses is a common scientific practice in behavior analysis. Aesthetics, as a case in point, has been analyzed as a type of response (Mechner, 2018), and a sort of audience control (Malott, 2018). The difference between aesthetics as conventional linguistic practice and as natural phenomena from a naturalistic perspective will be introduced. This presentation offers a view of aesthetics as a property of molar contingencies based on Emilio Ribes-Iñesta’s theory of molar behaviorism (2018) and its extension to his study of social relations, called sociopsychology (Ribes-Iñesta et al., 2016). Molar contingencies are analyzed in terms of functional relations, initial and terminal conditions, and process of attachment-detachment. Social relations are analyzed in terms of two general types of social contingencies: interpersonal and impersonal relations. Two general points about aesthetics will be made with respect to individual and interindividual contingencies. The first point consists in presenting an analysis of transformation contingencies (Ribes-Iñesta, 2018) and the role of aesthetics therein. The terminal condition in transformation contingencies is of key concern; the transformed referential practices are coherent, harmonic, or aesthetic. The second point consists in presenting a sociopsychological analysis (Ribes-Iñesta et al., 2016) of the interindividual contingencies juxtaposed to transformation contingencies. The social relations regulating the transformed practices will be considered; the notion of power will bear upon these last set of considerations. The implications of these points to the science of cultural phenomena otherwise known as “culturo-behavior science” will be offered.

Recently there has been an increased interest in cultural considerations in service delivery. Although most behavior analysts frequently work with diverse populations, many may lack the expertise required to serve the needs of individuals with cultural backgrounds that may differ considerably from their own. To address this issue, the new Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts requires certificants to accrue a minimum of 3 CEU related to culturally responsive service delivery. However, since many of these trainings are offered by professionals who are not from diverse backgrounds, discussions about the cultures of others are often based either on stereotypes or on what is documented in the literature. We suggest that these discussions may not always reflect the perspectives and experiences of practitioners and families from underrepresented cultures. Considerations from the perspective of the “other” will be highlighted, focusing on examples from Arab culture.




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