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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #474
Diversity submission Understanding Racism, Discrimination, Prejudice, and Cultural Conflicts and What We Can Do
Monday, May 27, 2024
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 3, Liberty Ballroom Salon A
Area: CSS/PCH; Domain: Theory
Chair: Ji Young Kim (Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg)
Discussant: Jonathan W. Ivy (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg )
Abstract: Abstract: Ongoing challenges related to racism, discrimination, prejudice, and cultural conflicts have sparked discussions on the societal phenomena and potential solutions. While discussions provide a good starting point for societal changes, it may be time for behavior analysts to contribute by identifying the environmental variables and contingencies contributing to these societal issues. Only then can behavior analysts provide practical strategies to promote positive behavior change. This symposium aims to achieve these two goals. Two papers will provide a behavior-analytic account of pressing societal issues related to racism, discrimination, prejudice, and cultural conflict and how behavior analysts can promote positive behavior change. The first paper will provide a behavior-analytic explanation of racism, discrimination, and prejudice by identifying the controlling variables of these behaviors at both individual and societal levels. The second paper will outline a decision-making model for managing cultural conflicts in clinical settings, utilizing client-centered and culture-centered assessments of habilitative validity.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Culture, Discrimination, Prejudice, Racism
Diversity submission Toward a Behavior Analytic Account of Racism, Discrimination, and Prejudice
JI YOUNG KIM (Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg), Jonathan W. Ivy (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg ), Konstantina Len (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg), Tim Caldwell (TCS Education), Kozue Matsuda (Children Center Inc)
Abstract: Racism, prejudice, discrimination, and alike (collectively referred to as RPD+) represent ongoing challenges for both individuals and society. We propose a behavioral account of RPD+ in which behaviors are categorized as private and public, each influenced by an individual's history of social learning. As a result, the focus shifts from a traditional view of attributing the cause of RDP+ as "racist individuals" or a "racist system" to an understanding of how the environment shapes and perpetuates these behaviors at both an individual and societal level. Our redefined conceptualization of RDP+ focuses on a functional account that identifies the controlling contingencies of these behaviors, thereby bringing about potential avenues to modify environmental variables with the goal of changing behavior to address this societal issue. In conclusion, a behavior analytic account of RPD+ provides a novel perspective for comprehending and addressing a socially significant issue, with the goal of bridging the gap between behavior analysis and the broader perspective on RDP+, ultimately fostering positive societal change.
Diversity submission Navigating Conflicting Cultural Values: A Decision-Making Model
JAMES NICHOLSON MEINDL (The University of Memphis), Diana M. Delgado (University of Memphis), Thouraya Al-Nasser (University of Memphis, Tennessee ), Jonathan W. Ivy (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg )
Abstract: When developing interventions to promote behavior change it is important to consider the cultural values and practices of a range of individuals. At times, there may exist conflicts between the values of the client and those of either the client’s cultural context or the behavior analyst delivering services. In these situations, decisions around services and intervention development may be difficult. We propose a decision-making model to navigate these conflicts and guide the decision-making process which integrates both client-centered and culture-centered assessments of habilitative validity. The behavior analyst and service recipients work together to identify program goals with the ultimate goal of increasing access to reinforcers for both the client and relevant cultural groups. We emphasize assessment of both social and habilitative validity for relevant cultural groups as these group ultimately arrange both reinforcers and punishers for the service recipient. The utility of this model is illustrated by application to hypothetical situations involving conflicting values.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh