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

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Panel #420
CE Offered: BACB — 
Switching Species: What Could Go Wrong? Considering Possible Ethical Pitfalls
Monday, May 27, 2024
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Convention Center, 100 Level, 102 AB
Area: AAB/EAB; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Terri M. Bright, Ph.D.
Chair: Terri M. Bright (MSPCA Angell Animal Medical Center)
JANIE A FUNK (Behaven Kids)
ALLYSON R SALZER (MSPCA-Angell and Canine Behavioral Blueprints, LLC)
CHRISTINA A. ALLIGOOD (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Many behavior analysts love spending time with animals, and this can be a strong motivation for them to switch the species they serve from humans to non-humans. What’s not exciting about training service dogs, cats (tiger-striped or actual tigers) or animals in Shelters? However, before a behavior analyst takes that leap, they need to review the BACB’s Code of Ethics , which instructs they remain “… aware of, working within, and continually evaluating the boundaries of their competence…” and be “…knowledgeable and current about interventions (including pseudoscience) that may exist in their practice areas and pose a risk of harm to clients.” This panel will present the viewpoints of four behavior analysts who work with non-human animals, and each will discuss the ethical challenges of those who would delve unprepared/uninformed into this field. They will also answer audience questions for those who desire to get a foot in the non-human animal behavior door. (Note: a symposium on the same subject is also being offered and should be attended in concert with this panel discussion.)
Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience: The audience should have a working knowledge of behavior analysis, e.g. preference assessments, functional assessment, and the ability to recognize the vocabulary of same.
Learning Objectives: 1. The learner will be able to identify non-human animals they are qualified to train; 2. They will be able to recognize some types of pseudoscience from the animal world; 3. They will have ideas about how to go about looking for a way to start learning about training non-human animals.
Keyword(s): animal behavior, applied animal, non-human animal, training animals



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