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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Symposium #492
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Sustainable Horizons: Navigating Climate Challenges Through Behavior-Analytic Practices
Monday, May 27, 2024
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 3, Liberty Ballroom Salon A
Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Elizabeth Meshes (The Chicago School)
CE Instructor: Elizabeth Meshes, Ph.D.

In the pursuit of sustainable practices, three distinct yet interconnected studies delve into critical aspects of environmental conservation. The first study focuses on the intricate relationship between electricity consumption and climate change. Participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of the impact of electricity production on heat trapping emissions globally, with a specific emphasis on strategies to reduce fossil fuel usage. The second study explores the alarming connection between increased greenhouse gases and human consumption behaviors, spotlighting the substantial contribution of food waste to global emissions. Participants will evaluate the potential of food waste reduction programs. The third study shifts the focus to water consumption in drought-stricken areas, specifically California. Participants will learn about the effectiveness of visual and textual feedback in reducing household water consumption. The study employs a Flume® Smart Home Water Monitor to monitor daily water usage, implementing a multiple baseline design to discern the impact of different feedback modalities. These three studies collectively underscore the urgency of evidence-based interventions in the face of environmental challenges. Participants will emerge equipped with insights into mitigating climate change through informed electricity consumption, addressing greenhouse gas emissions in the food practices, and implementing effective strategies to curtail household water consumption in regions grappling with drought. This combined presentation provides a holistic perspective on the multifaceted approaches required for sustainable practices, emphasizing the critical role of informed behavior-analytic intervention in mitigating the environmental impact of human activities.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Electricity, Food Waste, Sustainability, Water Use
Target Audience:

Behavior Analysts, Students Knowledge of feedback

Learning Objectives: 1. discuss quantities and qualities of feedback to reduce fossil fuel usage in electricity consumption. 2. compare the effectiveness of interventions based on intentions to interventions focusing on consequences in reduce food waste. 3. evaluate the effectiveness of employing "smart" interventions in feedback on household water usage.
Diversity submission Intentions, Consequences, and Reducing Food Waste
LAWRENCE PLATT (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Increased greenhouse gases (GHG) in the earth's atmosphere are increasing the temperature of the planet (GHG; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2019). Human consumption behaviors are increasing the number of GHG in the atmosphere. The food industry produces 1/3 of all GHG emissions (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2020). In the United States, governmental efforts at GHG focus on natural and petroleum gas (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2022); food waste reduction programs could significantly reduce GHG emissions (Food Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, 2021). There is limited data on effective interventions for reducing household food waste (Reynolds et al., 2019). Current food waste interventions have focused on the role of antecedents and have neglected the consequences of food waste. The current study compared food waste interventions using an approach focusing on intentions, the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB; Ajzen, 1991), to an intervention that focuses on consequences, say-do correspondence. Food waste was reduced only in the say-do correspondence condition. The significance of the study is that interventions that focus on intentions, drives, and purposes often do not result in behavior change, and with the current state of the planet evidence-based interventions are needed more than ever.
Diversity submission Evaluating the Effects of Visual and Textual Feedback on Water Consumption in Single-Family Households
KIMBERLY BENJAMIN HOPPIN (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Water scarcity poses a critical sustainability challenge in drought-affected regions, necessitating innovative approaches to reduce household water consumption. This study focuses on evaluating the efficacy of picture and textual feedback on a weekly schedule in mitigating water use within ten households in California. Employing the Flume® Smart Home Water Monitor to track daily water usage, the research employs a multiple baseline design across participants. This study will use the Flume® Smart Home Water Monitor to survey daily water usage. Three households will receive visual feedback, while another three will receive textual feedback. The study hypothesizes that visual feedback will prove more effective in curbing household water consumption. To validate this, findings from the more effective intervention will be replicated in three additional households, with one household serving as a control in the baseline. Through this approach, the study aims to provide valuable insights into the comparative effectiveness of visual and textual feedback on water conservation behaviors. The implications of the results for sustainable water management strategies will be discussed, and recommendations for future research in this field will be outlined. The findings of this study can contribute to the development of targeted interventions for water conservation in drought-prone regions, aiding both policymakers and households in adopting more sustainable water practices.
Diversity submission The Effect of Feedback Interventions to Decrease Electricity Consumption
Karla Lorena Reinhard (The Chicago School), ELIZABETH MESHES (The Chicago School), Eric Carlson (The Chicago School)
Abstract: A significant contributor to climate change is electricity consumption, responsible for a substantial 25% of heat-trapping emissions worldwide. To address this environmental challenge, a transformative shift in electricity consumption behaviors is imperative. Feedback, defined as information about an individual's actions in relation to their surroundings, is deemed essential for guiding people towards sustainable practices. The effectiveness of feedback, however, is contingent upon the specificity and relevance of the information provided. The research aims to investigate the impact of informed feedback on electricity consumption patterns. Ten households will be subjected to a feedback-based intervention wherein information about their energy consumption will be delivered at specified intervals. The study seeks to discern the nuanced variations in response to feedback among different households. By examining the quality and quantity of feedback, the research aims to contribute to the development of tailored interventions for sustainable energy consumption. The findings of this study are anticipated to shed light on the potential of feedback mechanisms in addressing climate change through individual behavior modification.



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