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 #506
PDS: Wait, You Work With Bugs, Dogs, Rats, and Zoo Animals? Tell Me More…
Monday, May 27, 2024
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Convention Center, 100 Level, 102 AB
Area: AAB/TBA; Domain: Theory
Chair: Megan K Valesey (Board Certified Behavior Analysis)
MATTHEW LEWON (University of Nevada, Reno)
GRECIA A GAVIRIA (The Chicago School)
KATHRYN L. KALAFUT (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)

B.F. Skinner (1953) discussed that the importance of a thoroughgoing explanation of behavior requires a comprehensive ability to describe, predict, and control behavior across species. According to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, 71.91% of Board Certified Behavior Analysts currently work with individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (BACB, 2023). These figures indicate that the majority of master’s level students enter the field with the intent of working with autistic children and their families; the majority of programs provide ample opportunities to discuss the application of the science in this way. However, research suggests that programs that include additional training on the Experimental Analysis of Behavior increases the likelihood that students will develop more creative repertoires, a better connection with our scientific roots, and have higher pass rates (Dixon et al.; 2015; Kamezi et al., 2019). A way to accomplish this may include the participation in basic research labs or projects that require studying the behavior of nonhuman participants. Based on insight from individuals who work in academic and professional settings with nonhumans, this panel will discuss and advocate for the inclusion of more projects with nonhuman participants as well as provide a student’s perspective on the value of such research and lab experience.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Animal Behavior, Career Options, Lab Experience, Teaching



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