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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Invited Paper Session #521
CE Offered: BACB — 
Machines Learning but Humans Discerning: The Future of Behavioral Interventions for Health in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Monday, May 27, 2024
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Convention Center, 300 Level, Ballroom B
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Darlene E. Crone-Todd (Salem State University)
CE Instructor: Wendy Donlin Washington, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: WENDY DONLIN WASHINGTON (University of North Carolina Wilmington)

Behavior Analysis has a history of embracing new technologies to improve research and practice. Recent advancements in biometrics and artificial intelligence (AI) will transform behavioral interventions for health. As we harness the capabilities of AI to predict, analyze, optimize reinforcement strategies, and guide health behaviors, how do we protect the dignity, respect, and autonomy of individuals? How do we ensure that AI complements rather than supplants human expertise? This talk will discuss how to leverage technology to enhance the precision, personalization, and efficacy of interventions for health, especially Contingency Management (CM) interventions. Contingency management refers to interventions that focus on the differential reinforcement of health-promoting behaviors. For example, these interventions may deliver financial incentives contingent upon meeting a physical activity goal or submitting a drug-free urine sample. Biometric and AI technology can help address common problems in CM interventions, such as implementation costs, objective measurement of health-promoting behaviors, adaptability, and the reduction in delay of reinforcement delivery. The talk will include a discussion of how to implement the new technologies within the ethical framework that upholds the tenets of behavior analysis.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Researchers, practitioners, graduate students

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Identify and operationally define health-promoting behaviors; (2) Describe at least 3 essential features for designing effective contingency management interventions; (3) Describe at least 3 ways that artificial intelligence can be used to enhance contingency management interventions; (4) Identify ethical risks that can arise from using biometric devices and artificial intelligence in behavioral interventions for health.
WENDY DONLIN WASHINGTON (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Dr. Wendy Donlin Washington is a professor of Psychology at University of North Carolina Wilmington where she is also the Associate Dean of the Graduate School. She received her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Auburn University under the direction of Dr. Christopher Newland, and then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine working with Kenneth Silverman and Maxine Stitzer in developing behavioral treatments for drug abuse. She has conducted research in the areas of contingency management, behavioral toxicology and pharmacology, and behavioral economics. Her current research has focused on using behavioral interventions, like contingency management, to treat health-related behaviors such as drug use and physical activity. She served as Membership Board Coordinator for ABAI from 2016-2022. She has served on the board of editors of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and Perspectives on Behavioral Science. She is currently serving as a Guest Associate Editor for a special issue on contingency management for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.



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