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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Special Event #153A
CE Offered: BACB
Discussion: The Development of Behavior Science
Sunday, May 26, 2024
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Convention Center, 300 Level, Ballroom B
Domain: Theory
Chair: Mitch Fryling (California State University, Los Angeles)
CE Instructor: Mitch Fryling, Ph.D.
Panelists: CLAUDIA DROSSEL (Eastern Michigan University), MATTHEW LEWON (University of Nevada, Reno), ROCÍO ROSALES (University of Massachusetts Lowell)

Please join us for a discussion of the presentation: The Development of Behavior Science

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Behavior analysts and graduate students interested in history of behavior analysis and culturo-behavioral science, the molar view of behavior, and human language and thought.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this presentation, attendees will be able to: (1) Identify at least 3 themes of B. F. Skinner’s work; (2) State the author’s view of the theme of Skinner’s 1981 article “Selection by Consequences”; (3) Describe one example of behavior analytic substantive work addressing societal problems; (4) Specify and define one concept that addresses contingencies of selection in the evolution of cultural phenomena; (5) State their own view (with rationale) regarding the value, importance, or necessity of integrating substantive and conceptual work in culturo-behavior science; (6) Explain the molar view of behavior; (7) Discuss how the molar view of behavior grew from matching theory; (8) Discuss how the molar view of behavior relates to evolutionary theory; (9) Describe key behavior-analytic milestones in the study of human language and cognition; (10) Outline the core tenets of relational frame theory; (11) Explain how recent developments in the study of derived stimulus relations create the opportunity for synergies within the field and highlight future potential research directions.
CLAUDIA DROSSEL (Eastern Michigan University)
Claudia Drossel is an associate professor at Eastern Michigan University (EMU), a licensed clinical psychologist, and a researcher who specializes in behavior analytic approaches to case formulations. Her work focuses on late-life behavioral health, including the assessment and management of emotional and behavioral changes associated with cognitive loss, and she offers specialty training in the modular application of evidence-based practices with caregivers and adults aged 60 and older at EMU’s outpatient Community Behavioral Health Clinic.
MATTHEW LEWON (University of Nevada, Reno)
Matthew and his students conduct research across the basic, applied, and philosophical/conceptual domains of behavior science. Research conducted in his laboratory is intentionally eclectic and based upon the assumption that students benefit from exposure to/participation in a diverse intellectual environment. Students are encouraged to develop and pursue their own research interests, but the work of the laboratory is held together by a group concern with the critical and continuous evaluation of philosophical and conceptual issues within behavior science. Matthew is the principal investigator for the Animal Behavior Laboratory (ABL). The purpose of the ABL is to conduct basic research on learning, memory, and the contextual control of behavior with mice. The ABL also conducts interdisciplinary research with researchers outside of behavior science on mouse models of human conditions. Recent research topics have included motivational state-dependent learning, interactions between the effects of motivating operations, habituation/dishabituation to reinforcers, social reinforcement in mice, and how learning processes related to autism spectrum disorder in offspring are affected by parental early life exposure to anesthetic agents used in pediatric surgery. Matthew is also the Clinical Director of Behavioral Education and Consulting Services (BECS). The goal of BECS is to support students and staff in Washoe County School District (WCSD) with evidence-based behavioral consultation services. BECS collaborates with WCSD personnel to develop functional behavioral assessments and function-based interventions for individual students, conduct staff and parent trainings, and develop/monitor school-wide behavior management strategies. Graduate and undergraduate students working in BECS receive training in providing school-based consultative services.
ROCÍO ROSALES (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
Rocío Rosales, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LABA, is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Program Coordinator of the Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Studies graduate program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada Reno, and master’s and doctoral degrees from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. She is Mexican American and a first-generation college student. Her research, clinical, and theoretical interests span a range of topics including applications of verbal behavior and derived stimulus relations, student and caregiver training, instructional design, issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in ABA, and the philosophical foundations of behavior analysis. She previously served as Associate Editor for The Analysis of Verbal Behavior and The Psychological Record, on the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, and as Editor of ABAI’s Behavior Dissemination Blog: Verbal Behavior Matters. Dr. Rosales has worked to raise awareness of behavior analysis to underserved communities through various projects and professional collaborations and is currently leading a training grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs that will serve to fund scholars in interdisciplinary professional preparation in Applied Behavior Analysis and Special Education. One of the primary goals of this project is to diversify the workforce and train practitioners to work with bilingual learners with disabilities.



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