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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W55
CE Offered: BACB
Solving Ethical Dilemmas in the Practice of Applied Behavior Analysis.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
Williford C
Area: CSE; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Weihe Huang, Ph.D.
WEIHE HUANG (Regional Center of the East Bay, California)
Description: This workshop is designed to increase participants ability to ethically practice applied behavior analysis (ABA) by describing the characteristics of ethical dilemmas, discussing Guidelines for Responsible Conduct, and introducing an ethical decision making model. This approach incorporates codes of ethics for behavior analysts and ethical reasoning strategies. When making ethical decisions, many behavior analysts tend to believe that these decisions are solely based on the analysis of objective data and relevant evidences. However, in reality the decision-making process is also influenced by behavior analysts values, as well as societal values including those of services recipients. Behavior analysts often encounter ethical dilemmas when these values conflict. In facing ethical dilemmas, behavior analysts need codes of professional conduct and ethically sound strategies to reach reasonable and practical resolutions. The Guidelines for Responsible Conduct for Behavior Analysts is helpful in many situations. In some cases, however, ethical dilemmas cannot be resolved by appealing to the existing guidelines or regulations. Part of this workshop is aimed at providing applied behavior analysts with ethical reasoning strategies in the event that the Guidelines for Responsible Conduct alone are insufficient. These strategies are based on the relevant experience of the presenters and the available literature in the field of behavior analysis and related areas. The emphasis of the discussion will be on the application of the model to various clinical settings, including natural homes, residential facilities, day programs, and educational programs.
Learning Objectives: At the completion of the workshop, participants will be able to: - Recognize ethical issues in the field and their importance to the general public as well as to behavior analysts. - Understand primary ethical principles that underline both societal values and the content of Guidelines for Responsible Conduct for Behavior Analysts. - Identify and analyze ethical dilemmas that are often encountered by behavior analysts and other service providers. - Assess and realize the usefulness of Guidelines for Responsible Conduct as a tool in making ethical decisions. - Use the six steps delineated in the Ethical Decision Making Model to resolve ethical dilemmas that are likely to occur in the ABA service delivery process.
Activities: This workshop will use cases both provided by the presenters and generated by participants to illustrate the implementation of Guidelines for Responsible Conduct for Behavior Analysts and the steps in the Ethical Decision Making Model. Participants of this workshop will be encouraged to (1) identify their values and to associate these values with primary ethical principles; (2) recognize the characteristics of ethical dilemmas in the field of ABA; and (3) apply codes in Guidelines for Responsible Conduct and six steps specified in the Ethical Decision Making Model to cases that involve ethical dilemmas.
Audience: Behavior analysts, Psychologists
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Advanced



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