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

Event Details

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Paper Session #79
The Search for an Effective Clinical Behavior Analysis: The Nonlinear Thinking of Israel Goldiamond
Saturday, May 24, 2008
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Boulevard A
Area: CBM
Chair: Jay Moore (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
The Search for an Effective Clinical Behavior Analysis: The Nonlinear Thinking of Israel Goldiamond 1950–1968.
Domain: Applied Research
T. V. JOE LAYNG (Headsprout)
Abstract: In his over 40 years of work, Israel Goldiamond developed a sophisticated and comprehensive approach to solving problems of clinical, social, and societal importance. The approach has shown to be effective in analyzing apparently paradoxical patterns found at each level of analysis. As a result of his continuous investigation, Goldiamond was able to provide an effective behavior analysis framework for understanding human behavioral complexity. He provided groundbreaking insights into the how nonlinear consequential relations can be extended to provide a much more complete understanding of stimulus and response classes, verbal behavior and metaphor, perception, emotions, and disturbing behavior, among others. His approach has been used to successfully treat individuals from almost all diagnostic categories, to analyze institutional behavior, to provide a more comprehensive view of informed consent, and to provide a means of more fully understanding coercion and freedom. This presentation will chronicle the search undertaken by Goldiamond, and the amazing series of experiments and clinical research findings that eventually led to his powerful “systemic” as well as “topical” interventions. The experimental and conceptual basis for the approach will be traced from its beginnings in the 1950’s to 1968 when he returned to the University of Chicago.
The Search for an Effective Clinical Behavior Analysis: The Nonlinear Thinking of Israel Goldiamond 1968–1988.
Domain: Applied Research
T. V. JOE LAYNG (Headsprout)
Abstract: This presentation extends the presentation began in Part I and chronicles Goldiamond’s continued search to understand behavioral complexity once he arrives at the University of Chicago in 1968 until his retirement in the late 1980’s. It was at Chicago that Goldiamond formalized his constructional approach, nonlinear analysis, and systemic as well as topical interventions. The paper will focus on the process and observations made by Goldiamond and his students during that period, including his use of the animal laboratory as well as the clinic in developing his approach. Goldiamond was able to demonstrate that complex behavior, including disturbing patterns of clinical and social interest, can be understood as the adaptive outcome of a contingent consequential history that takes into account alternative sets of contingencies and their interaction. He was able to show that when alternative sets of contingencies are not overlooked, hypothetical self-talk, emotional avoidance, private rules or misrules, or other inner or mentalistic variables, which may be recruited to explain complex behavior, are not required and may, indeed, be problematic.



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