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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Invited Symposium #240
CE Offered: BACB
International Symposium - Values in Behavior Analysis
Sunday, May 25, 2008
2:30 PM–3:50 PM
International North
Area: CSE/TPC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Saul Axelrod (Temple University)
CE Instructor: Maria R. Ruiz, Ph.D.

Overt values statements are a relatively recent development within the field of behavior analysis. For far too long we have allowed others, primarily our critics, to describe our values for us, and it is time that we begin to speak for ourselves. Core values are important characteristics of an organizations verbal practices and as our community endeavors to build a coherent system from which to promote effective cultural practices, we are reminded that values function as guides to action and play a key role in helping us through ethical dilemmas. In order to present ourselves convincingly to our consumers and the public we need a serious debate about our values: What do we consider the most important features or contributions of behavior analysis to the culture? We will present data from a survey study of core values in a sample of ninety-four behavior analysts discuss the implications for behavior analytic practices.

Values in the Science and Practice of Behavior Analysis
GERALD A SHOOK (Behavior Analyst Certification Board)
Abstract: This session will briefly review the place of values in the science and practice of behavior analysis and it will identify some of the possible reasons why overt values statements are a relatively recent development within the field. Values will be examined within the context of professional behavior analysis and examples will be given of the integration of values into current and future professional practice.
Dr. Gerald L. Shook is Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc. He holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with over 35 years experience in behavior analysis. Dr. Shook has taken an active role in developing certification in several states, as well as internationally, and has published and presented extensively in the area of credentialing and Behavior Analysis as a profession. He conducted statewide distance education university graduate training in several states and consulted nationally on development of statewide behavioral service and training systems. He currently holds adjunct appointments in the College of Education and Graduate College at Penn State. Dr. Shook was on the Executive Council of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, where he also was Coordinator of the Legislative and Public Affairs Committee and the Affiliated Chapters Board. He was President of the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis. He served on the Editorial Boards of The Behavior Analyst, Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, and Behavior Analysis in Practice. Dr. Shook is a Trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, and a Fellow of ABAI. He received the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis’ Award for Outstanding Service; the California Association for Behavior Analysis’ Award for Outstanding Contributor to Behavior Analysis; The Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis’ Outreach Award and Award for Public Service; and the Outstanding Alumni Award from Western Michigan University.
Let's Talk Seriously About our Values: How to Reach our Consumers and Fight Off the Competition
Abstract: For far too long we have allowed others, primarily our critics, to describe our values and it is time to go on the offensive. In order to present ourselves convincingly to our consumers and the public we need a serious debate about our values: What do we consider the most important features or contributions of behavior analysis to the culture? While others see us as "manipulative" and "controlling" many of us think of behavior analysis as promoting individual worth, independence, and choice. Our dedication to data collection, research design, and a science of behavior leaves us open to criticism from those promoting "freedom" and our commitment to the study of behavior gives a big target to the vast majority of psychologists who are promoting cognitive processes and self help as solutions most any human behavior problem. I will discuss these issues and propose several alternative ways of describing and presenting our values in an attempt to tip public opinion our way.
Dr. Jon S. Bailey has contributions spanning a number of areas over the past 35 years. He has mentored over 50 Ph.D. students, many of whom have gone on to careers of excellence. This is no small task because he has been the lone behavior analyst in his department for many years. He also is a superb teacher at the undergraduate level and has received numerous university awards for instructional excellence. Dr. Bailey has been the moving force behind the growth of behavior analysis throughout the state of Florida. He was a member of the state review committee for behavior analysis in the 1970s, he founded the Florida Association of Behavior Analysis in the 1980s, and he initiated the meetings of the Organizational Behavior Management Network in the 1990s. Finally, it should be noted that Dr. Bailey also is one of our field’s eminent researchers. The largest proportion of his work has been published in the flagship journal of our field, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Many of his articles were innovative in defining new areas of research for applied behavior analysts.
Values and Behavior Analytic Practices
MARIA R. RUIZ (Rollins College), Bryan T. Roche (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Abstract: As scientists and practitioners behavior analysts must make frequent decisions that affect others. In concert with our scientific tradition our guide to best practice has been scientific principles. Yet scientific principles alone may not be sufficient to guide our decisions in situations with potentially conflicting outcomes. In such cases, values function as guides to action and play a key role in helping us through ethical dilemmas. The feminist research tradition has given us many examples of the confluence of science and political values and reminds us that personal, social and contextual influences or contextual values are ever present and the rules of evidence of scientific inquiry are not adequate to screen out their influence. Therefore, behavior analysts should examine the assumptions they hold when deciding between conflicting generalizations from their findings. As our community endeavors to build a coherent system from which to promote effective cultural practices, it is important to recognize that as pragmatists we are not searching for solutions that are ultimately “true” or “right”. We are instead making decisions about the best possible courses of effective action. When the decision is difficult because the case is not clear-cut, behavior analysts would do well to draw from the work of pragmatist philosopher John Dewey, in particular his notions of pluralistic dialogue and communal consensus to establish acceptable means of deciding.
Dr. Maria R. Ruiz is a professor of psychology at Rollins College and recipient of the Arthur Vining Davis faculty award for excellence in teaching. As a licensed psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst she has consulted in the field of autism and developmental disabilities for over twenty five years. Dr. Ruiz has a long standing commitment to the wide scale delivery of quality behavior analysis services. She has served the Behavior Analysis Certification Board as a panelist for the certification exam and on the certification board exam committee, testified as expert witness and chaired the State of Florida Behavior Analysis Peer Review Committee. Dr. Ruiz received her doctorate from the University of Florida and completed a post doctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Biology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She has conducted laboratory research to investigate animal models of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and applied behavioral research in clinical settings. Her combined interests in the conceptual analysis of behavior and social sources of behavioral control led her to develop conceptual bridges across behavior analysis and feminist psychology and her work has been published in feminist and behavioral journals. A recent extension of this interest is her collaborative work to develop behavioral methodologies applying equivalence relations in identifying behavioral processes embedded in cognitively-based implicit tests (e.g. Implicit Association Test or IAT). Dr. Ruiz has served as reviewer for Feminism and Psychology and currently serves on the editorial boards of Behavior and Social Issues and The Behavior Analyst.
Normative Premises in Applied Behavior Analysis and Literature
ERIK ARNTZEN (Akershus University College ), Jon A. Lokke (University College of Ostfold, Norway), Gunn Lokke (University College of Ostfold, Norway)
Abstract: Normative premises as ethics, moral, and values are parts of the reinforcement and punishment practices, and not a reified part of ourselves as may be argued in philosophy and traditional psychology. Core values are important characteristics of an organization’s verbal practice. Values are materialized as aims and results and connected to ideal guiding patterns of behavior - as in professional standards (Cooper et al., 2007). Our goal in this study was to expand the descriptive knowledge about values in behavior analysis. We used a survey (Bailey, 2006) to study core values reported by groups of behavior analysts. The main findings based on the responses of 94 participants were that effective, evidence based treatment, and improving quality of life, were scored relatively high. In addition, we conducted a literature review. In accordance with the data from our first study, behavior analysts should engage in their client’s values and the significance of the treatment. Goals should be taken into consideration equal to behavioral functions, reliability and procedural integrity. The findings showed that clinical significance is mentioned in under half of the cases. We suggest that an assessment of clinical significance and the client’s values should be included in clinical articles.
Prof. Erik Arntzen received his Ph.D. from University of Oslo, Norway, in February 2000. Arntzen’s dissertation was focusing on variables influencing responding in accord with stimulus equivalence. He is currently Professor in Behavior Analysis at Akershus University College (AUC). Dr. Arntzen is the head of the master program in behavior analysis at AUC. His research contributions include both basic and applied behavior analysis, with an emphasis on research in relational stimulus control and verbal behavior. He has also been interested in ethical considerations and core values in the field of behavior analysis. Dr. Arntzen is one of the editors of European Journal of Behavior Analysis and has served on the editorials board of several journals, including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, The Psychological Record, International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, and The Behavior Analyst Today.



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