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.


39th Annual Convention; Minneapolis, MN; 2013

Event Details

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Invited Tutorial #205
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Changing the Game for Captive Animals with Applied Behavior Analysis
Sunday, May 26, 2013
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Ballroom B (Convention Center)
Area: AAB; Domain: Service Delivery
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Susan G. Friedman, Ph.D.
Chair: Megan E. Maxwell (Pet Behavior Change, LLC)
Presenting Authors: : SUSAN G. FRIEDMAN (Utah State University)

Compared to alternatives such as the medical and ethological models, the behavioral model is comprehensive, parsimonious and has a high degree of predictive utility for professionals working in animal behavior. Yet, recognition of theapplied behavior analysismodel in captive animal environments has been slow, often encompassing little more than a pejorative head nod to Pavlov's dogs, Skinner's box, and Ringling's circus. It is not uncommon to hear ABA erroneously described as simplistic, mechanistic, and based on the belief that animals are incapable of thought or emotion. Successfully disseminating ABA to this sector of stakeholders requires an expanded approach to ABA that addresses the relevance of the law of effect on a global level, species' evolutionary-based behavioral preparedness, and additional technological behavior change tools such as marker signals and food management. These and other issues unique to changing the game for captive animals with ABA will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Behavior analysts interested in applying behavioral principles to captive animal populations, or those interested more generally in the dissemination of behavior analysis.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the event, participants will be able to: 1. Describe the salient differences between the medical, ethological and behavioral models and articulate the special relevance of the behavioral model to improving the lives of captive animals. 2. Describe four barriers to the adoption of the behavioral model to captive animal professionals and perspectives to turn the barriers into openings. 3. Describe five key questions for solving behavior problems with captive animals that result in an ABC hypothesis of behavior X environment events and target a new skill to teach the focal animal. 4. Identify at least four motivating operations to improve the behavioral outcomes of captive animal behavior change interventions.
SUSAN G. FRIEDMAN (Utah State University)
Susan G. Friedman received her doctorate in 1985 from the Department of Special Education at Utah State University. She then moved to the University of Colorado, as an assistant professor in the Bilingual Special Education Department. She lived in Lesotho, in Southern Africa, with her two young daughters and husband from 1987-1992. For the last 2 years in Lesotho, she was the director of the new International American School. Since 1995, Dr. Friedman has been an assistant research professor in the Department of Psychology, with an adjunct appointment in the Department of Special Education at Utah State University. In 1997, she began disseminating applied behavior analysis principles and technology to professionals and caregivers of captive animals. In 2004, she was an appointed a voting member of the now retired Fish and Wildlife Service's California Condor Recovery Team. Dr. Friedman has written chapters about behavior change in three veterinary textbooks and presents telecourses and seminars to animal behavior professionals from diverse settings around the world including zoos, clinics, welfare organizations, and research facilities. In 2012, she served as a founding member of ABAI's committee for the Behavior Change for a Sustainable World Conference.
Keyword(s): applied behavior analysis, captive animals



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