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.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Event Details

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Special Event #13
International SQAB Tutorial: Getting Started in Quantitative Analyses of Behavior
Saturday, May 26, 2007
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
Randle AB
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Alliston K. Reid (Wofford College)
Presenting Authors: : JAMES S. MACDONALL (Fordham University)

The purpose of this tutorial is to help those who are interested in attempting quantitative analyses. As an organizing theme I will use my experiences to provide some suggestions for how to get started. Included will be suggestions for organizing data using several common computer programs for data analyses, and for avoiding some of the pitfalls that await the unwary. While there will be something for everyone, I am going to focus on providing guidance to those not already engaged in quantitative analyses.

JAMES S. MACDONALL (Fordham University)
Dr. James S. MacDonall, associate professor of psychology at Fordham University, Bronx, NY, received his Ph.D. at Boston University in 1976, studying under Garry Margolius. While working at the Washingtonian Center for Addictions, he and Henry Marcucella of Boston University, developed the periodic availability (limited access) procedure, a method of increasing alcohol consumption of rats that has become a standard. At Fordham University, he showed that concurrent choice could be conceptualized as two independent choices: staying at the present alternative and switching from the present alternative. He also realized that an independent schedule of reinforcement could be arranged for staying and switching at each alternative and that it was the ratio of these stay and switch reinforcers that determined choice behavior. He then identified a new independent variable, the sum of the stay and switch reinforcers earned per visit at an alternative that also influence choice behavior. Because the results of these investigations were not always well described by the generalized matching law, he developed the at-the-alternative model of choice to describe performance in concurrent choice procedures. He is currently working on extending his analysis of choice to examine the influence of different magnitudes and delays of reinforcement. When not in the lab, or otherwise occupied at Fordham, Dr. MacDonall enjoys fly fishing, in fresh water for trout and in the salt for striped bass. His wife and son tolerate his passions for behavior analysis and for fly fishing.



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