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.


Fourth International Conference; Australia, 2007

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #3
CE Offered: BACB

Does Reinforcement Really Increase the Probability of Prior Responses?

Monday, August 13, 2007
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
CE Instructor: Michael C. Davison, Ph.D.
Chair: Randolph C. Grace (University of Canterbury)
MICHAEL C. DAVISON (University of Auckland)
Dr. Michael C. Davison Michael was raised in the United Kingdom and completed his BSc (with honors) in Psychology at Bristol University. He then came to New Zealand on a Commonwealth Scholarship and completed his Ph.D. (on punishment) at Otago University, and stayed there for a year as a lecturer. He then spent a year as lecturer at University College London before returning to New Zealand and taking a lectureship at Auckland University, where he has remained, moving up through the ranks to full professor in 1987. He was given a DSc for research in 1982, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1987, and received a Silver Medal for research from the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2001. He has been Associate Editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and has served many terms on the editorial board of that journal. He currently holds appointments as a Research Associate at The Liggins Institute, and in the National Research Centre for Growth and Development. His interests are in the quantitative analysis of choice, both from a theoretical perspective and, more recently, as applied to developmental influences on learning.

The law of effect has been a fundamental principle of behaviour analysis since 1898, but is it true and is it helpful? I will review a series of recent results from animals that question this law, and suggest an alternative conception that may understand some troubling results, and may imply some changes in the application of behaviour analysis.




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