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.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Symposium #158
A Celebration of Ogden R. Lindsley: His Contributions to Basic Science
Sunday, May 29, 2005
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Boulevard B (2nd floor)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Nicholas M. Berens (Center for Advanced Learning, Inc.)
Discussant: Nicholas M. Berens (Center for Advanced Learning, Inc.)
Abstract: Behavior Analysis has grown to be a multi-faceted discipline with several sub-disciplines and specialties. The unifying core of these disciplines is basic science in the form of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. When looking upon the annals of our field, one will undoubtedly find the name Ogden R. Lindsley at the beginning of many of these subdisciplines. While he is probably better known for his work in measurement and education, Dr. Lindsley has also had a major influence on the development of basic behavior analysis. The current symposium will detail and highlight his important contributions to basic science.
Celeration and Component/Composite Relations: Two Elements of Ogden Lindsley’s Enduring Legacy for Selectionism
CHARLES T. MERBITZ (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Nancy K. Merbitz (MHRC, Inc.)
Abstract: Radical behaviorists argue that selectionism provides a structure for behavior and indeed for psychology that differs greatly from the essentialistic theories of the Greeks and modified by theorists thereafter. A consideration of selectionism provides some rather strong implications for the measurement of behavior and behavior change. Building explicitly and with thanks on the work of his mentor B.F. Skinner, Ogden Lindsley developed a rigorous quantitative description of change in frequency over time, e.g., celeration: a measure that predicts overall frequency for a subsequent cumulative record from a preceding series of cumulative recordings. In selectionistic terms, this measure equally describes the organism’s “learning” or behavioral response to selection and the environment’s “pressure” or effectiveness in selecting (or teaching). Lindsley and his associates determined empirically that the measure worked well for both selection (reinforcement and acceleration of behavior) and deselection (punishment, extinction and deceleration of behavior). Similarly, in seeking to build complex repertoires, Lindsley and his co-workers explored the relations of simpler “component” performances within more complex “composites,” which will make possible a quantitative, functional, selectionistic taxonomy of a person’s behavior. These formulations and some of their profound implications for a selectionistic science of behavior are reviewed.
Og's Contributions to the Scientific Study of Human Behavior: Tools and Data
JESUS ROSALES-RUIZ (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Ogden R. Lindsley's contributions to behavior analysis are many and distinguished. Although this symposium is titled "Og's contributions to basic science," it is hard to compartmentalize him as a basic or applied scientist. Some of his contributions can be categorized as basic, others as applied, and still others transcend those labels and can be categorized as contributions to the natural science approach to the study of behavior. He was simply a scientist who wanted to make a difference, and he did. His methods and ideas have helped many people and have advanced our understanding of behavior. This presentation will illustrate Og's free operant approach to the study of human behavior: from operanda development to measurement to discovery.
Ogden Lindsley's Foundations in and Early Contributions to Basic Science
HENRY S. PENNYPACKER (University of Florida and Mammatech Corporation)
Abstract: My presentation will deal with Ogden’s early work in sensory physiology at Brown, his work with the dog, Hunter, at Harvard, and his work on cooperation and competition with Nate Azrin, also at Harvard. These samples of his work underscore the extraordinary rigor with which Ogden approached instrumentation and method. That foundation was crucial to his later work which others will describe, including the work at Metropolitan State Hospital and the discovery and exploration of conjugate reinforcement.



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