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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Paper Session #195
Interpreting Complex Human Behavior and Assessing the Role of "Awareness" in Learning
Sunday, May 29, 2005
1:30 PM–2:20 PM
Stevens 3 (Lower Level)
Area: VRB
Chair: Francisco I. Perez (Baylor College of Medicine)
Methodological Approach to the Personal Interpretation of Complex Human Behavior: History, Context, Intention
Domain: Applied Research
FRANCISCO I. PEREZ (Baylor College of Medicine)
Abstract: Behavior analysis does not provide a methodology that explains complex human behavior. The personal analysis of everyday life requires a methodology that goes beyond prediction and control. Explanation and understanding are required. Foxall (2004) proposes a methodology incorporating the analysis of context and intentionality. Contextual analysis views behavior as predictable and environmentally determined. Personal history is known in the present context. Verbal behavior provides the most important source of information regarding personal intentions, desires and beliefs. History is narrative. Intentional explanations require a contextual analysis. Understanding and interpreting the complex claims made in litigation requires the application of an intentional behaviorist methodology. We can reconstruct the personal behavior of the litigant by: 1.) Obtaining historical records documenting the learning and verbal history. 2) Evaluating the current contingencies and behavior setting. 3) Assessing their interaction. Verbal behavior (depositions, claims, past documented records) provides the opportunity for intentional analysis. The past history cannot be avoided since it is documented. A functional-contextual-intentional methodology identifies variables that influence current behavior in context, given the past history and predicts intention. Actual litigation cases will be presented using a functional-contextual-intentional behavior analysis.
Toward an "Awareness" of The Relationship Between Task Performance and Verbal Behavior Concerning That Performance
Domain: Theory
FRANK HAMMONDS (Troy University)
Abstract: The existence of learning without awareness has been debated for many years. Learning without awareness is said to occur when an individual’s behavior has been affected without that individual being aware of the conditions affecting the behavior, of the relationship between those conditions and the behavior, or of the fact that the behavior has changed. This paper describes a series of experiments investigating this phenomenon. The findings support the existence of “learning without awareness”. However, it will be argued that the term “awareness” should be discarded as it is misleading. Instead, the results of the experiments are discussed in terms of behavior for which the individual does not provide a complete verbal account.



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