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.


First International Conference; Italy, 2001

Event Details

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Paper Session #91
International Behavior Analysis and the Internet
Thursday, November 29, 2001
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Cloister of the Cypress Hall
Area: EDC
Chair: Joseph J. Plaud (Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies)
Promoting International Behavior Analysis: The Cambridge Center's Behavioral Virtual Community and the World Wide Web
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JOSEPH J. PLAUD (Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies), Betsy J. Constantine (Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies), Amy M. Haggas (Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies)
Abstract: The international community of behavior analysts has the opportunity to come together through the communication network designed by the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies in their Behavioral Virtual Community. One of the most effective and cost efficient ways to accomplish the goal of disseminating relevant and timely behavioral data among behavior analysts as well as to the public is via the Internet and World Wide Web. Over the past three years, the Behavioral Virtual Community has linked over 2,000 people from over 40 countries in the advancement of behavior analysis around the world. The Cambridge Center web site is at Discussion will be given, with interaction from the audience, on the goals and mission of supporting behavioral scientists by hosting the Behavioral Virtual Community, and discussing the significance of having an interactive meeting place for sharing resources, views, and findings. This address will focus on several unique features of our website, and illustrate its wide ranging applicability to serving the public interest. Utilizing user behavioral data and usage statistics, discussion will be given to how the Cambridge Center is utilizing the Internet to disseminate behavior analysis to the public across the globe.
Life on the Internet: A New Field for Experimental and Applied Behavior Analysis?
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
GIOVAMBATTISTA PRESTI (Universitá di Parma, Italy), Paolo Moderato (Universitá di Parma, Italy)
Abstract: If we look at the history of the Internet, and of the Web in particular, we see how it evolved from an instrument, basically created to exchange data o for data mining, into a structure for digitally interconnected social networks, which it was not created for. A consequence of the direction of this evolution, taken in these last 5 to 10 years, is the substantial absence of human centered software specifically designed for human interaction and the rareness of empirical data from an experimental and applied analysis of this interaction (Presti, 1997; Wallace, 1999). 50 years ago Skinner (1948) wrote in his book Walden Two that "...the discrepancy between man's technical power and the wisdom with which he uses it has grown conspicuously wider year by year..." (p. 273). This analysis is sadly true today. The expansion of the digital society is not supported by empirically based decisions, and matters such as effective on-line communication, on-line training, on-line studies, interfaces, net-surfing technology, on line education, just to cite a few, are mostly neglected by psychologists and left to computer scientists. Human interaction is the basis of the Internet environment, thus it enters within the domain of Psychology. Computer scientists may not have the psychological knowledge to deal effectively with questions that arise from many computer or Internet applications. Better results might come when the power of the technology is combined with the result of an empirical science of human behavior to drive the development of an effective and efficacious electronic communication system. Research on on-line behavior in digitally created environments (cyberspace), and on the effects of computer mediated human interactions is still rare and mostly neglected outside our field. There are, though an unlimited number of concerns that could be studied by psychologists, for example distance education, hypertext, communication in cyberspace, just to name a few. These are rare times because we are in a position as to guide the construction the communication medium and the society can build around it. We think that the growing necessity for high tech solutions should be informed by psychological knowledge. The goal of a Science is prediction and control. The goal of a technology derived from such a science is to improve our way of living. Improving the way in which the Internet might be useful to human communication and relationship requires knowledge that might be bes



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