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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

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Panel #298
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Constructing a Caring, Just, and Sustainable Society
Sunday, May 24, 2009
4:30 PM–5:20 PM
North 131 A
Area: CSE/DEV; Domain: Theory
Chair: Mark A. Mattaini (Jane Addams College of Social Work-UIC)
ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute)
MARK A. MATTAINI (Jane Addams College of Social Work-UIC)
DENNIS D. EMBRY (Peace Builders)
Abstract: The presenters will present and discuss their work related to emerging science-based strategies for influencing the beneficial evolution of cultural practices. The first strategy we will explore involves increasing the prevalence of nurturing environments in society as a means of preventing the entire range of psychological and behavioral problems of youth, and promoting successful development. Such environments are characterized by (a) high rates of reinforcement for prosocial behavior, (b) low levels of aversive stimulation accompanied by gentle limits on behavior, and (c) fostering psychological flexibility. Second, we will explore a functional taxonomy scaffolding an emerging science of nonviolent power, which may have potential for reducing collective coercion and violence while furthering justice. Third, we will describe a strategy for the creation of a consumer-driven approach to the diffusion of proven mechanisms of behavioral influence which have been dubbed “kernels”. Evidence-based kernels are simple, experimentally validated methods of influencing diverse behaviors. A recent paper (Embry & Biglan, 2008) provides a taxonomy of 52 such kernels, which can be used to increase or decrease behavior, or even to create “programs” of change. By promoting these strategies, behavior analysts may contribute to the evolution of societies that are more caring, less punitive, and more sustainable.



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