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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Special Event #453
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
ABAI Presidential Address: What We Know
Monday, May 26, 2014
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
W375e (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Michael Perone (West Virginia University)
CE Instructor: Linda J. Parrott Hayes, Ph.D.

What We Know


What we know about our world is captured in what we say about it and what we say about it is derived from our observations of it in concert with what we have previously said about it. As observations of our world continue to be made, what we say about it changes: What we once said about it is inevitably refined, necessarily revised, or rightfully abandoned. Some aspects of what we once said, in never having been derived from observations in the first place, are not subject to change by this process. If their presence in the midst of our continuing efforts to know our world were merely a distraction, they might just be ignored. They are not merely a distraction though. They are an impediment, and particularly so in the context of a science of behavior. Ironically, it is only a science of behavior that is in a position to eliminate this impediment. What we know about the world—be we physicists, priests, or grandmothers—is what we say about it and our saying it is behavior. How we come to say what we say, as well as how it persists, may be challenged and is changed, is our subject matter. We have a responsibility to share with others what our observations of such things tell us (while also recognizing that what we are saying about them is subject to change.) Meeting this responsibility will require more voices, less distraction.

LINDA J. PARROTT HAYES (University of Nevada, Reno)
Linda J. Parrott Hayes is a distinguished international professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Manitoba and her graduate degrees from Western Michigan University. She was a member of the behavior analysis faculty at West Virginia University while completing her doctorate, after which she returned to Canada, taking a position at St. Mary’s University. Dr. Hayes co-founded the Behavior Analysis Program at the University of Nevada, Reno, on a self-capitalization model and served as its director for more than a decade. She has received numerous awards for her contributions to the training of behavior analysts including the Fred S. Keller Award for Teaching of Behavior Analysis from the American Psychological Association’s Division 25, an Outstanding Teacher Award from the College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University, an Outstanding Faculty Award from the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Colleges and Universities, an Outstanding Alumna Award from Western Michigan University, and for the program she founded a Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis Award for Enduring Contributions to Behavior Analysis. Dr. Hayes also founded and directs UNR’s Satellite Programs in behavior analysis, aimed at meeting the ever-growing demand for qualified practitioners in regions where appropriate training has been unavailable or inaccessible. Her efforts in this regard have earned her an International Development Award from the Latin Association for Behavior Analysis and Modification, a Global Engagement Award from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a SABA International Development Award. She is a fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International and has served the association in many capacities including coordination of its Practice and Education Boards as well as multiple terms on its Executive Council. Dr. Hayes’ scholarly interests range from the experimental analysis of animal behavior to the logic of science. She is best known for her contributions to behavior theory and philosophy.  
Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, graduate students, and anyone interested in behavior analysis.

Learning Objectives: Forthcoming.



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