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 #252
The Survival of Behavior Analysis: Disseminating It and Protecting It from Threats
Sunday, May 24, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 129 B
Area: TBA/CSE; Domain: Theory
Chair: Melissa Nosik (University of Nevada-Reno)
A. CHARLES CATANIA (University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC))
STEPHEN RAY FLORA (Youngstown State University)
JOSH PRITCHARD (University of Nevada, Reno)
KAROLA DILLENBURGER (The Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland)
Abstract: Behavior analysis continues to deliver effective, science-based technology that has positively impacted many parts of our culture. Nevertheless, it finds limited fertile ground in an overgrowth of fad science, quick fixes, and access to inaccurate information on the internet. Vastly more popular alternative explanations for human behavior have sprung from the roots of folk psychology and currently thrive. How can our science compete with such comfortable descriptions of the human condition and enticing promises of cures for psychological ailments? If a culture prefers the reassurance of intelligent design to the science of evolution, an analysis of human behavior based on environmental determinants is often valued less than accounts based on inner causes or homunculi. A quick survey of television programming, popular media, and psychology textbooks reveals that behavior analysis is rarely mentioned and often mischaracterized. In such a climate, it is crucial that we examine the contingencies influencing the acceptance and future survival of our science. To compete we must disseminate our science effectively. We can agree that failing to do so is not an option, but what are the best ways to guarantee not just its survival but also its emergence as a major component of human culture?



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