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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Paper Session #340
Applying Behavioral Principles to Human-Animal Interactions
Monday, May 26, 2014
10:00 AM–10:20 AM
W182 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AAB
Chair: Laura Bassette (Indiana Mentor)
Applying Behavioral Principles to Human-Animal Interactions
Domain: Theory
LAURA BASSETTE (Indiana Mentor)
Abstract: The field of human-animal interactions (HAI) is increasingly identifying complex human behavior in relation to interactions with animals, yet the conversation lacks a comprehensive behavioral approach. Furthermore, Normand & Kohn (2013) proposed that behaviorist perspectives must address socially significant problems in areas beyond the current realm. This need is not limited to human relationships; the complex chains of stimuli and responses that occur during various HAI also warrant the broad application of behavioral principles. Such investigations ought to cover interactions in the following areas: pet ownership, animal welfare, applied animal behavior, agricultural management, zoo enrichment programs, and animal assisted activities. Human behavior as a function of HAI should be examined in terms of both respondent and operant conditioning, reinforcing and punishing events, and establishing operations that contribute to an improved understanding of the reciprocal relationships between humans and animals. Ultimately, increased awareness of potentially reinforcing and punishing consequences involved in HAI may provide opportunities to effectively shape human behavior; thus improving the quality of life for people and the animals they interact with. References Normand, M. P. & Kohn, C. S. (2013). Dont wag the dog: Extending the reach of applied behavior analysis. The Behavior Analyst, 36, 109-122.



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