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.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Panel #528
CE Offered: BACB
The Matrix Project: An Empirical Strategy to Potentiate the Impact of Behavioral Systems Science on Progressive Social Change
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Montreux, Swissotel
Area: CSE/OBM; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Molli Luke, Ph.D.
Chair: Molli Luke (Behavior Analyst Certification Board)
MARK A. MATTAINI (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago)
RICHARD F. RAKOS (Cleveland State University)
TARA M. GRANT (Brohavior)

The panelists discuss the Matrix Project, an ambitious collective undertaking by Behaviorists for Social Responsibility (BFSR; the oldest ABAI SIG). Many behavior analysts came to the field, often inspired by Skinner and others since, because they wanted to contribute to addressing the enormous challenges faced by human societies. Many may find themselves frustrated by limited preparation and opportunities for applying our science to such challenges. Behavioral systems science (cultural analysis) now has reached a point where real potential exists for promoting progressive social change, albeit in close partnership with related disciplines, in areas like climate change and sustainability, poverty and income inequality, human rights and violence, among others. The Matrix Project focuses first on conceptual work and literature reviews of large-scale, systemic practice and research areas. Practices that hold promise for expanding behavioral systems contributions among 26 societal sectors are being explored, as well as contingency networks that could support and oppose adoption of those practices. The Matrix is an evolving document that consists of a sector-specific integrated set of hypotheses, with the goal of identifying practices that support, oppose, motivate, and select the development and utilization of scientific behavioral systems. The sectors under examination include education, behavior analytic organizations (like SEABA), several levels of government, business, NGOs, foundations and research institutes, religious and political community organizations, and a number of others. This panel will identify the supporting practices and contingency relations through providing examples of the analytical work completed on the project to date. The panelists will suggest next steps in the project, particularly advocacy within the identified sectors to introduce and experiment with the identified practices, and the development of a discipline-wide task force to encourage behavioral systems work related to major societal and global issues. Those attending will be encouraged to contribute to the project, and will be offered several specific actions they might take to do so.

Keyword(s): Human Rights, Social Justice, Social Responsibility, Sustainability



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Modifed by Eddie Soh