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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Symposium #225
Metacontingency and Macrocontingency: From Disaster Risk Reduction in a Global Scene to Brazilian Historical Events and Social Merchandising in a Soap Opera With a High Impact Theme
Monday, May 30, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Vevey 1 & 2, Swissotel
Area: CSE; Domain: Theory
Chair: Ingunn Sandaker (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)
Discussant: João Claudio Todorov (Universidade de Brasilia)

We will present how operants are involved in interlocking behavioral contingencies using descriptive studies that include the concepts of metacontingency and macrocontingency. The phenomena under analysis are: (1) Disasters as ecosystems: cultural practices in prevention and intervention; (2) Two historical events that occurred in Brazil The Tapuios ethnogenesis and their contribution to indigenous policies, and barricades of health in Rio de Janeiro during the transition from the Imperial to the Republican system; and (4) The mobilization through social merchandising of a soap opera against the trafacking of persons. The contributions of metacontingency and macrocontingency are shown in these different contexts in which complexities are described and allow us to follow the evolution of recurrent social practices and their outcomes in social settings due to environmental selection. The areas considered in these presentations emphasize the need for exchange between behavior analysis and other disciplines such as politics, history and communication. Such interaction may result in an expansion of our understanding of the evolution of cultural practices and cultural planning.

Keyword(s): disaster risk, historical events, ingenous policies, political public

Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030: Metacontingencies Among International, Regional, National, and Local Entities

LAÉRCIA ABREU VASCONCELOS (Universidade de Brasília (UnB))

The 1980s were followed by a high number of natural disasters and climate change has stimulated the states of the United Nations to organize a complex mobilization that seeks substantial reduction of disaster losses of life as well as communities and countries social, economic and environmental assets. The important implementation of Hyogo framework for action 2005-2015: left gaps that will be filled by the recent framework approved in the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction the Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction 2015-2030. Actions from different entities must consider the global development agenda a sustainable development of humanity and the planet. In disaster ecosystems, metacontingencies include the coordination of governments, experts, public and private sectors, and wide range relevant stakeholders at all levels, both externally and locally. Disaster risk reduction requires transparent risk informed decision-making that is easy to understand and science based. Measures and indicators clearly define aggregate products. The metacontingencies of disaster management have interlocked behavior contingencies (IBCs) that interact with global-regional and national-local disasters teams. Metacontingencies and macrocontingencies allow us to describe phenomena in a way that may contribute to the implementation of actions in different phases, from prevention to recovery after a disaster event.


Control and Counter Control in Metacontingencies: The Paradoxical Case of Popular Revolt Against Vaccination to Prevent Smallpox in Rio de Janeiro in 1904


Metacontingencies involve dependency relationships between interlocked behavioral contingencies (IBCs), their aggregated products and an external result. This presentation discusses the need to broaden the discussion about the relationship between control and counter control that is present in IBCs to understand some apparent paradoxical effects in cultural selection. Recurrences of IBCsinvolving counter control can be especially harmful in the cultural selection process. This presentation examines an episode in Brazilian history known as the "health barricades", a popular revolt against the governmental mandatory decision to vaccinate against smallpox. The episode took place in Rio de Janeiro in 1904. A vaccination program may be regarded as a metacontingency: it involves intertwining of many behavioral contingencies, an increase in population health and a number of cultural consequences as critical variables. In this episode, however, mandatory vaccination was treated as police case; whoever did not accept the vaccination was arrested. Health services, with help from the police and the army, went to peoples houses using force. The presence of aversive control in IBCs led to a revolt against governmental practice, a form of counter control. These considerations are important for the consolidation of successful strategies of adherence to large-scale application of behavioral technology.

Ethnogenesis of Brazilian Indigenous Community: A Behavior Analytic Interpretation
SÔNIA MARIA NEVES (PUCGO), Julio Almeida Filho (PUCGO), Ivaldo Ferreira de Melo Junior (PUCGO), Anna Carolina Gonçalves Souza (PUCGO), Fábio Henrique Henrique Baia (Universidade de Rio Verde)
Abstract: The aim of the study was to produce a behavior analytic interpretation of the ethnogenesis of a Brazilian indigenous community - the Tapuios do Carretão. Data was collected from Ossami de Moura's 2008 book, “Tapuios do Carretão: an ethnogenesis of an indigenous group from the state of Goiás, Brazil” (our translation). The methodology involved using book excerpts that were selected and categorized so as to identify antecedent events, responses and consequences of the behavior of individuals (e.g., indigenous people, missionaries and settlers) present in Moura's narrative. The analyzed phenomenon took place between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. To improve display of the behavioral relations, six agures will be presented containing diagrams and their respective descriptions. Each agure describes recurrent forms of behavior, cultural practices, cumulative effects, and aggregate products. The analysis employed the concepts of macrocontingency and metacontingency to explain the recurrence and changes observed in the Tapuios' cultural practices. Such concepts were useful to examine the major historical events involved in the Tapuios' ethnogenesis.

Metacontingencies in Social Merchandising: The Fight Against Human Trafficking in a Brazilian Soap Opera

Ol�via Vale (Universidade de Brasilia), LAÏ¿½RCIA ABREU VASCONCELOS (Universidade de Bras�lia (UnB))

Behavior Analysis has a fundamental role in cultural planning and, in the last few years, several behavior analysts have been studying cultural practices using the concept of metacontingencies. It is possible to use wide-reaching communication technology to change the behavior of a great number of people. Several current TV shows encourage citizenship and affect society in a favorable way. One of the strategies used by these shows is social merchandising, which involves inserting social themes and mobilization messages in the plot of a story. The goal of this paper was to analyze the presentation of cultural practices included in a social theme of great impact-- human trafficking-- in a Brazilian soap opera with a large audience. We identified contingency arrangements, cultural products and selecting consequences using the concept of metacotingencies. Further, we analyzed the recurrent presentation and impact of the intervention on the fight against human trafficking in Brazil.




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