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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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #194
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Novel Behavioral Economic Approaches to Measuring Substance Abuse Severity and Motivating Change

Monday, May 30, 2016
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Crystal Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Steven R. Lawyer, Ph.D.
Chair: Steven R. Lawyer (Idaho State University)
JAMES MURPHY (University of Memphis)
Dr. James Murphy is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Memphis and the Director of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies. He completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Auburn University in 2003 and a clinical internship and NIAAA-sponsored postdoctoral research fellowship at Brown University. Dr. Murphy has published over 100 papers related to young adult drinking and drug use and behavioral economics. He has conducted numerous clinical trials of brief motivational interventions for young adult drinkers and drug users. He has also developed and evaluated a novel behavioral economic supplement to brief motivational interventions that attempts to increase engagement in constructive alternatives to drinking. His research also explores novel behavioral economic predictors of substance abuse problem severity, treatment outcome, and mechanisms of behavior change. Dr. Murphy’s research has been funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Alcohol Research Foundation. He is an Assistant Editor for the journal Addiction and a Consulting Editor for Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, and Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

Young adults report greater levels of drug and alcohol misuse than any other age or demographic group yet they rarely report significant substance dependence or any desire to participate in formal substance abuse treatment. Dr. Murphy's presentation will focus on novel behavioral economic approaches to understanding risk, quantifying severity, and motivating change in substance use in high-risk young adult populations. Dr. Murphy has developed and evaluated a brief behavioral economic intervention approach that attempts to increase engagement in patterns of goal-directed substance-free activities that are associated with delayed reinforcement and will describe the treatment elements and outcomes. He has also developed and evaluated demand curve and relative behavioral allocation indices of reward value and will present data on their clinical relevance in the prediction of substance abuse severity and treatment response.

Target Audience:

Undergraduate students, graduate students, and professionals in psychology and behavior analysis

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) develop familiarity with behavioral economic theories of addiction; (2) develop familiarity with demand curve and relative reinforcing efficacy assessment approaches based on behavioral economic theory; (3) develop familiarity with behavioral economic brief intervention approaches to reduce alcohol and drug misuse.



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