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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Invited Tutorial #23
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
SQAB Tutorial: Reducing Impulsivity: Current Knowledge & Future Directions
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Lucerne, Swissotel
Area: EAB; Domain: Service Delivery
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Gregory J. Madden, Ph.D.
Chair: Amy Odum (Utah State University)
Presenting Authors: : GREGORY J. MADDEN (Utah State University), JILLIAN RUNG (Utah State University)

Steeply discounting the value of delayed outcomes is robustly correlated with addictions and poor health decision-making. Longitudinal studies suggest that this form of impulsivity precedes and predicts acquisition of substance use, and animal studies reveal a similar pattern. Despite the evidence that delay discounting is a trait, this tutorial will review studies that have discovered methods for decreasing impulsive choice. We will discuss procedures that produce acute, context-dependent effects (e.g., framing effects), and when these may prove useful in positively influencing human decision making. We will also discuss learning-based procedures that have proven effective in humans (e.g., delay fading and working memory training) and nonhumans (e.g., interval-timing or delay-exposure training) in reducing impulsive choice. Finally, we will discuss practicality issues that will need to be addressed if learning-based approaches are going to impact human behavior. We will not discuss effects of drugs or neurological manipulations on impulsive choice.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Licensed psychologists, certified behavior analysts, graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the event, the participant will be able to: (1) define delay discounting and discuss why it is of relevance to health decision-making; (2) discuss the direction in which it is therapeutic to change delay discounting; (3) discuss the methods that have proven successful in changing delay discounting among humans and among non-humans.
GREGORY J. MADDEN (Utah State University), JILLIAN RUNG (Utah State University)
Dr. Madden received his training from the University of North Texas, West Virginia University, and the University of Vermont. Dr. Madden's research is largely focused on the behavioral economics of addiction and health decision-making. His early research documented extreme impulsivity in individuals addicted to illicit drugs and cigarettes. Later research revealed that impulsive decision-making predicted cocaine self-administration in rats. His current work explores methods that may be used to therapeutically reduce impulsivity. Dr. Madden's second, line of research explores game-based behavioral-economic approaches to influencing children's health decision-making. These research endeavors have been supported with more than $4 million in grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the US Department of Agriculture. Dr. Madden frequently serves on NIH grant-review panels, he has published more than 70 papers in 25 different journals, and his peer-reviewed publications have been cited more than 4,500 times. From 2011 until 2015, he served as the Editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. He has edited two books including the two-volume APA Handbook of Behavior Analysis. He is currently co-writing an introductory behavior analysis textbook.
Jillian Rung completed her BA at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and is completing her third year of graduate training at Utah State University. Her previous work involved decision-making in dynamic environments, and her current research involves the environmental determinants of impulsivity and how processes, such as reward valuation, affect impulsive decision-making. Jillian has served as ad-hoc reviewer for the APA Graduate Student Association’s Basic Psychological Science Grant, and has also guest reviewed for several journals such as the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, and Cognition. When she finishes her Ph.D., she plans to continue her research on impulsive-decision making, with the goal of developing preventative behavioral training and treatment programs for addictions and related behavioral maladies.
Keyword(s): Delay disounting, Impulsivity



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