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 Paper Session #488
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Behavior Analysis and Public Policy

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Grand Ballroom AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Joao Claudio Todorov, Ph.D.
Chair: Mark A. Mattaini (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago)
JOÃO CLAUDIO TODOROV (Universidade de Brasilia)
Dr. Todorov received his Ph.D. from Arizona State University. He held faculty positions at the University of Virginia at Fredericksburg and the University of São Paulo at Riberiao Preto before his appointment at the University of Brasília in 1973, where he has spent most of his career. Retired since 200o, he is professor emeritus and also still serves as a researcher. From 2000–2009, he was a professor at the Catholic University of Goiás. Dr. Todorov’s career as a behavior analyst includes a remarkable range of achievements in research, education, and service to his discipline and his country. At Brasília, Dr. Todorov served variously as department chair, dean of graduate studies and research, vice-president, and president of the university, all while leading generations of Brazilians to behavior analytic research and academic careers that continue his legacy, and helping to secure a place for behavior analysis in the nation’s academic governance. His scholarly contributions span important basic research topics (e.g., multiple and concurrent schedules, avoidance, and pharmacology), applications to the solution of societal problems—his more recent focus, and dissemination of behavior analysis to the public (with more than 150 articles in the Brazilian media). Dr. Todorov’s many contributions have been widely recognized—by the Brazilian government with the Cross of the Ordem de Rio Branco, by SABA with the Award for International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis, and by an award from the Ibero-American Federation of Psychological Associations.

Large-scale changes in cultural practices happen due to natural accidents and/or government intervention. Democracy requires planning and the programming of positive consequences for change. The possibility of counter control limits the use of coercion. Behavior analysis have been useful as a resource to correct and/or devise programs. This work presents examples of interventions in programs used by Brazilian governments to change the behavior of millions of its citizens, in situations like the conditional transfer of income, reforestation, city transit, life in prisons, and dengue control.

Target Audience:

Behavior analysts and students who are interested in learning about and practicing in the area of large-scale public policy.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) describe several examples of successful applications of behavior analytic principles to public policy; (2) provide a conceptual rationale for the application of reinforcement-based methods within public policy efforts; (3) explain the importance of the integration of complete contingencies (antecedent, behavior, reinforcer) into public law and policy.



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