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 #51
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
SQAB Tutorial: Philosophy of Science and the Quantitative Analysis of Behavior
Sunday, May 29, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Lucerne, Swissotel
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Lewis A. Bizo, Ph.D.
Chair: Lewis A. Bizo (University of New England)
Presenting Authors: : RANDOLPH C. GRACE (University of Canterbury), Brian Haig (University of Canterbury)

Single-subject methodology and Skinner's caution against inferential statistics based on group averages have been very influential with researchers in behavior analysis. Here we review recent developments in the philosophy of science and methodology, including the "new statistics," and consider their implications for the quantitative analysis of behavior. We describe an account of scientific methodology—the Abductive Theory of Method (ATOM; Haig, 2005)—which details how empirical phenomena are detected and contribute to theory construction via inference to the best explanation, and show how it is relevant for behavior analysis.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Licensed psychologists, certified behavior analysts, graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the end of the presentation, participants should be able to: (1) describe and contrast important themes in the philosophy of science, including realism and empiricism, and how these relate to radical behaviorism; (2) describe the Abductive Theory of Method (ATOM) and how it relates to research and applied practice in the experimental analysis of behavior; (3) contrast current and historical conceptions of validity.
RANDOLPH C. GRACE (University of Canterbury), Brian Haig (University of Canterbury)
Randolph C. Grace is Professor of Psychology at the University of Canterbury (Christchurch, New Zealand).  He received his PhD from the University of New Hampshire in 1995 and has published over 120 articles and book chapters in a variety of basic and applied research areas including choice behavior and decision making, behavioural economics, methodology, comparative cognition, conditioning and learning, clinical/forensic psychology, tobacco control and neuropsychology.  He is past President of the Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. 
Keyword(s): Science



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