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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Paper Session #195
Cultural Analysis: Conceptual Issues and Practical Application
Monday, May 30, 2016
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Vevey 1 & 2, Swissotel
Area: CSE
Chair: Kalliu Carvalho Couto (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Unifying Cultural Analysis: An Evolutionary/Selectionist Approach
Domain: Theory
KALLIU CARVALHO COUTO (Oslo and Akershus University College), Ingunn Sandaker (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)
Abstract: In Selection by Consequences, Skinner (1981) described a causal model to explain natural selection, shaping of individual behavior and the evolution of cultures. This causal model is at the core of Behavior Analysis and may serve as a point of departure for communication with other fields of study. At the individual level, knowledge produced by Behavior Analysis has led to effective technology of intervention and greatly improving the methodology of interventions in various areas such as education, organizations and clinical settings. However, methods focusing on individuals, families and small groups have limited success when applied to large-scale issues (Biglan, 1995). We are still challenged on how to effectively influence social issues generated by large populations, such as pollution, crime control, global warming, drug abuse, academic failure. Fortunately, in the last 40 years a variety of fields of study (e.g. Behavior Analysis, Behavioral Economics, Evolutionary Biology) have worked to produce and improve a technology of intervention in the third level of analysis (cultural). In this paper, we will discuss how an evolutionary/selectionist perspective may unify cultural analysis from different perspectives.
Large-Scale Behavior Change Through Policy-Making and Community Interventions: A Behavior Analytic Approach
Domain: Theory
LISA M. TODD (Wayne State University School of Medicine), James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: The maintenance and improvement of health and safety at the population level are important considerations of recent revisions to both law and policy. The goal of these revisions is to improve quality, access, and choice, while reducing public and private costs. In general, policy makers understand that they are dealing with behavior, but often attempt to do so inexpertly, nonspecifically, or indirectly, through metaphorical statements about attitudes and vague calls for increased attention to _____. Behavior analysts have the skills, expertise, and scientific background to effectively contribute to these change efforts. In particular, we understand how to analyze the contingencies that might give rise to behavior that interferes with achieving stated goals, and how to create the desired behavior when it does not exist. However, stakeholders typically do not seek us out, and we do not usually know how to invite ourselves to the discussion table. The purpose of this presentation is to explore opportunities and strategies for behavior analysts to increase their contributions to the changing structure of health and safety management.



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