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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #301
The Science of Why We're Socially Awkward and Why That's Awesome
Sunday, May 26, 2019
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Hyatt Regency East, Ballroom Level, Grand Ballroom AB
Area: SCI; Domain: Theory
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: William Stoops, Ph.D.
Chair: William Stoops (University of Kentucky)
TY TASHIRO (Independent Author)
Ty Tashiro is the author of Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome and The Science of Happily Ever After. His work has been featured at the New York Times,,, and National Public Radio. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, has been an award-winning professor at the University of Maryland and University of Colorado.

The presentation will share research findings from psychology, neuroscience, and sociology to explain why roughly 15% of people are socially awkward. It will also review how awkward people view the complex social world, show how tailored behavioral activation components can help awkward people build their social skill, explore why awkwardness is associated with giftedness. The talk revolves around a welcome, counterintuitive message: the same characteristics that make people socially clumsy can be harnessed to produce remarkable achievements.

Target Audience:

The talk should be useful for both researchers and practitioners with a social science Ph.D.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss psychological and sociological research relevant to the etiology of social awkwardness; (2) discuss data that helps us understand the distinction between autism spectrum disorders and social awkwardness; (3) discuss behavioral strategies for helping awkward individuals gain insight into their interpersonal struggles and encourage their unique potential.



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Modifed by Eddie Soh