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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Invited Tutorial #325
Discrimination Training in Action: Lessons Learned From the Lab
Sunday, May 26, 2019
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Hyatt Regency East, Ballroom Level, Grand Ballroom EF
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
PSY/BACB/QABA/NASP CE Offered. CE Instructor: Carol Pilgrim, Ph.D.
Chair: Cynthia M. Anderson (May Institute)
Presenting Authors: : CAROL PILGRIM (University of North Carolina Wilmington)

Three- and four-term contingencies describe uniquely fundamental units in the analysis of behavior, as most operant responses are emitted in changing environments, and few are reinforced equally often in the presence of all environmental conditions. The stage is thus set for the development of stimulus control over virtually all everyday behavior. Familiarity with the fundamentals of establishing discriminative control should hold special significance for applied behavior analysts. Indeed, stimulus control procedures provide the basis for therapeutic efforts ranging from standard teaching techniques (e.g., prompting), to pivotal forms of assessment and training (e.g., verbal behavior interventions), to the ultimate goal of programming for treatment generalization. In short, learning to identify possible sources of stimulus control, and to increase or decrease them as needed, is essential to effective service delivery. The experimental behavior-analytic literature has much to offer practitioners who wish to understand more about the stimulus-control principles and findings that can improve intervention effectiveness. This tutorial will review some of the fundamental lessons of stimulus control that have emerged from decades of careful laboratory research.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students. 

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe basic strategies for establishing simple discriminations; (2) describe basic strategies for establishing conditional discriminations; (3) describe some common pitfalls in discrimination training, and their possible remedies; (4) describe contributions from the experimental analysis of behavior to effective practice.
CAROL PILGRIM (University of North Carolina Wilmington)

Carol Pilgrim, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.  Her primary research interests are in the analysis, application, and conceptual treatment of relational stimulus control, particularly stimulus equivalence.  Carol is a former editor of The Behavior Analyst and associate editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and The Behavior Analyst.  She has served as President of the Association for Behavior Analysis, International (ABAI), the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis, Division 25 of the American Psychological Association (APA), and the Southeastern Association for Behavior Analysis.  She is a fellow of ABAI and of Division 25 of APA, and she has been honored with the North Carolina Board of Governors Teaching Excellence Award (2003), the UNCW Faculty Scholarship Award (2000) and Graduate Mentor Award (2008), and the ABAI Student Committee Outstanding Mentor Award (2006) and Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis Award (2017).   




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