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.


10th International Conference; Stockholm, Sweden; 2019

Event Details

Previous Page


Poster Session #53
PCH Poster Session
Sunday, September 29, 2019
5:30 PM–7:00 PM
Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre, Level 4, Balcony
17. On Operant Selection of Verbal Behavior and Its Relation to Natural Selection
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
CARSTA SIMON (University of Agder, Norway)

Speech is a natural event that comes down to sounds that affect the behavior of conspecifics. How may Darwinian selection aid our understanding of the selection of behavior during ontogeny? To identify what constitutes ontologically and epistemologically sound units of analysis, I investigate verbal behavior in conversations through a selectionist lens. The poster explores how Baum’s (2013, 2016) multi-scale approach may be applied to verbal behavior. This implies treating larger verbal episodes as wholes, induced by a context and correlating with consequences. Thus, the poster, first, debates theoretical reasons to place verbal behavior in an evolutionary framework by viewing it as shaped by its consequences, through a person’s lifetime and through interactions with the environment across many generations of natural selection. Second, the poster exemplifies experimental procedures treating verbal behavior as allocation of time.

18. Aversive Control: Do We Need More research?
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
Abstract: In behavior analysis, positive reinforcement is usually considered most effective to influence behavior (Daniels & Bailey, 2014). Furthermore, negative reinforcement, and positive/negative punishment are labeled as aversive and warned against. However, there are some that criticize this “aversive control phobia” that results in small amount of research on aversive control as well as erroneous interpretations of available research (Malott, 2001). In addition, some claim that a distinction between positive and negative reinforcement is unnecessary, and should be abandoned (Michael, 1975/2004: Baron and Galizio, 2005). This poster aims at a) sparking discussions on aversive control and, b) suggests a research approach to contribute to its literature. The research is inspired by Magoon, Critchfield, Merrill, Newland, and Schneider (2017) work on concurrent schedules of positive and negative reinforcement. Their results suggested that they are functionally independent processes. Here it will be argued that their approach should be elaborated and more data gathered. The focuses is on the rationale of the experiments, and how it relates to the conceptual discussions on reinforcement and punishment.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh