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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Panel #409
CE Offered: BACB — 
Diversity submission Not Just a Buzzword: Conceptual Analyses and Practical Applications of Compassion in Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 30, 2022
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 254A
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Jacob Sadavoy, M.S.
Chair: Hannah Kaplan-Reimer (Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group)
JACOB A SADAVOY (Committed Behavior)
LAUREN ALICIA GOODWYN (Seton Hall University)

Compassion is generally defined as a desire and willingness to alleviate the suffering of others. Though there is no doubt that applied and clinical behavior analysis were founded with such intentions, compassionate behavior has not historically been explicitly analyzed or taught in behavior analytic practice. Though the word “compassion” does not often appear in traditional behavior analytic literature, it is now being employed more regularly in formal contexts and has even found its way into the most recent BACB code of ethics. As scientific practitioners, it is important that behavior analysts establish an agreed upon functional and actionable definition of compassion so that they can effectively plan for, engage in, and train others to engage in, compassionate practices. Behavior analysts have both the technology and the heart to spread compassion far and wide. This panel will discuss the functional conceptual definitions of compassionate behavior so that we can learn to identify it and understand that the topography will vary across individuals, groups, cultures, and contexts. The panel will also address how to plan for and respond with compassion to harmful behaviors. Perhaps most crucially, the panel will discuss compassion’s close relationship with self-compassion, ways to practice self-compassion and strategies aimed at avoiding compassion fatigue.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Define compassionate behavior from a functional contextual perspective; (2) Provide proactive and reactive strategies for promoting compassionate behavior in behavior analytic settings; (3) Describe how cultural and contextual differences influence the topography of compassionate behavior.



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Modifed by Eddie Soh