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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Invited Tutorial #135
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
The Behavior Analyst and the Apple Crop: A Parable for Organizational Behavior Management
Sunday, May 30, 2010
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Ballroom A (CC)
Area: OBM; Domain: Theory
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Ann Filer, M.Ed.
Chair: Heather M. McGee (Western Michigan University)
Presenting Authors: : DWIGHT HARSHBARGER (Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia Un)
Abstract: In China “villages of dunces”—small towns full of mentally disabled people—give testimony to decades of environmental toxins; Szechwan province’s honey bees are extinct. In India, each day one person dies from the long-term effects of methyl isocyanate (MIC) released in the 1984 MIC Bhopal disaster that killed 20,000. In America, potential chemical disasters loom over communities; morning ozone reports are often as important as the weather itself. Worldwide, rising temperatures pose significant threats to ecosystems. For decades scientists have accepted fees to build product defenses for tobacco, toxic chemicals, including Bhopal-sized threats to communities, and the Big Kahuna: global warming. Today, public opinion polls reveal widespread doubt about the environmental impact of increasing levels of (you fill in the blank). And every day, 50 species become extinct. Will we be the first generation to become a modern Noah and save the last pairs of species threatened with extinction? The contingencies that surround the practice of OBM as “business as usual” are comfortable, and the financial rewards attractive. But time has grown short. I will discuss decisions by OBM’s applied behavior analysts to address and avoid important health, safety, and environment challenges, the ethics of those decisions, and suggest positive steps leading to a greener OBM. I will begin with the parable of the behavior analyst and the apple crop.
DWIGHT HARSHBARGER (Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia Un)
Dwight Harshbarger, Ph.D. is a Senior Fellow of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies and former Executive Director. The Center’s mission is to advance the scientific study of behavior and its humane applications. His personal interests are in strengthening quality and safety performance in organizations. Dwight has headed human resources in two corporations – as a corporate senior vice president for Reebok International, Ltd., and corporate vice president of Sealy, Inc. He served as a consultant in RHR International’s Chicago office and later as director of strategic consulting and vice president at Aubrey Daniels International. He heads The Browns Group, Inc., and has successfully implemented behavior-based performance improvement programs in the United States and Asia. Prior to entering corporate work, he completed post-graduate study at Harvard and then joined the faculty of West Virginia University where he became a tenured professor of psychology. He later served as CEO of a community mental health center in the southern West Virginia coal fields. He has edited and authored books and articles on organizational performance. His work in behavioral sciences has earned him the respect and acknowledgement of his peers he is an elected Fellow of the American Psychological Association and American Psychological Society. In 2006 he received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the Psychology Department at the University of North Dakota. Following his retirement from the Cambridge Center in 2008, Dwight returned to Morgantown, West Virginia, to focus on his fiction writing and to teach. He serves as Adjunct Professor of Community Medicine in the WVU Health Sciences Center. In 2009, he published a historical fiction novel focused on the Hawks Nest industrial disaster, titled Witness at Hawks Nest (Publisher’s Place; Huntington, WV).



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