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.

  • AAB: Applied Animal Behavior

    BPH: Behavioral Pharmacology

    CBM: Clinical/Family/Behavioral Medicine

    CSE: Community Interventions, Social and Ethical Issues

    DEV: Behavioral Development

    EAB: Experimental Analysis of Behavior

    EDC: Education

    TBA: Teaching Behavior Analysis

    VRB: Verbal Behavior

    SCI: Science

38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Program by B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Events: Sunday, May 27, 2012

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #147
CE Offered: BACB

Behavioral Genetics and the Evolution of the Domestic Dog: Implications for Social Behavior

Sunday, May 27, 2012
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
6E (Convention Center)
Area: AAB; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: James C. Ha, Ph.D.
Chair: Christy A. Alligood (Disney's Animal Kingdom)
JAMES C. HA (University of Washington)
Dr. Ha's academic and clinical training is in the social behavior and cognition of birds and mammals, with a special focus on highly social species like domestic dogs, crows and jays, primates, and killer whales. His background includes degrees in Biology and Zoology and professional credentialing as a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, the highest level of certification in applied behavior research and practice. He is currently a Research Associate Professor in Animal Behavior at the University of Washington where he teaches and conducts research. He also lectures on dog behavior nationally and internationally. After he ran his own consulting business from 1999-2007, he became a founding partner in Companion Animal Solutions, L.L.C. in 2007. He sees about 45 in-home cases in dogs and cats each year and supervises an additional 220 cases per year seen by their staff. In addition, he has participated in more than 25 legal cases as an expert witness, involving both dog bites and dog tracking behavior. He has been elected to numerous offices in the Animal Behavior Society, has served on the Society's Board of Professional Certification and as an Editor of the journal Animal Behaviour, and recently received the Society's Exceptional Service Award.

I review the latest research on the evolutionary relationships of dogs at the level of species and breeds. I briefly review the concept of, and evidence for, behavioral genetics in dogs before developing two basic principles of behavior: 1) species- (or breed-) typical behavior developed under evolutionary pressures and 2) the interaction of genes and environment, bringing in the role of experience and learning, to develop a modern ethological view of dog behavior. I then illustrate these principles with examples from comparative research on wolf and dog behavior and on breed-specific patterns in innate and learned behavior in dogs. Finally, I demonstrate the implications of evolutionary history, genetics and the environment for interpreting the social dynamics of domestic dogs. My goal is to illustrate a modern view of animal behavior which is intensely integrative, drawing together many disciplines including genetics, physiology, endocrinology, neurobiology, learning theory, and ethology under the organizing laws of evolution.

Keyword(s): behavioral genetics, dogs
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #148
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Behavioral Activation for Whatever Ails You

Sunday, May 27, 2012
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
4C-2 (Convention Center)
Area: CBM; Domain: Theory
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Thomas J. Waltz, Ph.D.
Chair: Thomas J. Waltz (Center for Mental Healthcare and Outcomes Research)
CHRISTOPHER MARTELL (University of Washington)
Christopher R. Martell, Ph.D. is in private practice in Seattle and is a Clinical Associate Professor in the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and in the department of Psychology at the University of Washington. He is board certified in both clinical psychology and behavioral psychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) and is a founding fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. The co-author of four books, he has published widely on behavioral treatments for depression and other areas of application of CBT.  He is first author of Depression in Context: Strategies for Guided Action with Michael Addis & Neil Jacobson; Behavioral Activation for Depression: A Clinician’s Guide, with Sona Dimidjian and Ruth Herman-Dunn and, with Michael Addis, Overcoming Depression One Step at a Time: The New Behavioral Activation Approach to Getting Your Life Back – which has been translated into four languages - and has co-authored two other books.  He was the recipient of the Washington State Psychological Association's Distinguished Psychologist Award in 2004.  He is a past President of the American Board of Cognitive-Behavioral Psychology, a specialty board of ABPP. Dr. Martell received his Ph.D. in Clinical and School Psychology from Hofstra University in 1988.

Interest in behavioral activation (BA) in the treatment of depression has gained worldwide acceptance and re-invigorated interest in a behavioral rather than a cognitive conceptualization of depression. According to the basic premise of the behavioral model, depression results from low rates of response-contingent positive reinforcement or increased rates of punishment. For vulnerable individuals such reinforcement contingencies may be correlated with low mood and other “symptoms” of depression. Individuals then respond to the symptoms in understandable ways to avoid bad feelings or responsibilities, but get stuck in a cycle of inertia that is negatively reinforced. As a treatment for depression, behavioral activation (BA) is based on this model, and the goal of BA is to reverse the “downward spiral” and help individuals to engage in activities that may serve an antidepressant function. The principles of BA can apply to problems other than depression, however, and may be used to modify avoidance behaviors in general. This presentation will review the potential use of BA as a transdiagnostic method for helping clients to engage in activities that will increase the likelihood that approach behaviors, rather than avoidance, will be reinforced leading to more productivity and satisfaction.

Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: #none#
Keyword(s): clinical, depression
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #178
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

New Opportunities: Using Sensor-Driven Technologies for Measuring and Motivating Behavior Change

Sunday, May 27, 2012
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
6BC (Convention Center)
Area: SCI; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Advanced
CE Instructor: Stephen Intille, Ph.D.
Chair: M. Christopher Newland (Auburn University)
STEPHEN INTILLE (Northeastern University)
Dr. Intille received his Ph.D. from MIT in 1999 working on computational vision at the MIT Media Laboratory, an S.M. from MIT in 1994, and a B.S.E. degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. He has published research on computational stereo depth recovery, real-time and multi-agent tracking, activity recognition, perceptually-based interactive environments, and technology for healthcare. Dr. Intille has been principal investigator on sensor-enabled health technology grants from the NSF, the NIH, foundations, and industry. After ten years as Technology Director of the House–Research Consortium at MIT, in 2010 he joined Northeastern University to help establish a new transdiciplinary Ph.D. program in Personal Health Informatics.

I will present an overview of work by my research group exploring the development and evaluation of sensor-driven mobile health technologies for measuring and motivating health-related behavior. We are creating prototype technologies that use context-aware sensing to empower people with information by presenting it in timely, tailored ways via home and mobile computing devices. I will outline our general approach showing examples of technologies developed in pilot projects, with a special focus on an effort to develop a new open-source tool for measuring physical activity type, duration, intensity, and location on common mobile phones for population scale health studies. This activity measurement system, and others we are working on using common mobile phones, provide new ways to create what are known as persuasive technologies using positive reinforcement and tailored, just-in-time messaging.

Target Audience: Basic and applied researchers.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the talk, participants will be able to: -- Describe techniques for monitoring and consequating behavior remotely -- Describe what context-aware sensing is -- Describe how remote monitoring is incorporated into every-day technologies (cell phones) and new technologies to be discussed in the talk.
Keyword(s): behavior sensors, health behavior, physical activity, remote monitoring
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #191
CE Offered: BACB

Why Civil Resistance Works: The Future of Nonviolent Conflict

Sunday, May 27, 2012
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
6A (Convention Center)
Area: CSE; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Mark A. Mattaini, Ph.D.
Chair: Mark A. Mattaini (Jane Addams College of Social Work)
ERICA CHENOWETH (Wesleyan University)
Erica Chenoweth is an Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University. From June 2011 through August 2012, Chenoweth will be a Visiting Scholar in residence at the Institute of International Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. She teaches courses on international relations, terrorism, civil war, and contemporary warfare. She serves as a Member of the Board for the International Security and Arms Control Section of the American Political Science Association (2011-2013), and as an Academic Advisor to the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. Previously, she has been a Fellow (2006-2008) and an Associate (2008-2010) at the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of International Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. Chenoweth was the 2010 recipient of the Carol A. Baker Memorial Prize, which recognizes excellence in junior faculty teaching and research at Wesleyan. Chenoweth has authored several books, including Why Democracy Encourages Terrorism (under contract with Columbia University Press); and Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict (Columbia University Press, August 2011) with Maria J. Stephan of the U.S. State Department. She also co-edited Rethinking Violence: States and Non-State Actors in Conflict (MIT Press, 2010) with Adria Lawrence of Yale University. Chenoweth's research program involves three main questions: why do non-state groups use political violence, what are the alternatives to political violence, and how can states best combat non-state political violence? Her book, tentatively entitled Why Democracy Encourages Terrorism (under contract with Columbia University Press), investigates the reasons why non-state actors resort to violence in democracies despite the availability of legal methods of protest. Her findings suggest that political competition within democracies compels conventional interest groups to compete, causing a "cascade effect" in which groups escalate their tactics to outbid one another for power. The research for this project was partially funded through a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence at the University of Maryland. In another project, Why Civil Resistance Works (with Maria Stephan), Chenoweth researches the conditions under which nonviolent resistance methods are more effective than violent methods in achieving strategic goals such as regime change, expelling foreign occupiers, or achieving self determination. In fall 2009, Chenoweth commenced a follow-up project that investigates how the tactical evolutions of nonviolent and violent insurgencies have affected their strategic outcomes. Chenoweth is also co-lead investigator on a project entitled Dealing with the Devil: When Bargaining with Terrorists Works (with Laura Dugan). This project assesses the efficacy of different counterterrorism policies in the Middle East since 1980 as part of a broader set of projects affiliated with START.

Professor Erica Chenoweth discusses her book with Maria Stephan, Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict. In this groundbreaking book, the authors find that between 1900 and 2006, campaigns of nonviolent resistance were more than twice as effective as their violent counterparts. Attracting impressive support from citizens that helps separate regimes from their main sources of power, these campaigns have produced remarkable results. In this talk, Chenoweth details the factors enabling such campaigns to succeed; and, at times, causing them to fail. She discusses how higher levels of participation contribute to enhanced resilience, a greater probability of tactical innovation, increased opportunity for civic disruption (and therefore less incentive for the regime to maintain the status quo), and shifts in loyalty among opponents' erstwhile supporters, including members of the military establishment. Successful nonviolent resistance movements tend to usher in more durable and internally peaceful democracies, which are less likely to regress into civil war. Chenoweth originally and systematically compares violent and nonviolent outcomes in different historical periods and geographical contexts, debunking the myth that violence occurs because of structural and environmental factors and is necessary to achieve certain political goals. Instead, she argues that violent insurgency is rarely justifiable on strategic grounds. Chenoweth will conclude her presentation by discussing the implications of this research for ongoing conflicts around the world.

Keyword(s): civil resistance, nonviolent struggle, social justice



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