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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Program by Special Events: Saturday, May 24, 2014

Manage My Personal Schedule


Special Event #3
Health, Sports, and Fitness Special Interest Group Soldier Field 10-mile Run
Saturday, May 24, 2014
6:00 AM–9:00 AM
W190b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Chair: Annabelle Winters (Garden Center Services, Inc.)

Please join participating SIG members for the the 11th running of the Fleet Feet Sports Soldier Field 10 Mile, which includes a memorable finish on the 50-yard line of Soldier Field! Event details and registration can be found at (Please note that this run is not organized by the HSF SIG. Registration and compliance with all event policies and procedures is required.) Please meet us in the meeting room at 6:00 am, dressed in your running gear. The HSF SIG is happy to pick up registration packets and bibs for those traveling from outside Chicago. If you would like us to do this for you, please forward the bib number confirmation email to In the text of your forwarded email, be sure to state that you are providing authorization for Annabelle Winters to pick-up your packet. Please be prompt as we'll depart as a group from the meeting room and walk the 0.5 mile from McCormick Place to Soldier Field.

Keyword(s): run, soldier field
Special Event #4
Closed Meeting: Affiliated Chapters Leadership Training
Saturday, May 24, 2014
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
Regency Ballroom C-D (Hyatt Regency McCormick Place)
Chair: Gordon Bourland (Trinity Behavioral Associates)
ABAI training sessions are great opportunities for chapter leaders to gain knowledge and expertise on issues of central importance to their ABAI affiliated chapters. This training is for chapter leaders only. Although the chapter training is free for up to three officers per chapter, advance registration is required. This event is closed; attendance is by invitation only.
Keyword(s): chapters leadership, leadership training
Special Event #5
Closed Meeting: Special Interest Group Leadership Training
Saturday, May 24, 2014
9:00 AM–11:00 AM
Regency Ballroom E (Hyatt Regency McCormick Place)
Chair: Kurt Salzinger (Hofstra University)
CHRISTY A. ALLIGOOD (Disney's Animal Kingdom), Mark A. Mattaini (Jane Addams College of Social Work-UIC)

ABAI is pleased to offer a Leadership Training Session for officers of ABAI Special Interest Groups (SIGs) for the purpose of providing strategies for guiding the growth of SIGs and providing services to members and constituents. This training is for SIG leaders only.Although the SIG training is free for up to three officers per SIG, registration is required. This event is closed; attendance is by invitation only.

The ABAI SIG Board: A New Resource for SIGs

Christy Alligood (Disney's Animal Kingdom)

This year, the ABAI Executive Council unanimously approved a proposal to establish a board specifically charged with furthering ABAI’s mission as it pertains to special interest groups (SIGs). The SIG Board will engage in activities to provide resources to SIGs with the ultimate goal of strategically promoting the diversity of interests within the field of behavior analysis. Board coordinator, Christy Alligood, will share the specific goals and current initiatives of the SIG Board, and lead a discussion with SIG leaders to gather input on board activities and the needs of SIGs.

The Role of the ABAI Program Committee

Mark Mattaini (Jane Addams College of Social Work-UIC)

Both new and seasoned SIG leaders often have questions about the role of the ABAI Program Committee and its relationship to SIGs. Mark Mattaini, senior co-chair of the ABAI Program Committee and chair of the Behaviorists for Social Responsibility SIG, will share the functions and processes of the Program Committee, current connections between the Program Committee and SIGs, and plans for promoting increased coordination going forward.

Keyword(s): Leadership Training, SIG
Special Event #6
International Reception
Saturday, May 24, 2014
9:30 AM–11:00 AM
Regency Ballroom A-B (Hyatt Regency McCormick Place)
Chair: Martha Hübner (University of Sao Paulo)

The International Reception is scheduled to welcome international members and review the international development of behavior analysis being conducted at ABAI. All members are welcome.

Special Event #7
Parents, Professionals and Students: Welcome to the ABAI Convention
Saturday, May 24, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W190b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
KERRY A. CONDE (Trumpet Behavioral Health)
Parents and other caregivers of individuals with special needs as well as professionals and students are attending the ABAI convention in increasing numbers but may have questions about how to make the most of the experience. Furthermore, an event as large as ABAI may seem overwhelming to newcomers. Parents, professionals and students who may be attending ABAI for the first time are encouraged to participate in this convention orientation and visit our webpage at We will provide an overview of ABAI and its convention and highlight the types of events that parents, professionals and students will encounter.
Keyword(s): welcome meeting
Special Event #8
CE Offered: BACB
Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis Awards
Saturday, May 24, 2014
11:30 AM–12:50 PM
W375e (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): SABA Awards
Chair: Kurt Salzinger (Hofstra University)
CE Instructor: Kurt Salzinger, Ph.D.

SABA Award for Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis: On Some Ways to Have a Behavior Analyst or Two


On behalf of all of us working to develop behavior analysis throughout Europe, Dr. Hughes said it is his great honor to accept this award. He said he has been lucky enough to work with a host of talented and motivated colleagues from all over the globe who have shared the common goal and value of promoting behavior analysis. In the United Kingdom, they focused on developing training programs that will build a critical mass of competent behavior analysts who are able to contribute across a number of areas to help improve lives. In 2003, Dr. Hughes and Dr. Steve Noone started the first BCBA accredited course in ABA in Europe at Bangor University. The course currently enrolls about 60 students a year, and now 18 similar courses across Europe are training the next generation of behavior analysts. The BACB was an important catalyst to this growth, and Dr. Jerry Shook in particular was instrumental in supporting the efforts in Europe. In this talk, Dr. Hughes describe the conditions that helped bring this about, some of the lessons they learned, and thank some of the people who helped make this happen. Behavior change has become the buzzword for politicians, policymakers, and nonbehavioral psychologists. Recently, Dr. Hughes received almost $3 million (U.S.) in funding from the Welsh European Funding Office to develop the Wales Centre for Behaviour Change. The center will bring together designers, sustainability expertise, neuroscientists, behavioral economists, and crucially, behavior analysts. This represents an exciting area for behavior analysis. However, behavior analysts remain in the minority, and there is much still to do. If we are to continue to grow we must work together, clarify and communicate our values and mission, be nice (especially to those who do not share our perspective), and think bigger in terms of where behavior analysis can have influence, Dr. Hughes wrote.

J. CARL HUGHES (Bangor University)
Dr. J. Carl Hughes, BCBA-D, is senior lecturer and consultant behavior analyst at the School of Psychology, Bangor University, Wales, and director of the MSc in Applied Behavior Analysis and the Wales Centre for Behaviour Change. He is also the deputy head for teaching and learning of the College for Health and Behavioural Science. He studied for his BSc in psychology in 1993 and obtained his Ph.D. in behavior analysis and verbal behavior in 2000, following which he took a teaching fellowship at the School of Psychology teaching behavior analysis to psychology students. In 2003, he and colleagues started the first BCBA accredited MSc in applied behavior analysis program in Europe. The program now enrolls more than 60 master’s degree students each year. In 1998, Dr. Hughes took over the organization of the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour Group, UK and Europe (EABG), the longest standing organization devoted to behavior analysis in Europe. Dr. Hughes is a founder and active member of the European Association of Behaviour Analysis, an organization that aims to promote the dissemination and training in behavior analysis across Europe. Dr. Hughes was also on the inaugural board of the newly founded UK-Society for Behaviour Analysis (UK-SBA), the first membership-based body aimed at promoting behavior analysis in the UK. Dr. Hughes has more than 30 peer-reviewed publications in several journals including the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, the European Journal of Behavior Analysis, the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Behavior Modification, and the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Dr. Hughes is an elected adviser for the Cambridge Centre for Behavioral Studies. Dr. Hughes has a number of research interests, including effective teaching methods, behavioral measurement, early behavioral intervention programs, reading instruction, and verbal behavior.

SABA Award for International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis: Effecting Social Change in Georgia by Applying Behavior Analysis


Georgia was a Soviet Republic from 1924 to 1991, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin and of Eduard Shevardnadze. The Soviet Union’s collapse threw Georgia into civil war and, eventually, a break from Russian influence. Introducing applied behavior analysis in Georgia in 1997 resulted from an invitation to teach “modern Western” clinical psychology at Tbilisi State University. Our clinical training was behavioral, and our Kansas Ph.D.’s supervised by Donald Baer, with influence from Risley, Wolf, Sherman, Sheldon, Spradlin, and Morris, prepared us to apply behavior analysis in its widest sense to systems, organizations, programs, training, and individuals. Teaching ABA Practicum led us to institutions where children languished without proper care, food, or education. We saw a need, we had the knowledge and skills, and we had to challenge and change the system at government, university, and grass-roots levels. Courageous Georgian colleagues and cooperation of other organizations helped overcome hurdles. The closure of institutions, the emergence of inclusive education, the training of foster parents, caregivers, and teachers, and the support of families with children with special needs all required ABA skills, which we provided. The future is in the hands of a new generation of Georgian psychologists keen to apply behavior analysis widely and effectively.

BARRY S. PARSONSON (Applied Psychology International), JaneMary Castelfranc-Allen Rawls (Applied Psychology International)
Barry Parsonson received his master’s degree and post-graduate diploma from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Following this, he gained an assistant professorship at Waikato University in New Zealand and established an ABA-focused clinical program in 1973. Donald Baer supervised his Ph.D. in 1977 at Kansas. Later, they co-authored several book chapters on analyzing graphed data. Dr. Parsonson served as department chair and faculty dean at Waikato University and is a past president of the New Zealand Psychological Society. Dr. Parsonson and Dr. JaneMary Castelfranc-Allen established the Children of Georgia NGO after teaching ABA theory and practice in the former Soviet Georgia in 1997-99, and discovering abandoned and disabled children in terrible institutional conditions. A SABA International Development Grant in 2000 funded advanced ABA training and a manual introducing ABA. A revised edition has been translated as an introductory university text. For more than 15 years, Dr. Parsonson and Dr. Castelfranc-Allen have taught and promoted ABA in Georgia and now proudly see ABA practitioners there who are completing BCBA qualifications.  

SABA Award for Enduring Programmatic Contributions to Behavior Analysis: Integration of Behavioral and Pharmacological Methods in the Study and Treatment of Substance Use


For more than 35 years, the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit (BPRU) at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has been a leading clinical research and research training program applying behavior analysis methods to the study and treatment of substance use. BPRU research has used the perspective and methodology of behavior analysis to study substance use and abuse as operant behavior that is influenced and/or controlled by its context and consequences. Human laboratory studies have examined the discriminative and reinforcing effects of drugs, examining influences on drug self-administration, choice behavior, and other indices of drug abuse liability. Outpatient therapeutic trials have integrated incentive-based behavior therapies with pharmacotherapies to assess their individual and interactive contributions to outcome. The most enduring contribution of the BPRU program is from its National Institutes of Health-supported postdoctoral research training program. With more than 100 graduates, the program has provided a research training and scientific productivity foundation for subsequent generations of scientists in the substance use and human behavioral pharmacology fields. This presentation will summarize and illustrate several areas of research from BPRU’s history.

GEORGE BIGELOW (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
George E. Bigelow, Ph.D., is a professor of behavioral biology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, where he is director of the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit (BPRU) and director of its postdoctoral research training program on the human behavioral pharmacology of substance abuse. His graduate and postdoctoral training was in experimental psychology and psychopharmacology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Bigelow’s research has focused on the determinants and consequences of human drug self-administration, and on the use of behavior analysis methods in the study and treatment of substance abuse. His research has included many self-administered and abused substances--alcohol, tobacco, heroin, cocaine, and others--and has included controlled human laboratory research demonstrating drugs functioning as reinforcers and the controllability of drug self-administration by its consequences, as well as outpatient clinical trials of incentive-based behavior therapies both alone and when integrated with pharmacotherapies. He, Roland Griffiths and Maxine Stitzer have worked together for nearly four decades in leading the Hopkins/BPRU research and training program, in applying behavior analysis principles and methods to the study and treatment of substance use, and in training the next generations of clinical research scientists in this area.

SABA Award for International Publication



Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, graduate students, and anyone interested in learning about the winner of the SABA Award for International Publication.

Learning Objectives: Forthcoming.
Keyword(s): SABA Awards
Special Event #12
SQAB Tutorial: Behavior Analysis: Translation of Principles and Clinical Applications in General Practice
Saturday, May 24, 2014
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
W178a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EAB/PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Patrick C. Friman (Boys Town)
Presenting Authors: : CLAUDIA DROSSEL (University of Michigan)

Early experimentalists, such as Azrin, Ferster, Sidman and many more, had a vision of exporting laboratory-derived operant principles to clinical practice settings. Systematically exploring the possibilities inherent in behavior analytic assessments and interventions, these pioneers and their students markedly raised the standards of care, most notably in areas limited to mere custodial or restraint-based services at the time, where progress had been deemed beyond clinicians? reach. Fast forward to more than half a century later: What do consumers in general clinical practice settings need today? How are the advances in the experimental analysis of behavior used to meet our most pressing public health concerns? This tutorial will link current public health issues with advances in the operant analysis of behavior. It will illustrate how an experimental approach to clinical questions, assessments, and interventions is relevant and timely in today?s health care environment, both as a problem-solving tool and a source of clinical innovation.

CLAUDIA DROSSEL (University of Michigan)
Dr. Claudia Drossel holds experimental and clinical doctoral degrees in behavior analysis.  She is specialized in the assessment of and interventions for affective, behavioral, and cognitive changes associated with central nervous system disorders and injuries that occur in adulthood.  Among those are neurodegenerative diseases, cerebrovascular accidents, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, and brain and spinal cord tumors.  As a clinical expert in behavioral gerontology, she has co-authored a step-by-step manual illustrating a behavior analytic approach to degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.  Currently a fellow at the University of Michigan Health System, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Claudia’s clinical and research interests involve tertiary prevention and health promotion for adults with CNS injuries or disorders; aging with disabilities; collaborative care planning, and clients’ and families’ understanding and implementation of treatment recommendations.
Special Event #42
SQAB Tutorial: Bringing Pavlov's Science to Behavior Analysis II
Saturday, May 24, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W178a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EAB; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Patrick C. Friman (Boys Town)
Presenting Authors: : DANIEL GOTTLIEB (Sweet Briar College)

Last year, I talked about the breadth of Pavlovian processes before discussing the different types of Pavlovian stimuli and how they might not all be equally amenable to intervention. This year, my focus is on how Pavlovian processes may be a driving force in a number of areas in which people are failing to properly regulate, leading to such problems as obesity, drug addiction, immune system dysfunction, and disorders of attention. These problems are likely the result of exposure to stimuli that were not present in the environment in which modern humans evolved. Because a characteristic of Pavlovian learning is an indifference to instrumental contingencies, dysfunction relating to Pavlovian conditioning is likely going to be ill-served by current behavior analytic methods. Although it is not clear how to treat most dysfunctions driven by Pavlovian processes, recent advancements from basic research provide powerful new methodological and conceptual tools of which few outside the field are aware. General options for moving forward will be discussed in light of these recent advancements.

DANIEL GOTTLIEB (Sweet Briar College)
Daniel Gottlieb, Ph.D., received his BS in psychology from Yale University, where he spent time in Allan Wagner’s animal learning laboratory. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania under the guidance of Robert Rescorla and spent 2 years as a post-doc in C. R. Gallistel’s laboratory at Rutgers University. He is now an associate professor of psychology at Sweet Briar College, where he studies appetitive conditioning in rats and people. During the course of his career, Dr. Gottlieb has studied learning and decision-making processes in mice, rats, pigeons, rabbits, and people, and has published his work in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Behavioral Processes, and Psychological Science. He received APA’s 2006 Young Investigator Award in Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, and Sweet Briar College’s 2007 Connie Burwell White Excellent in Teaching Award. Recent projects include an entry for Pavlovian conditioning in Springer’s Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning and a book chapter on the principles of Pavlovian conditioning for the upcoming Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Operant and Classical Conditioning.
Keyword(s): Pavlovian conditioning
Special Event #60
SQAB Tutorial:The Psychopathological Interpretation of Common Child Behavior Problems: A Critique and a Related Opportunity for Behavior Analysis
Saturday, May 24, 2014
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
W178a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EAB; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Claudia Drossel (University of Michigan)
Presenting Authors: : PATRICK C. FRIMAN (Boys Town)

Interpreting common child behavior problems as evidence of psychopathology is routine in mainstream psychology. The practice is so widespread that when investigators fail to obtain clinically significant levels of behavior problems, as indexed by standard scores on assessment instruments, they usually (almost always) reanalyze their data in terms of raw scores and then argue that any statistically significant elevation is evidence of pathology. Four representative common child behavior problems are encopresis, enuresis, thumb sucking, and hair pulling and psychopathological interpretations of each are easy to find. Three of the most common tests of psychopathology are: 1) clinically significant levels of co-occurring behavior problems; 2) resistance to direct treatment; and 3) symptom substitution. An abundant amount of research shows that each of the four representative behavior problems fails all three tests. Two possible reasons for the existence and persistence of the psychopathology interpretation, despite readily available data to the contrary, are Berkson’s and textbook case biases. Berkson’s bias involves the influence data obtained from hospitalized subjects with compound problems has on the interpretation of isolated problems in outpatient or nonreferred subjects. Textbook case bias involves textbook reliance on complex, resistant, multiproblem cases for teaching while the majority cases are simple, responsive, and involve relatively isolated problems. Regardless, the routine interpretation of child behavior problems as pathology presents an enormous opportunity for behavior analysis. Specifically, most parents of children with common behavior problems are reluctant to seek professional help from clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, due in no small way to their aversion to the pathological view. Because the conceptual framework for behavior analysis does not include a pathology construct, behavior analysts could focus on the assessment and treatment of common child behavior problems and potentially capture a virtually unlimited market for their services.

Special Event #85
SQAB Tutorial: The Fox Domestication Project and the Genetics of Social Behavior
Saturday, May 24, 2014
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
W178a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EAB/AAB; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: John E. R. Staddon (Duke University)
Presenting Authors: : ANNA V. KUKEKOVA (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Domestication as a special form of evolution offers valuable insights into how genomic variation contributes to complex differences in behavioral and morphological phenotypes. The genetics-centered view of the domestication is supported by experimental selection of farm-bred foxes (Vulpes vulpes) that begun at the Russian Institute of Cytology and Genetics in the 1950s. Selection of foxes for either tame or aggressive behavior, has yielded two strains with markedly different, genetically determined behavioral phenotypes. Tame-strain foxes communicate with humans in a positive manner and are eager to establish human contact. Foxes from the aggressive strain are aggressive to humans and difficult to handle. Although the foxes were selected solely for behavior, changes in physiology, morphology, and appearance with significant parallels to characteristics of the domestic dog, were observed in tame-strain foxes. These two fox strains provide a rich resource for investigating the genetics of complex social behaviors. Although the focus of our work is on the genetics of domestication in the silver fox, there is a broader context. In particular, one expectation of the silver fox research is that it will be synergistic with studies in other species, including humans, to yield a more comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms and evolution of a wider range of social interactive behaviors.

ANNA V. KUKEKOVA (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Anna Kukekova graduated from St. Petersburg State University in 1993. She obtained her PhD at the Institute of Cytology of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1999. She then proceeded to a post-doctoral program at the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell University where she was a research associate and subsequently a principal research scientist in the laboratory of Dr. Greg Acland. In 2002 she established a consortium to study the genetics of complex behaviors in the fox model of animal domestication. The collaboration included Dr. Trut’s group at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Dr. Acland’s laboratory at Cornell University, and Dr. Lark’s laboratory at the University of Utah. In order to identify the genetic loci involved in the regulation of fox social behavior Dr. Kukekova developed a method for quantitative assessment of fox behavioral phenotypes. This work was supported by grants from the NIMH.  In 2012, Dr. Kukekova became an Assistant Professor at the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The genetics of complex social behaviors remains the main focus of her research.
Keyword(s): genetics, foxes
Special Event #110
Board Coordinators Meeting
Saturday, May 24, 2014
7:00 PM–7:50 PM
W474a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Chair: Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Presenting Authors:
This is a closed meeting of the ABAI Board Coordinators and the Council Presidents.
Keyword(s): board coordinators



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