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.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Program by Special Events: Saturday, May 23, 2015

Manage My Personal Schedule


Special Event #3
Closed Meeting: Affiliated Chapter Leadership Training
Saturday, May 23, 2015
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
Lone Star Ballroom B (Grand Hyatt)
Chair: Gordon Bourland (Trinity Behavioral Associates)

ABAI is pleased to offer a Leadership Training Session for officers of ABAI affliated chapters for the purpose of providing strategies for guiding the growth of chapters and providing services to members and constituents. Althought this training is free for up to three officers per chapter, advanced registration is required and attendance is by invitation only. Presentations will include:

How Can Affiliate Chapters and Universities Join Forces to Promote Behavior Analysis to the General Public? INGUNN SANDAKER (Oslo and Akershus University College)

Interactions Between State Licensing Boards and Affliated Chapters ROBERT ROSS (Massachusetts ABA and Beacont ABA Services), MICHAEL DORSEY (Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health and Hunam Services Professions and Endicott College), GRANT GAUTREAUX (Louisiana Behavior Analysis Association and Nicholls State University) and others

Breakout Sessions

Following presentation, presenters will be available for toical breakout group discussions, focused on the presentation topics.

Keyword(s): Chapter Leadership, Leadership Training
Special Event #4
Closed Meeting: Special Interest Group Leadership Training
Saturday, May 23, 2015
9:00 AM–11:00 AM
Lone Star Ballroom A (Grand Hyatt)
Chair: Christy A. Alligood (Disney's Animal Kingdom)

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.


Introduction to the SIG Board and ABAI Resources for SIGs (Christy Alligood)

Choosing the Right Technology for Your SIG (Amanda Kelly, Mark Mattaini, Matt Brodhead, Josh Pritchard)

This discussion will focus on how to choose between the many available communication technologies (websites, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) based on SIG communication goals. Panelists will share their experiences in this regard, including pros and cons of different technologies, and recommend goal-oriented strategies.

Creating Collaborations and Sustaining Momentum

-Strategies for sustaining momentum between ABAI conventions (Christy Alligood)

-Collaborating with ABAI chapters on additional conference participation (Heather McGee)

-SIG/SIG collaborations (Ben Witts)

-SIG/ABAI Program Area collaborations (Cindy Anderson)

This panel will focus on ideas for creating different types of collaborations amongst SIGs and other entities, as well as setting contingencies for sustained momentum within SIGs.

Breakout Sessions

Following the panel discussions, the panelists will be available for two topical “breakout group” discussions, focused on the panel topics.

Keyword(s): Leadership, SIG
Special Event #4a
Parents, Professionals and Students: Welcome to the ABAI Convention
Saturday, May 23, 2015
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
218 (CC)
Chair: 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): ABAI, Parents Welcome, Professionals Welcome
Special Event #5
CE Offered: BACB
Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis Awards
Saturday, May 23, 2015
11:30 AM–12:50 PM
Lila Cockrell Theatre (CC)
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Michael Perone (West Virginia University)
CE Instructor: Michael Perone, Ph.D.

SABA Award for Distinguished Service: Behavior Analysis 1970-2015: A Personal Perspective


Life as a behavior analyst for Dr. Sigrid Glenn began some 30 years after B. F. Skinner’s momentous publication of The Behavior of Organisms. In 1970, the history and status of behavior analytic work could be summarized in 19 chapters in Honig’s Operant Behavior: Areas of Research and Application (1966). And a two-volume compendium of reprinted articles provided easy pre-Internet access to 98 original works on concepts, principles, methods, and applications of behavior analysis (Ulrich, Stachnik, and Mabry, 1966 and 1970). Further, as a new graduate student she could reasonably set out to read all 12 volumes of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and the one volume of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis that then existed. Most exciting to Dr. Glenn, Skinner’s newly published Contingencies of Reinforcement offered a coherent worldview that replaced a muddle of incoherent ideas. Behavior analysis was very different then. Looking back on the subsequent 45 years, Dr. Glenn will recount a few of the events that seem to capture the changes she has seen, and reflect on the relevance of those changes to the future of behavior analysis as a coherent whole. Finally, a brief survey of several future paths behavior analysis may take is followed by a recommendation for one that seems best to support disciplinary coherence.

SIGRID S. GLENN (University of North Texas)
Dr. Sigrid Glenn’s passionate commitment to behavior analysis is seen in the range of her contributions. Her four books and 50-plus articles and chapters include basic and applied experimental analyses, conceptual and interdisciplinary offerings, and reflections on the nature and status of the discipline. As founding chair of the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas, Dr. Glenn established its master’s and bachelor’s programs and led the faculty in becoming ABAI’s first accredited graduate program. A charter certificant of the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB), she led a cadre of distant learning pioneers in developing the first BACB-approved Internet course sequence. She has served as editor of The Behavior Analyst and on several other editorial boards and is a founding fellow of the ABAI and a fellow of the American Psychological Association and its Division 25. Dr. Glenn is recipient of CalABA’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Behavior Analysis; the Texas Association for Behavior Analysis Award for Career Contributions to Behavior Analysis in Texas; the Michael Hemingway Award for Advancement of Behavior Analysis; the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies Ellen P. Reese Award in Recognition for Significant Contributions to Communication of Behavioral Concepts; and ABAI’s Student Committee Award for Outstanding Mentorship. Dr. Glenn served on the ABAI Executive Council from 1989-1996 and was ABAI president in 1993-94 and SABA president in 1994-95. She is now Regents Professor Emeritus at the University of North Texas.

SABA Award for International Dissemination: Science and the Treatment of Autism: A Multimedia Package for Parents and Professionals


A severe shortage of training courses exists across Europe to prepare professionals to meet the needs of parents whose children are diagnosed with autism. To address this concern and the resulting myths about applied behavior analysis that have sprung up, Leonardo, a former part of the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme, supported two projects to further development of an innovative multimedia program first developed in Northern Ireland by local charity Parents' Education as Autism Therapists (PEAT) and behavior analysts from the Ulster University. Called Simple Steps, this multimedia program uses video material in the form of parental testimonies, animations, demonstrations, and textural material to teach the principles of applied behavior analysis. The projects funded by Leonardo were each called STAMPPP and included partners from the United Kingdom, Norway, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Iceland, and Germany; another group from Portugal obtained funding independently to develop the program. For some partners, this was the first time they had access to material on behavior analysis in their own language. In this presentation, Dr. Keenan will show examples of the resources that were developed and encourage others to think about the importance of moving beyond static images when teaching about something dynamic such as behavior.

MICHAEL KEENAN (Ulster University)
Professor Mickey Keenan, BCBA-D, is a fellow of the British Psychological Society, a distinguished community fellow at the School of Psychology, Ulster University in Northern Ireland, and a trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. He is founder of the charity PEAT (Parents’ Education as Autism Therapists; He has received numerous awards for his untiring efforts to bring applied behavior analysis to communities in Ireland and further afield. He has received the Award for Promoting Equality of Opportunity from the British Psychological Society, a Personal Achievement Award from the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis, Award for Public Service in Behavior Analysis from the Society for Advancement of Behavior Analysis (presented in Chicago, May 2008), and the Michael Hemingway Award from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (presented in New Orleans, March 2014). With his wife, Professor Karola Dillenburger, he produced the first multimedia textbook in behavior analysis, Behaviour Analysis: A Primer, available on iTunes bookstore for Mac platform.  

SABA Award for Effective Presentation of Behavior Analysis in the Mass Media: Putting It All Together: Interdisciplinary Behavior Analysis for the Public


Sustainability, education, workplace safety, language development, addiction, autism ... the list goes on and on. Behavior analysis applies very broadly indeed, and is inherently interdisciplinary. How can we best get our scientific principles recognized, valued, and used in all the areas they apply? One approach is to reach out to the public directly. In The Science of Consequences, Dr. Susan M. Schneider sought to cover the full range of our science and its applications, simultaneously highlighting many connections with other fields. This inclusive approach seems valuable for the sake of both science and dissemination: We now know how fully operant principles interact with others in the large and complex nature-and-nurture system, for example. Can we do better at getting the word out about all that we have to offer? In this presentation, Dr. Schneider will explore this continuing challenge as well as celebrate our progress.

SUSAN M. SCHNEIDER (University of the Pacific)
Dr. Susan M. Schneider’s involvement in behavior analysis goes back to high school when she read Beyond Freedom and Dignity and wrote B. F. Skinner, never dreaming that he would reply. They corresponded through her master's degree in mechanical engineering from Brown University, her engineering career, and her stint in the Peace Corps. At that point, Schneider bowed to the inevitable and switched careers earning a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, holding faculty positions at St. Olaf College, Auburn University, and Florida International University. A research pioneer in the quantitative analysis of behavior, her publications also cover the history and philosophy of behavior analysis and its biological context. Building on this background, her book for the public, The Science of Consequences: How They Affect Genes, Change the Brain, and Impact Our World, describes operant principles, their role in the nature-nurture system, and their full range of applications. It earned a mention in the journal Nature, was a selection of the Scientific American Book Club, and took Schneider on a book tour across the United States and Scandinavia. She also has appeared on national radio programs. The SABA award letter took note of the book’s engaging style and broad scope, calling it “extraordinary.”


SABA Award for Scientific Translation: How Can We Increase the Impact of Behavior Analysis in Solving Problems in New Areas?


Behavior analysis is a powerful tool that could ameliorate many of society’s problems. One of the first problems seriously addressed with a behavior analytic approach was the treatment of autism. Although a behavioral approach yielded promising results from the start, it took many years before the behavioral approach was accepted as the treatment of choice for autism. Although promising data also have been obtained from applications of behavioral technology to other social problems, these applications have not yet been widely accepted or disseminated. B. F. Skinner envisioned behavior analysis as a technology that would address a wide variety of societal challenges. Initially, behavior analysts were highly enthusiastic about society adopting our approach in areas such as education, but many people already working in these fields were resistant to a behavioral approach. This paper will examine a number of areas where behavior analysis could make a difference, and explore ways to overcome obstacles and accelerate the acceptance of our approach.

RON VAN HOUTEN (Western Michigan University)
Dr. Ron Van Houten received his BA from State University of New York at Stony Brook and his MA and Ph.D. from Dalhousie University, where he received training in the experimental analysis of behavior. He is currently a professor of psychology at Western Michigan University. Dr. Van Houten has published extensively in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis on a wide variety of problems, such as the education of inner city youth and children with "learning disabilities," the treatment of children and adults with developmental delays, the treatment of clinical problems in children, traffic safety, energy conservation, and aviation safety. Currently, Dr. Van Houten is a member of the Transportation Research Board and a member of the National Committee for Uniform Traffic Control Devices. He is a past assistant editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and a Fellow of ABAI. Dr. Van Houten is also an avid pilot of power aircraft and gliders and a flight instructor.
Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, practitioners, and graduate students.

Learning Objectives: Forthcoming
Special Event #12
SQAB Tutorial: B = f(O, E): Implications of Quantitative Models of Behavior for Translational Research and Practice
Saturday, May 23, 2015
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
103AB (CC)
Area: EAB; Domain: Theory
Chair: Todd L. McKerchar (Jacksonville State University)
Presenting Authors: : ERIC A. JACOBS (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)

Quantitative models of behavior are precise and succinct descriptions of functional relationships between behavior and environmental events. The purpose of this tutorial is to foster an appreciation of how quantitative models of behavior can be used to guide conceptually systematic analyses of behavior. The intended audience is academic applied behavior analysts and practicing board certified behavior analysts who are curious to learn how quantitative models of behavior can inform research and practice, but who may be a bit intimidated by the mathematics or may see quantitative models as too esoteric to inform solutions to socially significant behavioral problems. We will review examples from the literature on choice and decision-making, consumer demand analyses, matching theory, and other topics in order to demonstrate how quantitative models of behavior can be useful in framing questions about behavior and generating solutions to practical problems.

ERIC A. JACOBS (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
Eric A. Jacobs, Ph.D., received his doctoral training in experimental psychology at the University of Florida under the direction of Timothy D. Hackenberg, Ph.D. Subsequently he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Vermont, where he researched substance-abuse treatment under the direction of Warren K. Bickel, Ph.D. Dr. Jacobs is currently the voice of behavior analysis within the Department of Psychology at Southern Illinois University. He is the director of SIU's Brain and Cognitive Sciences graduate program and is also cross-appointed with SIU's Applied Psychology graduate program. His research interests include choice and self-control, conditioned reinforcement (including token reinforcement systems), human operant behavior, and most recently using operant methods to assess recovery of function following traumatic brain injury in rats. Dr. Jacobs has served on the editorial boards of The Behavior Analyst and The Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and is a former co-chair of ABAI's Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Special Interest Group. He also has served as president of the Southeastern Association for Behavior Analysis and president of Division 25 (Behavior Analysis) of the American Psychological Association.
Keyword(s): behavioral economics, delay discounting, quantitative models, translational research
Special Event #38
SQAB Tutorial: The Molar View of Self-Control
Saturday, May 23, 2015
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
103AB (CC)
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Leonard Green (Washington University)
Presenting Authors: : HOWARD RACHLIN (State University of New York Stony Brook), William M. Baum (University of California, Davis)

A problem in self-control arises when an organism chooses between one activity strongly induced by short-term reinforcers and a second activity weakly induced by long-term reinforcers but more beneficial in the long term. The short-term, strongly induced activity is called impulsivity, and the long-term, weakly induced activity is called self-control. Impulsivity and self-control have usually been studied as they affect discounting: delay discounting, probability discounting, and social discounting. Although discounting affords measures of impulsivity relative to self-control, discounting as a representation of real-world choice is unrealistic, because discounting applies only to discrete events like receiving a sum of money or a cigarette. Real-world consequences like good health or sobriety occur over long periods of time, not at specific moments. A more realistic, molar, view of impulsivity and self-control takes them as bad and good habits extended in time. Seen this way, a good or bad habit may be described as a conflict of time frames: Consequences evaluated in a short time frame are opposite to consequences evaluated in a long time frame. The molar view may be more useful than discounting for treatment--that is, discouraging bad habits and encouraging good habits.

HOWARD RACHLIN (State University of New York Stony Brook), William M. Baum (University of California, Davis)
Howard Rachlin obtained a Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University in 1965. He is currently a research professor and an emeritus distinguished professor of psychology at Stony Brook University. He has published more than 100 articles, written six books including Behavior and Mind (1994) and The Science of Self-Control (2000), and edited two others. His most recent book is The Escape of the Mind (2014). He has served on study sections for the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. He is on the editorial boards of six journals. His research (on choice, self-control, social cooperation, and experimental economics) has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation including an NIH merit award. Among other honors he has been elected fellow at ABAI, the American Psychological Society and the Society of Experimental Psychologists. He has received a James McKeen Cattell fellowship (1975-76) and an award for the impact of science on application from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis (2005). He was a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation (1988-89) and an invited speaker at the Nobel Symposium on Behavioral and Experimental Economics, Stockholm, Sweden (2001).
Keyword(s): discounting, impulsivity, molar view, self-control
Special Event #53
SQAB Tutorial: A,B&L Revisited: Whither Adaptive Behavior and Learning?
Saturday, May 23, 2015
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
103AB (CC)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: David C. Palmer (Smith College)
Presenting Authors: : JOHN E. R. STADDON (Duke University)

The talk is a walk through a list of topics that came up as Dr. John Staddon revised a 30-year-old book on adaptive behavior and learning. What has changed and what has not? What endures and what principles can we now rely on?

JOHN E. R. STADDON (Duke University)
John Staddon is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology, and Professor of Biology and Neurobiology, Emeritus, at Duke University. He earned his Ph.D. in experimental psychology at Harvard University and also did research at the MIT Systems Lab and taught at the University of Toronto. He has done research at Oxford University (UK), the University of São Paulo at Riberão Preto, the University of Mexico, the Ruhr Universität, Universität Konstanz, the University of Western Australia and the University of York (UK). He is a past editor of the journals Behavioural Processes and Behavior and Philosophy and a fellow of several scientific organizations. His research is on the evolution and mechanisms of learning in humans and animals and the history and philosophy of psychology and biology. His laboratory has studied interval timing in several animal species, and choice behavior in human beings. Recent theoretical work includes papers on operant conditioning, memory, timing, and psychobiological aspects of ethical and economic philosophy. He has written and lectured on public-policy issues such as education and evolution, traffic control, smoking, and the effects of social and biological processes on financial markets. He is the author of more than 200 research papers and several books, including The New Behaviorism, Second Edition (Psychology Press, 2014); Adaptive Dynamics: The Theoretical Analysis of Behavior, (MIT/Bradford, 2001); The Malign Hand of the Markets (McGraw-Hill, 2012); Unlucky Strike: The Science, Law and Politics of Smoking (University of Buckingham Press, 2014); and Adaptive Behavior and Learning, Second Edition (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
Keyword(s): adaptive, classical, evolution, operant
Special Event #79
SQAB Tutorial: To Infinity and Beyond: Why Zoos and Other "Nontraditional" Settings are Important to the Future of Behavior Analysis
Saturday, May 23, 2015
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
103AB (CC)
Area: EAB/AAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Lindsay Mehrkam (University of Florida)
Presenting Authors: : CHRISTY A. ALLIGOOD (Disney's Animal Kingdom)

In recent years, several authors have argued that zoos should be interested in behavior analysis (e.g., Maple 2007, Bloomsmith et al. 2007). But why should behavior analysts be interested in zoos? Modern zoological institutions place a growing emphasis on animal welfare, with goals including encouraging species-typical behavior, introducing novel sensory stimulation, and providing opportunities for choices within animal environments. In pursuit of these goals, zoos have recruited experts in specialized areas such as nutrition, pathology, endocrinology, aquatic medicine, and water chemistry. Although behavioral outcomes are central to animal welfare goals, the roster of experts at a given zoo rarely includes a behavior analyst. In this presentation, Dr. Christy Alligood will discuss the influence of behavior analysis on current practices at zoological institutions, including some examples of training and environmental enrichment at Disney's Animal Kingdom. She also will suggest some ways in which the zoo setting presents golden opportunities for applications of behavior analysis, and some reasons that "nontraditional" settings in general are important to the future of behavior analysis.

CHRISTY A. ALLIGOOD (Disney's Animal Kingdom)
Dr. Christy Alligood received an M.A. (2003) from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a Ph.D. (2007) from West Virginia University. She is a doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D). Since 2007, she has worked at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. Much of her initial work focused on a multi-faceted conservation program for Key Largo woodrats, which received a Bean Award for Significant Achievement in Captive Breeding from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (2009) and a Federal Challenge Grant (2010) in collaboration with the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge for population monitoring work on Key Largo. Dr. Alligood now works with the Science Operations Team, where she focuses on projects involving training, enrichment, and animal learning. She is an instructor for the AZA Animal Training Applications in Zoo and Aquarium Settings professional development course. She is the coordinator of the ABAI Special Interest Groups Board, co-coordinator of the ABAI Applied Animal Behavior Program Area, and past president of the Southeastern Association for Behavior Analysis. Dr. Alligood also has worked in home, school, and clinic settings with children with challenging behavior and their caregivers and teachers, and has supervised students in these areas of practice.
Keyword(s): animal behavior, animal training



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