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.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Program by B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Events: Sunday, May 29, 2016


B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #29
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

A Functional-Cognitive Framework for Cooperation Between Functional and Cognitive Researchers and Practitioners

Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Grand Ballroom AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Barbara E. Esch, Ph.D.
Chair: Barbara E. Esch (Esch Behavior Consultants, LLC)
JAN DE HOUWER (Ghent University), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (Ghent University), Yvonne Barnes-Holmes (Ghent University), Sean Hughes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
After receiving his PhD from the University of Leuven (Belgium) in 1997, Jan De Houwer was a Lecturer at the University of Southampton (UK) from 1998 to 2001. Since 2001, he works at Ghent University (Belgium) where he heads the Learning and Implicit Processes Laboratory. His research is related to the manner in which spontaneous (automatic) preferences are learned and can be measured. Regarding the learning of preferences, he focuses on the role of stimulus pairings (associative learning). With regard to the measurement of preferences, he developed new reaction time measures and examined the processes underlying various measures. Jan De Houwer (co-)authored more than 250 publications in international journals including Psychological Bulletin and Behavioral and Brain Sciences. He was co-editor of the journal Cognition and Emotion and is a member of the editorial board of several journals including Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Psychological Bulletin, and Personality and Social Psychology Review.

Functional (e.g., Skinnerian) and cognitive approaches in psychology are often seen as competing and mutually exclusive. We argue that although both types of approaches have fundamentally different aims, they are situated at different levels of explanation and can therefore be mutually supportive. More specifically, whereas functional research on the environmental determinants of behavior can help constrain cognitive theories about the mental processes that mediate environment-behavior relations, cognitive research can highlight new empirical phenomena that could help functional researchers to refine behavioral principles and their conceptual or theoretical analyses. We then highlight two implications of our framework for psychotherapy and research on human cognition. First, the framework clarifies the relation between behavior therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy. Second, it sheds new light on the study of rule-governed behavior.

Target Audience:

Licensed psychologists, certified behavior analysts, graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) understand cognitive and functional psychology as fundamentally different but not mutually exclusive approaches in psychology; (2) understand the functional-cognitive framework for psychological research as a framework for interactions between cognitive and functional psychology; (3) identify potential benefits of a possible cooperation between cognitive and functional psychology.
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #53
CE Offered: PSY/BACB — 

Designing Sustainable Behavior Change

Sunday, May 29, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Grand Ballroom AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Douglas A. Johnson, Ph.D.
Chair: Douglas A. Johnson (Western Michigan University)
MICHAEL KIM (Habit Design)
Michael Kim is Founder and CEO of Habit Design, the leading platform for crowdsourcing sustainable behavior change. Over 500 companies and 100,000 people have used Habit Design's behavior-change training to create successful daily habits that last beyond 100 days. Clinically tested by licensed, published clinical psychologists, Habit Design transforms training into automatic, habitual routines. Built on evidence-based research from over 100 behavioral scientists, the simple, easy, and effective training includes three main components: coaching, practice teams, and rewards.

Programs prioritizing ?motivating Behavior Change? frequently fail to generate sustained engagement: over 80% of employees who attempt to create new, healthy behaviors still fail at continuing their training after just the first 30 days, and corporate lifestyle management programs return only $0.50 for every $1 invested (RAND, 2015). The CDC attributes 80% of chronic conditions to this inability to form successful wellbeing habits, resulting in almost $1 Trillion in lost productivity alone (CDC, 2009). The problem is not that people resist change, but they resist being changed. While health promotion can motivate employees to make episodic, temporary changes, when it comes to creating lasting results, learning the skill of creating new habits is what is vital for long-term Behavior Change. The reason: While motivation may get you started, habit keeps you going. Developed by licensed, clinical psychologists from Yale and the University of Washington, this session covers best practices in the design of sustainable Behavior Change systems that have led to the successful training of unconscious, daily habits, derived from more than eight years of clinical testing of evidence-based research from over 100 behavioral researchers. Habit Design has trained more than 500 companies and 100,000 employees - from UnitedHealthcare, Humana, Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, Stanford Medical School, Boeing, Google, The White House, and many others.

Target Audience: Practitioners in the field.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) identify four key ingredients that must be present for creating successful behavior change; (2) differentiate and diagnose behavior change into fifteen distinct classes; (3) define three key strategies that successfully harness motivation for sustainable behavior change; (4) translate design principles and tactics to create winning recipes for training new habits, or "habit designs."
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #73
CE Offered: PSY

The Surprising and Problematic Consequences of Exposure to Misinformation

Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Grand Ballroom AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Scott P. Ardoin, Ph.D.
Chair: Scott P. Ardoin (University of Georgia)
DAVID RAPP (Northwestern University)
David N. Rapp is Professor in the School of Education and Social Policy and the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University. His research examines language and memory, focusing on the cognitive mechanisms responsible for successful learning and knowledge failures. He investigates the ways in which prior knowledge, text materials, and learning goals influence memory and comprehension of discourse experiences. His recent projects examine how memory is influenced by the plausibility and importance of everyday events, the credibility of sources, and the collaborative nature of group discussions. These projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Institute on Aging. He received a McKnight Land-Grant Professor award from the University of Minnesota in 2006, the Tom Trabasso Young Investigator Award from the Society for Text & Discourse in 2010, was named a Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence in 2015, and is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. He recently finished serving as associate editor at the Journal of Educational Psychology, and is now editor of Discourse Processes.

Prior knowledge has been a key construct for theories of memory, comprehension, and learning. And traditionally prior knowledge has been identified as a resilient source of information, standing strong in the face of even the most compelling refutations and evidence. In the current talk I describe experiments that call into question this characterization of prior knowledge. Work from my lab shows that well-worn expectations appear malleable (and sometimes even non-existent) when people are confronted with contradictory arguments and facts. Across a variety of demonstrations involving the presentation of text content containing potential misinformation, people subsequently rely on encoded inaccuracies leading to problematic and surprising demonstrations of ignorance. Even obvious misinformation, which individuals should know better than to fall for, can influence subsequent problem solving and decision making behaviors. This talk will identify the consequences of exposure to misinformation, as well as highlight important boundary conditions for when and how people might be encouraged to engage in more critical evaluation in the service of successful comprehension.

Target Audience:

Educational researchers, practitioners

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) describe the misinformation effect, specifically in terms of consequences for post-reading behaviors; (2) describe how experiments have used reading time and decision-based methodologies in attempts to evaluate reader comprehension; (3) identify potential instructional strategies and text features that can encourage more critical readings of text content.
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #121
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Prospective and Retrospective Contingency in Operantly Conditioned Behavior

Sunday, May 29, 2016
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Grand Ballroom AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: SCI; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Suzanne H. Mitchell, Ph.D.
Chair: Suzanne H. Mitchell (Oregon Health & Science University)
CHARLES R. GALLISTEL (Rutgers University)
Charles Gallistel is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience and Cognitive Psychology at Rutgers University. His research pursues a psychophysical approach to screening for memory malfunction in genetically manipulated mice; these behavioral screens look for distortions and increased noise in simple quantitative memories like interval duration, distance, and number.

Contingency is a fundamental concept in associative learning, but it has not been defined in such a way that it could be measured in most conditioning paradigms, particularly operant paradigms. A simple information-theoretic measure of contingency may be applied to most classical and operant associative learning paradigms. In applying it to assess the role of contingency in maintaining responding on variable interval schedules of reinforcement, we distinguish between prospective contingency—the extent to which one event (e.g., a response) predicts another (e.g., a reinforcement)—and retrospective contingency—the extent to which one event (e.g., a reinforcement) retrodicts another (e.g., a response). We find that the prospective contingency between response and reinforcement is un-measurably small, that is, the probability of reinforcement at any latency following a response does not differ from the probability of reinforcement following a randomly chosen moment in time. By contrast, the retrospective contingency is perfect. Degrading the retrospective contingency in two different ways, by delay of reinforcement or by partial non-contingent reinforcement, suggests that reinforcement is only effective when it falls within a critical time window, which implies that retrospective temporal pairing is critical, not retrospective contingency.

Target Audience:

Licensed Psychologists, certified behavior analysts, graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the end of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) define contingency; (2) explain the difference between prospective and retrospective contingency; (3) discuss the role of contingency in conditioning.



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