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

    AUT: Autism

    BPN: Behavioral Pharmacology and Neuroscience

    CBM: Clinical/Family/Behavioral Medicine

    CSE: Community Interventions, Social and Ethical Issues

    DDA: Developmental Disabilities

    DEV: Behavioral Development

    EAB: Experimental Analysis of Behavior

    EDC: Education

    OBM: Organizational Behavior Management

    PRA: Practice

    TBA: Teaching Behavior Analysis

    TPC: Theoretical, Philosophical, and Conceptual Issues

    VRB: Verbal Behavior

    SCI: Science

    OTH: Other

42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Program by B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Events: Tuesday, May 31, 2016


B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #393
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Implementing an Evidence-Based Intervention Worldwide: Collaboration as the Core of Sustainable Fidelity

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Grand Ballroom AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Per Holth, Ph.D.
Chair: Per Holth (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)
MARION FORGATCH (Oregon Social Learning Center)
Marion Forgatch’s professional interests blend basic research, intervention, and wide-scale implementation. She joined the group that would become Oregon Social Learning Center in 1970. Her intervention work includes families of youth referred for problems ranging from childhood aggression to chronic delinquency and parents referred for child abuse/neglect. She has designed and tested preventive interventions for at-risk families based on Parent Management Training – Oregon Model (PMTO). Dr. Forgatch founded Implementation Sciences International Inc. in 2001 to disseminate PMTO. Forgatch and her team have conducted large-scale PMTO implementations including: statewide in Michigan and Kansas; nationwide in Norway, Iceland, the Netherlands, and Denmark; countywide in Detroit/Wayne County; and citywide in New York City and Mexico City. Forgatch’s program Parenting through Change (PTC) has been adapted and tested with diverse populations: Spanish-speaking Latinos in the US, mothers living in homeless shelters and supportive housing, parents with severely emotionally disturbed children, parents whose children have been placed in care, military families reintegrating after war, and war-displaced mothers in Uganda. Forgatch has co-authored journal articles, book chapters, books, and audio and video tapes. A fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, her awards include Friend of the Early Career Prevention Network and the Award for International Collaborative Prevention Research from Society for Prevention Research, and the Distinguished Contribution to Family Systems Research Award, from the American Academy of Family Therapy.

Parent Management Training–Oregon Model (PMTO) is an evidence-based intervention that prevents and treats child and adolescent behavior problems by teaching parents strategies that reduce coercion and increase positive parenting practices (Forgatch & Patterson, 2010; Patterson, 2005). The intervention, which was developed by the group of colleagues led by Gerald Patterson, has emerged over several decades with a programmatic focus on families with youngsters with externalizing problems such as aggression, antisocial behavior, and delinquency. PMTO's staying power over nearly five decades is likely tied to the continuing integration of theory, science, and practice with a focus on improving outcomes at every level. In the last fifteen years, PMTO has been implemented internationally. Reliable and valid data using multiple method and agent assessment from U.S. and international PMTO implementations illustrate the challenges of making empirically-supported interventions routine practice in the community. Technological advances that break down barriers to communication across distances, the availability of efficacious programs suitable for implementation, and the urgent need for high quality mental health care provide strong rationales for prioritizing implementation. The next challenge is to reduce the prevalence of children's psychopathology by creating science-based delivery systems to reach families in need, everywhere.

Target Audience:

This lecture will be of interest to applied researchers interested in mechanisms of behavior change and of implementation of evidence-based programs, and to practitioners who work in a variety of applied settings, particularly those who work with children with aggressive and other antisocial behavior.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) describe basic elements of parents' strategies that reduce coercion and increase positive parenting practices; (2) describe important challenges of making empirically supported interventions routine practice in the community; (3) describe some ideas regarding how to create science-based delivery systems to reach families in need, everywhere.
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #418
CE Offered: BACB

Stereotypes Can Kill: Processes of Injustice in Criminal Trials

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Grand Ballroom AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: CSE; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Todd A. Ward, Ph.D.
Chair: Todd A. Ward (bSci21 Media, LLC)
JOHN HAGEDORN (University of Illinois at Chicago)
John Hagedorn is professor of Criminology, Law, and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has conducted research on gangs and violence for the past 30 years. He has written three books and edited two books on gangs: People & Folks, A World of Gangs, The In$ane Chicago Way: The Daring Plan by Chicago Gangs to Create a Spanish Mafia, Female Gangs in America, and Gangs in the Global City. Additionally, he has written many scholarly and popular articles. He has consulted on more than 65 criminal trials, a majority concerning gang-related homicides. His website,, has the motto of “research not stereotypes.” Before earning his Ph.D. in Urban Studies, he was a civil rights and peace activist and organized against police abuse. He and his wife live in Milwaukee and have 6 children and 8 grandchildren.

Judges and juries easily accept information that is consistent with stereotypes but tend to resist information that is inconsistent with them. When groups like gangs, terrorists, or prostitutes are demonized the facts become framed in a manner that a guilty verdict or severe sentence becomes likely. Experience in dozens of gang-related trials is drawn on to confirm how stereotypes can produce processes of injustice. Language from police interrogations, prosecutor's arguments, and Hagedorn's court testimony are examined to explain how in gang-related criminal trials it is often the frames that matter not the facts. When the frames are hard, Lakoff says, the facts sometimes bounce off.

Target Audience:

Certified Behavior Analysts and graduate students.

Learning Objectives: Pending.
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #440
CE Offered: PSY

Self-Recognition in an Ecological Context: Lessons From Avian Host-Parasite Interactions

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Grand Ballroom AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Mark Hauber, Ph.D.
Chair: Elizabeth Kyonka (West Virginia University)
MARK HAUBER (Hunter College, City University of New York)
Dr. Mark E. Hauber is professor and director of the Animal Behavior and Conservation program in the Department of Psychology at Hunter College of the City University of New York. He is a native of Hungary, a graduate of Yale and Cornell Universities, and received postdoctoral training as a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley. Previously Mark taught at the University of Auckland's School of Biological Sciences. A recipient of NSF and Human Frontier Science grants, Dr. Hauber has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles, and penned the University of Chicago Press' The Book of Eggs (2014).

The development of the recognition of self-like individuals, including relatives and conspecifics, often relies on critical experience with parents, siblings, and other predictable referents during early life. For example, in birds, exposure to conspecifics in the nest reliably cues species-recognition for flocking and mating. How then so brood parasitic birds, that lay their eggs in other species' nest, develop conspecific referents when raised by foster parents? And how do hosts recognize and reject foreign eggs and chicks in the nest if they have not yet laid a clutch before? The presenter’s research focuses on the experimental analysis of self-recognition in both parasites and hosts through phenotypic manipulation of the available cues for species recognition during development. The results reveal how a long-hypothesized mechanism, namely self-referenced phenotype matching, enables the evolution of brood parasitism in birds, and perhaps contributes to the ecological flexibility of recognition systems under socially unpredictable conditions in general.

Target Audience:

Licensed Psychologists

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) define the terms "conspecific" and "heterospecific"; (2) name at least two species of brood parasitic birds; (3) state at least two parallels between the reproductive and communicative behaviors of birds and humans.
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #455
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Behavioral Science and Zoo Animal Welfare

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Lucerne, Swissotel
Area: AAB; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Lindsay Mehrkam, Ph.D.
Chair: Lindsay Renee Mehrkam (University of Florida)
LANCE MILLER (Chicago Zoological Society–Brookfield Zoo)
Lance J. Miller, Ph.D., is currently the Senior Director of Animal Welfare Research for the Chicago Zoological Society – Brookfield Zoo. He received his graduate training in Experimental Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi. Previously, he held positions as a Research Manager at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Scientist for the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. Dr. Miller focuses on animal welfare in the areas of validating positive and negative indicators, the impact of unnatural social settings, holistic monitoring, and scientific assessment of environmental enrichment. Dr. Miller currently holds adjunct faculty status through the University of Chicago, Western Illinois University, the University of Southern Mississippi and Arizona State University. He is currently a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Research and Technology Committee, Chair of the AZA Animal Welfare Committee, and a steering committee member for the AZA Behavioral Scientific Advisory Group.

Zoos and aquariums strive to provide the highest levels of welfare for the animals under their care. This goal is achieved through evidence-based management where research, animal care and veterinary services work together to answer questions regarding animal welfare and turn findings into practice. Behavioral data is one of the many tools used within zoos and aquariums used to make informed management decisions. Historically, zoos primarily utilized negative indicators of welfare such as stereotypic or abnormal behavior. However, the absence of negative indicators of welfare does not suggest that an animal is thriving. The presentation will highlight the many different ways behavior data can be utilized within a zoo environment to ensure high levels of welfare. Examples include behavioral monitoring of the collection, asking specific questions regarding animal behavior, and preference assessments. Ultimately, behavioral data combined with many other positive and negative indicators of animal welfare can help ensure each individual animal within a zoo has the opportunity to thrive.

Target Audience:

The target audience should have a basic understanding of animal behavior and preferably some experience with environmental enrichment and animal welfare.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) understand the difference between animal welfare and animal rights; (2) identify three different ways behavioral data are utilized within zoos and aquariums; (3) identify one way that behavioral data can be combined with other measures of animal welfare to provide a more holistic perspective; (4) identify three ways behavioral data has been used historically to answer questions surrounding animal welfare within a zoological environment.
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #465
CE Offered: PSY

Learning, Sexual Differences, and Sexual Competition

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Grand Ballroom AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Germán Gutierrez, Ph.D.
Chair: Federico Sanabria (Arizona State University)
GERMÁN GUTIÉRREZ (Universidad Nacional de Colombia)
Germán Gutiérrez, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the National University of Colombia in Bogotá. He has served as the editor for several journals, including Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología.

Darwin's Sexual Selection Theory has had an important impact on the understanding of male-female differences in morphology, physiology, and behavior, as well as in mate selection and competition for access to reproductive resources. Using an avian model (Coturnix japonica) the presenter and colleagues have found that males and females differ in the expression of sexual learning, both Pavlovian and instrumental. They have also explored how early learning affects sexual preference and receptivity in males and females later in life and how learning contributes to improve male reproductive success in sexual competition situations. For example, male quail trained in a Pavlovian learning situation are better able to copulate with females than non-trained males, and male quail who lose in a male-male competition, improve their success after training that allows them to predict the presence of a female partner. Females, on the other hand, improve their proceptive behavior if provided the opportunity to have access to areas occupied by males. The presenter will discuss results of their work, but will argue for a comparative approach to better understand the evolution of the sexual behavior system.

Target Audience: Behavior analysts interested in basic behavioral processes and their relation to evolution.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) understand the implications of evolutionary theory for sexual differences in behavior; (2) understand how learning affects reproductive fitness; (3) discuss the role of a comparative approach to understand evolutionary processes of behavior.
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #537
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Preparing Teachers and Practitioners to Meet the Needs of All Students in Early Care and Education Settings: How Do We Do It?

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Grand Ballroom AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Amoy Kito Hugh-Pennie, Ph.D.
Chair: Amoy Kito Hugh-Pennie (The Harbour School-Hong Kong)
MARY SONNENBERG (University of Delaware)
Dr. Sonnenberg’s career spans thirty-five years, with a focus on birth-to-five years early intervention center-based and home-based programs run by non-profit organizations. She began her career as a special education teacher in Warren County, VA, serving children with severe/profound disabilities, worked in an inclusive early intervention program in Dallas, TX, followed by 20 years as director of an inclusive early intervention center in Southern Pines, NC. Her programming expertise focused on children with significant disabilities, including challenging behaviors, in inclusive classrooms. These classrooms provided sites for student observations and student teachers from teacher preparation programs. She coordinated services for children on the autism spectrum with the University of North Carolina (UNC)--TEACCH regional centers. She participated in replication and research projects through the Frank Porter Graham Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Charlotte, and Western Carolina University. She has taught undergraduate courses at the University of Delaware since 2009 and supervised student teachers as faculty in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. She is part of the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood and provided professional development on supporting social emotional development and challenging behaviors. She is currently the Deputy Director for Delaware Stars for Early Success, Delaware’s QRIS.

How do we prepare teachers for supporting the social emotional growth of young children while giving them the tools to address challenging behaviors in school and childcare settings? Those who have been in the field for a long time as well as pre-service teachers often struggle with how to balance instructional practice and requirements to address the social-emotional needs of their students. Without addressing the social-emotional needs of the students, instruction and learning cannot occur. This lecture will focus on developmentally appropriate practices that create social-emotional and physical environments that are most supportive of children's healthy development. In tandem with setting up the environment to foster appropriate behavior, a variety of strategies for addressing challenging behaviors will be discussed. Key components for laying this groundwork include: family-teacher partnerships, developmentally appropriate curriculum and assessment, guidance and behavior supports. Lessons learned from a variety of early childcare and educational settings, including programs in the Delaware Stars for Early Success (the state's Quality Rating and Improvement System [QRIS]), will be presented.

Target Audience:

To come.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) describe developmentally appropriate practices in early care and education settings that create supportive social-emotional environments for young children; (2) describe key components of guidance and behavior supports in early care and education settings; (3) identify different strategies for addressing challenging behaviors in a variety of early care and education settings.



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