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.

  • AUT: Autism

    BPH: Behavioral Pharmacology

    CSE: Community Interventions, Social and Ethical Issues

    DDA: Developmental Disabilities

    DEV: Behavioral Development

    EAB: Experimental Analysis of Behavior

    EDC: Education

    OBM: Organizational Behavior Management

    TBA: Teaching Behavior Analysis

    VRB: Verbal Behavior

    OTH: Other

36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Program by Invited Events: Sunday, May 30, 2010

Manage My Personal Schedule


Invited Paper Session #197
Behavior Analysis and the Ethics of Contemporary Cultures
Sunday, May 30, 2010
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
103AB (CC)
Domain: Theory
Chair: David A. Eckerman (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
A. CHARLES CATANIA (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
A. Charles Catania is Professor Emeritus at UMBC, where he co-founded its MA track in Applied Behavior Analysis. He is Past-President of ABAI and of Division 25 of the American Psychological Association and has served as Editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. He had the great good fortune to start his career in Fall 1954 in Fred Keller’s introductory psychology course, which included a weekly rat lab, and later to serve as TA in Nat Schoenfeld’s Experimental Psychology sequence. He earned his Ph.D. at Harvard, where he then conducted postdoctoral research in Skinner’s pigeon laboratory. Catania continued working with rats and pigeons and other organisms over subsequent decades, during which he became increasingly impressed by striking parallels between biological accounts of evolution in terms of Darwinian natural selection and behavior analytic accounts of operant behavior in terms of the selection of behavior by its consequences. He sees the methods and concepts of the biological sciences as having much to offer to our field and has argued that the science of behavior might best be regarded as a component of the biological sciences. The lesson that the study of nonhuman behavior is essential to our understanding of verbal behavior also came from Columbia, where in Spring 1957 Catania took a seminar on verbal behavior jointly taught by Fred Keller, Nat Schoenfeld and Ralph Hefferline. The course began by covering Skinner's William James lectures and then, when Skinner's Verbal Behavior was published midway into the semester, by comparing the older and newer versions. Though virtually all of Catania’s early experimental work was devoted to nonhuman learning, the concentration on behavior without words was critical; a pigeon’s behavior is hard to understand precisely because it doesn't involve words. Behavior without words reveals what is special about human verbal behavior, which is necessarily built upon a nonverbal foundation. Catania’s earlier work on learning without words was highly appropriate preparation for teaching courses on verbal behavior, because it made some special features of verbal behavior stand out clearly. One function of his textbook, Learning, is to integrate the topics of nonverbal and verbal behavior, which have too often been given separate treatments.
Abstract: Whether a science can have ethical implications is controversial. At a minimum, we know that our science cannot progress without maintaining correspondences between events and our accounts of those events; in western culture we speak of those correspondences in terms of truth. This suggests that the treatment of truth in the analysis of verbal behavior can be brought to bear on ethical issues. Arenas in which behavior analysis and its foundational philosophy, radical behaviorism, confronts and interacts with the ethical practices of contemporary cultures include (1) alternative treatments of political concepts such as freedom and control, (2) debates over the role of aversive contingencies both in cultures and in applications of our science, and (3) the implications of a science of verbal behavior for religious and political practices. We often frame our discussions of social contingencies in terms of managing contingencies of positive reinforcement. But because verbal behavior can amplify the effects of all varieties of the contingencies that operate on human behavior, it is appropriate also to extend our treatments of contingencies to issues of war, coercive political regimes, and national and international legal systems, all of which depend heavily on aversive contingencies.
Invited Paper Session #207
Designing and Evaluating Technology-Based Behavioral Interventions for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:20 PM
103AB (CC)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Jeffrey H. Tiger (Louisiana State University)
LINDA A. LEBLANC (Auburn University)
Linda A. LeBlanc, Ph.D., BCBA-D, MI Licensed Psychologist is an associate professor of psychology at Auburn University and co-director of its applied behavior analysis graduate program. Dr. LeBlanc received her Ph.D. in 1996 from Louisiana State University and previously served on the psychology faculties at Claremont McKenna College (1997-1999) and Western Michigan University (1999-2008). Her current research and clinical interests include the behavioral treatment of autism and developmental disabilities across the lifespan, behavioral gerontology, verbal behavior, and technology-based interventions. Dr. LeBlanc has published 60 articles and book chapters and is currently an associate editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Education and Treatment of Children. She serves as an editorial board member for Behavior Analysis in Practice, European Journal of Behavior Analysis, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Research in Developmental Disabilities. Over the last 10 years, she has participated in Michigan state task forces to revise the educational eligibility criteria for autism spectrum disorders, to specify best educational practice in autism, and to make recommendations for addressing later life issues of individuals with developmental disabilities.
Abstract: Technological advances have been successfully incorporated into behavioral interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorders for over two decades in the form of video modeling, automated or remote-activated prompting systems, and PDAs. New technologies such as the Bluetooth wireless protocol and cost-efficient virtual reality platforms offer great options for teaching community skills that can be cumbersome or unsafe with traditional lower-tech methods. These interventions can be most powerful when basic behavioral principles are incorporated into their design and implementation rather than simply substituting technology for human efforts. This presentation will describe several important unanswered research questions about the efficacy, cost-effectiveness, and optimal parameters for implementing technology-based interventions and the evaluation strategies best suited for answering those questions.
Invited Paper Session #240
Rethinking Reinforcement: Allocation, Induction, and Correlation
Sunday, May 30, 2010
2:30 PM–3:20 PM
Ballroom A (CC)
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Chair: William M. Baum (University of California, Davis)
WILLIAM M. BAUM (University of California, Davis)
William M. Baum received his A.B. in psychology from Harvard College in 1961. Originally a biology major, he switched into psychology after taking courses from B. F. Skinner and R. J. Herrnstein in his freshman and sophomore years. He returned to Harvard University for graduate study in 1962, where he was supervised by Herrnstein and received his Ph.D. in 1966. He spent the year 1965-66 at Cambridge University, studying ethology at the Sub-Department of Animal Behavior. From 1966 to 1975, he held appointments as post-doctoral fellow, research associate, and assistant professor at Harvard University. He spent two years at the NIH Laboratory for Brain, Evolution, and Behavior, and then accepted an appointment in psychology at University of New Hampshire in 1977. He retired from there in 1999. He currently has an appointment as Associate Researcher at University of California – Davis and lives in San Francisco. His research concerns choice, molar behavior-environment relations, foraging, and behaviorism. He is the author of a book, Understanding Behaviorism: Behavior, Culture, and Evolution.
Abstract: The concept of reinforcement is at least incomplete and almost certainly incorrect. An alternative way of organizing our understanding of behavior utilizes three concepts: allocation, induction, and correlation. Allocation means choice: All behavior entails choice and consists of choice. Allocation changes as a result of induction and correlation. The term induction covers phenomena such as adjunctive, interim, and terminal behavior—behavior induced in a situation by occurrence of food or another phylogenetically important event (PIE) in that situation. Induction resembles stimulus control in that no one-to-one relation exists between induced behavior and the inducing event. A PIE thus resembles a discriminative stimulus, except that a PIE depends on phylogeny. Much empirical evidence supports the idea that a PIE induces all PIE-related activities. Empirical evidence also supports the idea that stimuli correlated with PIEs become PIE-related conditional inducing stimuli. Contingencies create correlations between “operant” activity (e.g., lever pressing) and PIEs (e.g., food). Once an activity has become PIE-related, the PIE induces it along with other PIE-related activities. A contingency also constrains possible performances. Allocations that include a lot of operant activity are selected because they have high value (high rate of PIEs) within the constraints of the situation.
Invited Paper Session #241
Randomized Controlled Trial of Tier 2 Mathematics Intervention on Mathematics Achievement Response to Intervention
Sunday, May 30, 2010
2:30 PM–3:20 PM
103AB (CC)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Cathy L. Watkins (California State University, Stanislaus)
AMANDA M. VANDERHEYDEN (Education Research and Consulting, Inc.)
Amanda M. VanDerHeyden, Ph.D., is a private consultant and researcher living in Fairhope, Alabama. Dr. VanDerHeyden has worked as a researcher and consultant in a number of states and school districts. In Vail Unified School District, Dr. VanDerHeyden led a district effort to implement the STEEP RTI model from 2002 to 2005. In this district, identification of children as having specific learning disabilities was reduced by half within two years, test scores increased, and the district was nationally recognized as a success story related to No Child Left Behind by the US Department of Education. Dr. VanDerHeyden has authored over 40 related articles and book chapters and has worked as a national trainer and consultant to assist districts to implement RTI models. In 2006, Dr. VanDerHeyden was named to an advisory panel for the National Center for Learning Disabilities to provide guidance related to RTI and the diagnosis of specific learning diability. She is associate editor of Journal of Behavioral Education and Assessment for Effective Intervention and serves on the editorial boards for School Psychology Review, School Psychology Quarterly, Journal of School Psychology, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, Journal of Early Intervention, and Journal of Learning Disabilities. Dr. VanDerHeyden is co-editor of Handbook of Response to Intervention: The Science and Practice of Assessment and Intervention (published by Springer), and special issues of Assessment for Effective Intervention and School Psychology Review, each focusing on RTI.
Abstract: Dr. VanDerHeyden will describe the development of a tier 2 mathematics intervention to address poor mathematics performance district-wide. Multiple baseline data will be shared demonstrating on average a 21% increase in the percentage of students meeting the proficiency criterion on the year-end accountability measure. In a systematic replication in another district, a randomized controlled trial design was used to evaluate intervention effects at fourth and fifith grade and results favored the intervention. Protocols, graphs, and short videoclips will be used throughout the presentation to give participants a concrete sense of measurement, intervention, and decision-making procedures. Dr. VanDerHeyden will comment on the use of randomized controlled trial designs and "lessons learned" related to their use in classrooms in the study of response to intervention procedures.
Invited Paper Session #266
Addiction: Triumph of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior in Translational Research
Sunday, May 30, 2010
3:30 PM–4:20 PM
103AB (CC)
Area: BPH; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Chair: Jesse Dallery (University of Florida)
R.J. LAMB (University of Texas HSC-H)
Dr. Lamb received his undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago in biology. He did his doctoral work with Don McMillan at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science in pharmacology. Dr. Lamb then moved to Baltimore where he did a postdoctoral fellowship with Roland Griffiths at Johns Hopkins University in the Division of Behavioral Biology. He went on to be a staff fellow working with Jack Henningfield in the clinical pharmacology branch of the NIDA intramural research program and with Steve Goldberg in the preclinical pharmacology branch. From there he went to the Philadelphia area: First as an assistant professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and then as an associate professor at Hahnemann University. While at these institutions, Dr. Lamb worked with Martin Iguchi, Kim Kirby, Toby Järbe, and Andrew Morral doing both treatment studies and preclinical studies related to drug addiction. Dr. Lamb is currently a Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio conducting research on using shaping to improve contingency management and conducting preclinical studies examining the effects of potential medications on animal models of alcoholism.
Abstract: Addiction is continued drug taking despite its adverse consequences. The experimental analysis of behavior views this drug taking as drug-reinforced behavior. This viewpoint along with the application of the inherently translational tools of pharmacology has resulted in much greater success of translational research in addiction than many other areas. This is particularly true when addiction is viewed as the choice of drug-reinforced behavior over other behaviors. These viewpoints and tools contribute in a variety of ways to translational research in addiction. For example, identification of the dopamine transporter as the site of action responsible for cocaine’s addictive properties depended upon these conceptual approaches. The search for new medications to treat addiction is highly dependent on these approaches, perhaps even to a greater extent than generally recognized. These viewpoints also provide clear and insightful ways to conceptualize vulnerability to addiction, and ways to study this vulnerability. Finally, such viewpoints led to the development of effective behavioral treatments for addiction and improvements of these treatments. Translational research of behavioral disorders, such as addiction, cannot be divorced from the level of analysis upon which these disorders are manifest. Thus, successful translational research in addiction is a product of the experimental analysis of behavior.
Invited Panel #275
CE Offered: BACB
Verbal Behavior: Where Should We Go From Here?
Sunday, May 30, 2010
4:30 PM–5:20 PM
Ballroom A (CC)
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
Chair: Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
CE Instructor: Lisa Stoddard, M.A.
Panelists: MATTHEW P. NORMAND (University of the Pacific), SIMON DYMOND (Swansea University), RUTH ANNE REHFELDT (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Despite the rising interest in Skinner´s analysis of verbal behavior, it could be argued that there is still much to be done in order to develop a comprehensive behavior analytic approach to language development and acquisition. Panel members will discuss Skinner´s framework, describe empirical and conceptual extensions, as well as present different research agendas for the study of language.
MATTHEW P. NORMAND (University of the Pacific)
Matthew Normand is an assistant professor in the department of psychology at the University of the Pacific. At Pacific, his primary responsibilities are teaching courses in behavior analysis, conducting behavior analytic research, and supervising practicum and thesis work of graduate students in the Behavior Analysis program. Dr. Normand received his B.A. in Psychology from Western New England College, his M.A. in Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Psychology from The Florida State University. He is a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis, and the California Association for Behavior Analysis. His research interests include the application of basic behavioral principles to problems of social significance (including obesity, autism and other community health issues), and verbal behavior.
SIMON DYMOND (Swansea University)
Simon Dymond Ph.D., BCBA-D received his undergraduate training and PhD (in 1996) from University College Cork, Ireland where he studied under the inspirational tutelage of Dermot Barnes-Holmes. Hailing from Cork, via south Wales, he accepted a one-year postdoctoral research position at Bangor University in north Wales. In 1997 he became a Teaching Fellow and taught undergraduate classes in learning. Then, in 1998 he joined the faculty of the newly established Psychology Department at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, where he remained until 2005. He is currently Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Swansea University in south Wales, where he is Course Director of the Masters in Behavior Analysis program. He and his students maintain an active research lab on derived relational responding (including neuroscience-based measures), avoidance learning and gambling. A former International Representative to the ABAI Executive Council, he currently sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, The Psychological Record, The Behavior Analyst, Behavior Analysis in Practice, European Journal of Behavior Analysis, and Analysis of Gambling Behavior.
RUTH ANNE REHFELDT (Southern Illinois University)
Dr. Ruth Anne Rehfeldt is a Professor in the Rehabilitation Services undergraduate program and an affiliated faculty in the Behavior Analysis and Therapy program. She holds a Ph.D. (1998) and M.A. (1995) from the Behavior Analysis Program (in Psychology) at the University of Nevada, and a B.A. (1993) in psychology from the University of Puget Sound. She is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Dr. Rehfeldt currently teaches courses in single-subject research design, behavioral assessment and observation methods and Radical Behaviorism. Dr. Rehfeldt has authored over 60 articles and book chapters, primarily in the areas of stimulus equivalence and verbal relations, autism, developmental disabilities and verbal behavior. Dr. Rehfeldt is currently the Editor of The Psychological Record and an editorial board member for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour, the Behavior Analyst and Education and Treatment of Children. Dr. Rehfeldt's book, co-edited with Yvonne Barnes-Holmes, is entitled Derived Relational Responding: Applications for Learners with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities: A Progressive Guide to Change. New Harbinger: Oakland, CA, 2009.
Invited Symposium #285
CE Offered: BACB
Martyrdom: Conceptual, Developmental, and Socio-Political Issues
Sunday, May 30, 2010
4:30 PM–5:50 PM
103AB (CC)
Area: DEV/CSE; Domain: Theory
Chair: Todd A. Ward (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Sigrid S. Glenn (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Katherine Houpt, Doctor of Veterinary Medicinediplomate of the American Coll
Abstract: The current symposium attempts to address martyrdom at the conceptual, developmental, and socio-political levels. Conceptually, we place martyrdom on a continuum of rule-governed behavior, one end of which entails verbally specified consequences having no actual referents. The conditions giving rise to the receipt of short-term aversive consequences in pursuit of long-term positive consequences of little or no probability of occurrence will be examined. Developmentally, we will employ the dynamical principles of the behavioral systems approach to examine the effects of extreme religious indoctrination on the production of various belief systems. We will explore the conditions under which such beliefs, as systems of rules, facilitate acts of martyrdom. In addition, we will examine the role that derived relational responding may play given cases in which a would-be martyr chooses not to proceed with a suicidal act. Lastly, the socio-political context of martyrdom as a cultural practice is discussed, which emphasizes the interrelations among practices, including those of religion and morality as they relate to political power. Challenges facing behavior analysts as cultural engineers, with an emphasis on cultural survival, will be discussed.
Wishful Thinking
LINDA J. PARROTT HAYES (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Martyrdom is the name for a particular pattern of rule following. Like other cases of rule following, it occurs with respect to a verbally specified contingency. It may be distinguished from other cases in two ways. First, it evokes behavior predictive of short-term aversive and long-term positive consequences, both of which vary in probability of occurrence. Second, the probability of the specified long-term consequences varies along a continuum of referential actuality. At one end of this continuum, the specified consequences have no actual referents. This paper will examine the conditions giving rise to a tendency to provoke actual short-term aversive consequences in pursuit of long-term positive consequences of no actuality and thereby no probability of occurrence. Also examined will be patterns of this same class of rule following in which the specified long-term consequences, while having actual referents, are of such low probability of occurrence as to challenge their pursuit.
Linda J. Parrott Hayes. Linda Hayes received her doctoral degree from Western Michigan University and held faculty positions at West Virginia University and St. Mary's University in Canada prior to assuming her current position as professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. Linda co-founded the Behavior Analysis Program at UNR on a self-capitalization model in 1990 and served as its director for over a decade. She has held a number of leadership positions in ABAI, including its Presidency and as Coordinator of its Education and Practice Boards. She currently directs the Council of Directors of ABAI's Accredited Programs. Linda's scholarly work reflects a wide range of interests, including everything from interdisciplinary animal research to behavioral systems analysis. She is best known for her work in the areas of behavior theory and philosophy.
On Self-Sacrifice and Martyrdom: From Self-Generated Rules to Rules Provided by Others
MARTHA PELAEZ (Florida International University), Douglas Robertson (Florida International University)
Abstract: Traditionally, martyrs are seen as individuals who accept certain death rather than relinquish their religious beliefs. Is a young Muslim schooled to believe in suicide bombing in the context of religion different from a young Catholic taught to believe in the tenets of Catholicism? Any differences observed between diverse forms of indoctrination reside within the range of choices and opportunities that each individual member of the group has for self-generated rules (or self-derived "beliefs"). In extreme religious settings, the child's education is circumscribed by sets of rules provided by others, and often those rules are imposed by leaders or parents early in development. The concept of free will is examined and related to martyrdom and self-sacrifice. Is the person at liberty to change his or her belief? Is there a sufficient history of derived relational responding to generate new rules and beliefs to choose not to proceed with the planned act of martyrdom? The notion of “transformation” in moral beliefs is explored from the Behavioral Systems Approach (Novak & Pelaez, 2004), where the dynamical principles of equifinality, nonlinearity, behavioral attractors, and coalescent organization (adduction) are related to self-sacrifice and martyrdom.
Martha Pelaez is Frost Professor at Florida International University. Her research focuses on areas of mother-infant interactions and infant social learning processes. She has developed intervention protocols for infants at-risk of language delays published in a recent book (Rehfeldt & Y. Barnes–Holmes, 2009). Her theoretical and experimental contributions include a taxonomy of rule-governed behavior (Pelaez & Moreno, 1998), a behavior-analytic approach to moral development (Pelaez & Gewirtz, 1995), and connections between derived relational responding and intelligence (with O'hora & D. Barnes-Holmes). Dr. Pelaez has published numerous refereed articles in mainstream journals including the American Psychologist and the Journal of Child Development, more than 40 chapters, and co-authored a widely used textbook with Novak (2004), Child and adolescent development: A behavioral systems approach (Sage). She served as Program Chair for the APA Division 25 and past Program Co-Chair for the Association for Behavior Analysis. She is founding editor (1990) of the Behavior Development Bulletin and serves on nine editorial boards including The Behavior Analyst. She received Fellowship status by the APA and is currently a trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavior Studies. Dr. Pelaez has also served as member of the Florida Board of Governors.
Cultural Survival or Group Survival? A Behavioral Account of Martyrdom as a Religious Practice
RAMONA HOUMANFAR (University of Nevada, Reno), Todd A. Ward (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The role of religious practices in cultural evolution and the interrelations of religious and other cultural practices are the topics of this paper. In that regard, religious and nonreligious practices interact in a variety of ways and may be important or necessary for the maintenance of each. The preservation of particular practices by the deliberate manipulation of these interrelations is commonplace. Presumably, the motivation of authorities with the power to manipulate practices is centered on the value of outcomes produced. That value, explicitly or implicitly, is group survival or cultural survival. This paper provides a descriptive analysis of the socio-economic and historical conditions that generate religious practices associated with martyrdom. Additionally, the relation of such religious practices to leadership practices is discussed. Our analysis draws upon distinctions between religious and nonreligious, religious and moral plus moral and other cultural practices. We address the significance of these distinctions to the role of religious practices such as martyrdom in group survival or cultural survival and conclude with a discussion of the challenges facing behavior analysts as cultural engineers.
Dr. Ramona Houmanfar received her PhD from University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and joined the faculty in the Department of Psychology at UNR in 1998. Dr. Houmanfar has served as the Director of Organizational Behavior Management Network and President of Nevada Association for Behavior Analysis. Currently, she is serving as the senior co-chair of the Association for Behavior Analysis, a trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, editor of the Organizational Behavior Management Section of Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, and an editorial board member of Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, and Behavior and Social Issues. Dr. Houmanfar has published dozens of articles and chapters, delivered more than 100 presentations at regional, national, and international conferences in the areas of organizational change, cultural psychology and second language training. She has published two co-edited books titled "Organizational Change" (available through Context Press) and "Understanding Complexity in Organizations". She has also co-edited a Special Issue of Journal of Organizational Behavior on Behavioral Systems Analysis. Dr. Houmanfar has consulted with organizations to improve training and productivity in both the public and private sector. Her entrepreneurial and federal grant activities have generated over $1,000,000 during the last three years.



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