Association for Behavior Analysis International

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2012 Theory and Philosophy Conference

Event Details

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Poster Session #5
TPC Poster Session
Saturday, November 3, 2012
8:00 PM–10:00 PM
Tesuque Room
1. Finding the Central Nervous System of Behaviorism: A critical Evaluation of the Philosophies of Behavior Science
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
MARK MALADY (Florida Institute of Technology), Ryan Lee O'Donnell (Florida Institute of Technology), Scott A. Miller (Florida Institute of Technology), Joshua K. Pritchard (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Philosophical assumptions rest at the core of any scientific system, providing scientists the boundaries of their subject matter, their truth-criterion and the delineation of the postulates which allow for the examination of this subject matter. The current poster aims to examine which philosophical assumptions are at play within the various flavors of behaviorism. More specifically, we will outline the defining characteristics of each behavioral approach and the degree to which it shares assumptions with others. The poster will conclude with the compatibilities and interrelations of each system. Our cognitive brothers (sisters, mothers, grandfathers or other extended family members) have taught us the importance in the mapping of relative constructs; as such we wish to create a magnificent map of the family of behavior science.
2. The Flows of Individual History: An Alternative Synthesis of Behavior
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
BEATRIZ ROBAYO-CASTRO (Universidad Autonoma de Bucaramanga)
Abstract: Scientific research on behavior, as experimental analysis and theoretical synthesis, has focused on the analysis of organism-environment relations. Researchers have developed technology and conceptual frames to systematize knowledge about the nature of such relationships, based on the stimulus-response paradigm, where stimuli and responses are the basic units of analysis and observation of behavior. This strategy has led to different explanations of behavior, either as a product (the activity of an organism as a whole; a set of responses of him, or from some of its parts), or as a function (the relationship itself between stimuli and responses). This poster proposes an alternative behavioral science, whose theoretical goal is defined here as the study of the flows on individual history, as well as its changes. Stimulus-response paradigm forms no essential part of this new perspective, which recognizes the flow itself, and not the organism-world relationships, as its basic unit of inquiry. Issues about dynamics and statics as sub-disciplines of behavioral science will be exposed, in addition to methodological schemes proposed for the analyses of some properties of the flow of individual history.
3. Behavior as a Possession of the Organism
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
DERIC E. TONEY (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Traditionally, philosophers, scientists and laymen have put the acting organism in control of their own actions. In contrast, behaviorists have historically maintained the position that the control of behavior lays in environmental contingencies. Skinner has famously made countless attacks against internal causes of behavior and the autonomous man, the most controversial claim in the behaviorist's position. Yet, in behaviorists, analyses of behavior, the tone remains that the organism is behaving, as if they are an operator producing their own behavior, as seen in the phrase, "the rat presses the lever". This language suggests quite the opposite of the position of environmental control over behavior, and as a result, the conceptualization and interpretation of such analyses may be distorted. In order to make accurate and sufficient analyses of behavior, a change in our language referring to these events is needed. In the current project, the author explores the problems and inadequacies of the behaviorist's interpretation as well as potential solutions to improve their explanations and descriptions.
4. B. F. Skinner, J. R. Kantor, Functional Contextualism, and the Causal Construct
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
THOMAS G. SZABO (University of Nevada, Reno), Sierra Lockwood (University of Nevada), W. Larry Williams (University of Nevada,Reno)
Abstract: The topic of causality is often debated in the field of behavior analysis and may be seen as foundational. Two opposing viewpoints of causality are advanced by B.F. Skinner and J.R. Kantor. Though both consider the behavior of an organism in relation to the stimulating environment, causal explanation for Skinner is ultimately achieved by reduction to biology. According to Skinner, it is an organism's physiological capacity to be operantly conditioned that is responsible for the lasting effects of reinforcement. In contrast, J.R. Kantor opposes this kind of reductionism and suggests that psychological events must be described in purely psychological terms. The descriptive and functional view of causation inherent in interbehaviorism does not involve a reductionism to biology. To Kantor, explanation reduced to the level of analysis of other disciplines defeats the pursuit of behavior scientists searching for a valid psychological account. In contrast, Skinner's functional approach has yielded potent treatments in such far reaching the areas of autism, education, and organizational behavior analysis. An account that includes both the pragmatic effectiveness of Skinner's procedures and the conceptual clarity of Kantor's philosophical system is needed. In this poster, we will propose a way of integrating these approaches.
5. Contingency Without Temporal Contiguity: The Delineation Between Functional and Descriptive Accounts of the Term
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
JAMES E. KING (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Contingency in behavior analysis accounts for a variety of relations between behavior and environmental events. Three characteristic usages of contingency found in the literature include descriptions of temporal, correlational, and probabilistic relations. Contingency referring to the conditional probability of an event given the occurrence of the response accounts for the functional relations between the two variables, while the correlational account in molar views of contingency emphasizes the relation between aggregate responses and consequences. Temporal contiguity is conceptualized as a descriptor of the proximal temporal loci of response-stimulus events, and not necessarily the conditions under which functional relations between the relevant events are observed. Considerations to narrow the scope of the contingency construct that emphasize the functional relations rather than the descriptive usage would better permit analyses that are consistent with the interpretative efforts of the science of behavior.
6. Reflections on the Philosophy of Physics and Radical Behavioral Explanation
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
ABRAÃO FONSECA ROBERTO (Faculdades Integradas de Cacoal)
Abstract: Observing a response can be usually attained to a previous protocol, learned on undergraduate course. Make predictions, or closest enough of that, can be a learned pattern on behavioral psychology repertoire, where the generalization of past events in relation to some assertions or observations can build a pattern to individual "way of action in the world". Despite that, some experimental works have failed to show the generalization principle of a given procedure, as in equivalence paradigm, or in the search of establishing operations, or in the behavioral cusps concept. Some researchers talk about the incapability/impossibility of the replication of procedure. If in the same conditions the event can't occur again, than the event can't be "provoked", but some properties of the event had escaped from the researcher. Some researchers have been demonstrated a capability of specialization of a procedure in minimum details to accomplish some results and not turn back and look to event itself. In philosophy of physics a change in pattern of explanation occur in many ways: space-time, wave-particle, string-quantum, fundamentals forces, etc. All to accomplish a Final Theory based on symmetry of nature. In this sense, try a hierarchical definition of a study object can be the wrong way. Topography can't be a unique explanation, neither function. It can be a time to back to the lab and observe the phenomenon or see the molarity and what makes an event as 1 and 2 as the second and not the reunion of event that aggregate information to a historical-repertoire. As an electron acquiring energy, or light curves in giving surfaces.
7. Analogue vs. Homologue Approaches to Investigating Psychological Events
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
TIMOTHY C. FULLER (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The science of behavior is comprised of two district approaches to investigating psychological events. How investigators orient to the constructed experimental environment is argued to stem from either a discrete or field view of natural happenings. This poster aims to outline both orientations paying particular attention to the distinction between analogue vs. homologue investigations. The discussion between analogs and homologues are more commonly found in evolutionary biology but have recently been discussed by behavior analysts (R. Malott, 2012). A point argued here is that a discrete approach to the science of behavior leads to analogues whereas a field approach may lead to more homologous investigations. The benefit of a homological approach to studying events is that they are functionally similar to the original event(s) that inspired the investigation. By contrast analogues may look topographically like the original event but may lack the functional similarity found in homologues. References Malott, R. W. (2012, May). Everything you know about experimental analysis of behavior is wrong; or is it? Panel member at the Annual Meeting for the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Seattle, WA.
10. The Diversity-Stability Rule: A Proposed New Biological Metaphor for Behavior Potential
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
ELDON T MUELLER (Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Roanoke)

Skinner evolved the basic metaphor for scientific language describing behavior potential from the 'reflex' to 'strength of response'. Implications of the 'strength' metaphor were seldom explicitly addressed until Nevin and his colleagues elucidated finer points of applying the strength notion to the notoriously vague concept of 'learning', while also overlaying the strength conception with another metaphor: an analogy was drawn between aspects of behavior potential and the momentum concept in physics. Importantly, 'resistance to change' was then proposed as an important way of operationalizing behavior potential. I suggest that this moved the metaphor for the language of behavior potential half of the way to a metaphor based on biological phenomenon, rather than phenomena in physics. 'Resistance to change' is suggestive of the notion of 'stability of populations'. Stability is part of the 'diversity-stability rule', a strong generality in population biology that reflects the fact that greater resistance to disruption (i.e., stability) of a biological community is conferred by greater numbers of species comprising the community (i.e., diversity). I propose that the diversity-stability rule be considered as a metaphor for behavior potential (replacing 'strength of response'); I offer support and consequences for this shift in explanatory mode in behavior analysis.

11. Reinforcement, What Is It Good For?
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
MATTHEW C. BELL (Santa Clara University), Margaret A. McDevitt (McDaniel College)
Abstract: Conditioned reinforcers are previously neutral stimuli that gain reinforcing effectiveness either by association with primary reinforcers or with already-established conditioned reinforcers. Most of what motivates human behavior is not direct access to primary reinforcers, but instead consequences that lead to those primary reinforcers. Conditioned reinforcers are typically assumed to have one essential characteristic: When presented as a consequence immediately following a response, the conditioned reinforcer functions to increase the probability of future responding. This function is thought to be due to its history of association with already-established reinforcers. Although conditioned reinforcement has a long history in learning theory, the literature is uneven in its support for the concept. There is a somewhat mixed experimental literature on conditioned reinforcement, with some clear examples supporting the importance of the construct, and some studies failing to show evidence for conditioned reinforcement. In recent years, some have challenged the necessity of the construct in learning theory. We briefly describe the history of the concept of reinforcement in general, and conditioned reinforcement in particular, and consider the philosophical underpinnings of the concept. We also address the question of whether conditioned reinforcement is still a necessary and useful concept.
12. On the Potential Perils of Parallels: Analogies in the Selection of Behavior
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
BENJAMIN N WITTS (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Arguments for a direct relationship between biology and behavior regarding selection processes have been at the forefront of behavior-analytic thinking for decades. The argument states that selection at the ontogenic level is analogous to selection at the phylogenic level. While it is true to state that behavior is of biology, it may be incorrect to state that behavior is biology; something an endorsement of a biology-behavior analogy may invite. Previous arguments have drawn contention over the source of selection, claiming natural selection is found within the organism (i.e., death), while behavioral selection is found within the environment (i.e., contingencies of reinforcement). It may be more accurate to state that both are found in the environment (i.e., reproduction vs. contingencies), but that the method of survival is of a different matter (i.e., genetics vs. stimulus control). Issues of selection between the two levels of analysis will be considered and refinements offered.
13. Operant Conditioning: No Selection Without Variation
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
JULIAN C. LESLIE (University of Ulster)
Abstract: Selectionism is well established as the preferred account of operant conditioning within the field of behaviour analysis. However, while we have a lot to say about mechanisms and outcomes of selection of behaviour by consequences, accounts of variation are less well developed, conceptually or empirically. This is a serious issue, as variation in behaviour is essential to provide the "raw material" upon which reinforcement contingencies operate. This presentation reviews some earlier and current accounts of variation in behaviour within the context of operant conditioning. Variation in behaviour is usually described in terms of form or topography, and the use of functional definitions of both responses and stimuli in behaviour analysis alters the definition of variation. Several variation-promoting operations are discussed including shaping, extinction, presentation of reinforcers or conditioned reinforcers, unconditioned stimuli or conditioned stimuli, rule-following and the reinforcement of variation. It is concluded that this crucial aspect of operant conditioning lacks a coherent account within the field, and requires more work, both conceptual and empirical.
14. A Matter of Selection
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
CARLOS FREEMAN (Florida Institute of Technology), Mark Malady (Florida Institute of Technology), Ryan Lee O'Donnell (Florida Institute of Technology), Joshua K. Pritchard (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Radical behaviorism extends the approach of natural selection that undergirds evolutionary theory to two other levels: the individual organism and the culture. When Skinner began to outline this philosphical approach, evolutionary theory was still predominated by the approach of phyletic gradualism. Phyletic gradualism is defined by the slow change of a species throughout the existence of the species until the change is sufficient to require a redefining of the species and/or the establishment of a new species. In contrast, punctuated equilibrium accepts that some species may stay at a genetic level with minor variation for the majority of their existence until a significant event happens which brings about and selects variation in characteristics of the species. The current poster will examine the radical behavioral approach of selection on the behavioral level and discuss the importance of punctuated events in relation to the expansion, change, or possible destruction of operants.
15. Parallels in Selection: Immunology and Behavior
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
CRISS WILHITE (California State University, Fresno), Sheri Oswald (Research Director at William L. Ebbeling, MD)
Abstract: Selection has been defined as "repeated cycles of replication, variation and environmental interaction so structured that environmental interaction causes replication to be differential" (Hull & Glenn, 2004, p. 902). Parallels and differences among the several selection systems have been discussed for decades. Major theoretical papers have examined the problems and potential benefits of viewing evolution, immunological development, behavior change and cultural change as selection systems. Many have advocated comparing specific processes to further understand selection in general. Real-time selection is easiest to observe in immunology and behavior. These two processes are similar in other ways, especially in the applications of the basic sciences of immunology and behavior. Both use single-subject designs, both develop individualized treatments that depend on excesses and deficits of the units of selection (particular B or T cells and particular operants, respectively) and both lead to the exquisite uniqueness and complexity of individual organisms. Further comparisons of these two systems may move us toward a better understanding of selection in general.
16. The Central Role of Adaptive Operant Behavior in Wellness Recovery
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
PAUL J. H. ANDREOLI (innosearch bv), Bart Bruins (
Abstract: Operant behavior manages the confrontation with beneficial and noxious stimuli. Consequently, only operant behavior offers someone the opportunity to influence his wellness actively. Due to continuous conditioning everybody develops more or less successfully a personal adaptive repertoire of operant behavior to promote and to safeguard his wellness. We call this Personal Successful Functioning. Although the content and form of operant behaviors vary in countless ways, all can be put however in only three functional classes:1) approach behavior enriches someone's life by providing positive stimuli.2) escape behavior liberates by removing negative stimuli.3) active avoidance behavior protects the person against possible negative stimuli. Adaptive active avoidance is the most important behavioral function in regard to promote and to safeguard personal wellness: a state of safety prevails over a state of joy or relief. Existentially, this is obvious because safety enhances survival more than joy or relief. Moreover, this adaptive active avoidance is primarily socially motivated, for the simple reason that all human beings mainly depend for their wellness on other people. Hence, to protect against social exclusion by securing social inclusion, is a vital element of personal wellness. This functioning focused approach of human behavior is basic in non-diagnosis based recovery programs.
17. Behavior Analysis and Genetics: Primary Reinforcers as an Interpretation of Autism
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
LARS KLINTWALL (Oslo & Akershus University College), Espen Borgå Johansen (Oslo & Akershus University College), Per Holth (Oslo & Akershus University College), Svein Eikeseth (Oslo & Akershus University College)
Abstract: The behavior of individuals with autism is commonly reinforced idiosyncratically, i.e. not by social stimuli such as praise and smiles, but instead by automatic reinforcers such as repetitive proprioceptive and visual stimuli. It is also well known that autism is partially genetically caused. The concept of primary reinforcers links these two observations: the deviance in reinforcers might be a genetically caused variation in primary reinforcers. Given that some stimuli are primary reinforcing because of the phylogenetic history of the species, there is likely a small variation in the responsible genes causing small innate variations in primary reinforcer effectiveness. Indeed, genetic research has found several examples of variations of specific genes that can be linked to the reinforcing effects of certain stimuli. Over time this could have cascading effects through conditioning, leading to larger and larger deviances. We argue that behavior analysis could contribute to the design of genetic studies of autism by providing protocols for assessing reinforcing effects, selecting study populations, and defining relevant stimuli. This presupposes a behavior analytic interpretation of autism which can be combined with genetics.
18. Memes as Emergent Relations
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
KENNETH JACOBS (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Memes, as conceived by Richard Dawkins (1976), consist of stories, songs, catch phrases, and inventions. Similar to that of genes, memes undergo the processes of replication, variation, and selection. They replicate from person to person via imitation, which presupposes that once copied, memes must be 'stored' in order for them to propagate again in the future. Therefore, proponents of memetic theory contend that memes not only exist in the world in the form of artifacts, but also exist in the brain in the form of memory. This research attempts to re-conceptualize memes as emergent relations between that of the organism and its environment, which places memory in the spectrum of behavior and emphasizes the idea that physiology is strengthened while memes (i.e., behavior) are selected. As a result, parallels can be drawn between that of Skinner's operant selection and what may be more precisely referred to as memetic behavior. Therefore, from the physiological processes strengthened to the memetic behavior selected, the brain becomes a mere locus in which the overarching contributions of the outside world take precedence. Memes, comparable to that of verbal behavior, do not exist within us, but exist between us as real entities in the real world.
19. Brain Activity Correlates in Stimulus Equivalence Research
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
CHRISTOFFER K. EILIFSEN (Oslo and Akershus University College), Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Abstract: Stimulus equivalence has been proposed as central to a behavior analytic account of language and concept formation. Such complex human behavior have traditionally been the domain of research traditions where an analysis of behavior is conducted only in order to describe the structure of proposed constructs that are not part of behavior or the environment. It can be argued that the most studies on human brain activity traditionally have been entrenched in such research traditions as well. In the last decade, a few studies on stimulus equivalence have been published where measures of behavior and brain activity have been treated as dependent variables and correlated. These studies may be seen as attempts to use measurements of human brain activity as part of a functional analysis of behavior. This poster will briefly review the goals, logic, and outcomes of six such studies, three studies using blood-oxygen-level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD fMRI) (Dickins et al., 2001; Schlund, Cataldo, & Hoehn-Saric, 2008; Schlund, Hoehn-Saric, & Cataldo, 2007), and three studies measuring Event-Related Potentials (ERP) by electroencephalography (EEG) (Barnes-Holmes et al., 2005; Haimson, Wilkinson, Rosenquist, Ouimet, & McIlvane, 2009; Yorio, Tabullo, Wainselboim, Barttfeld, & Segura, 2008). It is discussed whether and how these studies lead to a more complete understanding of the behavior studied in the field of stimulus equivalence. The discussion will be incorporated into a wider debate on the role of neuroscience and current measurement technology of brain activity in modern behavior analysis. It is argued, among other things that the studies using EEG to a further extent than the studies using fMRI convincingly show systematic correlations between environmental variables and brain activity. As such, the studies of ERP seem more compatible with the behavior analytic goal of establishing functional relations between physical events. In all the studies mentioned, however, aggregation of data on brain activity, both across responses and across participants, impedes an analysis of behavior-brain correlations in relation to both single responses and the individual participant.
20. Skinner's Arguments for the Independence of Behavior Analysis From Physiology:A Review
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
DIEGO ZILIO (University of São Paulo)
Abstract: One of the most important aspects of radical behaviorism is the defense of the autonomy of behavior analysis from physiology. Since his early works (e.g., The Behavior of Organisms, published in 1938), until his last article, "Can psychology be a science of mind?", published in 1990, Skinner presented a variety of arguments in order to sustain the independence of behavior analysis from physiological explanations. Thus, the first aim of this presentation is to provide a classification of these arguments. In order to do that, 73 of Skinner's works, published between 1933 and 1990, were analyzed. These works were selected because they contain keywords related to our subject matter. Through the analysis, we developed a classification of Skinner's arguments in the following categories: (a) the definition of behavior; (b) the conception of explanation; (c) the construction of scientific concepts; and (d) practical matters. The second objective of this presentation is to evaluate Skinner's arguments taking into account the advances of contemporary neuroscience. The physiology criticized by Skinner in the thirties, and even in the late eighties, suffered incredible advances. Therefore, it is important to discuss the pertinence of Skinner's arguments in the context of contemporary neuroscience.
21. The Various Roles of Action Potentials
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
BENJAMIN REYNOLDS (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The analysis of neurological phenomena has constituted an important topic of division between scientific domains. This presentation will argue that the root of conflicting interpretations of neurological phenomena lies in the inconsistent status ascribed to internal activity across disciplines. For example, an action potential may constitute an antecedent cause of behavior in neurology, but only an epiphenomenon in behavior science. The concept of causal relativity will be examined across molecular and molar levels of analysis.
22. The Perception of Reality: Modern Research on the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus Supports Rachlin's Behavioral Account
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
JOHN C. MALONE (University of Tennessee)
Abstract: Howard Rachlin's molar behavioral account interprets psychology as TEOOPOB (temporally-extended, overt, observable, patterns of behavior). This contrasts with the traditional "copy theory" of sensation and perception. Rachlin questions the Doctrine of Specific Nerve Energies as formulated by Johannes Miller and extended by Helmholtz, that specifies, among other things, that sensory neural impulses travel to specific targets in sensory cortex. The designation "target" implies an end point- presumably where unspecifiedprocessing mechanisms, minds, and souls take over. But Rachlin proposes that there is no such target-as-end- point and that sensation/perception is defined in the reaction/behavior of the organism. I show how modern findings in sensory physiology support Rachlin's account. In the case of vision, the neural sensory system includes more than the familiar path from retina to visual sensory cortex. The path/reaction continues with the dorsal and ventral paths through parietal and temporal cortex which represent activity covering almost the whole brain. Similarly, the inputs to and outputs from the mammalian lateral geniculate nucleus show that it is much more than a relay station for visual impulses from the retina. Only 10-20% of its input comes from the retina, while more than 50% comes from the cerebral cortex - the ostensible "target." In short, these findings show that sensing, the basis for what we call "reality", is behavior.
23. Functional Analysis of Behavioral Systems Revisited
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
TRAVIS THOMPSON (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: An organism's integrated repertoire of operant behavior has the status of a biological system, similar to other systems, like the nervous, cardiovascular or immune systems. The distinctions between biological and behavioral events is often misleading, engendering counterproductive explanatory controversy. A good deal of what is viewed as biological (often thought to be inaccessible or hypothetical) can be made publicly measurable variables using currently available and developing technologies. Moreover, such endogenous variables can serve as establishing operations, discriminative stimuli, conjoint mediating events and maintaining consequences within a functional analysis of behavior. The inclusion of conjoint mediating events as integral components of operant analysis recognizes that not all functionally causal events are external to the skin, as Skinner suggested many years ago. While such analyses may lead to reductionistic explanation that need not be the case. Explanatory misunderstandings often arise from conflating different levels of analysis. Behavior analysis can extend its reach by identifying variables operating within a functional analysis that also serve functions in other biological systems.
24. A Theory of ADHD Supports Parent Training for Families of Children With ADHD
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
JEFFREY DANFORTH (Eastern Connecticut State University)
Abstract: Research indicates that characteristics of ADHD are closely associated with neurophysiological impairment in the prefrontal cortex. A theoretical model (Barkley, 1997) proposes that the essential deficit in children with ADHD is an associated impairment in response inhibition. Compared with non-ADHD children, the behavioral repertoires of children with ADHD show a shorter latency between a response and the overwhelming influence of events that immediately precede and follow the response. This short latency between antecedent, response, and functioning consequence limits the opportunity for behavior controlled by consequences that occur in the more distal future (i.e., a minute or so later). This theory leads us to conclude that parent training for families of children with ADHD is the best mode of treatment. Current context and instantaneous consequences have an inordinate influence on the children. This juxtaposes with the correspondingly diminished influence that delayed consequences have on their behavior. Therefore, to influence the actions of the child with ADHD, treatment is presented when the behavior of interest occurs and where it occurs. The best option is to train the parent to present the intervention that constitutes treatment at the point of performance, at the time and place of the behavior.
26. The Origins of Cognitive Thought Applied to the Finnish Language
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
MARTTI T. TUOMISTO (University of Tampere, Finland)
Abstract: In his article "The origins of cognitive thought" Skinner (1989) writes, "Words referring to feelings and states of mind were first used to describe behavior or the situation in which behavior occurred. When concurrent bodily states began to be noticed and talked about, the same words were used to describe them. They became the vocabulary of philosophy and then of mentalistic or cognitive psychology". These terms are then used as the explanation of behavior, but "no account of what is happening inside the human body... ... will explain the origins of human behavior". Verbal contingencies of reinforcement explain why we report what we feel or introspectively observe. Skinner deals only with English. According to Hobbs and Chiesa (2011), the case would be stronger if it could be shown that this etymological point also holds true for other languages. In this presentation I will show that it is the case in the Finnish language. For instance, knowing in Finnish originally meant knowing the way. The activity could be expressed as 'waying'! In this presentation, I will review the words Skinner used in the article and apply his method to my native tongue.
27. Conscious Experience, Private Events, and Communication: Thought Experiments for Behavior Analytic Investigation
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
JON RINGEN (University of Iowa)
Abstract: The poster displays two recent animal models for communication of interoceptive states: Lubinski and Thompson, 1987, 1993; Ringen and Wasserman, 2004. It is shown how the Ringen/Wasserman model establishes 'bilateral significance' for the discriminative responses of the interacting organisms and the Lubinski and Thompson model does not. The poster presents some alternatives to the protocols used in producing the two highlighted models. Relations among the various protocols (and various combinations of them) are noted. The focus is on describing alternative, less resource-intensive, means of establishing and verifying the 'bilateral significance' for discriminative responses emitted by interacting organisms, but also noted are ways that the various procedures (drug discrimination, matching to sample, establishing conditioned interoceptive responses) and various combinations of those procedures -involving different interoceptive stimuli - might contribute to a systematic and efficient behavior analytic approach to understanding seeing (smelling, hearing, touching, feeling, imagining, etc.) in the absence of the usual concurrent (eliciting) exteroceptive stimuli. The presenter is prepared to discuss the details of the various models and protocols the poster displays, as well as relations to other issues such as differences between radical behaviorism and methodological behaviorism, the nature of private events, the contents of consciousness, and attributions of feelings and communicative intentions. The typescript and accompanying notes and diagrams submitted with this abstract convey the general approach to the main poster topics, provide descriptions of the two models, include citations for representative discussions of related issues to be noted on the poster, and sketch some of the specific arguments to be noted.
28. Stop Being Afraid of Private Events
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
JONATHAN J. TARBOX (Center for Autism and Related Disorders and ARG)
Abstract: We will argue that the approach that the discipline of behavior analysis has taken to private events is cowardly and unproductive. Sixty seven years have elapsed since Skinner proposed the basic tenets of Radical Behaviorism, a philosophical position that allows for the study of private events as part of the natural science of behavior analysis, and yet little progress has been made since then. The rest of psychology accuses behavior analysis of neglecting the mind. Conceptually, this is false: Radical Behaviorism offers a thoroughly natural science context for dealing with the mind. However, the nearly non-existent research and practice record of the discipline in the area of private events reveals that the criticism, practically speaking, may be fair. We believe the lack of research and practice in the area of private events is due to a common fear on the part of behavior analysts of damaging behavior analysis as a natural science. This fear is unnecessary. Private events, in both research and practice, can be addressed in the same way as public events: One must do the best one can to identify the problem of interest, measure it in the most valid manner available, and manipulate the environment until a useful outcome is produced. If the behavior-environment relations are replicated in the context of a valid experimental design and one is inferring the existence of nothing other than what one has direct evidence for, then one is conducting natural science research on private events. We have taken this practical approach to teaching repertoires that the rest of the world calls 'cognitive' to children with autism. Thus far, it has been productive in both research and service delivery. Recent publications in areas of rule-governed behavior, perspective-taking, metaphorical reasoning, and executive functions will be offered as evidence.
29. Realism and Privacy: A Pragmatic Behavior-Analytic Interpretation
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
ANDRES H. GARCIA-PENAGOS (University of Tennessee)
Abstract: The main argument in Baum's (2011) article about the role of private events in the analysis of behavior is that although they exist, they are essentially irrelevant to understand the function of behavior. Irrelevancy is essentially a pragmatistic argument, but I would like to argue that the pragmatic criterion of truth is not the central tenet of pragmatism, and that contrary to Baum's views a truly molar analysis of behavior requires an understanding of so-called private events. Whereas I concur with Baum in that the issue of privacy should not be considered central to the definition of radical behaviorism, I argue here that his eschewing of privacy is another example of the traditional downplaying of stimulus control in the experimental analysis of behavior, and the subsequent emphasis in consequential control, which in my view is disproportionate. I will provide arguments from the work of Gibson and Dewey to exemplify how privacy can be understood in a wholly naturalistic fashion, and how this analysis provides a molar, pragmatic alternative to other molar analyses of behavior.
30. Private Events: A Never-Ending Story for Behavior Analysis
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
MITCH FRYLING (California State University, Los Angeles), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: In recent times behavior analysts have spent a considerable amount of time discussing private events (e.g., Baum, 2011; Marr, 2011; Palmer, 2011) in the analysis of behavior. In this poster we outline some of the relevant themes within this literature, including some of the critical philosophical assumptions these themes are derived from. We will present an alternative based upon the philosophy of interbehaviorism and system of interbehavioral psychology (Hayes, 1994; Hayes & Fryling, 2009; Parrott, 1983, 1986). In providing this alternative we will outline some assumptions that guide our analysis of this pseudo-issue and draw the ultimate conclusion that the notion of private events is problematic and based upon dualistic assumptions. Moreover, we will argue that radical behaviorists are likely to endlessly speculate about the status of "private" events for the foreseeable future, rendering a considerable amount of what is considered important and interesting in the science of psychology unavailable for study. The relevance of the interbehavioral position for the analysis of behavior typically viewed as "private" will be highlighted.
31. Private Rules Can't Govern Behavior: Support for the Kripke/Wittgenstein Solution to the Skeptical Paradox
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
ZACHARY LAYNG (Mimio), T. V. Joe Layng (Mimio)
Abstract: Kripke maintains that through posing a series of questions from a skeptic, Wittgenstein demonstrates a skeptical paradox arises that shows that there is no FACT, which, or about which, we can find to substantiate a claim that a private rule, or any covert language, can be considered as causing or influencing behavior. That is, private rule following is not that, even though an individual may believe it to be true, and the private rule appears to correspond to observed behavior. Kripke argues that Wittgenstein proposes that instead, what appears to be private rule following, is a function of one's relation to the environment and corresponds to criteria provided by the community. Though Kripke provides this outward criteria solution, requiring a match to requirements set-up by a community, and argues that even when one is without a community, as in the case of Robinson Crusoe, the analysis holds, some (most notably Noam Chomsky) have argued that the proposition becomes problematic when no community is present. This poster argues that the "programing" approach to private language and reading comprehension described by Layng, Leon, & Sota (2011) and Layng & Layng (2012) supports Kripke's interpretation and offers a solution to the Robinson Crusoe problem.
32. How the Reasoned Action Theory May Advance Behavioral Consultation: Exploring a Brief Functional Analysis of Private Events
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
JAMES E. CONNELL (University of Pennsylvania)
Abstract: The Reasoned Action Theory Integrative Model (IM) is said to be a unique behavioral theory that provides a causal pathway for predicting and explaining behavior (Ajzen and Albarracin, 2007). The conceptual model purports that "intent" to engage in a behavior is the best predictor of actually doing that behavior. There are standardized procedures to measure intention and standardized procedures to measure the determinants of intention: attitudes, norms and self-efficacy (Fishbein and Ajzen, 2010). This poster presents a method to test that theory by proposing a functional analysis of those private events called attitudes, norms and feelings of self-efficacy. Using behavioral consultation and performance feedback (Noell, Duhon, Gatti and Connell, 2001; Pellecchia et al, 2010), targeted, scripted consultation can provide one method to test if behavior is reasoned and intentional.performance feedback (Noell, Duhon, Gatti and Connell, 2001; Pellecchia et al, 2010), targeted, scripted consultation can provide one method to test if behavior is reasoned and intentional.
33. Environmental Control of Awareness
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
FRANK HAMMONDS (Troy University)
Abstract: Many studies have demonstrated that one can learn to perform a task without being "aware" of what has been learned. These studies typically involve an individual learning some experimental task and then responding to questions about what has been learned. If the individual does not adequately answer the questions, learning without awareness is said to have occurred. I will review this literature and discuss the environmental conditions most likely to lead to awareness or a lack thereof. I will also discuss how the concept of awareness has been treated by both philosophers and behavior analysts. It will be clear that "awareness" is nothing more than verbal behavior and that learning without awareness is simply behavior for which accompanying verbal behavior is lacking. Perhaps not surprisingly, verbal behavior is not explicitly mentioned in many studies in the learning without awareness literature. Behavior analysts obviously have a great deal to say about verbal behavior and thus about learning without awareness.
34. Psychology: Can It Be More Than an Average Science?
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
NEVILLE MORRIS BLAMPIED (University of Canterbury)
Abstract: The practice of recruiting groups of individuals as research participants, averaging the data they supply, subjecting the resulting group averages to various statistical tests based on Fisherian statistical inference, and drawing conclusions about experimental hypotheses from "statistically significant" group mean differences is a universal practice in psychology. This poster will identify the historical origins of the practice of averaging over individuals in the 19th C "social physics" of Quetelet and his notion of l'homme moyen. It will then summarise three arguments against averaging. Argument 1 (from Gould) is that the focus on measures of central tendency overshadows variability, but both are inherent and equally important aspects of natural phenomena. Argument 2 (from Sidman) is that between-individual averaging risks creating synthetic rather than natural phenomena. Argument 3 (from Rorer & Widiger) is that inference errors are made when an experimental control group mean is compared to a treatment group mean because between-person data is being used to infer the effect of the treatment on individuals and evidence for a group effect is not evidence about within-individual processes.
35. Qualitative Measures in Applied Behavior Analysis
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
LEE L. MASON (The University of Texas at San Antonio)
Abstract: This poster examines the use of qualitative research in applied behavior analysis. Often overlooked, qualitative measures are effective for producing descriptive research and identifying variables for subsequent analyses. Like single-subject research, qualitative research also deals with small n's to provide greater depth in understanding the context in which behavior is emitted. As progressive behavioral journals, such as the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, are beginning to accept qualitative submission for publication, it is important to understand how these practices can be used to further our understanding of the science of behavior analysis. Specifically, this poster details how functional behavior assessment- a tool already utilized my many practicing behavior analysts- may be extrapolated into full qualitative research methods. A brief summary of the components of methodologically sound qualitative research will be provided, along with examples to illustrate these points. This poster is intended to generate discussion on the implications for using qualitative research in the analysis of behavior.
36. Using Correlation Notation to Represent Behavioral Phenomena
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
Abstract: Across scientific disciplines, including behavior analysis, fundamental principles related to the natural world are found by direct analysis of phenomena. However, "everyday language about behavior is not generally precise enough for technical or scientific description of behavior" (J. Michael, 1995). Since the 17th century, precise notations for symbolizing such complex relationships have facilitated not only the communication and refinement of these ideas but also the development of that field. The field of behavior analysis is without such a system. Correlation Notation provides a comprehensive means to systematically depict even complex behavioral phenomena. With only a handful of symbols, the notation is parsimonious without being simplistic. This system is not aligned with any particular theory but rather simply describes interrelations as those found between the environment and behavior. The notation constitutes an easy-to-use but powerful technology, for not only newcomers to behavior analysis but also scholars.
37. A Molar View of Verbal Behavior
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
CARSTA SIMON (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Abstract: So far, verbal behavior has usually been analyzed in the molecular paradigm, which assumes stimuli lead to momentary discrete verbal responses on which consequences are contiguous. In attempts to explain instances of verbal behavior in which not all of those three components are observable, the molecular framework relies on an introduction of hypothetical internal stimuli, responses, or reinforcers. This questionable step can be avoided by treating verbal operants as temporally extended, which is also in accordance with the very nature of (verbal) behavior. This molar approach deals with the commerce of whole organisms with their environment. The particular size of a unit of analysis is determined by the research question. Trying to abstract small discrete units like tacts and mands and to look for their immediate or delayed reinforcement often leads to implausible explanations. In the molar view, verbal activities are regarded as nested, i.e. they are components of other (verbal) activities and consist of further smaller scale actions, all of which are parts of contingencies. Larger verbal episodes are viewed as wholes, induced by a context and correlating with consequences. Last but not least, the molar view offers a plausible account of the occurrence of mental- and private-event terms in an individuals' verbal repertoire by suggesting that those are induced by the individuals' observation of extended behavioral patterns.
38. Autoclitic Frames, Words, and Phrases
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
ROBERT DLOUHY (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: This poster will propose that in human verbal behavior, response patterns commonly called phrases and complex words are products of autoclitic/intraverbal framing responses of two distinct types. Although there are differences between autoclitic and intraverbal control, these responses order the sequence in which constituent responses are emitted. Any particular utterance sequence may be subject to both autoclitic and intraverbal control, so these responses may be called framing or sequencing responses. Phrases are easily interpreted as products of framing responses, but complex words- words that have affixes- must also be seen as framing response products. Examination of phrase and complex word topographies leads to the observation that the framing response classes accounting for each must be distinct. It is possible, in some verbal communities, to distinguish between morphological framing responses and syntactic framing responses. Syntactic framing responses may have some of their response positions realized by other framing responses. Morphological framing responses, on the other hand, have certain response positions where limited types of responses (the affixes) are realized. The affix responses are only emitted in certain positions relative to other responses.
39. From Anger to Zeal: An Exercise in Behavioral Translation
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
JOSHUA K. PRITCHARD (Florida Institute of Technology), Diane Blumlo (Florida Institute of Technology), Carlos Freeman (Florida Institute of Technology), Anita Li (Florida Institute of Technology), Mark Malady (Florida Institute of Technology), Kristine Malpass (Florida Institute of Technology), Ryan Lee O'Donnell (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Behaviorism has oft been accused of being incomplete, irrelevant, and/or unable to contend with those facets of behavior which makes humanity interesting. In this exercise, our lab followed B. F. Skinner's lead by providing a behavioral translation for a myriad of terms which are conventionally explained through a mentalistic framework and imbued with metaphysical undertones. In this poster, we will present each of the terms and our behavioral translations and describe the development of the methods used by our lab to define each term. While most of these terms have very different conventional definitions, our requirement was that each must be defined with language that appeals only to the natural world, behavioral framework, and avoids reification and mentalism. We will discuss difficulties we encountered during our journey to translate these traditionally mentalistic terms. Audience members will be encouraged to try their hands at behavioralizing the term before we reveal each definition arrived at through our method.
40. Naturalistic Approaches to Creativity
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
MARIA ISABEL MUNOZ BLANCO (University of Nevada), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Skinner (1974) conceptualized creative behavior much as any other behavior, which is to say he examined it in terms of contingencies of reinforcement. More specifically, he considered it to be an outcome of accidental variation. This definition, although coherent with a naturalistic perspective left many questions unanswered: Under which circumstances does this behavior occur (i.e. controlling variables)? Is it possible to train creative behavior? What makes a behavior creative and not merely novel? Some authors have attempted to answer these questions by conducting experiments while others have tried to develop a coherent theory to account for creativity. This poster will compare the conceptualizations presented by Sloane, Epstein, Marr and Carpio that have attempted to answer these questions while sustaining a naturalistic perspective on creative behavior.
41. Beyond Beauty & Art: A Radical Behavioral Conceptualization of Aesthetics
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
ALISON SZARKO (University of Nevada-Reno), Matthew Lewon (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: In philosophy, aesthetics can be defined as "an attempt to theorize about art, to explain what it is and why it matters" (Graham 1997). For nearly 4,000 years it has been an important topic of study among philosophers. Traditionally, it was restricted to "the study of the beautiful and sublime" (Stecker 2005). In the 19th century, the study of aesthetics was redefined and is now primarily concerned with the study of "aesthetic value" and the "aesthetic experience". Aesthetic value is concerned with what makes objects aesthetically pleasing and aesthetic experience is concerned with the interaction of that object with the individual. Currently, there are two dominant approaches philosophers take. The first is a cognitive scientific approach (commonly referred to as aesthetic cognitivism), and the second focuses on the subjective experience of art. However, both of these approaches are dualistic in nature, creating limitations for a naturalistic analysis of aesthetics. This poster will provide a monistic explanation of aesthetics from a radical behavioral perspective, which serves as a demonstration of the generality a behavior analytic theory can have on traditional topics of philosophy.
42. Emotional Rescue: Conceptualizing Emotions as Motivating Operations
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
MATTHEW LEWON (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: There has recently been considerable controversy among behavior analysts regarding the role of private events in a science of behavior. Of those events deemed to be private, the topic of emotion has been particularly neglected by behavior analysts, and the difficulties inherent in defining and studying emotion likely contribute to the continued avoidance of this topic. The failure to provide a coherent behavior analytic account of emotion not only relegates this important topic to the realms of non-behavioral psychology and physiology, it precludes the discovery of important functional relations. In this poster, we will argue that the same antecedent events held to produce the subjective feelings of emotion also function as motivating operations (MOs) which alter the reinforcing or punishing effectiveness of particular events as consequences of behavior. Conceptualizing emotions as MOs instead of subjective feelings allows us to sidestep the problem of the subjective experience of emotion and focus on the measurable changes in behavior that result from changes in reinforcer or punisher efficacy. We will examine several examples from the behavior analytic literature that illustrate how the MO concept might pertain to the study of behavioral patterns attributed to emotion and suggest ways in which viewing emotions as MOs could have both theoretical and applied advantages.
43. Establishing Operations to Motivating Operations & Beyond: Implications for Analysis of Complex Phenomena
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
AMBER MARIE CANDIDO (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: In operant psychology, motivation has been traditionally related to states of deprivation and escape from aversive stimuli. In that regard, the establishing/abolishing operations developed by Michael (1982), which later were referred to as motivating operations, have offered a behavioral scientific approach for the analysis of related phenomena. The establishing/abolishing operation has been discussed as an environmental event, operation, or stimulus condition that alters the momentary effectiveness of a reinforcer/punisher as well as the frequency of a behaviors occurrence. Accordingly, this concept involves the effectiveness of consequences in operant conditioning. More recently, a verbal account of motivating operations known as augmentals has provided a ground for the analysis of verbal products (e.g., statements or rules) that acquire motivative functions by establishing (i.e., fomative augmenting) and/or temporality altering (ie., motivative augmenting) the value of the relative reinforcement contingency. The purpose of this presentation is to provide a review of the literature associated with the abovementioned concepts, address the significance of developed distinctions, and discuss the implications for future application of the concepts in the analyses of complex phenomena such as persuasion and leadership communication.
44. Perspective-Taking Gone Wrong: Situations Where Prediction is Possible, But Does Not Occur
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
GENEVIEVE M. DEBERNARDIS (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The ability to take the perspective of another is not only an important skill to learn, but also to maintain. Moreover, perspective-taking is not simply present or absent, but instead lies along a continuum of increasing degrees of complexity. Of particular importance within the perspective-taking continuum is the relationship history between self (i.e., perceiver) and another (i.e., target), which is made particularly evident through an interbehavioral approach. It is through a shared history of varying degrees of duration and quality with the target that the perceiver can engage in the most complex form of perspective-taking. Discussion will focus on situations in which the perceiver can predict behavior of the target, but fails to do so. Additionally, inaccurate predictions of one's own behavior, in which self is both perceiver and target, will be explored. Implications of this conceptualization for basic and applied research, and practice will be discussed.
45. Imitation: A Dynamic Skill in Learning
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
JIANGYUAN ZHOU (Binghamton University, State University of New York)
Abstract: Imitation is not a new issue in education. It has always been a central organizing idea of Western education. Its significance in education is of more importance than has generally been recognized by teachers. The first part of the paper is a comprehensive review of recent findings on imitation from different perspectives such as developmental psychology, neuroscience, and special education. This review had provided important insights into mechanisms and functions of imitation. The second part applied Dynamic Skill Theory (Fischer & Bidell, 2006) to examine imitation and proposed that imitation is actually a skill that is both innate and learned, independent and dependent, overt and covert. Imitation enables an individual to organize one action or a series of actions based on the evaluation of current situation. Imitation is constructed hierarchically with three levels (Action Imitation, Goal Imitation, and Cognition Imitation) based on a cognitive process of organizing imitative behaviors. Each individual level is action-based and context-specific. Cognitive Imitation will not inhibit people's creativity; on the contrary, it will provide inspiration and lead to authentic originality. Imitation plays a critical role in human's learning since infancy and throughout adulthood. This has important implications for educators in developing students' skill of imitation to enhance their learning.
46. Ethical Behavior: What We Can Learn From Buddhist Philosophy
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
NANCY I. SALINAS (Texas Tech University)
Abstract: Issues regarding ethics are an integral part of Behavior Analysis. Virtually every facet of the discipline, whether one is a student, consultant or professor (and all else in between), involves having to make an ethical judgment. The methodology for making such decisions is often drawn from religious texts, societal norms, or philosophical reasoning. For Buddhists, ethical discipline is a topic of great importance. Buddhist philosophy teaches ethical discipline through the practice of Dharma. Topics related to ethics, such as interdependence, compassion, the law of cause and effect, rule-governed behavior, reinforcement and punishment (consequences) are discussed for drawing comparisons between Buddhism and Radical Behaviorism. In addition, ethical issues in Behavior Analysis and Buddhist philosophy will be addressed in order to gain insight of what this ancient philosophy can teach us.
47. Toward a New Consequentialism: Nonlinear Contingency Analysis and the Understanding of Moral Behavior
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
RUSSELL LAYNG (Tulane University), Joanne K. Robbins (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: Consequentialism is an area of moral philosophy that maintains that the consequences of one's behavior are the ultimate basis for any judgment about the rightness of that behavior. In its most simplistic form the end can be used to justify the means. In another form, the end, both intended and unintended, is what gives meaning to the means and defines it as right or wrong. The critical role of behavioral consequences brings this philosophical area into direct contact with the consequential contingency analysis of radical behaviorism. The poster will provide a framework in which the consequentialist position can be extended and made more compelling by a more explicit consideration of the alternative sets of consequential contingencies into which behavior may enter. To illustrate this approach, contingencies of exclusion will be analyzed that differentially define social and societal exclusion including prejudice, bigotry, racism, and the feelings that are a product of each. Sets of nonlinear consequential contingencies (after Goldiamond, 1974, 1975, 1976) will be graphically depicted to illustrate the claims offered in the poster.
48. On Procedures and Processes
Area: TPC; Domain: Basic Research
JOAO CLAUDIO TODOROV (Universidade de Brasilia)
Abstract: 'If..., then...' statements may refer to independent variables or to empirical relations (Weingarten & Mechner, 1966). As independent variables for the study of operant behavior, contingencies may have two terms, as in the sentence 'If response R occurs, consequence C will follow'. A related empirical statement will be 'If response R is followed by consequence C, the frequency of response R will increase'. The identification of the independent variable describes a procedure. The related empirical statement identifies a process. So why sometimes both procedure and process receive the same name? Extinction, reinforcement, discrimination, etc., are terms used both for procedures and processes, generating confusion for beginners in behavioral analysis. In the extension of behavior analysis to the study of culture the introduction of the concept of metacontingency has generated misconceptions that could be avoided by naming differently different procedures and processes. In 1986 metacontingency was first described as a given process (Glenn, 1986), modified in 1988 as a somewhat different process, and presented in 2008 as a unit of cultural selection similar to the operant. They are examples of schedules of cultural selection.
49. Cultural Behavior Analysis: Toward an Integrated Model for the 21st Century
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
TODD A. WARD (Univeristy of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno), Greg Smith (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The authors propose a strategic plan for the construction of a modern, integrated, system of cultural behavior analysis suitable for the 21st century. In doing so, the authors outline the perspectives of B. F. Skinner and J. R. Kantor- two behaviorists who have written much on the analysis of culture and associated problems which arise in its articulation. We will suggest that Kantor's work is of benefit due to its distinction between levels of analysis, while Skinner's work is of benefit in terms of articulating behavioral processes. Lastly, we will suggest that the metacontingency could be seen as a construct designed to provide a process account of the interaction across the psychological and sociological levels of analysis, which will prove invaluable in the interconnected world of the 21st century.
50. An Examination of the United States Prison System Using the Cultural Materialist Approach
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
ZACHARY H. MORFORD (University of Nevada, Reno), Manish Vaidya (University of North Texas)
Abstract: The United States has more people in prison for non-political offenses than any other industrialized nation on the planet. The incarceration rate of adults in the United States has increased from 139 inmates per 100,000 people in 1980 to 502 inmates per 100,000 people in 2009 (a 261% increase) while crime rate in the United States has decreased from 13.4 million crimes in 1980 to 10.8 million crimes in 2009 (a 25% decrease). Traditional explanations cite a decrease in conservative values as the reason for these trends in the prison population. Materialist explanations, such as found in Behavior Analysis and Cultural Materialism however, seek to identify the measurable and modifiable variables of which these socio-cultural trends may be a function. In the current project, the authors will explore the particular contributions of the principle of infrastructural priority in Cultural Materialism in understanding particular aspects of the prison industry in the United States. From a broader perspective, this analysis aims to demonstrate how the cultural materialist approach might benefit behavior analysts interested in studying sociocultural phenomena.
51. Cultural Cusps as Radical Change in Contingencies of Reinforcement
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
INGUNN SANDAKER (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Abstract: Cultural cusps as radical change in contingencies of reibforcement From a systems perspective, the increase in possible and actual relations decides the level of complexity of a system. Some times society (or subsystems) goes through periods of radical change, and existing organizations and institutions functioning may change dramatically. When the possible relations among agents in a system increase dramatically, we might call these changes in society cultural cusps. Only a few, but important examples of such cultural cusps are the industrial revolution, the internet and the fall of the Berlin Wall. I want to present a model that unifies the selectionist and the systems perspective on four levels of selection.
52. Gandhi and Goldiamond: Constructional Satyagraha
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
MARK A. MATTAINI (Jane Addams College of Social Work-UIC)
Abstract: Israel Goldiamond's "constructional approach" and Gandhi's "constructive programme" have much in common, and Goldiamond's work has the potential to make important contributions to effective civil resistance. Recent research by Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan indicates that nonviolent civil resistance is twice as effective as violent alternatives, and is several times more likely to result in democratic outcomes. All nonviolent resistance is not created equal, however; Gandhi indicated that constructive resistance has much greater potential than disruptive alternatives, although both are typically important. Jonathan Schell has argued that variations of the constructive programme are largely responsible for the liberation of Eastern Europe, the American Revolution, and many other successful campaigns. Historical and conceptual research I present in the forthcoming book "The Science of Satyagraha: Strategic Nonviolent Power" examines the potential for constructive action in supporting justice and liberation in the most challenging areas on earth, and specifically demonstrates how applications of Goldiamond's constructive option can support these efforts, offering specific guidance for campaigns of self-liberation. This poster presentation will clarify the confluences between nonviolent civil resistance and behavioral systems science grounded in Goldiamond's constructional approach, and the potential contributions of a constructional approach to constructing justice and liberation.
53. The Rise of China and the Future of Behavior Analysis: Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Radical Behaviorism
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
MICHAEL C. CLAYTON (Youngstown State University)
Abstract: The rise of China in the world presents opportunities for behavior analysis. After all, there is more behavior happening in China than anywhere else in the world. Aspects of Chinese culture and philosophy suggest that a behavioral approach would be welcomed as well. Assuming that Chinese culture would be welcoming to a behavioral approach, there are many topics to which behavioral analysis could be applied. Chinese psychology is made of three components; 1) traditional Chinese perspectives, 2) Soviet perspectives (e.g., Pavlov), and 3) Western perspectives. Chinese perspectives are greatly influenced by Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Each of which has features in common with modern behavioral theory. Soviet perspectives influenced Chinese psychology as well as early behaviorism; the former to an even greater extent. Western perspectives are less developed in China but include psychoanalysis, cognitive psychology, and behaviorism. Culturally, China is less burdened by philosophical idealist dualism and there is a modern preference for philosophical materialism. Therefore, the pragmatism of William James, a natural science approach, and the experimental methods of Pavlov and Skinner all find considerable acceptance. Chinese pragmatism is based on Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism (among others) and provides a basis for the compatibility of radical behaviorism. One example of this compatibility is the amount of overlap between ACT therapy and Buddhism.
54. ABA Comprehensive Impact Model
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
DANA CIHELKOVA (West Virginia University), Daniel E. Hursh (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Baer, Wolf, and Risley describe seven dimensions of Applied Behavioral Analysis. We propose a conceptual model that extends these dimensions to display the scope of ABA's potential for comprehensive global impact. The model contextualizes ABA with five contexts: individuals, families, communities, nations, and global society. The five contexts are organized into an interconnected pyramidal structure with the individual forming the base followed by the family, community, nation, with global society at the pinnacle. Our model suggests that ABA has much broader applications than assisting individuals. The ABA Comprehensive Impact Model also asserts the ultimate implications of ABA as a critical agent for meeting 21st Century challenges. The global society will have to face rapid climate change, depletion of resources, increasing population, etc. The level of our understanding of the magnitude, type and timing of these changes is minimal. One thing that is clear is that meeting all of these challenges will require regulation of human behavior. We propose that our ABA Comprehensive Impact Model can illustrate the scope and possible impact of ABA when meeting these challenges.
56. Touch the Earth and Suffer: A Behavioral Analysis of Ecological Terrorism.
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
ANITA LI (Florida Institute of Technology), Mark Malady (Florida Institute of Technology), Joshua K. Pritchard (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Over the past thirty years there has been an increasing phenomenon where individuals destroy property of industries that are designed to exploit material from the earth. This phenomenon is referred to as ecological terrorism. Currently there have been no conceptual attempts within the behavior analytic community to understand this phenomenon. The current poster will provide a conceptual account of ecological terrorism, using frameworks from various behavioral approaches. The poster discuss ecological terrorism as a unique phenomenon as compared with being simply a recombination of behavioral processes common to the majority of other complex human behavior. The poster should begin an open conceptual dialogue about what we find an interesting aspect of human behavior established under unique conditions of the 20th century.
57. Can Behavioral Theory Explain Criminal Behavior and Does It Align With A Conservative or Liberal Approach to Dealing with Crime?
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
ANNA M. YOUNG ZALESKA (Firefly Autism Services and Virginia Commonwealth)
Abstract: Numerous criminological theories address possible causes of criminal behavior and provide implications for criminal justice policies to address efforts for reduction in crime (Cullen & Agnew, 2006). Many of the criminological theories that are well respected in the field of criminology overlap in principles with behavioral and learning theories (Akers, 2009). Yet, too frequently, the significance of application of behavioral theory to criminal behavior is minimized, if not solely criticized. This presentation provides support for application of the behavioral theory to designing policies on crime, and it considers the relevance of both conservative and liberal approaches to treatment of crime as viewed through the lenses of behavioral theory.
58. The Importance of Interdisciplinary Science in Behavior Analysis
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
MELISSA NOSIK (University of Nevada, Reno), Mark Malady (Florida Institute of Technology), Vanessa Willmoth (University of Nevada-Reno), Ryland k Baker (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: This poster will examine the potential contributions of related sciences to a more complete understanding of complex human behavior. In pursuing this potential for collaboration with other sciences, it is important to recognize the unique contribution that a science of behavior may make to this venture. To this end, an understanding of the differences between disciplinary and interdisciplinary work is critical to the further development of behavior analysis as a science. Information will be presented on the frequency and types of interdisciplinary work in behavior analysis that has been published in JEAB and JABA over the last 20 years.
59. Everything You Know About the Experimental Analysis of Behavior Is Wrong
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
RICHARD W. MALOTT (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: SCOWL: I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by lust for the straight semi-log transform, confusing the little dots falling on the straight line, with underlying process (if it's straight as a gate, it's straight, gate). Relevant topics: (1) The relation between experimental and applied research in behavior analysis. (2) Why bridging research gets it wrong. (3) Why basic research gets it wrong. (4) Preschool fatalism. (5) Pre-PhD fatalism: Why you will agree with practically none of this poster. (6) The little boy with a new hammer who tries to fix everything by hitting it with his wonderful hammer. (7) Why the worst thing Skinner ever did was invent schedules of reinforcement. (8) Why delay discounting is irrelevant to almost anything of importance. (9) Why grandma's wisdom is wrong. (10) The myth of poor self-control. (11) The truth about poor self-control. (12) Rule-governed vs. contingency-controlled behavior. (13) Why operationalization provides only a false sense of intellectual security. (14) The shiftless paradigm. The high IQ mind of an EABer is a terrible thing to waste; hopefully this poster will save one or two of the less rigid ones.
60. Developing a Measure of Adherence to Philosophy: First Steps in Investigating the Importance of Philosophy in Practice
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
MELINE POGOSJANA (California State University, Northridge), James Vogel (California State University, Northridge), Marnie Nicole Shapiro (California State University, Northridge), Ellie Kazemi (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract: Although several authors have commented on the reciprocal relationship between applied and experimental behavior analysis (Sidman, 2011), there are fewer discussions concerning the theoretical and philosophical foundations of behavior analysis as it relates to practice. We reviewed current curricula offered by academic programs in behavior analysis and found only some doctoral programs included theoretical and philosophical coursework. However, beginning in 2015 the ABAI accreditation board will require doctoral programs to offer 90 hours of coursework in theory and philosophy. This is an interesting contrast to BACB coursework requirements, which does not provide explicit guidelines pertaining to coursework hours in philosophy. We believe such divergence in standards between the ABAI accreditation board and BACB is a topic warranting further investigation and lead us to question whether philosophy is important in practice. A method to measure adherence to philosophy is needed before investigating the relationship between theory and practice. To begin such efforts, we developed and piloted the Adherence to Philosophy Scale within which we asked questions based on myths of behaviorism, non-evidence based therapies, and tenets of science. We will discuss results and challenges we encountered during our pilot study as well as the importance of philosophy as it relates to practice.
61. A Survey of Current Academic Standards and Student Interest in Philosophical and Conceptual Issues in Behavior Analysis
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
ERIN E. WATKINS (Western Michigan University), Elian Aljadeff-Abergel (Western Michigan University), Miles K. Bennett (Western Michigan University), Timothy Edwards (Western Michigan University), Yngvi Einarsson (OBM Network), James D. Morrison (Western Michigan University), Thom Ratkos (Western Michigan University), Christopher Walmsley (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Education in behavior analytic theory and philosophy is integral to a true understanding of the discipline. In order to advocate for our science and be able to communicate its logic, rationale and effectiveness to others - behavior analysts must be familiar with the theory and philosophy behind it. It is unclear, however, how much of this type of education our practitioners and future leaders are currently receiving. Program accreditation and individual certification requirements that specify training in conceptual issues should be viewed as establishing the bare minimum rather than the ideal amount of contact students should have with the philosophical underpinnings of behavior analysis. Additionally, establishing requirements pertaining to philosophy will not necessarily foster interest in conceptual issues or lead to critical thinking about the subject matter of our science. This investigation will examine the theory and philosophy requirements for certification as well as graduation at leading universities training the next generation of behavior analysts. Furthermore, current graduate student interest in philosophical and theoretical issues will be discussed.
62. Dissemination Isn't a Game, but Maybe It Should Be: Behavior Analysis Scooped Again
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
RYAN LEE O'DONNELL (Florida Institute of Technology), Joshua K. Pritchard (Florida Institute of Technology), Gregory Paquiot (Florida Institute of Technology), Mark Malady (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: This poster is not a textbook, rote learning tool, nor even a hitchhiker's guide to gamification. There are plenty of those on the market from people that have re-packaged the concepts and principles of behavior into a highly successful, marketable trend known as Gamification"the process of game-thinking and game mechanics to engage users and solve problems". (Zichermann & Cunningham, 2011) Many behaviorists seem puzzled by the fact that their science is constantly being scooped by outsiders claiming the creation of successful methods to save the world without giving credit where credit is due. We will use gamification as one case study to examine why they succeeded in gaining wide acceptance when other behavioral approaches have not; identifying those components which are simply behavioral principles repackaged and discuss what we dummies can learn about full-scale dissemination.
63. Effects of Differential Exposure to Terms in Ordinary Language and Technical Terms on the Explanation of Psychological Phenomena
Area: TPC; Domain: Applied Research
LUIS CARLOS FONSECA LEÏ¿½N (Center for Behavior Studies and Research, University of Guadalajara), Maria Antonia Padilla Vargas (University of Guadalajara)

Ribes (2009a, 2009b, 2010), concerned by the nature of psychological knowledge and the training of researchers and practitioners in psychology, proposed a logic for the design of curricula in psychology based on the transition from the functional domains of ordinary language to a more technical language. He also identified five moments in the process of founding, constructing and applying science: the everyday phenomenology of the psychological, the natural history of psychological phenomena, the technical language of the scientific theory, the first point of return to the everyday world and back into the universe of ordinary language. Thus, the present study was designed to identify whether the differential exposure to explanations of psychological phenomena given in terms of ordinary language or a more technical language has an effect on the descriptions and explanations that college students make about psychological phenomena. Forty-five psychology undergraduates from the University of Guadalajara participated in the experiment (40 women and five men, aged between 18 and 28 years, M = 20.98). We observed an effect of the type of language on the descriptions and explanations that students that are studying intermediate semesters (V-VI) give.




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