Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Special Event #15
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Opening Event and Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis Awards Ceremony
Sunday, May 29, 2016
8:00 AM–9:20 AM
Grand Ballroom, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Opening Event, SABA Awards
Chair: Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
CE Instructor: Linda J. Parrott Hayes, Ph.D.

SABA Award for Distinguished Service: Behavior Analysis: A Consilient Future


Modern behavior analysis must be consilient to prosper as a discipline. E. O. Wilson wrote, "The love of complexity without reductionism makes art; the love of complexity with reductionism makes science." Necessarily our science will profit from integrating reductionistic and artistic elements in the service of answering significant questions about behavior and addressing behavioral and other psychological challenges facing humanity. Over his career Dr. Thompson has been fortunate to use such strategies for basic theoretical matters concerning the integration of behavior, as well as applied problems in pharmacology, architecture, development of children with autism, and making the lives of people with disabilities better.

TRAVIS THOMPSON (University of Minnesota)
Dr. Travis Thompson received his doctoral training in psychology at the University of Minnesota and completed postdoctoral work at the University of Maryland with Joseph V. Brady and at Cambridge University (UK) with Robert Hinde. His earliest work dealt with the relations among concepts from behavior analysis, ethology, and pharmacology. He was director of the John F. Kennedy Center for Human Development at Vanderbilt University and Smith Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Kansas Medical Center before returning to Minnesota in 2003. Dr. Thompson co-authored, with Charles R. Schuster, the first textbook in behavioral pharmacology and has done basic and applied interdisciplinary research in developmental disabilities, including genetics, pharmacology, and neuroscience. He was involved in developing one of the first large-scale behavioral intervention programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and for the past several years has directed home-based early intervention services for young children with autism in Minnesota. Dr. Thompson's publications include 225 articles and chapters and 29 books. A total of 48 doctoral students have completed their training under his mentorship. He has received numerous awards, including the APA Division 1 (Society for General Psychology) Ernest Hilgard Award, Division 25's Don Hake Award, and the Division 33 (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) Edgar Doll Award. He is a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.

SABA Award for International Dissemination of Behavioral Analysis: A Behavior-Analytic World View


What started in the late 1920s at Harvard University as a small research project of a young graduate student involving several rats, some Rube Goldberg-like apparatus, and a handful of home-made food pellets is quite different today. Behavior analysis has grown in numbers, knowledge, and impact, and we have changed in composition. We have become, and continue to become even more of an international movement. This presentation comprises a brief historical analysis of some of the variables that have contributed to this internationalization of behavior analysis. They include seminal individuals crossing the oceans in all directions to bring and take behavior analysis to the four corners of the earth; scientific, conceptual, and application developments within the discipline; broader cultural events and technological developments; and personal contacts and exchanges of ideas among behavior analysts from different countries. The breeching of obstacles such as economic and resource limitations, perceived cultural incompatibilities with a behavior-analytic world view, language barriers, entrenched competing world views, and physical distance has required persistence, dedication, commitment, and ingenuity, but our internationalization has great momentum. Indeed this internationalization is essential to our future well-being.

KENNON ANDY LATTAL (West Virginia University)
Andy is Centennial Professor of Psychology at West Virginia University, where he has taught and conducted research for the last 44 years, although his colleagues have suggested that it is really more like 5 years, he is out of the country so frequently! His sojourns include two sabbatical years at the University of Lille, France (including one as a Fulbright Research Fellow); appointments as a Fellow of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, a Global Professor at Keio University in Tokyo, a Visiting Professor at the Jordan University of Science and Technology; and as a Visiting Scholar at the Universities of Brasilia and São Paulo in Brazil, the National Autonomous University and the University of Guadalajara in Mexico; and University College London. When he has been in Morgantown he has hosted and mentored sabbatical visitors and students from universities in Australia, Brazil, Colombia, France, Japan, and Mexico, and has been the doctoral advisor of several international students at WVU. One outcome of these collaborations has been some 30 co-authored research publications with international scholars. Another is service on the editorial boards of three international journals, including three terms as the English Language Editor of the Mexican Journal of Behavior Analysis. Through his many and diverse activities in the world arena, Andy has served as a behavior-analytic ambassador carrying in his portfolio outstanding teaching, scientific acumen, and good will in promoting the international development of our discipline.

SABA Award for Scientific Translation: Forty Years of Research: Doing a Lot, Learning a Little


Dr. Poling’s first publication appeared in 1976 and since that time he has conducted basic, translational, and applied research in several areas, resulting in publications in more than 50 different journals. This presentation will overview what he has learned regarding how to succeed as a researcher. Topics to be considered include selecting topics to study, being steadfastly pragmatic, persisting in the face of apparent failure, working successfully with other people, securing funds to support projects, writing well, publishing articles, and evaluating one’s own work.

ALAN D. POLING (Western Michigan University)
Dr. Alan Poling is Professor of Psychology at Western Michigan University. He received his BA from Alderson-Broaddus College, his MA from West Virginia University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. A Fellow of Divisions 3, 25, and 28 of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Poling has published 12 books and roughly 350 articles and book chapters and served as the research advisor of 35 Ph.D. recipients. They, and he, have conducted research and done conceptual work in several areas, including behavioral pharmacology, clinical psychopharmacology (with special emphasis on the effects of psychotropic drugs in people with developmental disabilities), applied behavior analysis, gender issues, animal welfare, quantitative analysis, learning processes, and research methods. Dr. Poling was recognized as a Distinguished Faculty Scholar at Western Michigan University in 1996 and as a Distinguished Alumnus of West Virginia University in 1999. In 2003, he received the Western Michigan University College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Achievement in Research and Creative Activity Award. In 2016, he will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Association of Behavior Analysis, a Translational Research Award from the Association for Behavior Analysis International, and an International Humanitarian Award from the American Psychological Association.

SABA Award: Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis: University of California, Santa Barbara, Koegel Autism Center


We begin with a video example of children with autism in the 1960s, chained to their beds, receiving electric shocks, etc.; and then move on to a video example from modern times showing a child receiving a motivational pivotal response treatment. The emphasis here is on the power of programmatic research, with successive scientific findings building on each other to accomplish extremely dramatic results for improving the symptoms of autism. We will also discuss areas that still are in desperate need of research and intervention, such as parent stress, co-morbid disabilities, sex education, and employment.

LYNN KERN KOEGEL (University of California, Santa Barbara), ROBERT L. KOEGEL (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Lynn Kern Koegel, Ph.D., is the Clinical Director of the Koegel Autism Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has been active in the development of programs to improve communication in children with autism, including the development of first words, development of grammatical structures, and pragmatics. Dr. Koegel is co-author and co-editor of major textbooks on autism and positive behavioral support and is co-author of the bestselling book Overcoming Autism: Finding the Answers, Strategies, and Hope That Can Transform a Child’s Life (Penguin, 2004). In addition to her published books and articles in the area of communication and language development, she has developed and published procedures and field manuals in the area of self-management and functional analysis that are used in school districts throughout the United States and have been translated in most major languages used throughout the world. Dr. Lynn Koegel is actively involved in providing support and intervention services in school districts, both locally in California and throughout the United States. Dr. Koegel, and her husband Robert, were awarded the first annual recipient of the Sesame Street Children’s Television Workshop Award for brightening the lives of children. She has also been featured in news reports on television stations throughout the United States and has appeared on episodes of the internationally broadcast ABC television series Supernanny
Robert Koegel, Ph.D., has focused his career on autism, specializing in language intervention, family support, and school integration. He has published more than 200 articles and papers relating to the treatment of autism. He is the founding editor of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. Models of his procedures have been used in public schools and in parent education programs throughout California, across the United States, and in other countries. He has trained health care and special education leaders in the United States and abroad. Dr. Koegel and his wife, Dr. Lynn Kern Koegel, are the developers of Pivotal Response Treatment, which focuses on motivation. They were the recipients of the first annual Children’s Television Workshop Sesame Street Award for Brightening the Lives of Children and the first annual Autism Speaks Award for Science and Research. The University of California, Santa Barbara, received a $2.35 million gift to expand the physical space of its autism center, which was renamed the Koegel Autism Center in recognition of the Koegels’ work on behalf of children with autism, and a large gift from the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Foundation to start the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Asperger Center, which is now part of the Koegel Autism Center.

SABA Award for Effective Presentation of Behavior Analysis in the Mass Media: Why Doesn't the World Appreciate ABA?


Almost every major challenge in the world today can be seen as a failure to appropriately shape behavior, including chronic disease, economic inequality, violence and climate change. Why, then, isn't the proven science and practice of benignly shaping behavior widely embraced by the public and all our institutions? The problem is that the public clings to emotional appeal, and ABA bristles with data, evidence and rationalism. Therein lies a communications challenge on which rest not only the prospects for the field, but those for the human race.

DAVID H. FREEDMAN (Journalist)
David H. Freedman is a contributing editor at The Atlantic, a contributor to Scientific American, and a consulting editor for Harvard's Brigham & Women's Hospital, and has at various times written regularly for The New York Times, Science, Newsweek, Discover, Forbes and Inc. He is the author of five books, the most recent of which is WRONG, about the problems with the published findings of medical scientists and other experts. Much of his current work is related to the roles of policy, industry and journalism in addressing health-related behavior change, as well as to the improvement of healthcare systems globally. He has served as a consulting journalist to several major academic medical centers, including Johns Hopkins, NYU and McGill University, and is the founding editor of a forthcoming global healthcare information resource. He received a Bachelor's degree in physics from Oberlin College. 
Target Audience:

Licensed psychologists, BCBAs, graduate students.

Learning Objectives: Pending.
Keyword(s): Opening Event, SABA Awards



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