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.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Event Details

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Panel #73
Professional Development Series: Ripples to Waves: Fighting the Tide of Mentalism as Behavior Analysis Rises Into New Fields
Saturday, May 26, 2012
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
610 (Convention Center)
Area: TPC/PRA; Domain: Theory
Chair: Chelsea L. Skinner (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
RICHARD W. MALOTT (Western Michigan University)
JANET ELLIS (University of North Texas)
JENNIFER KLAPATCH (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
DAVID WAYNE SCHAAL (Accuray Incorporated)

While many behavior analysts consider mentalism a taboo way of explaining behavior, many other behavioral professionals and students may stop the progress of their concern on the subject there. But mentalism is more than just a nonbehavior-analytic way of speaking it can also act as an obstacle to applying basic behavioral principles to areas of human behavior that are significant; not only for the individual, but also for society. Behavior-environment interactions work both ways, though. Mentalism may slow the progress of expanding the application of behavioral concepts and principles into new areas of study, but successful research and applications based on the principles of behavior analysis might, in turn, change the way people speak and think about the causes of behavior. Panelists will discuss their experiences within less mainstream, still developing areas of behavior analysis and how mentalism has affected, and been affected by, behavior-analytic practice and research in these areas.

Keyword(s): Expanding ABA, Mentalism



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