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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Symposium #46
A Smörgåsbord of Behavioral Delights!
Saturday, May 26, 2012
2:00 PM–3:20 PM
610 (Convention Center)
Area: TPC/TBA; Domain: Theory
Chair: Patrick E. McGreevy (Patrick McGreevy, Ph.D., P.A.)
Discussant: Patrick E. McGreevy (Patrick McGreevy, Ph.D., P.A.)
Abstract: This symposium comprises a unique series of high energy, rapid-paced presentations which cover a broad range of behavioral topics. The goal of this symposium is to provide a sampling of the diversity that is our field. Ranging from reviews of classic books to examinations of terminological and philosophical issues, the content of this symposium brims with information on such an array of topics that most any behaviorist will likely learn something new. While no single presentation will cover its topic exhaustively, our goal is to provide a sampling of what we believe every student of behavior should become familiar with. Whether a formal student enrolled in a behavior analytic program, or a student of behavior for life, we believe the issues explored in this symposium will whet your appetite for more. A good restaurant suggests that you may come in deprived of food, and leave satiated. Even though we will provide plenty of intellectual fodder, we expect the opposite outcome: Come hungry, leave famished.
Keyword(s): Book Reviews, On Terms, Theory

On Terms: Feedbackand Reinforcement

DANIEL B. SUNDBERG (Florida Institute of Technology), Scott A. Miller (Florida Institute of Technology), Joshua K. Pritchard (Florida Institute of Technology)

As behavior analysts, we pride ourselves on the precision of our language. Unfortunately, it takes only a cursory examination of the extant literature to identify terms that are used haphazardly. For instance, the use of feedback in the behavioral world typically implies something such as providing information to individuals or groups about the quantity or quality of their performance (Prue & Fairbank, 1981). Though this definition often provides a good general view of the procedures involved in an intervention, all too often the description stops there. Peterson (1982) emphasized just how insufficient the term feedback is in identifying functional variables affecting behavior. Now, 30 years after this publication, the term feedback is still being utilized in an imprecise manner. Even worse it is often in place of a more accurate description with operant principles. This talk will focus on the various ways in which feedback can be misused, and the implications this can have. Further parallels will be drawn between this and other commonly misused terms such as manding and reinforcement (in which we will revisit the debate on the utility of the positive/negative distinction).

Book Review Bonanza: From a Functional Analytic Approach, Performance Management, to Standard Celeration Charting!
RYAN LEE O'DONNELL (Florida Institute of Technology), Mark Malady (Florida Institute of Technology), Joshua K. Pritchard (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Many practitioners of behavior analysis complain about the difficulty in keeping abreast of the literature. They find it even more difficult to get started reading books in new areas. This presentation provides a review of three books in an energetic method that should help the audience plan the next additions to their reading list. This series of book reviews covers topics from methods of teaching, to a comprehensive understanding of behavior, and a method of performance-based pay. The diversity should insure at least one book of interest for all audience members, and includes The Blue Books: Goldiamond & Thompson’s Functional Analysis of Behavior (Andronis, 2004); The Sin of Wages (Abernathy, 1996); & Standard Celeration Charting (Graf & Lindsley, 2002).
What Every Student Should Know About Behavior Analysis
MARK MALADY (Florida Institute of Technology), Scott A. Miller (Florida Institute of Technology), Joshua K. Pritchard (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Graduate students in behavior analysis are often recruited by the impact of ABA-based treatment on autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, once in the field, a student of behavior analysis should quickly recognize it as a much more sophisticated and complex science than simply a treatment for ASDs. The current paper will take its audience on a tour of several treasures of behavior analysis that may have been missed, starting with Relational Frame Theory, an important approach to language and cognition that should be part of all behaviorist’s education! After this, a brief plunge into terminology will explore conjugate reinforcement schedules and contingency adduction and the scientist-practioner’s use of pairing. Our goal is to provide the audience with a rudimentary understanding of these diverse topics and tools that are not always covered in a graduate education. This talk will not leave one an expert on the topics, but we hope it serves to titillate the intellectually curious.



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