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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Special Event #411
ABAI Presidential Address: Now What Shall We Do?
Monday, May 28, 2012
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
6BC (Convention Center)
Chair: Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

ABAI Presidential Address: Now What Shall We Do?


They are beginning to listen to us even if they do not know that they are doing so. To be sure, we are not often getting enough credit for it and then made unfairly to share that credit with others, e.g., with economists. Yet they are employing the law of effect and following Skinner’s dicta; taxes are exacted in the form of reinforcement contingencies; school attendance is reinforced with money; New Year’s resolutions are converted to behavior carried out because their carried out promise is made contingent on consequence; everyone admits that children suffering from autism are helped by behavior analytic treatment and our work is recognized and appreciated by the parents; psychoanalysts are admitting they cannot do it all and cognitive therapists are giving homework; that is, they are recognizing that behavior is involved in therapeutic progress. Applied behavior analysts are now at long last recognized, yeah, even sought out and preferred. And we are now seeking out reinforcement for our behavior in our search for recognition by government, not just by fellow scientists. We have much to learn as we travel the bumpy road to further progress in both science and application. When we circle the wagons, and are feeling we must be armed, we load our guns; we must then adhere to but one basic principle: shoot out, not in!

KURT SALZINGER (Hofstra University)
Kurt Salzinger, Ph.D. is Senior Scholar in Residence at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. since January 2003. He was Executive Director for Science at the American Psychological Association (APA) from 2001 to 2003. He’s been President of the New York Academy of Sciences, has served on the Board of Directors of the APA, and been president of Divisions 1 (General Psychology) and 25 (Behavior Analysis), and of the American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology. He also served as the first Chair of the Board of the Cambridge Center from 1986–1988, subsequently as a member until 1991 and again a member of the Board from 2004 to 2007. He is author or editor of 12 books and over 120 articles and book chapters. The most recent book was edited with M. R. Serper in 2009: Behavioral Mechanisms and Psychopathology. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. He has varied research interests, including behavior analysis applied to human beings, dogs, rats, and goldfish, schizophrenia, verbal behavior of children and adults and history of psychology. He has both given grants (when a program officer at the National Science Foundation) and received them (when professor of psychology at Hofstra University and Polytechnic University of New York and Principal Research Scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute) for his own research. He received the Sustained Superior Performance Award from the NSF, the Stratton Award from the American Psychopathological Association, the APA Presidential Award and the Most Meritorious Article Award from the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. In 2002, he was Presidential Scholar for the Association for Behavior Analysis. In 2009-2010 he was elected president of the Eastern Psychological Association. He was elected president of the Association for Behavior Analysis International for 2011-2012.



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