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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Symposium #164
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Approaches to Environmental Consciousness and Sustainable Practices
Sunday, May 25, 2008
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Area: OBM/CSE; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jeanine Plowman Stratton (Furman University)
Discussant: Timothy D. Ludwig (Appalachian State University)
CE Instructor: Jeanine Plowman Stratton, Ph.D.

In response to the increasing social awareness of environmental concerns and subsequent adoption of sustainable practices for better environmental protection and preservation, this symposium will present data from a variety of studies using behavioral approaches, namely those specific to OBM, to help promote environmentally-conscious behavior. The studies include projects conducted on college campuses ranging from energy conservation, recycling, and "smoke free" zones. Data will be presented and areas of application for future implication and social significance of continued behavioral approaches to influencing environmental preservation will be discussed.

Lights Out! A Behavioral Approach to Energy Conservation.
GEORGE HANCOCK (Furman University), Jeanine Plowman Stratton (Furman University), Austin Johnson (Furman University)
Abstract: With today’s increasing sociological awareness of global climate change and environmental sustainability, many individuals and organizations are charging themselves with the task of reducing their own impact on the Earth. One of the objective ways that entities are going about implementing this overall impact reduction is through minimizing their carbon footprint, or the amount of CO2 emitted by their everyday operations. The participants in this study were members from four staff departments at a private university in the United States. A customized checklist was designed in order to measure such human behaviors as turning off light switches, turning off computer monitors and turning off lamps throughout each employee’s office and even shared spaces. Data were collected beginning with the baseline, next data during each intervention period and finally post-intervention data was collected. The results from this study show that with some intervention techniques, primarily verbal, the amount of wasted electricity can be significantly decreased. Additional post-intervention data is still being collected and will be presented.
The Use of Visual Feedback to Reduce Paper Use in a University Computer Lab.
MICHAEL C. CLAYTON (Youngstown State University), Gregory Diamantis (Youngstown State University), Nancy White (Youngstown State University)
Abstract: An enduring financial obstacle to operating student computer labs on campus is the amount of paper used by students. The labs are there for students, but paper use can become unnecessarily expensive and gratuitous. In addition to the paper itself, there are costs associated with the printing process (e.g., toner, parts, etc.) The present research used an ABABC reversal design to reduce both paper use and waste by providing visual feedback to students using a campus computer lab. Visual feedback reduced paper use by approximately 20% saving the university a considerable amount of money over the course of the study. Results are discussed in terms of the options available to administrators as well as the utility of expanded use across campus.
Decreasing Second Hand Smoke in Breathe Easy Zones at Florida State University: Strozier Library.
JENAY R. SERMON (Florida State University), Christina Cherpak (Florida State University, Panama City), Nicole Tilden Garcia (Florida State University, Panama City)
Abstract: Second hand smoke (SHS), also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) or passive smoke, is the inhalation of the side-stream smoke and mainstream smoke of smokers (smoke from the lit cigarette and from the smokers’ exhalation). SHS is responsible for an estimated 35,000 deaths of heart disease, 3,400 cases of lung cancer, and other respiratory problems such as coughing, phlegm, chest discomfort and reduced lung function. On the campus of Florida State University, second-hand smoke has been regulated through the designation of ‘Breathe Easy Zones’ throughout the campus. The legislation of the zones is not uniform and uncomfortable levels of second-hand smoke are continually observed in these designated ‘smoke-free’ areas. A multielement research design was employed to evaluate and intervene on the inappropriate smoking in Breathe Easy Zones. In order to reduce smoking in the zones, an intervention including signage and removing inappropriate cigarette dispensers from the Breathe Easy Zones was used to decrease smoking in these areas. Over the two intervention phases, smoking was reduced in the Breathe Easy Zones by 70%. This was a pilot study, due to the lack of data specifically appropriating smoking on college campuses. In conjunction with the administration of Florida State University, results can be used to modify the ‘Breathe Easy Zones’ and ensure better compliance with the university regulation.



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