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.


39th Annual Convention; Minneapolis, MN; 2013

Event Details

Previous Page


Special Event #10
Opening Event and the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis Awards Ceremony
Saturday, May 25, 2013
11:30 AM–12:50 PM
Main Auditorium (Convention Center)
Keyword(s): opening event, saba awards
Chair: Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

Award for Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis: Kennon Andy Lattal, Ph.D.


As the defining feature of his professional life since his junior year of college, behavior analysis has imparted many gifts to Dr. Kennon Andy Lattal. These simple gifts cover the breadth of his experiences with the conceptual foundations, empirical database, methods, and people with whom he worked and collaborated with throughout the years. In this brief talk, Dr. Lattal will reflect on some of those experiences and the people responsible for them—how they have shaped his behavior in and out of the classroom and laboratory; what he has learned (and has not learned) as a result of these broad, diverse contacts; and what he would have others take away from his accumulated history of being a researcher, teacher, observer, participant, and fellow traveler with colleagues, students, and many friends in our fine discipline.

KENNON ANDY LATTAL (West Virginia University)
Dr. Kennon Andy Lattal is Centennial Professor of Psychology at West Virginia University. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Alabama and joined the WVU faculty in 1972. He has written 140 research articles and chapters on conceptual, experimental, and applied topics in behavior analysis and edited seven books and journal special issues, including the American Psychological Association’s memorial tribute to B. F. Skinner. He has mentored 40 doctoral students and every faculty member of WVU’s Behavior Analysis Program since 1982. He was coordinator of that program from 1982 to 2012. A former president of the Association for Behavioral Analysis International, the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis, the American Psychological Association’s Division 25, the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and Southeastern Association for Behavior Analysis, Dr. Lattal also served on the oversight and various working committees of these organizations. He has been elected to editorial boards of eight professional journals, and is a former editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. His activities have been acknowledged through several awards, including major teaching awards from WVU, APA’s Division for the Teaching of Psychology, and ABAI. In addition to his named professorship, WVU recognized his scholarly work with its Benedum Distinguished Scholar Award and APA’s Division 25 with its Distinguished Contributions to Basic Research Award. He has taught and conducted research at several U.S. universities and in six other countries, culminating in spending the 2011-12 academic year at Université Charles de Gaulle in Lille, France, as a Fulbright research scholar.  

Award for International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis: SEEK Education, Inc.


SEEK Education, Inc. will be represented by Sharon Chien, SEEK founder and chair, as it receives this award. An 8-minute video of SEEK Education’s record will show its dedication and commitment toward advancing the study and training of applied behavior analysis throughout Asia, and to introduce the organizations and the people who have been benefited from the science of ABA through SEEK’s dissemination work and its enthusiasm of learning and applying ABA. Organizations SEEK works with include the Wuhan Hospital, Autism Society of China, Central China ABA Association, Taiwan ABA Association, and Shenzhen Autism Society. SEEK also expresses gratitude and excitement about bringing ABA into its educational system.

SHARON CHIEN (SEEK Education, Inc.)

Award for Scientific Translation: George E. Bigelow, Ph.D., and Maxine L. Stitzer, Ph.D.


Drugs of abuse are powerful positive reinforcers that promote and maintain substantial and often escalating amounts of drug seeking and drug taking behavior. Our pioneering research showed that behavioral principles could be usefully applied to the study and treatment of substance-use problems and that drug-taking behaviors could be readily influenced by appropriate scheduling of consequences. We specifically demonstrated that alternative positive reinforcers, including treatment clinic privileges and cash payments, could be used effectively in an operant conditioning paradigm to compete with powerful drug reinforcers and support drug abstinence versus drug-seeking behaviors. This early translational research has led to a substantial and growing body of work clearly supporting utility of the operant behavior analytic approach to substance-abuse problems. It also has led to development of incentive-based contingency management interventions that can effectively compete with drug reinforcement and that have been widely studied and adopted as an evidence-based treatment intervention.

GEORGE E. BIGELOW (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), MAXINE STITZER (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit)
George Bigelow, Ph.D., is a professor of behavioral biology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he is director of the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, and director of its postdoctoral research training program on the human behavioral pharmacology of substance abuse. After undergraduate training at the University of Maryland, his graduate and postdoctoral training in experimental psychology and psychopharmacology were at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Bigelow’s research has focused on the determinants and consequences of human drug self-administration, and on the use of behavior analysis methods in the study and treatment of substance abuse. His research has included—alcohol, tobacco, heroin, cocaine, and other substances—and has included controlled human laboratory research demonstrating drugs functioning as reinforcers and the controllability of drug self-administration by its consequences, as well as outpatient clinical trials of incentive-based behavior therapies both alone and when integrated with pharmacotherapies. He and Maxine L. Stitzer have worked together for several decades in applying behavior analysis principles and methods to the study and treatment of substance-use problems and to the translation of behavioral principles from the laboratory to broader clinical therapeutic application. 
Dr. Maxine Stitzer is a research psychologist and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, a nationally recognized drug abuse research laboratory. Her extensive grant-supported research program has focused on both pharmacological and behavioral approaches to the treatment of substance abuse and reflects active research interests in both illicit drug abuse (opiates, stimulants) and tobacco dependence. She has published more than 250 scientific papers, co-edited a book on methadone treatment, served on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Smoking Cessation Clinical Guidelines panel, and founded a model psychosocial counseling program at Johns Hopkins for opiate and cocaine users. She currently heads the Mid-Atlantic Node of the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network (CTN), which conducts research in community clinics on both new and existing treatments and promotes adoption of effective treatments into clinical practice. She is well known for her pioneering work on contingency management approaches in substance-abuse treatment, designed to enhance motivation for positive behavior change and particularly effective for promoting abstinence from drugs. She has been the recipient of numerous federal research grants and several awards for outstanding contributions to behavioral science research.

Award for Enduring Programmatic Contributions to Behavior Analysis: University of São Paulo Experimental Psychology Graduate Program


The Behavior Analysis Area of the Experimental Psychology Graduate Program of the University of São Paulo in Brazil strives to strengthen the theoretical and experimental research in behavior analysis, train new researchers and teachers, play a role in the training of behavior analysts, promote the participation of students in supervised systematic investigations, and function in the context of multidisciplinary integration with the neurosciences and ethology branches of research in the program. The program was created in 1970 and was approved by the Brazilian Federal Government to operate at the master’s degree level in 1970, and at the doctoral level in 1974. Its creation evolved from Fred Keller’s first visit to Brazil in 1961 after he created the first cohort in Experimental Analysis of Behavior at the university. The program has received support in the form of scholarships for master’s, doctoral, postdoctoral, and research productivity, and project financing from Brazilian FIPSE (CAPES), National Council for the Development of Science (CNPq), National Foundation for Education and Research (FINEP), and São Paulo State Foundation for Research Support (FAPESP). It also was part of the only research group in Brazil in psychology and behavior analysis to receive a national project grant from the National Institute of Science and Technology. Also, the program has received the highest government national grade (7 on a scale of 3-7) for the most recent 3-year evaluation periods. The program faculty collaborates with many foreign institutions and researchers, and has worked on journals such as The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, The Journal of Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and The Brazilian Journal of Behavior Analysis as peer reviewers. Faculty members also hold leadership positions in scholarly and service organizations such as ABAI, the Council of Brazilian Society of Psychology, and the Brazilian Association of Psychology.

MARTHA HÜBNER (University of São Paulo, Brazil)

Award for Effective Presentation of Behavior Analysis in the Mass Media: Aubrey Daniels, Ph.D.


Can Behavior Analysis Be “Funalicious?”: It is a myth that if you “build a better mouse trap, the world will beat a path to your door.” Everyone here believes that we have a better way to deal with most of the world’s problems because all of them require, in the beginning, middle or end, someone’s behavior to solve them. With a technology that is able to address the pressing problems of the world you would think that some of us would be inundated with requests to appear on the morning talk shows, Oprah, TED Talks, The Tonight Show, hounded for interviews, and be quoted by bloggers daily. However, that is far from the case. Dr. Aubrey Daniels has said for many years that we have the best kept productivity secret in the world; not that we planned it that way but that is the way it has worked out. The best that we can say is what the Marines say, “We are the proud, the few, the Marines.” Let’s face it. There are almost no marketing people among us. That is certainly our “sweet spot.” By training we expect our results to speak for themselves. They may, but not fast enough to reach Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, at least in my lifetime. It is time for us to spread the word about our technology in a way that we will impact many of the daily problems of living that prevent billions of people in the world from living productive and happy lives. It is a noble undertaking worth pursuing. Not that I have all the answers, but I do have a few.

AUBREY C. DANIELS (Aubrey Daniels International, Inc.)

Aubrey C. Daniels, Ph.D., is the world’s foremost authority on applying the scientifically proven laws of human behavior to the workplace. Daniels helps the world’s leading organizations employ the timeless principles of behavioral science to re-energize the workplace, optimize performance, and achieve lasting results. His management consulting firm, Aubrey Daniels International (ADI), works with business leaders in more than 20 countries to develop management strategies that reinforce critical behaviors vital to their long-term success. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, the firm was founded in 1978. Daniels is the author of six best-selling books widely recognized as international management classics: Bringing out the Best in People, Performance Management, OOPs!, Other People’s Habits, Measure of a Leader with James E. Daniels, and Safe by Accident? co-authored with Judy Agnew, Ph.D. His books have been translated into Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and French and have been licensed in China, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Romania, and Saudi Arabia. He lives in Tucker, GA, with his wife, Becky. He has two daughters, two grandsons and one granddaughter.

Keyword(s): opening event, saba awards



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh