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.


30th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2004

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #199
CE Offered: None

Behavioral Analysis and Medical Strategy: A Case Study in "Terminal" Cancer

Sunday, May 30, 2004
1:30 PM–2:20 PM
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Kennon Andy Lattal, Psy.D.
Chair: Kennon Andy Lattal (West Virginia University)
BEN A. WILLIAMS (University of California, San Diego)
Dr. Ben Williams received his PhD from Harvard University in 1970. For three years he taught at Colorado College before moving to the University of California, San Diego, where he has been on the faculty of the Psychology Department for 30 years. The research areas in which he has published include conditioned reinforcement, choice, behavioral contrast, delay of reinforcement, stimulus control, and Pavlovian conditioning. His current research also includes the investigation of the relation between intelligence scores and learning rate. Dr. Williams has been on the editorial boards of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, Animal Learning and Behavior, Learning and Motivation, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, and Behavior and Philosophy. He was recently elected to the Society of Experimental Psychologists (SEP). In 1995, Dr. Williams was diagnosed with brain cancer, an experience about which he wrote a book (2002): 'Surviving “Terminal” Cancer: Clinical Trials, Drug Cocktails, and Other Treatments Your Oncologist Won’t Tell You About’.

Existing medical treatments for many diseases are ineffective. Yet physicians persist in using the best available treatments even when they are known to be essentially worthless and cause considerable harm. Behavior analysis and clinical medicine have many similarities in terms of features of their data but differ markedly in their concepts of evidence. Adoption of behavior analytic concepts facilitate the problem solving needed to maximize clinical outcomes.




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