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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W3
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
The ABCs of Behavior Analysis: The Basics, Their Interactions, and Their Implications
Friday, May 23, 2014
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
W185a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EAB/TBA; Domain: Basic Research
CE Instructor: A. Charles Catania, Ph.D.
A. CHARLES CATANIA (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), MARNIE NICOLE SHAPIRO (The Ohio State University), JOSHUA GARNER (The Ohio State University)
Description: In this workshop we will review selection of behavior by its consequences, contingencies of reinforcement and aversive control, stimulus control and attention, and sources of novel behavior. We will examine the rationales behind important behavioral language practices, such as specifying what is reinforced by what in arranging and/or interpreting reinforcement contingencies, describing behavior in the context of three-term or higher-order contingencies, distinguishing between positive and negative reinforcement, emphasizing the behavior of attending in analyzing stimulus control, and treating complex behavior in terms of multiple causation. We will identify and address misrepresentations of behavior analytic concepts and practices, as when ignoring is suggested as the most effective treatment for reducing unwelcome behavior, or when reinforcement is falsely equated with bribery, or when it is argued that reinforcement has hidden costs. Along the way we will consider benefits and pitfalls of translations between technical and colloquial vocabularies, as well as practices that tempt us to attribute behavior to weakly defined or unmeasurable entities such as feelings or emotions. We will also consider extensions of basic concepts and terminology to applications, particularly as reflected in the content of certification exams.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this workshop, the participant will be able to (1) discuss how behavior changes in terms of the selection of behavior by its consequences (as in shaping); (2) provide a behavioral criterion for distinguishing between positive and negative reinforcement; (3) discuss how attention enters into the acquisition of stimulus control; (4) distinguish between different arrangements for producing novel behavior; (5) analyze examples of complex behavior in terms of multiple causation and the interaction of basic processes; and (6) defend against critiques of behavior analysis that are based on misunderstandings of the basic processes.
Activities: The workshop will include presentations supplemented by visual materials and discussions, videos of some basic phenomena as they have been displayed in classroom demonstrations, and computer simulations of shaping and of reinforcement schedules. The basics of behavior analysis will be reviewed in the context of an organization developed for the new fifth edition of the presenter's book Learning (which may be useful to some participants but which is not required for this workshop).
Audience: This workshop is appropriate for BACB certificants and licensed psychologists as well as (1) students of behavior analysis, especially those completing degrees or preparing for certification examinations; (2) those seeking a refresher overview of basic phenomena; and (3) those teaching or assisting in courses covering the basics of behavior analysis. Those seeking an introductory treatment may also find this workshop appropriate, on the assumption that anyone attending these meetings will already have at least some familiarity with these topics from undergraduate coursework or independent reading.
Content Area: Theory
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): attention/discrimination, novel behavior, reinforcement contingencies, shaping



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