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

Event Details

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Symposium #270
CE Offered: BACB
Star Trek into Behavior: To Go Where No Behavior Analyst Has Gone Before
Sunday, May 25, 2014
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
W193a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: TBA/TPC; Domain: Theory
Chair: John W. Eshleman (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
CE Instructor: Darlene E. Crone-Todd, Ph.D.

To paraphrase Roddenberry et al: Behavior: the final frontier. These are the studies of the behavioral enterprise. Its symposium mission: to explore how strange new worlds, new life and new civilizations, enable us to "to boldly go where no one has gone before". The Star Trek franchise has been used to explore new social ideas, technology, and how we behave. In this symposium, we present multiple ways in which Star Trek has stimulated our own thinking about behavior analysis, and how it can be used in the classroom as both an analytical and teaching tool. Some of the topics to be covered include precision teaching, celeration charting, verbal behavior, emotional behavior, and other basic operant and respondent principles and procedures.

Keyword(s): Operant/Respondent, Precision Teaching, Principles/Concepts, Star Trek

Does Data have Feelings and Emotions? A Behavioral Analysis of a Star Trek Character

ANDY BONDY (Pyramid Educational Consultants)

A book by Richard Hanley asked Is Data Human? The metaphysics of Star Trek. Herein I will attempt to analyze a smaller aspect of Datas repertoire- does he engage in behaviors indicative of or influenced by emotions and feelings. Skinners analysis of language offered in Verbal Behavior provides tools to an observer about classifying particular aspects of verbal operants that may be viewed as related to the language of emotions. In part, these relate to tacting private events. Other behavior- notably autoclitics- often have subtle influences on the listener by indicating either a property of the speaker's behavior or the circumstances responsible for that property. This talk will review several examples which appear to support the presence of various autoclitics in Datas verbal behavior with the crew.

Encounters at Datapoints: Behavior Analysis Through Star Trek
DARLENE E. CRONE-TODD (Salem State University)
Abstract: The exploration of new planets, people, and species in Star Trek is a thinly veiled veneer for the study of human behavior in different, changing cultures. The questions explored in Star Trek allow us to study human behavior at a distance, both figuratively and literally. In this presentation, various examples from Star Trek will be provided regarding basic principles and procedures in operant and respondent conditioning, such as positive and negative reinforcement, punishment, shaping, chaining, and fading. In addition, there will be a brief discussion of how these principles are involved in the development of Commander Data’s positronic brain, which is usually attributed to cognitive circuitry in robotic androids. In addition, data will be presented regarding using Star Trek to teach behavioral principles in the classroom.

Star Trek 3: The Search for Standard Celeration Charts


The original Star Trek series took viewers on a bold voyage to the final frontier of space with alien life forms, exotic planets, and futuristic technology. Perhaps so many people fell in love with the series because of the inspiring messages delivered each episode: equality for all genders, races, and classes of people, solving ethical and societal issues through rationality and compassion, and the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Enterprise crew coming to the benefit of those in need. Showcasing how humanity could rise to great heights through superior technology combined with ingenuity also strikes a chord in all applied behavior analysts who aspire to create and implement socially valid interventions through the science of behavior. Precision Teaching, developed by Ogden lindsley, represents the science of measurement. As one of Skinners greatest graduate students, Lindsleys Precision Teaching allows behavior analysts to a strikingly futuristic visual medium called the Standard Celeration Charts. The current presentation will show behavior analysts how the Standard Celeration Chart helps behavior analysts analyze, interpret, and communicate data in a superior manner to the more common nonstandard linear graph. The themes of Star Trek will appear throughout the presentation.




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