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 #476
Metacontingencies as a Tool to Analyze Cultural Practices on Brazil: Divorce, Public Policy to Starving Control and Handmade Fishing.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W190b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CSE; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Sigrid S. Glenn (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Sigrid S. Glenn (University of North Texas)

Metacontingencies is a very useful concept to analyse cultural practices from a behavior analytic standpoint. Some culture practices has been analyzed with the aid of this concept: sustainable practices, OBM, trash collect. This Symposium will present three braziliam cultural practices analyzed as metacontingencies: family practices, public policy of starving control and handmade fishing. Analyzing two communication vehicles and the official database of Brazilian government, family practices were described since the Divorce Law of 1977, 1988 and 2009. This law was the cultural consequence to divorces practices that already happened before the law. The divorces practices changed the family in Brazil, that has been presented to people by media and has been accepted. The public policy called Fome Zero (No Starving) is a conditional cash transfer program implemented since 2003, which provide money to poor families, contingent upon behaviors such as sending children to school or bringing them to healthcare centers on a regular basis. The policy is a consequence for individual practices and cultural practices. Its expected that these practices should be selected by Brazilian Government by another actions. The handmade fishing in Brazil is one of more frequent culture practices at coastal region and also often at regions with lakes and rivers especially by poor people. The fishing was described in metacontingencys terms and analyzed some variables that modify responses and IBC. The fine for fish at some periods is not enough to avoid the fishing. One consequence, individual and cultural, is very effective, the suspension of a public policy that gives from R$ 700-1000, only if the fisher is not caught fishing. All fisher can lose their licenses, fish and fishing material. It was possible to describe the IBC and the patterns changes on IBCS depending of vacations seasons.

Keyword(s): Applied metacontingencies, Applied research, Metacontingencies

CANCELLED: Analysis of the Behavioral Contingencies of the Programa Bolsa Familia's Conditionalities

VIRGINIA FAVA (Universidade de Brasília), Laercia Abreu Vasconcelos (University of Brasilia)

This study analyzes the behavioral contingencies in the regulation of Programa Bolsa Famlia (PBF). The PBF is a conditional cash transfer program implemented by the Brazilian National Government since 2003, which provide money to the 13 million poorest families, contingent upon certain behaviors such as sending children to school or bringing them to healthcare centers on a regular basis. The PBFs regulation was analyzed to identify the behavioral contingencies involved in educational and health conditionalities. This study found seven behavioral contingencies: one focused on beneficiary families behaviors, and the others on governmental institutions behaviors for monitoring the conditionalities. The analysis of these behavioral contingencies shows they are interlocked, and a new cultural practice is expected to emerge, resulting in two aggregated products: (1) the monitoring of the conditionalities compliance and (2) the increase of families demand for education and healthcare services. The cultural consequences that might select this cultural practice should be mediated by the Brazilian National Government, that decides to maintain the PBF, and by the society through social participation. Therefore, there is a functional relation between this cultural practice and its cultural consequences, indicating the emergence of a metacontingency.


The Divorce in Brazil: A Functional Analysis.

ANA RITA C. X. NAVES (Universidade de Brasília), Laercia Abreu Vasconcelos (University of Brasilia)

Several changes have occurred in the cultural practices of Brazilian families. Behavior Analysis, through the tools of macrocontingency and metacontingency, seeks to identify the controlling variables responsible for these changes. This study aimed to develop a historical description of divorce in Brazil between 1960 and 2010. The data was collected from historical and statistical sources and from the Brazilian law. 72 news from two communication vehicles were selected for analysis. Brazilian Family Law and data from Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics IBGE, an agency responsible for information about Brazilian population, were also analyzed. The results indicated that the Brazilian law of divorce, sanctioned in 1977, regulated a cultural practice that already existed. Changes in that law, made in 1988 and in 2009, resulted in modifications of behavioral patterns of Brazilian population. Other variables were also considered, as the intervention of the Catholic Church in this process and the role of the media in reporting these changes. A functional analysis involving contingencies, macrocontingencies and metacontingencies was developed indicating that these tools of analysis is useful to understand the evolution of cultural practices.


Fishing Practices and Their Products as Metacontingencies.

Ana Rita C. X. Naves (Universidade de Brasília), Laercia Abreu Vasconcelos (Universidade de Brasilia  ), DYEGO DE CARVALHO COSTA (Universida de Brasilia; Universidade Estadual do Piaui)

The surviving handmade fishing is an often practice on Brazil, specially by poor persons who live at coastal region, or close to rivers and lakes. In Brazil about 833,000 persons are licensed fishers. Brazil has a huge number of different kinds of fish and with this a lot of different fishing practices. Some period of time is forbidden to fish at rivers and lakes, cause is reproductive time, but even so, the fishing is maintained. After 2009 with the Fishing Law, these practices were transformed into an environmental crime and has as consequence the seizure of fish, licences and fishing material. But, over all this, the fisher caught could lose the money given by government to fishers that don't fish at these time. After that, the number of apprehension decreased. It was made interviews with fishers of Piaui's coastal about the IBCs of fishing practice. It was possible to describe that the pattern changes in function of season and vacation times, and demand. One specific fish needs not one, but two of three fishers of a handmade boat to drop and pull the net cause the fish is strong. For each class of fish different culture practices emerge. Only three fishers can fit into a boat, but there are at least six tasks, what make fisher to do more than one function. The persons in each function changes, but is common that one fisher to do initially the same function. One of the cultural consequences is beyond the public policy the social control exert by other fishers and the cooperatives of fishers that facilitate the selling of the fish. Of course, the selling is an important cultural consequence, that make some species run away from the coast, consequentially being every time harder to find. Because of this, the handmade fishers go to open sea to caught those fish and risk themselves into this practice.




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