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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Invited Tutorial #195
CE Offered: BACB
The Role of Choice Making in School
Sunday, May 25, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W196b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Cynthia M. Anderson, Ph.D.
Chair: Cynthia M. Anderson (Appalachian State University)
Presenting Authors: : STEPHANIE M. PETERSON (Western Michigan University)

"Choice" can be viewed in at least a couple of different ways in school settings. First, it can be viewed as a discrete skill children must display when faced with a choice opportunity. For example, a teacher may say "Do you want chocolate or white milk with your lunch?" To make a choice in this context, the child must display a specific response to indicate his or her choice. Second, it can be viewed as a free operant, in which a discrete "choice" response is not displayed. Rather, in this situation, allocation of behavior is examined. For example, when a teacher asks a question, a child could either shout the answer out or raise his/her hand. This second situation is often misunderstood as a "choice" context. This tutorial will discuss the concept of "choice" in school settings, how choice responding is taught and managed, and the role choice can play in effective behavior management.

STEPHANIE M. PETERSON (Western Michigan University)
Dr. Stephanie M. Peterson, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is a professor and chair in the Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University. Dr. Peterson earned her doctorate in special education from the University of Iowa in 1994. She has taught courses in behavior analysis and special education at several different universities (Gonzaga University, Utah State University, The Ohio State University, and Idaho State University). She also served as chair of the Department of Special Education, School Psychology, and Literacy at Idaho State University. Dr. Peterson is senior co-editor of Education and Treatment of Children and has served on or currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Behavior Analysis in Practice, to name a few. Dr. Peterson is also an elected member of the Board of Directors for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Her research interests include the assessment and treatment of problem behavior in individuals with developmental disabilities, choice making, functional communication training, and behavior analysis in education.
Keyword(s): choice, education



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