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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #300
CE Offered: BACB
Spread the Word! An Overview of Some Current Interdisciplinary Applications of Behavior Analytic Dissemination
Sunday, May 28, 2017
4:00 PM–5:50 PM
Hyatt Regency, Granite
Area: OBM/CSS; Domain: Translational
Chair: Steven Anbro (University of Nevada Reno)
Discussant: Nicole Gravina (Florida Institute of Technology)
CE Instructor: Steven Anbro, M.S.

One challenge that behavior analysis consistently faces as a field is the dissemination of our science. The purpose of the present symposium is to present a variety of applications of behavior analytic research, both in conceptual and applied terms, that are fairly atypical when compared to a large portion of current behavior analytic research. The research we will present includes a number of current interdisciplinary applications of behavior analytic research and dissemination, drawing primarily from ongoing collaborative work with medical education while also discussing implications for future interdisciplinary work. Topics of discussion will include how behavior analysis can impact the quality of healthcare delivered to patients, how to systemically develop an organizational culture of wellness, the role of implicit bias and its effect on promoting diversity in the work environment, and how current applications of situational awareness training can pave the way for further interdisciplinary work with other scientific groups.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): ACT, Healthcare quality, Implicit bias, Situational awareness
Value-Based Care: An Open Door for OBM?
(Applied Research)
DAVID KELLEY (Florida Institute of Technology), Nicole Gravina (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: The United States spends more money on healthcare each year than any other country in the world. Despite high costs, the quality of healthcare in the United States is below average, resulting in a society that is far from “getting what it pays for.” High costs and poor quality has resulted in a recent paradigm shift from traditional fee-for-service systems where hospitals and providers were paid by volume of patients seen to value-based care, where they are now paid for quality of care provided. This shift of focus has pressured healthcare organizations to improve quality of care at a rapid pace by placing a special emphasis on key quality outcomes. The current presentation will assess the research Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) has conducted to address these quality outcomes in healthcare thus far and discuss avenues for future research to pursue. Finally, the presentation will discuss potential strategies for OBM consultants and researchers to enter the field of healthcare.
ACT Therapy vs ACTraining: A Behavioral Systemic Approach Towards Developing a Balanced View of Wellness in Higher Education.
(Applied Research)
ALISON SZARKO (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Psychological flexibility is a set of behavioral skills that increases an individual’s ability to adapt healthfully to the stressors of life. There is a growing body of research demonstrating the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for a wide-range of conditions including psychosis, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, chronic pain, and substance abuse. Concurrently, a growing body of research has also demonstrated ACT's effectiveness in nontherapeutic environments to aid in alleviating worksite distress, absenteeism, and sick leave. When delivered in nontherapeutic settings, ACT is often referred to as "Acceptance and Commitment Training" or "ACTraining". ACTraining is based on the same behavior analytic concepts and principles as ACT therapy and has the same analytic goals: increasing one's psychological flexibility. However, there are key topographical differences between the delivery of ACT therapy and ACTraining that have yet to be discussed in the behavior analytic literature, as well as, little to no work discussing the interlocked behavioral contingencies involved for an ACT-based technology to have a sustained effect within an organization. This paper will discuss the topographical distinctions between ACT therapy and ACTraining, as well as, a behavioral systems approach toward ensuring technological sustainability in a medical education.

Go With Your Gut? Examining the Role of Implicit Biases as They Relate to Diversity in the Workplace

(Applied Research)
JOVONNIE L. ESQUIERDO-LEAL (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno), Nicole Jacobs (University of Nevada School of Medicine)

Although diversity in the workplace has been a focal point for change over the last 50 years, a number of minority groups (e.g., women and people of color) remain underrepresented, especially in leadership positions. But resolving this issue is no easy feat. Despite decades of concern, stigmatization and discrimination are common in the social community. Moreover, biases in favor of one group over another still affect employee selection. As behavior scientists, we are poised to consider the effects of implicit biases and more importantly to determine how we might facilitate change for a more balanced workplace. To promote behavior analytic research in the area of diversity, the current paper will discuss the implications of developing training on diversity that identifies implicit biases and how one might effectively deal with such behavior. More specifically, it will emphasize the importance of utilizing empirically validated methods such as Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACTraining) to reduce social bias. Lastly, the paper will discuss proposed work using the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) and ACTraining as an additive component in diversity training at a community-based medical school.


Ignorance is Not Bliss: Applying a Behavior Analytic Approach to Situational Awareness Training

(Applied Research)
STEVEN ANBRO (University of Nevada Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno), Mark P. Alavosius (Praxis2LLC), Kenneth J. Killingsworth (University of Nevada, Reno)

Safety is a primary ongoing concern within many industries, with a particular emphasis being placed on the need to procedurally increase employee and consumer safety. Crew resource management (CRM) has historically emerged as a methodology within aviation for breaking down communication barriers and increasing safety for all parties. CRM has been a major factor in propelling aviation to the forefront as the safest method of commercial transportation available. One major component of CRM is situational awareness, or the ability of a flight crew to rapidly and accurately respond to conditions within a dynamic environment. Traditionally, situational awareness research within psychology has utilized subjective models and measures; this is primarily the case in medical training and general research in the area of situational awareness as well. By drawing upon the behavioral interpretations and current research on situational awareness, this paper will discuss the implications of the ongoing development for furthering our interdisciplinary collaboration with other scientific groups.




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