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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Invited Tutorial #96
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
SQAB Tutorial: Relapse
Saturday, May 27, 2017
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom D
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Timothy A. Shahan, Ph.D.
Chair: John A. Nevin (University of New Hampshire)
Presenting Authors: : TIMOTHY A. SHAHAN (Utah State University)

The recurrence of previously eliminated operant behavior (i.e., relapse) represents a challenge to the long-term success of a wide variety of behavioral interventions. This tutorial will provide a review of common relapse phenomena (e.g., reinstatement, renewal, resurgence) using examples from both basic research and applied settings. A major emphasis will be on providing user-friendly descriptions of existing theories of relapse, especially theories of resurgence. Theories discussed will be Behavioral Momentum Theory, Context Theory, and Choice Theory. The successes and failures of these theories will be addressed, as will areas in need of additional empirical and theoretical development. Finally, translational relevance will be discussed by considering how insights provided by the theories might be used to prevent or reduce relapse following common behavioral interventions (e.g., DRA). This presentation will also serve as an introduction to a panel discussion on the application of theories of relapse.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Certified behavior analysts, graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the event, the participant will be able to: (1) identify common relapse phenomena; (2) describe current theories of relapse of operant behavior; (3) identify strengths and weaknesses of current theories of relapse.
TIMOTHY A. SHAHAN (Utah State University)
Dr. Timothy A. Shahan received his Ph.D. in Psychology from West Virginia University in 1998. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Vermont, and then a Research Assistant Professor at the University of New Hampshire until 2003. He was the 2006 recipient of the B. F. Skinner Young Researcher Award from Division 25 of APA. He is presently a Professor in the Psychology Department at Utah State University. Dr. Shahan's research focuses on resurgence, behavioral momentum, choice, and conditioned reinforcement. For approximately a decade, a major emphasis of Dr. Shahan's research has been the development and evaluation of quantitative theories of relapse. His research has been supported by various institutes at NIH including NIMH, NIAAA, NIDA, and NICHD. Dr. Shahan is a Fellow of ABAI and has served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, president of the Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, and chair of the Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology study section at NIH.
Keyword(s): behavioral momentum, choice, relapse, resurgence



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