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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Special Event #298
Sunday, May 26, 2019
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Hyatt Regency East, Ballroom Level, Grand Ballroom CD North
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Darlene E. Crone-Todd (Salem State University)
CE Instructor: Darlene E. Crone-Todd, Ph.D.

CREATIVITY: Using the Science of Behavior to Engineer Creativity and Innovation in the Workplace


Since the industrial revolution, we have witnessed a steady decline in the need for unskilled labor as the workplace has become progressively more automated. This continuing trend has led to a greater value for new types of workplace behaviors, particularly those that contribute to employee creativity and organizational innovation. As such, modern researchers and supervisors need to investigate strategies that promote such valued novelty at work. This talk will draw upon the lessons from the science of behavior to explore factors that managers can practically influence.

DOUGLAS JOHNSON (Western Michigan University)
Dr. Douglas A. Johnson works as an assistant professor at Western Michigan University. He is the Director of Undergraduate Training for the Department of Psychology and Co-Chair of the Industrial/Organizational Behavior Management graduate program at WMU. He completed his doctoral degree in applied behavior analysis in 2009 from Western Michigan University. His publications and research interests are related to topics such as organizational behavior management, behavior-based instructional design, behavioral approaches to adult learning, computer-assisted instruction, performance feedback, motivation, and creativity.

CREATIVITY: Behavioral Approaches to Creativity: Novel Behavior, Generativity, and Contingency Adduction in Education


Generativity is the study of the conditions that produce novel responding in new circumstances, without directly programing them. This conceptualization has driven our Generative Instruction model of teaching and learning in educational settings. The thrust of Generative Instruction is to engineer discovery learning by arranging instruction of key component skills, facts, concepts and principles in such a way that students will engage more frequently in novel complex academic behavior without direct teaching, a process we call contingency adduction. We have discovered that complex behavioral repertoires emerge without explicit instruction when well-selected component repertoires are appropriately sequenced, carefully instructed, and well-rehearsed. In this presentation I will report our discoveries and investigations of generative responding in academic skill development as well as thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving development. The data that we will share have come from many classrooms across the United States, as well as an associated instructional design company. Our descriptive data show such consistent patterns that we want to share them with the wider behavioral community, in the hopes that other practitioners will join us in our inductive explorations, and that researchers will join us by conducting controlled studies of the contingency adduction in a variety of settings.

KENT JOHNSON (Morningside Academy)
Dr. Kent Johnson founded Morningside Academy, in Seattle, WA, in 1980, and currently serves as its executive director. Morningside is a laboratory school for elementary and middle school children and youth. Morningside investigates effective curriculum materials and teaching methods, and has provided training and consulting in instruction to more than 125 schools and agencies throughout the USA and Canada since 1991. Dr. Johnson has served in all the positions at Morningside, including classroom teacher for 10 years, financial manager, administrator, teacher trainer, school psychologist, and school consultant. He has published many seminal papers and books about research-based curriculum and teaching methods, including The Morningside Model of Generative Instruction: What It Means to Leave No Child Behind, with Dr. Elizabeth Street. Dr. Johnson also is a co-founder of Headsprout, Inc., now Mimio, a company that develops web-based, interactive, cartoon-driven instructional programs, including Mimio Sprout Early Reading and Mimio Reading Comprehension Suite. Dr. Johnson received the 2001 Award for Public Service in Behavior Analysis from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis. Before founding Morningside, Dr. Johnson was a professor at Central Washington University, director of staff training at the Fernald School in Massachusetts, and an instructional designer at Northeastern University in Boston. He received his M.S. (1974) and Ph.D. (1977) in psychology at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He received his B.S. in psychology and sociology from Georgetown University (1973).
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) explain the changing nature of work tasks and the challenges these present to Organizational Behavior Management; (2) explain how new workplace demands represent an opportunity to answer long-standing criticisms of the field of behavior analysis; (3) describe the implications of basic research on novelty and creativity and how it relates to potential best practices for organizational innovations; (4) describe 5 controlling variables that produce novel behavior; (5) define the 3 critical features of contingency adduction; (6) describe 5 variations of contingency adduction in education; (7) give examples of 5 variations of contingency adduction in education.



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