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.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Program by Special Events: Saturday, May 26, 2007

Manage My Personal Schedule


Special Event #2
Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior
Saturday, May 26, 2007
7:00 AM–11:20 AM
Randle AB
Chair: Alliston K. Reid (Wofford College)
ABA thanks the Society for Quantitative Analysis of Behavior (SQAB) for sponsoring tutorials focusing on quantitative analysis. ABA encourages its members to take advantage of the SQAB program that occurs immediately before the ABA program. The SQAB program includes many presentations on quantitative applications in behavior science. A separate registration fee and badge are required to attend the SQAB meeting.
Special Event #5
Newcomers' Session
Saturday, May 26, 2007
9:30 AM–10:20 AM
Gregory AB
Chair: John L. Michael (Western Michigan University)
An overview of ABA, its history, structures, and functions as an international locus of the field of behavior analysis. Awards, special interest groups, and other features will also be addressed. Dr. Michael, one of ABA’s original members, will review the origin and organization of ABA as well as describe the principles of behavior analysis that form the scientific foundation of the field.
Special Event #6
International Development Brunch
Saturday, May 26, 2007
10:00 AM–11:20 AM
Elizabeth DE
Chair: Simon Dymond (University of Wales, Swansea)
The international development brunch is scheduled for the first day of the convention to welcome international members and review the international development of behavior analysis being conducted at ABA. All members are welcome. We expect conference attendees from 30 countries to join us for food and conversation.
Special Event #8
Opening Event: Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis Awards
Saturday, May 26, 2007
11:30 AM–12:50 PM
Douglas BC
Chair: Frances K. McSweeney (Washington State University)
Award for Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis: Teodoro Ayllon (Behavioral Consultant)
Abstract: Early experimental research in applied settings showed that the social environment affects a wide range of human behavior through differential consequences. First, we demonstrated that staff in mental hospitals often maintain the patients’ symptoms by the social attention that they produce. Next, we demonstrated that most of these symptoms can be eliminated and adaptive ones established in their place by using a “real world” system of incentives for engaging in constructive, “normal” behavior. We have systematically replicated these findings in varied environments, including a medium-security prison, a school for the trainable retarded, regular schools, and, most recently, in a rehabilitation hospital. A parallel line of research on the influence of home environments indicates that parents can eliminate problem behaviors by differentially reinforcing their children’s adaptive behaviors. The cumulative results of these and other applied studies show that many of the human problems observed in clinical, rehabilitation, educational, and work settings can be minimized by altering the social environments to maximize adaptive behavior.
TEODORO AYLLON (Behavioral Consultant)
Dr. Teodoro Ayllon has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, and families. He lectures on a therapeutic approach that regards problematic behavior, largely, as a child’s effort to deal with, and control, his social environment. As it happens, the typical parental efforts to deal with problematic behavior have unintended consequences that tend to maintain negative patterns of behavior. Therefore, the treatment strategy is to replace ineffective parental practices with practices that encourage a child to seek positive experiences with his family. Dr. Ayllon is a Licensed Psychologist in the State of Georgia, and maintains a private practice in Atlanta. He is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Kansas, and his Ph.D. degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston in Texas. Dr. Ayllon is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and holds Board Certification, Diplomate in Clinical Psychology (ABPP). Over the years, Dr. Ayllon has served as a consultant to psychiatric hospitals, prison systems, schools, as well as private organizations and state and federal agencies. He has published over 80 scientific articles, and four books on therapeutic methods involving the emotional and behavioral problems of adults, teenagers, and children. They include, Ayllon & Azrin, The Token Economy: A Motivational System for Therapy and Rehabilitation, 1968; Ayllon, Milan, Roberts, & McKee, Correctional Rehabilitation and Management: A Psychological Approach, 1979; Ayllon & Freed, Stopping Baby’s Colic, 1989; Ayllon, T., How to Use Token Economy and Point Systems, 1999 (2nd Ed.).
Award for International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis: Eitan Eldar (Zinman College, Israel)
Abstract: During the past 20 years the education system in Israel has gradually changed its attitude towards behavior analysis – from rebuff to unswerving support. The planned process of dissemination was based on the following principles: training of educators from the various sectors; providing support in basic implementation of quality behavioral programs in schools; maintaining ongoing cooperation with superintendents; rehabilitating pupils with severe behavior problems with which the education system had not succeeded in coping and returning these pupils to the system; writing books in Hebrew; maintaining a systematic research replication program in areas pertaining to the improvement of behavior and the inclusion of pupils with difficulties; and using common language. A unique model was developed that integrated ABA with physical education and sport. This strategy helped to ease the introduction of ABA into the schools and many principals saw it as a suitable way to deal with severe challenges. Fading out the physical education component in some cases left ABA as the central educational means used by the school. The dissemination strategy, data about the graduates (three in the first year; 40 this year), and the extent of interest in ABA services shown by the education system will be presented.
EITAN ELDAR ELDAR (Zinman College, Israel)
Dr. Eitan Eldar is the founder and director of the Applied Behavior Analysis Center (Teaching, Community Services & Research) at the Zinman College in Israel. He has been widely acknowledged by the educational community for his extraordinary efforts to fulfill the goals, values, and mission of disseminating behavior analysis. He has written numerous papers and books, authored the first applied behavior analysis (ABA) textbook in Hebrew and served as the first chairman of the Israeli Association of Applied Behavior Analysis. Dr. Eldar designed a model for individual full inclusion in general education settings for autistic students that has been adopted by the Ministry of Education countrywide. Dr. Eldar has organized workshops and conferences on various topics related to the enhancement of services the ABA science can offer to improve the quality of daily living for parents, para-professionals, and educators. Throughout the past three decades, Dr. Eldar has been the leading supervisor of countless intervention programs aimed at helping children identified as having behavior difficulties or learning disabilities to successfully cope in regular educational settings. His unique innovative model, which integrates physical activity and games as a context for behavioral rehabilitation, has been warmly adopted by schools countrywide.
Award for Public Service in Behavior Analysis: Henry S. (Hank) Pennypacker (University of Florida)
Abstract: Over the past 25 years, basic behavior analytic concepts and terminology have slowly seeped into the vernacular of the culture. Terms like ‘reinforcement’ and ‘consequences’ are now in general use. Recently, two programs aimed at coping with urban poverty, notable for their use of incentives at the level of individual behavior, were launched amid widespread publicity. At least one is enjoying considerable success. Absent was any mention of the concept of contingencies or of the contribution of our field. Even as behavior analysis is now making implicit contributions in the public policy arena, there is an intense need for our expertise in the realm of international aid and development. Noncontingent dispersal of vast sums of aid money has created a number of cultural and humanitarian disasters and, in some cases, diminished our own national security. I will propose a mechanism that will give leaders in our field an opportunity to educate policy makers in the field of international development regarding the benefits of contingency analysis in organizations.
HENRY S. PENNYPACKER (University of Florida)
Dr. Henry S. (Hank) Pennypacker, Professor Emeritus in Psychology at the University of Florida, received his Ph.D. under Gregory Kimble from Duke University in 1962. Professor Kimble introduced him to Ogden Lindsley in 1961 and a lifelong friendship developed that led Hank into the field of behavior analysis. Focusing on education, Hank developed with Jim Johnston a behavioral technology of college teaching that influenced the careers of many leaders in the field. Later they produced a basic methods text, which will soon appear in its third edition. As Chairman of the Peer Review Committee in Florida during the late 1970s, Hank launched and led the effort to train and certify behavioral service delivery workers. This evolved into the present BCBA program. For the past 40 years, he has focused on building and disseminating a technology of proficient manual breast examination as a means of early detection of breast cancer. This serves as the platform for his work on technology transfer. Hank served as President of the Florida Association of Behavior Analysis and the Association for Behavior Analysis International, and has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies since 2001.
Award for Impact of Science on Application: Steven C. Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Current research seems to suggest that relational operants exist, they impact other behavioral processes, and that they are a core feature of language and cognition. If that is the case, we have a new way forward to deal with complex human behavior, but we are also likely to see a confusing period inside behavior analysis.
STEVEN C. HAYES (University of Nevada, Reno)
Dr. Steven C. Hayes is Nevada Foundation Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada. An author of 30 books and nearly 400 scientific articles, his career has focused on a behavioral analysis of the nature of human language and cognition and the application of this to new interventions. In 1992, he was listed by the Institute for Scientific Information as among the top 30 psychologists in the world based on the citation impact of his writings. Dr. Hayes has been President of Division 25 of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and was the first Secretary-Treasurer of the Association for Psychological Science (previously the American Psychological Society). He served a five-year term on the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse in the National Institutes of Health. In 2000, Division 25 awarded him the Don F. Hake Award for Exemplary Contributions to Basic Behavioral Research and Its Applications.
Award for Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis: The May Institute
Abstract: *Dennis C. Russo, Ph.D., ABPP will accept the award on behalf of May Institute. May Institute was founded in 1955 in the seaside village of Chatham, Massachusetts, by Dr. Jacques M. May and his wife, Marie-Anne. Their vision was to help children with disabilities, including their twin boys with autism, lead the fullest lives possible. Today, the Institute (annual budget, $100M) is one of the largest organizations of its kind in the world, with centers from Maine to Florida and Massachusetts to California. Each year, May Institute provides behavioral services to more than 26,000 children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities, brain injury, mental illness, and behavioral healthcare needs. The Institute’s 2,200 employees include more than 40 licensed and credentialed doctoral-level professionals with significant experience in behavior analysis–a concentration of expertise that rivals that of many universities. These senior-level experts are joined by over 50 staff with BCBA and BCABA certification. May Institute is unique in the extent to which it has systematically utilized the principles and methods of behavior analysis in its administrative organization and management practices. The majority of its executive and senior management staff, and over 90% of its senior clinical staff, hold doctoral-level degrees and/or BCBA certification and are highly experienced in behavior analysis.
DENNIS C. RUSSO (The May Institute)
Specialized programs for children and adolescents include six private schools for students with autism, a school for students with brain injury, and 22 community-based group homes. The Institute operates 77 group homes and 25 supported living apartments for adults with autism, developmental disabilities, or psychiatric disorders, and seven regional day treatment and vocational rehabilitation programs. Its 38 behavioral health programs for children and adults include clinics, hospital-based programs, and community drop-in centers. May Institute also provides home-based and early intervention services to well over 500 families and consultation to more than 200 public school systems annually. The Institute’s publication record over the past 25 years includes over 340 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and books. Its professional staff have conducted over 1,700 invited presentations to international, national, and regional audiences. In 1998, the Institute established an APA-accredited internship program with an applied behavioral track, and has since trained 67 pre-doctoral clinical psychology interns and 36 post-doctoral fellows. In partnership with May, Northeastern University offers a Master of Science degree in applied behavior analysis, which has been granted to over 740 graduate students to date. Perhaps the Institute’s most enduring contribution to the field has been its instrumental role in bringing behavior analysis into the public domain on an unprecedented scale, helping to bridge the gap that might otherwise exist between a research-based methodology and the mainstream application of that methodology. After five decades of unsurpassed expertise and exceptional care, May Institute continues to profoundly impact the lives of the children and adults it serves.
Award for Contribution to the Foundation of ABA: Jerry Mertens (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: Thanks to all involved in my receiving this award. My humble appreciation necessitates sharing the honor. Over the years some of you have extended individually your thanks to me for the early ABA effort, and heard my reply, “Thanks, but an individual never made a group.” Many good individuals stepped forth some 33+ years ago to make ABA function, and that same stepping forward is needed even more today. In my seven minutes, let me first look at some of the unsung heroes and heroines of early ABA, fun moments in our early history, and what I see as areas for future efforts within ABA. In my conclusion to a presentation at the ABA 25th Anniversary, I used a take off on the famous Kennedy quote, “Ask not what ABA can do for you, but what you can do for ABA.” Let us continue to work on the environmental conditions that generate in all of us in the ABA community contributions of time, talent, and/or money. If most ABA members live by this suggestion, our entire ABA community will be living a productive use of the terms heroes and heroines, considering the reservations Skinner wrote about on heroes and heroines.
GERALD C. MERTENS (St. Cloud State University)
Prof. Jerry Mertens had no intention of going to college following high school graduation. After three summer months of working in a tannery handling animal hides eight hours a day, he had learned the value of college. Jerry first considered psychology as a possible area of study after volunteering as a human guinea pig in the now infamous early 1950 military studies of LSD. Jerry’s undergraduate education in psychology was mentalistic and eclectic, where supposedly by a mysterious process all things learned would fall together in a useful fashion. In his undergraduate training, Dollard and Miller was the closest thing to a “Behavioristic” position given much attention. Jerry’s introduction to behavior analysis orientation came from sources not usually found in any of the usual “Early Behavior Analysis History Trees or Charts.” His introduction to behavior analysis was at “Ole Miss” (the University of Mississippi), where he was mentored by J. B. Wolfe, of “Chimp-o-mat” fame and Bill Crowder. Following Ole Miss, Jerry spent time at “Fort Skinner in the Desert” (Arizona State University) with Jack Michael as an advisor and powerful influence. From there, Jerry took a faculty position at St. Cloud State University, where, at 71 years old, he is currently starting his 43rd year.
Special Event #13
International SQAB Tutorial: Getting Started in Quantitative Analyses of Behavior
Saturday, May 26, 2007
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
Randle AB
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Alliston K. Reid (Wofford College)
Presenting Authors: : JAMES S. MACDONALL (Fordham University)

The purpose of this tutorial is to help those who are interested in attempting quantitative analyses. As an organizing theme I will use my experiences to provide some suggestions for how to get started. Included will be suggestions for organizing data using several common computer programs for data analyses, and for avoiding some of the pitfalls that await the unwary. While there will be something for everyone, I am going to focus on providing guidance to those not already engaged in quantitative analyses.

JAMES S. MACDONALL (Fordham University)
Dr. James S. MacDonall, associate professor of psychology at Fordham University, Bronx, NY, received his Ph.D. at Boston University in 1976, studying under Garry Margolius. While working at the Washingtonian Center for Addictions, he and Henry Marcucella of Boston University, developed the periodic availability (limited access) procedure, a method of increasing alcohol consumption of rats that has become a standard. At Fordham University, he showed that concurrent choice could be conceptualized as two independent choices: staying at the present alternative and switching from the present alternative. He also realized that an independent schedule of reinforcement could be arranged for staying and switching at each alternative and that it was the ratio of these stay and switch reinforcers that determined choice behavior. He then identified a new independent variable, the sum of the stay and switch reinforcers earned per visit at an alternative that also influence choice behavior. Because the results of these investigations were not always well described by the generalized matching law, he developed the at-the-alternative model of choice to describe performance in concurrent choice procedures. He is currently working on extending his analysis of choice to examine the influence of different magnitudes and delays of reinforcement. When not in the lab, or otherwise occupied at Fordham, Dr. MacDonall enjoys fly fishing, in fresh water for trout and in the salt for striped bass. His wife and son tolerate his passions for behavior analysis and for fly fishing.
Special Event #41
SQAB Tutorial: The Law of Affect
Saturday, May 26, 2007
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Randle AB
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Marc N. Branch (University of Florida)
Presenting Authors: : PETER KILLEEN (Arizona State University)
Abstract: Skinner divorced the Law of Effect from Thorndike’s satisfiers, and remarried it to a change in the frequency of the response being reinforced; the Operant Canon holds that reinforcers need not be pleasurable. But why then was our ability to be pleasured selected for over our evolutionary history? Is it in fact generally to our evolutionary advantage to increase the frequency of responses that are reinforced? Thorndike operationally defined satisfiers as a state of affairs that an animal does nothing to avoid, often doing things to attain and preserve. This tutorial urges us to replace Skinner’s version of the law with Thorndike’s; it reinterprets common experimental and applied methods and analyses in Thorndike’s terms; it invites us to take pleasure in taking pleasure back into our analyses, and to savor the possibilities of this old fashioned revolution in our analyses.
PETER KILLEEN (Arizona State University)
Dr. Peter Killeen A confirmed hedonist, Killeen has spent his life approaching satisfiers. Satiated easily, he roams restlessly from one state of affairs to another, seeking ways to feel good about data. As an assistant professor, he had trouble choosing, and so studied choice. As an associate professor he was always aroused, and so studied adjunctive behavior and other passionate, if ill-conceived and counter-productive, behaviors. As a professor, he felt time was running out, and turned to its study. Alas, he found to his shock and dismay that time only went faster when he was having fun studying it, which brought his mood, and the speed of time, back down to earth. He now avoids that annoying state of affairs. Recognizing finally that his restlessness was symptomatic, he spent a year at the Centre for Advanced Study in Oslo, studying Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). He had a wonderful time, but it did not increase the frequency of his studying ADHD. Instead, he lashed out at others, nothing in particular, and wrote a behavioral manifesto against null-hypotheses significance testing: That sadistic practice provides no Sd’s, which is, he argued, one of the things that take much of the pleasure out of doing research. He currently is studying probability, coming to suspect that the stochastic view is yet another just-so story. Where this intellectual vagrant will go next we cannot say; but we suspect he will carry a smile with him.
Special Event #69
SQAB Tutorial: Stimulus Control
Saturday, May 26, 2007
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Randle AB
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Thomas Zentall (University of Kentucky)
Presenting Authors: : ROBERT COOK (Tufts University)
Abstract: Stimulus control is one of the essential features of behavior, as animals learn to differentially behave to specific stimuli in a remarkably wide variety of settings. This important capacity allows animals to adaptively organize their behavior to both present and future situations. This tutorial will provide an overview of this topic, its fundamental methods, established principles and mechanisms, and outstanding problems and issues. These themes will be illustrated in part by new advances in the study of object perception, the relationship between stimulus-specific and relationally-controlled modes of behavior, and the organization of behavior over time.
ROBERT COOK (Tufts University)
Dr. Robert Cook has studied animal cognition and behavior for over twenty-five years. His National Science Foundation-supported comparative research has focused extensively on stimulus control, discrimination learning, and memory in animals. He has made important advances in our understanding of the specific mechanisms of object perception, selective attention, long-term memory, and relational learning in birds. He is chair of and a Full Professor in the Psychology Department at Tufts University. He received his B.S. in Psychology from The Ohio State University and his Ph.D. in Biopsychology from the University of California, Berkeley. He was also a National Research Service Award postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston before his position at Tufts. He is currently the co-editor of Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews and has been on the editorial broad of the top journals in animal cognition. He has also been very active in broadening the impact and public visibility of the area's scientific work by use of the Internet with the publication of the multimedia cyberbooks, Avian Visual Cognition, and the upcoming volume, Animal Spatial Cognition.
Special Event #82
CE Offered: BACB
Symposium in Honor of Sidney W. Bijou: Scientist, Clinician, Humanitarian
Saturday, May 26, 2007
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
Molly AB
Area: DEV; Domain: Theory
Chair: Gary D. Novak (California State University, Stanislaus)
CE Instructor: Gary D. Novak, Ph.D.

At the age of 98, Sidney Bijou continues to be an inspiration to generations of behavior analysts all over the world. For more than 60 years, Sidney W. Bijou helped found and foster two major movements in behavior analysis: a behavior analysis of child development, and applied behavior analysis with children with special needs. This symposium will chronicle the distinguished career of Bijou from his recruitment by Skinner to the Psychology Department at Indiana through his days at the University of Nevada Reno. Additionally, Bijous influence on the internationalization of behavior analysis will be described. As well as documenting the individuals influencing and influenced by Bijou, the speakers will also present many of the methodological, theoretical, and clinical contributions Sidney Bijou has made over his long and distinguished career.

The Early Contributions of Bijou: The Development of Behavioral Development.
HAYNE W. REESE (West Virginia University)
Abstract: After receiving his doctorate from Iowa, Bijou was recruited by Skinner to direct a new clinical psychology program at Indiana. My paper will look at Bijou’s career at Indiana and Washington. I will describe the important personal, scientific, and clinical experiences that led to development of methodology for the study of functional relationships and contributions to the theory of behavioral development and applied behavior analysis.
Sidney W. Bijou: The Illinois Years, 1965-1975.
EDWARD K. MORRIS (University of Kansas)
Abstract: This paper describes Sidney W. Bijou’s (b. 1908) activities, accomplishments, and contributions during his tenure at the University of Illinois between 1965 and 1975. While there, he was a professor in the Department of Psychology, a member of the Institute for Research on Exceptional Children, and the director of his own Child Behavior Laboratory (CBL). The CBL housed two laboratory preschools, a center for teaching and research, and offices for students and staff. Among his scholarly and professional activities, Bijou directed the laboratory preschools, refined behavioral assessment tools and procedures, advanced behavioral interventions with children, elaborated his behavior-analytic theory of development, and contributed to the international dissemination of behavior analysis (e.g., to Mexico, Japan). Among the particulars, this paper reviews Bijou’s contributions to the literatures in child development and behavior analysis (e.g., books, articles), his service and leadership roles in both fields (e.g., founding and editing the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology), and his teaching and mentoring (e.g., courses, graduate advisees). Bijou retired from the University of Illinois in 1975 as a professor emeritus.
Tales from the Desert: Sid’s Time at Arizona and Nevada.
PATRICK M. GHEZZI (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: This paper is given to reflections on my personal and professional relationship with Sid Bijou at The University of Arizona (1984-1992) and the University of Nevada (1994-2000). The development of a method for studying linguistic behavior from an interbehavioral point of view highlighted our professional activities at Arizona. During this time, Arizona basketball ascended to national prominence, giving Sid an outlet for his passion for sport and giving me the opportunity to spoof him in a most memorable way. Sid’s professional activities at Nevada centered on his role as the co-founder of UNR’s Early Childhood Autism Program. His resurgence as a clinician exposed the reasons why he choose a career in psychology in the first place, why he was so successful at it, and why it’s never too late to have a second childhood.
Bijou's Influence on the Study of Child Development in Mexico and His Kantorian Notion of Setting Factors.
MARTHA PELAEZ (Florida International University)
Abstract: This paper I will first provide a brief historical account of Bijou's influence on the study of behavior analysis of child development in Mexico and his publications in Spanish language. Second, I will elaborate on Kantor's (1959) influence on Bijou's notion of setting factors in behavior analysis of human development and the diverse categories they identified. I will end with some clarifications on the meaning of behavior analysis of child development.
Special Event #96
SQAB Tutorial: Time, Uncertainty, and Anticipation
Saturday, May 26, 2007
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Randle AB
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Ralph R. Miller (State University of New York, Birmingham)
Presenting Authors: : PETER BALSAM (Columbia University)
Abstract: Even in the simplest of conditioning procedures animals learn about temporal relationships between events, sometimes over long delays. The encoding of temporal information seems to be automatic and occurs from the very start of learning. The temporal information affects how long it takes for conditioned responses to emerge and the form and timing of the learned behavior. Formal information theory applied to temporal signals provides an accurate description of the speed with which anticipation develops. The sense of time may even be the scaffolding on which experience is encoded.
PETER BALSAM (Columbia University)
Dr. Peter Balsam received his B.S. in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He then earned his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro in 1975 in experimental psychology. Balsam is the Samuel R Milbank Professor of Psychology at Barnard College of Columbia University where he is also a former Chair of the Psychology Department and Director of Neuroscience and Behavior Program. Dr. Balsam has served on numerous editorial boards and grant panels. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also the past-president of the Eastern Psychological Association. He has published on the mechanisms of Pavlovian conditioning, new response learning, the role of learning in behavioral development, and on how time affects learning and performance.
Special Event #101
Presidential Scholar's Address: The Acquisition of Skilled and Expert Performance through Deliberate Practice
Saturday, May 26, 2007
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Douglas BC
Chair: Thomas S. Critchfield (Illinois State University)
Presidential Scholar's Address: The Acquisition of Skilled and Expert Performance through Deliberate Practice
Abstract: Much of our scientific knowledge about principles of learning derives from studying how the environmental reinforcement contingences can shape and control the acquisition of comparatively simple behaviors in animals as well as children with mental and physical disadvantages. Dr. Ericsson’s talk will propose how a scientific analysis can be extended to the acquisition of the most complex of human achievements in domains of expertise, such as sports, ballet, chess, and medicine. The focus of this talk will be on the stable reproducible aspects of elite performers’ superior performance, how it is possible to capture this performance repeatedly under laboratory conditions to uncover the mechanisms, mediate, and explain the superior level of achievement. These discovered mechanisms have been shown to reflect predominantly complex adaptations and skills acquired over a decade as a result of high daily levels of activities, which are specially designed to improve performance (deliberate practice). The effects of extended deliberate practice are remarkably far-reaching and can account for anatomical and physiological adaptations of elite athletes and musicians as well as qualitative changes mediated by acquired cognitive skills. Consequently, the development of expert performance appears to be primarily limited by the quality of the training environment and individuals' engagement in deliberate practice.
K. ANDERS ERICSSON (Florida State University)
Dr. K. Anders Ericsson is presently Conradi Eminent Scholar and Professor of Psychology at Florida State University. He received his B.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from University of Stockholm, Sweden, and moved to a post-doc with Herbert Simon at Carnegie-Mellon University. Their work is summarized in Protocol Analysis: Verbal Reports as Data (1984/1993). Currently he studies the cognitive structure of expert performance in domains such as music, chess, and sports, and how expert performers attain their superior performance by acquiring complex cognitive mechanisms and physiological adaptations through extended deliberate practice. He is a co-editor of Toward a General Theory of Expertise (1991) and The Road to Excellence: The Acquisition of Expert Performance in the Arts and Sciences, Sports, and Games (1996). He is the lead editor for Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance (2006), which has been prominently discussed in New York Times Magazine, Scientific American, Fortune, and New Scientist. He is a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science. He has published over 150 publications in Science, American Scientist, Psychological Review, Annual Review of Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, and Trends in Cognitive Sciences. His Web page is
Special Event #122
Behavioral Bash
Saturday, May 26, 2007
10:30 PM–12:30 AM
Douglas BC
Chair: Marianne L. Jackson (University of Nevada, Reno)
ABA welcomes all of its members to San Diego. Join us for a night of entertainment and fun. We will have some talent from within our very own membership – yes, behavior analysts do have other talents! This will include our ever popular skit competition, awards, and entertainment from local talent. We hope to see you all there!



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