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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Special Event #1A
CE Offered: BACB
Opening Event and Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis Award Ceremony
Saturday, May 25, 2024
8:00 AM–9:20 AM
Convention Center, 300 Level, Ballroom B
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (The Chicago School)
CE Instructor: Ruth Anne Rehfeldt, Ph.D.
SABA Award for Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis: Jay Moore
Abstract: The Importance of Contingencies Operant contingencies of reinforcement specify the relation among the antecedent circumstances of a response, the response itself, and a reinforcing consequence of the response. The study of contingencies is consistent with the thesis of selection by consequences in biological science, and forms the framework for the analysis and explanation of both nonverbal and verbal behavior. Just as nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution, nothing in a science of behavior makes sense except in light of contingencies.
JAY MOORE (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Dr. Jay Moore is a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He received his undergraduate degree from Kenyon College in Ohio in 1967, and his master’s degree from Western Michigan University in 1969 under David Lyon. He served in the US Navy from 1969 to 1972, then returned to graduate school at the University of California-San Diego, where he received his doctoral degree in 1975 under the late Edmund Fantino. He joined the Psychology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1977, and retired from there in 2015. He served on the boards of editors of several major journals in our field, as well as editor of The Behavior Analyst and Behavior and Philosophy. He also served as president of the Association for Behavior Analysis - International, in addition to holding various leadership positions with ABAI and as a faculty member at UWM. His principal interests are in the experimental analysis of behavior, and theoretical- philosophical-conceptual-historical topics. In the domain of the experimental analysis of behavior, he is interested in choice, conditioned reinforcement, and the effects of temporal distributions of reinforcement such as seen in delay discounting. In the conceptual domain, he is interested in radical behaviorism as a philosophy of science. He has published articles and chapters on experimental and conceptual topics in numerous journals and books, and is the author of two books: Conceptual Foundations of Radical Behaviorism (2008) and From a Behavioral Point of View (2015). He and his wife Betty have two adult children, David and Sarah, who both live in New York City.
SABA Award for Scientific Translation: Jomella Watson-Thompson
Abstract: The Uncommitted: A Behavioral-Community Approach to Advance Collaborative Action There is a plethora of societal issues that challenge our community health, development, and well-being. The application of a behavioral community approach used to advance community change through multisector collaboration is examined. The Youth Violence Prevention Center- Kansas City, a Center for Disease Control and Prevention National Center of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention, demonstrates the use of a socially valid approach to address violence as an issue of significant societal concern. The importance of collaboration with those uncommitted to institutions and ideologies but rather working together through a common commitment to advancing change and sustained improvement with and in communities is discussed. A challenge is posed to foster broader application and adoption of our science for societal impact through a collective commitment to multisector collaboration and engagement with diverse scholars, practitioners, and communities.
JOMELLA THOMPSON (University of Kansas)

Dr. Jomella Watson-Thompson is a professor of Applied Behavioral Science and a researcher affiliated with the Center for Community Health and Development. Dr. Thompson leads the Youth Violence Prevention Research Center- Kansas City, a Center for Disease Control and Prevention National Center of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention. Her research focuses on behavioral-community approaches to youth and community violence prevention, adolescent substance abuse prevention, and neighborhood and community development. She has examined the effects of community-based processes and behavioral-community interventions to promote mobilization and change in communities. Dr. Thompson also works with community collaboratives to examine social determinants or factors, including educational attainment and access to resources and supports, that may contribute to disparities experienced particularly for racial and ethnic groups and in underserved communities. She researches and promotes community-academic partnerships through community-engaged scholarship as an approach to foster sustainable change and improvement in communities. Dr. Thompson has received numerous funding awards and co-authored articles on community capacity-building, youth and neighborhood development, and adolescent substance abuse, and youth and community violence prevention. She serves on the Executive Council for the Association of Behavior Analysis International. She attained a Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychology, a Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Kansas, and a B.A. in Urban Studies from Jackson State University.

SABA Award for International Dissemination: Dermot Barnes-Holmes
Abstract: Stronger Together: Fostering Cooperation and Collaboration inside Behavior Analysis In reflecting upon the international dissemination of behavior analysis, and my own role in this sphere, I think it is important to recognize that we are too small a field to divide ourselves into even smaller sub-groups. Disseminating our science is rendered even more difficult if we are constantly embroiled in, what some may argue are, petty in-house conflicts. Such conflicts are perhaps in stark contrast to the tremendous overlap in the research that we are all doing, even if we often use different terms and concepts to talk about the behavior we are studying. In my own area, that of human language and cognition, we all seem to be aiming to develop a behavior-analytic, monistic, and naturalistic account of human language and thought that is devoid of mentalistic theorizing and speaks directly to practical concerns in educational, clinical, organizational, and other settings. In calling for a more collaborative or cooperative approach I are not suggesting that we all have to agree with each other in an anodyne manner and engage in empty gestures of mutual respect. Debate and disagreement should be welcome but only if it serves to bring greater clarity or progress for the field. An excellent example of the type of debate I am thinking of here may be found in the exchange between Willard Day and Murray Sidman in the series of letters between the two that Murray (1994) published in his volume, Equivalence Relations: A Research Story. In my brief presentation, I will use this exchange to highlight the advantages for all concerned in fostering a more cooperative and collaborative approach within our field.
DERMOT BARNES-HOLMES (Ulster University)
Dr. Dermot Barnes-Holmes graduated from the University of Ulster in 1985 with a B.Sc. in Psychology and in 1990 with a D.Phil. in behavior analysis. His first tenured position was in the Department of Applied Psychology at University College Cork, where he founded and led the Behavior Analysis and Cognitive Science unit. In 1999 he accepted the foundation professorship in psychology and head-of-department position at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. In 2015 he accepted a life-time senior professorship at Ghent University in Belgium. In 2020 he returned to his alma mater as a full professor at Ulster University. Dr. Barnes-Holmes is known internationally for the analysis of human language and cognition through the development of Relational Frame Theory with Steven C. Hayes, and its application in various psychological settings. He was the world's most prolific author in the experimental analysis of human behaviour between the years 1980 and 1999. He was awarded the Don Hake Translational Research Award in 2012 by the American Psychological Association, is a past president and fellow of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, and a fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis, International. He is also a recipient of the Quad-L Lecture Award from the University of New Mexico and became an Odysseus laureate in 2015 when he received an Odysseus Type 1 award from the Flemish Science Foundation in Belgium.
SABA Award for Enduring Programmatic Contributions: Teachers College, Columbia University
Abstract: Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis: Teachers College, Columbia University In 1981 Doug Greer, in conjunction with his graduate students from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Science and Teachers College, developed the Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling (CABAS®) model of education. CABAS® was designed to incorporate the findings in the science of behavior and its philosophy to all components of the schooling system (students, parents, organizational administration, teacher trainers, parents, and the university). CABAS® schools are driven by students’ learning that is continuously and directly measured. Application of the science involves continuous measurement as teaching tools. Student outcomes and research drive the curriculum at the university level. PhD students function as strategic scientists of teaching in their classrooms and train their MA teacher assistants. CABAS® School salaries have funded MA and PhD students for 43 years (264 PhD dissertations, more than 450 MA students). Today accredited CABAS® schools (see are in the USA, Korea, and England, with hundreds more CABAS® trained professionals in Ireland, Italy, Spain, Brazil, and China. Research contributions include: a strategic science of teaching and accelerated independent learning, identification and establishment of verbal developmental cusps, how ontogenetic verbal development affects instruction, conditioned reinforcement by denial, and effects of verbal cusps on learning to read and reading to learn.
R. GREER (Professor Emeritus Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), JESSICA SINGER-DUDEK (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Doug Greer is Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Education, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Teachers College of Columbia University and currently Senior Research Scientist for the Foundation for the Advancement of a Strategic Science of Teaching (FASST). He has served on the editorial boards of 12 journals, published over 200 research and theoretical articles in more than 23 journals and is the author, coauthor, or coeditor of 14 books and the ELCAR curriculum and inventory of repertoires for preschoolers. Two of his most recent books are translated into Korean, Spanish, Chinese, Italian and Portuguese. Greer has sponsored 264 doctoral dissertations, taught numerous teachers and psychologists, founded the Fred S. Keller School and the CABAS? model of schooling used in the USA, Korea, Spain, Ireland, Italy, China, and England ( He has been involved in basic and applied experimental research for 55 years in schools with students, teachers, parents, and supervisors as well as pediatric patients in medical settings. He and his students and colleagues have identified: (a) verbal and social developmental cusps and protocols to establish them when they are missing in children, (b) conditioned reinforcement by observation and denial conditions, (c) an organizational systems science of schooling, and (d) the stimulus control for incidental bidirectional naming. Doug is the recipient of the Fred S. Keller Award for Distinguished Contributions to Education from the American Psychology Association, a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, the ABAI award for International Contributions to Behavior Analysis, May 5 as the R. Douglas Greer Day by the Westchester County Legislature and the Jack Michael Award for Contributions to Verbal Behavior. The ABAI award for Enduring Contributions to Behavior Analysis to Teachers College Columbia University and CABAS® is scheduled for the May 2024 ABAI convention. He has served as guest professor at universities in Brazil, China, Spain, Wales, England, Japan, Korea, India, Ireland, Germany, Italy, USA, and Nigeria.
Dr. Jessica Singer-Dudek is the Director of Transdisciplinary Programs in ABA at Columbia University Teachers College. She also serves as a Senior Behavior Analyst Consultant to schools implementing the Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling (CABAS®) model, and serves as the CABAS® Professional Advisory Board Secretary/Treasurer. Dr. Dudek’s research interests include component analyses of successful behavior analytic models of education, teacher and supervisor training, verbally governed and verbally governing behaviors, establishment of early observing responses, verbal behavior development, conditioned reinforcement, and observational learning.
SABA Award for Effective Presentation of Behavior Analysis in the Mass Media: Stuart Vyse
Abstract: The Happy Accidents of a Writer’s Life I will offer some reflections on how I learned be a better writer and what drew me to write about behavioral science for a general audience. The talk will describe several ways the behavior analysis community supported my development as a writer and some fortunate events outside the field of behavior analysis that also contributed. I will give particular attention to the role of editors and reading for pleasure in the life of the writer.
STUART VYSE (Independent Scholar)
I am a behavioral scientist, teacher, and writer. I am a contributing editor for Skeptical Inquirer magazine, for which I write the “Behavior & Belief” column, both online and in print. I have written personal and professional essays in a variety of places, including the Observer, Medium, The Atlantic, The Good Men Project, Tablet, and Time. The first edition of my book Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition won the William James Book Award of the American Psychological Association and was translated into Japanese, German, and Romanian. An updated edition was published in 2014. My book Going Broke: Why Americans (Still) Can’t Hold On To Their Money is an analysis of the current epidemic of personal debt. The first edition was translated into Chinese, and the second edition was released in September of 2018 in both paperback and audiobook formats. In 2020, my book Superstition was published in the Oxford University Press Very Short Introduction series. The Spanish translation, Breve historian de la superstición, was published by Alianza editorial on January 13 (!), 2022. My latest book, The Uses of Delusion: Why It’s Not Always Rational to be Rational (Oxford, 2022), is out now in the US in hardcover, e-book, and audiobook. It will be published in the UK in August 2022. As an expert on superstition and irrational behavior, I have been quoted in many news outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and have appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, CNN International, the PBS NewsHour, and NPR’s Science Friday. See the In the Media page for recent quotes and appearances. I hold a PhD in psychology and BA and MA degrees in English Literature and am a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. The majority of my teaching career was spent at Providence College, the University of Rhode Island, and Connecticut College. My academic interests are in decision-making, behavioral economics, philosophy, behavior analysis, and belief in the paranormal.
Target Audience:

All convention registrants are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to: 
1) Discuss how the study of contingencies is consistent with the thesis of selection by consequences in biological science, and forms the framework for the analysis and explanation of both nonverbal and verbal behavior,
2) Describe how the application of a behavioral community approach may be used to advance community change through multisector collaboration, 
3) Discuss the advantages of fostering a more cooperative and collaborative approach to behavior analysis,
4) Describe how the Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling (CABAS®) model of education incorporates the science of behavior and its philosophy to all components of the schooling system, and
5) Discuss the role of editors and reading for pleasure in the life of the writer.



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