Association for Behavior Analysis International
|The Association of Behavior Analysis|
|Founded||Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.
The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to contributing to the well being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice. ABAI has over 6,500 members. It is committed to promoting the experimental, theoretical, and applied analysis of behavior.
The Association for Behavior Analysis (ABAI) started out as The Association of Behavior Analysis (ABA), which was founded in 1974. Some of the members included Sidney Bijou, James Dinsmoor, Bill Hopkins, and Roger Ulrich. The first ABA headquarters were located on the campus of Western Michigan University. ABAI was officially named such in 1978. The headquarters were moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2002. Today it is located near by in Portage, Michigan. The first annual conference of ABA was a response to a group of behavior analysis that was having problems presenting their work at conferences and other events. Today ABAI has about 6,500 active members worldwide. One can obtain an ABAI membership if they want to further education, practice, and research in applied behavior analysis.
ABAI offers different membership levels. A full membership is available for those who have a master’s degree in experiential or applied behavior analysis or have contributed to behavior analysis. An affiliate membership is feasible for those who have undergraduate credit and do not meet the criteria for a full membership or they have an interest in behavior analysis. A student membership is offered to anyone who is a full time undergraduate or graduate student, resident, or intern.
ABAI is the leading advocate in the United States for advances in behavior analysis and behavioral psychology in applied settings. They have made legislative efforts to expand the public’s knowledge of behavior analysis as well as funding for continuing research. ABAI supports the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB), the national certification organization for behavior analysis. The BACB assists the quality of both doctorial and master level programs that offer training in behavior analysis. ABAI is a member of the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological, and Cognitive Sciences (FABBS). FABBS consists of a group of scientific organizations that are interested in advancing science in areas of the brain, mind, and behavior.
ABAI organizes an annual convention dedicated to the advancements in the science of behavior analysis. More than 2,800 behavior annalists come to participate in workshops, poster sessions, “round-table” discussions, symposia, and listen to speakers. This year ABAI will be hosting their 41st Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Every two years ABAI hosts an international conference. This year it will be held in Kyoto, Japan. It has also been held in Spain, China, Australia, as well as many other places. In 2014, ABAI will be hosting its Ninth Annual Autism Conference focusing on science-based approaches to behavioral therapy.
ABAI offers many professions in the field of science, education, and applied behavior analysis. ABAI focuses heavily on research and provides members with information on grant writing. Through the Education Board, training programs are provided for undergraduate and graduate students. There are also several support committees available for people who practice applied behavior analysis.
Several categories of awards are given to individuals, organizations, and ABA research at the annual convention:
- The Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis is given to individuals who have contributed to behavior analysis over several years in teaching, practice, and or research. Sidney Bijou was presented this award in 2000 and J. Carl Hughes was presented this award in 2014.
- The Scientific Translation award is given to individuals who have either impacted the scientific applications of behavior analysis or have developed methods that addresses social problems linked to behavior analysis.
- The International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis award is given to an individual or organization that has notably contributed to the international development of behavior analysis. SEEK Education Inc. in Asia was presented this award in 2013. Andy Bondy was presented this award in 2012 for inventing the Picture Exchange Communication System.
- The Effective Presentation of Behavior Analysis in the Mass Media is given to anyone who writes or produces any form of media that educates the public about behavior analysis. Aubrey Daniels was presented this award in 2013. He is known for writing several books such as Bringing Out the Best in People. Alan E. Kazdin presented this award in 2010 and he is the current editor of The Clinical Psychological Science journal. James Partington was presented this award in 2000 for teaching language to children with autism and other developmental disabilities.
- The Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis award is given to any department or organization that contributes to the research and or development of behavior analysis. The Behavioral Pharmacology Research unit at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine was presented this award in 2014. This unit is well known for its clinical research in the field of behavior analysis as well as a program in research training. Currently they are studying substance abuse. The Experimental Analysis Behavior Research unit at the University of Auckland in New Zealand was presented this award in 2009. They are known for their research in observing individuals different choice and behavior responses when presented with a certain reinforce, stimuli, or method. The New England Center for Children was presented this award in 2005.
The Association of Applied Behavior Analysis International publishes four journals about behavior analysis various subjects of behavior analysis:
- The Analysis of Verbal Behavior is a collection of experiments and theoretical papers regarding verbal behavior and applied behavior analysis.
- The Behavior Analysis in Practice is a peer-reviewed journal that includes articles on how to efficiently practice applied behavior analysis.
- The Behavior Analysis is a journal that includes literary reviews, reinterpretations of published data, theoretical and experimental articles, and articles that discuss behaviorism as a philosophy.
- The Psychological Record includes articles concerning behavioral analysis, behavioral science, and behavior theory. It was founded in 1937 by J. R. Kantor.
- Craighead, W.E. & Nemeroff, C.B. (2004). Association for Behavior Analysis. In The Concise Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science. (3rd ed., pp. 87-88) Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons
- Kangas, B.D. & Vaidya, M. (2007). Trends in presentations at the annual conference of the association for behavior analysis. Behavioral Analysis, 30, 2, 117-131
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