Association for Behavior Analysis International
|The Association of Behavior Analysis|
|Founded||Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.
|Headquarters||Portage, 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 7,000 members. It is committed to promoting the experimental, theoretical, and applied analysis of behavior.
The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) was founded in 1974 as the MidWestern Association for Behavior Analysis (MABA) to serve as an interdisciplinary group of professionals, paraprofessionals, and students. MABA was organized to establish a separate identity for the behavior analysis group of the larger psychological community and to provide a forum for the discussion of issues and the dissemination of information pertinent to the interests of its membership. The first annual conference was a response by a group of behavior analysis who were having problems presenting their work at psychology conferences and other related events. Some of the members included Sidney Bijou, James Dinsmoor, Bill Hopkins, and Roger Ulrich. The first headquarters were located on the campus of Western Michigan University (WMU) in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The association changed its name to the Association for Behavior Analysis in 1979. In 2002, the headquarters were moved off WMU's campus. In 2008, the association relocated to nearby Portage, Michigan (where it is today), and added "International" to its name. Today ABAI has more than 7,000 active members worldwide. One can obtain an ABAI membership if they want to further education, practice, and research goals in 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 the field of behavior analysis. An affiliate membership is feasible for those with undergraduate degrees, have an interest in behavior analysis, and do not meet the criteria for a full membership. 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. The association provides support to the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis (SABA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that grants funding for continuing research. ABAI is a member of the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological, and Cognitive Sciences (FABBS)—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 5,100 behavior analysts come to participate in workshops, poster sessions, “round-table” discussions, symposia, and listen to speakers. In 2017, ABAI will be hosting their 43rd Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado. Past host cities for the convention have included Chicago, San Antonio, Seattle, and other. Every two years, ABAI hosts an international conference; the next one will take place in 2017 in Paris, France. The ABAI international conference has also been held in Japan, Spain, China, Australia, as well as many other places. The association also holds an annual autism conference; the 11th Annual Autism Conference will take place in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in January 2017. Additionally, ABAI has hosted many single-track conferences on topics of special interest to behavior analysts, such as theory and philosophy, climate change, behavioral economics, and education.
Through the sister organization of SABA, several categories of awards are given to individuals, organizations, and ABA research during the ABAI 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. Past awardees include Donald Baer, Sidney Bijou, Jack Michael, and Murray Sidman. Travis Thompson received the award in 2016.
- 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. Past awardees include William McIlvane, Dean Fixsen, and Pauline Horne and Charles Fergus Lowe. Alan Poling received the award in 2016.
- 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. Past awardees include Liliana Mayo, R. Douglas Greer, and Andy Body. Kennon Andy Lattal most recently received the award in 2016.
- 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, Alan E. Kazdin, and James Partington are notable past winners. Journalist David H. Freedman received the award in 2016.
- 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. Notable awardees include The Behavioral Pharmacology Research unit at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, The Experimental Analysis Behavior Research unit at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and The New England Center for Children. The University of California, Santa Barbara's Koegel Autism Center was presented this award in 2016.
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.
- Behavior Analysis in Practice is a peer-reviewed journal that includes articles on how to efficiently practice applied behavior analysis.
- The Behavior Analyst 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.
- (1978) The Behavior Analyst, 1(1)
- (1978) The Behavior Analyst, 1(1)
- 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
- (1979) The Behavior Analyst, 2(2)
- 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
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