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Behavior Analysis Association of Michigan


Special Online Graduate Course in Behavior Analysis at Western Michigan University

Fundamental Issues in Theory and Philosophy
(Featuring live discussions with M. Jackson Marr)

Jack MarrThis fully online  2-credit course is comprised of video presentations and corresponding readings on the fundamental issues in theory and philosophy of behavior analysis. In addition to the videos and readings, students will participate in discussions with Dr. Jackson Marr, a renowned behavior analyst, regarding the topics in the readings and videos.

Discussions occur each Wednesday from 3:00 – 5:00 pm EDT from September 17–November 5, 2014. Students will complete exams online to demonstrate acquisition of the course content.

It is expected that students will have a general understanding of basic behavior analytic theory and behavior analysis principles.  Students should have a solid foundation in B.F. Skinner's operant principles and theories of behavior (reinforcement, punishment, extinction, stimulus control, motivating operations).  This is an advanced behavior analysis course.  Individuals without behavior analytic preparation should not enroll.

Course topics will include: 

  • Consciousness and private events
  • Behaviorism, values, and ethics
  • Logical and scientific verbal behavior—What’s happened to Skinner’s “empirical epistemology?”
  • What counts as behavior?
  • Patterns of explanation in behavior analysis—models and theories.

More information can be found here.


"Clever Hands"

Verbal behavior buffs, try this in class. It shows the power of immediate verbal stimulus control over delayed control:

In-Class Experiment on Instructional Control & Observer Bias

This experiment is also an excellent demonstration of unconscious cueing or bias. It shows how difficult it is for observers to avoid biasing an outcome despite trying.

Wegner, D.W., Fuller, V.A., & Sparrow, B. (2003). Clever hands: Uncontrolled intelligence in facilitated communication. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 5–19. (PDF)



BAAM Movies: ABA in Natural Settings

Now available for viewing on mobile web browsers including iPhone and iPod Touch!

child smilingTake a look at BAAM's new video series, "Applied Behavior Analysis in Natural Settings." This series of 32 video vignettes shows how ABA is applied in natural settings to promote more effective teaching and generalization of skills.

Designed primarily for parents and new professionals, each video includes a brief descriptive introduction and a detailed explanation of the important elements of each teaching interaction. BAAM has also provided an overview of ABA and glossary of basic behavioral terms to help those new to ABA appreciate the technical details of the presentations. A technical assistance page will guide those few who might not already have a compatible web-browser*. Although these videos are not designed to teach therapeutic techniques, they will provide an appreciation for the range of settings and circumstances in which high-quality ABA teaching can and should occur.

*All videos require a Quicktime compatible viewer or web browser.

All videos and related material are for personal use only. The videos and related materials may not be downloaded, re posted, distributed, collected, or used for any commercial purpose without the expressed written permission of BAAM.


Become a "Virtual Member"
of BAAM

Virtual membership page


BAAM Statement of Purpose
The Behavior Analysis Association of Michigan has been organized to support and promote scientific research on the basic principles of behavior and the extension of those principles to create demonstrably effective and humane outcome-based therapies with the primary goal of establishing and enhancing functional independent living skills.

Attention to Eyes Less in Infants Who Develop Autism

From the Abstract:  "Here we show in a prospective longitudinal study that infants later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders  (ASDs) exhibit mean decline in eye fixation from 2 to 6 months of age, a pattern not observed in infants who do not develop ASD."


Applied Behavior Analysis

What is ABA?  It is the use of laboratory- and application-tested learning principles to teach important academic, social, and life skills.

Is ABA proven? ABA is not an untested "theory" being sold in advance of scientific validation. Applied behavior analysis is based directly on  scientific findings. If you need the new behavior to persist, ABA therapists know how to use special schedules of reinforcement--proven in the lab for over 75 years--to make that happen.  If you need the newly learned behavior to work at home and school, ABA therapists know how to use scientific knowledge about generalization--based on 100 years of science--to make that happen.

Does ABA with autism involve mindlessly repeated trials using M&Ms as rewards? Only in the misleading advertising of those offering "treatments" that don't have good scientific support. ABA uses the most effective rewards, chosen specifically for the person, and does not waste time teaching things that have already been successfully learned.

We need to remind those outside our field that ABA is far more than a teacher sitting knee-to-knee with a student endlessly repeating discrete trials.

Vincent Strully, Director of the New England Center for Children

Watch some genuine ABA done in a natural setting.  ABA uses the most appropriate reward for the situation in the most appropriate setting to teach effective behavior as quickly as possible.

Want a little more information? Look at the links below.

Beyond Autism: Did you know that the most effective (by far), intervenions for cocaine addiction and smoking during pregnancy, multibillion dollar problems, were designed by behavior analysts using empirically validated learning theory principles?

Read about it here and here.

Michigan Autism Insurance Bills

SB 414 | SB 415 | SB 981

Humorists take on pseudoscience

BAAM Features

Behavioral Essentials



Behavior Analysis Certification Board Publishes ASD Treatment Guidelines for Applied Behavior Analysis

Health Plan Coverage of Applied Behavior Analysis Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

B.F. Skinner's William James Lectures and Columbia University Verbal Behavior course notes by Ralph Hefferline

Skinner's 1948 William James Lectures were his 1957 book Verbal Behavior in draft form. Shared for decades in mimeographed form among a few lucky behavior analysts, this is the first time this classic has been generally available. Ralph Hefferline's 1947 class notes from Skinner's Columbia University course in verbal behavior show even earlier development of the same ideas. These are true classics in the history of psychology, made available through the generosity of the B.F. Skinner Foundation.


BAAM Science and Practice Watch

Facilitated Communication is back and growing in popularity. People are once again being falsely accused of abuse, and facilitated communication advocates are once again being given lavish attention and financial rewards for their dangerous and scientifically discredited pseudoscience.

Read and sign the BAAM Resolution on the Scientific Evidence Against "Facilitated Communication."

Resolutions by other medical, professional, scientific, and support organizations on ineffectiveness of facilitated communication


"Rubber Hands Illusion"

Stroke a rubber hand with a laser pointer light. If the fake hand is positioned such that the subject believes it is their own hand, over 60% "feel" the light, mostly where the fake hand is.

Behavior analysts: This is a very nice demonstration of "conditioned feeling." It demonstrates that private sensations are conditioned like other responses. The stimulus control over the response is so strong that the subject actually locates the source of stimulation outside the body, not where the subject's hand actually is, but where the light is!

Durgin, F.H. et al. (2007). Rubber hands feel the touch of light. Psychological Science, 18(2), 152-157 (PDF)


 
 


Site maintenance: James T. Todd

James Todd Behaviorism Jim Todd Behaviorism Eastern Michigan University Psychology