The Applied Behavior Analysis Center
in partnership with
The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies TM
Real world problems: A pragmatic selectionist approach to visualizing and managing progress
Treasurer of the Board of Directors
The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies TM
Chuck Merbitz, PhD, BCBA-D
February 15, 2017
Recording available to registered participants for 25 hours after the link to the recording is sent to participants via email.
- 9:30 am: Introduction
- 9:35 am: Pretest
- 9:40 am: Live webinar begins
- 11:15 am: Q & A session- submit questions via chat function
- 11:30 am: Submit attendance codes, take post-test, and fill out confidential evaluation form
Behavior Analysts: 2 Type II CEUs
Psychologists: 2 continuing education hours
Counselors and Social Workers: Not eligible for continuing education
How will this event make me a better practitioner?
This webinar will help practitioners improve their clinical decision processes to maintain client progress
B.F. Skinner’s Radical Behaviorism (which we may also call “Selectionism” due to its lineage from Darwin’s work) offers a powerful and useful way to view behavior that is especially useful in a therapeutic context. Selectionism is deceptively simple; its three well known elements are variation, selection, and replication (or reoccurrence). However, to take greater advantage of Selectionism in the context of behavior change, we can consider the fourth element, time. All Selectionism plays out over time, and simple data collection and plotting techniques can reveal how fast selection is occurring, whether at the familiar Darwinian level of body features or on the level of an individual’s changing behavior repertoire. The ability to see and measure the speed of selection allows the clinician to test different instructional environments to see and retain the ones that are associated with more rapid change. (Obviously, this sort of testing is Selectionism for the clinician’s behavioral repertoire.) Of course, clinical decisions are made in the real world, so we also review some of the basic elements of how elements of a clinical decision support system can work to support more or less accurate and useful decisions. Finally, viewing behavior through this lens (and Haughton’s Component-Composite analysis) allows us to see relationships between more and less complex but related behaviors. The relationships and analysis provide novel teaching approaches that can break through difficult barriers to increase accomplishment for individuals with and without disabilities. Real-world examples of selection in action are reviewed, and clinical data presented to illustrate reciprocal selection between a client and clinician, since Selectionism, like gravity, applies to all people.
Learning Objectives: After this webinar, participants will be able to:
- Explain the basic elements of Radical Behaviorism (Selectionism) for data-based visualization of human behavior change and clinical progress.
- Explain measurement implications for Selectionism for managing on-going teaching, training, and interaction.
- Discuss influences of the quality of data and the speed of data analysis upon data-based decision-making and hence client outcomes and practitioner insights.
- Explain Haughton’s Component-Composite analysis of the structure of behavior as an elaboration of Selectionism and state its basic implications for teaching and training.
- Retell an analysis of reciprocal client-clinician verbal behavior from the Selectionism perspective.
Charles Merbitz, Ph.D., BCBA-D, has been an Applied Behavior Analyst for over 35 years. Before retirement he served as a School Psychologist, medical rehabilitation researcher, faculty member, and administrator in higher education. Chuck’s research included pressure sore prevention after spinal cord injury, logical problem solving after brain injury, and communication disorders and gait improvement measures after stroke. His team’s critique of the ordinal measures used for reimbursement became the 23rd most cited paper in the medical rehabilitation literature. Chuck’s faculty appointments included Northwestern University Medical School, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. At the latter institution he started the ABA Master’s and Doctoral programs and became the first Chair of the new ABA Department. Chuck also served multiple terms as a Director for the American Association of Spinal Cord Injury Psychologists and Social Workers, the Standard Celeration Society and the Cambridge Center.
Presenter Disclosure Statement:
Chuck Merbitz does not receive speaker fees for presenting as part of the ABACLive Cambridge Center Series. These fees are donated directly to The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies (TM).
Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities
Our webinars are available to anyone who is able to access the internet. For those who are vision impaired attendance codes are read outloud and graphs and videos are described verbally. For those who require it, our webinar platform allows for closed-captioning. For more information, contact us at email@example.com.