ABACAccess Special Issue Recording: The ABACLive Cambridge Center Series Presents Professor A. Charles Catania: The Evolution of a Science and Its Applications: A Brief History of Behavior Analysis

ABACAccess Special Issue Recording: The ABACLive Cambridge Center Series Presents:

The Evolution of a Science and Its Applications: A Brief History of Behavior Analysis

A. Charles Catania

This event is intended for CLASSROOM USE ONLY! CEUs will not be provided.

50% of purchase prices goes directly to the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies  


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This journey through the history of our science will explore its conceptual origins, its founders, its cultural contexts, and, most importantly, the co-evolution of its basic and applied research.  Your tour guide during this three-hour event will be Professor A. Charles Catania, a witness to some of the later parts of this history. The stops along the way will include: Precursors, from the Big Bang through the origins of life on earth to the 19th century: Darwin, Thorndike and other predecessors.


The 1900s: Behavior emerges as a subject matter (Pavlov, Jennings and others).
The 1910s: Watson’s “Behaviorist Manifesto” and World War I.
The 1920s: Hull, Tolman and other learning theorists, and the Great Depression.
The 1930s: Skinner joins Keller at Harvard and later writes “The Behavior of Organisms.”
The 1940s: World War II leads to shaping, “Walden Two,” and other innovations.
The 1950s: From “Science and Human Behavior” to “Verbal Behavior” and “Schedules of Reinforcement,” in the context of the Cold War and Sputnik; SEAB and JEAB are founded.
The 1960s: The science grows despite the cognitive-behavioral culture wars, JABA is founded, and behavior analysis develops its own organizations: applications grow alongside basic work (e.g., “psychotic children,” time out, teaching machines, token economies).
The 1970s: Psychopharmacology and other applications of the science aid in the foundation of programs, international extensions grow, and the field, with its roots in psychology, begins to see a viable future outside of it.
The 1980s: Treatments of self-injurious behavior and other developmental issues become sufficiently recognized that they establish conditions for credentialing and other professional extensions.
The 1990s: Though behavior analysis thrives only in cultural niches, the explosion of applications brings increasing recognition to its achievements.
The 21st Century: We’ve seen some of it already; so where do we go from here?



Learning Objectives:

After attending this event, participants should be able to:
(1) describe how such basic concepts as reinforcement and the operant evolved and played a role in the expanding influence of behavior analysis.
(2) discuss how basic and applied dimensions of behavior analysis evolved in combination in the early history of the field, then separated mainly for practical reasons (e.g., different editorial considerations in the journals JEAB and JABA), and eventually came back together to provide reciprocal benefits to each other in translational studies and in the basic questions raised by applications.
(3) identify contributions of major founders of behavior analysis, including Keller, Skinner Schoenfeld, Ferster and Sidman, among many others.




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3 hours


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Charles Catania is Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), where he co-founded the MA track in Applied Behavior Analysis in the Human Services Psychology program.  He is Past-President of the Association for Behavior Analysis and of Division 25 of the American Psychological Association. He has been Editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior​ and Associate Editor for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior for the journal, ​Behavioral and Brain Sciences​.  He is author of more than 200 journal articles and chapters, and his books include ​Learning​, now in its 5​th​ edition, Variations and Selections​ (co-edited with Philip N. Hineline), the Definitive Edition of B. F. Skinner’s ​Cumulative Record​ (co-edited with Victor G. Laties) and, most recently, ​The ABCs of Behavior Analysis​.


Dr. Catania 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). Dr. Catania receives royalties for the sale of his books, some of which may be mentioned during this event.




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Our webinars are available to anyone who is able to access the internet. For those who are vision impaired attendance codes are read aloud 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 info@abacnj.com.

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ABACAccess Recording Information: The recording of this webinar is available to paid participants for a limited time. For more information about recordings visit our ABACAccess page.



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