Association Activities and Their Impact

The activity with the most visible impact is ABA's annual convention, which attracts more than 2,800 behavior analysts, who attend workshops, invited addresses, symposia, round-table discussions, addresses, and poster sessions on a range of topics relevant to the advancement of the basic science of behavior, and to the application of behavioral principles, in a variety of settings with a number of different populations. Continuing education credit for both psychologists and behavior analysts is available during the convention. ABAsponsors an annual award series, with the recipients recognized at the annual convention, to acknowledge distinguished contributions both to the discipline of behavior analysis and to the dissemination of behavior analysis among both professional and lay audiences.

In addition to the annual convention, ABAis the leading advocate in the United States for the efficacy of behavior analysis and behavioral psychology in applied settings. This advocacy takes several forms, including legislative-influence efforts, programs of public education, and support of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), the national certification organization for behavior analysts, designed to ensure the quality of individuals offering their services in both the public and private sector as behavior analysts. Certification of individual members as Certified Behavior Analysts requires an advanced degree relevant to behavior analysis and the passing of a written and oral certification examination administered by the BACB.

To complement the BACB certification program for individual behavior analysts, ABAhelps assure the quality of educational programs offering training in behavior analysis. Through its accreditation program, both doctoral and master's-level training programs can be accredited by ABA by meeting a set of requirements. Such accreditation involves a self-study by the applicant program, followed by a formal visit to the program by representatives of the accreditation committee. Approval of the program's accreditation is decided by the executive council.

Leadership and support are provided to the academic community in other ways as well. For example, ABAis a member of the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological, and Cognitive Sciences, an organization of scientific societies that supports research in the disciplines represented by the member societies. This support takes the form of efforts to educate and impact the legislative branch of the federal government and such federal agencies as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

Two professional journals are published by ABA: The Behavior Analyst and The Analysis of Verbal Behavior. The former publishes both scholarly articles and articles on professional issues relevant to the general discipline of behavior analysis, and the latter publishes articles relevant to the understanding of language, in the tradition of B. F. Skinner's (1957) book Verbal Behavior, from a behavior-analytic perspective.

REFERENCES

Peterson, M. E. (1978). The midwestern association on behavior analysis: Past, present, future. The Behavior Analyst, 1, 3-15. Skinner, B. F. (1938). The behavior of organisms: An experimental analysis. New York: Appleton Century-Crofts. Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York: Macmillan.

Skinner, B.F. (1957). Verbal behavior. New York: Appleton-

Century-Crofts. Skinner, B. F. (1974). About behaviorism. New York: Knopf.

Kennon A. Lattal West Virginia University

See also: Behaviorism

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