ABAI Celebrates 50 Years in The City of Brotherly Love


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Association for Behavior Analysis holding its annual convention. It will mark the 21st year since I started attending the conference (although I missed a few over the years for important life events). I hadn’t thought about the fact that I have now been in the field for almost half of my lifetime. This led me to reflect on both the changes and the consistencies I have seen in the conference and in the organization in the last two decades; and to think about what the next two decades might have in store.

As we convene in the city of brotherly love this year, I hope we can celebrate all that brings us together as scientists and practitioners. Philadelphia has a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere that we should aim to embody during the conference and as we continue shaping our science and profession’s future.

Photo by Trev Adams: https://www.pexels.com/photo/philadelphia-love-park-under-the-blue-sky-12304500/

I am excited to see the diversity in the verbal behavior area both in terms of presenters and topics covered. If you are planning to arrive in Philadelphia before the main opening event on Saturday morning, consider stopping by the Verbal Behavior Special Interest Group Business Meeting on Friday evening 7-8pm in Marriott Downtown, Grand Ballroom Salon F. And if you don’t already have plans to attend SQAB there are many excellent verbal behavior workshops taking place all day Thursday and Friday:

Thursday May 23rd

  1. Teaching the Mand Through Compassionate Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) – The Competent Learner Model (CLM) Approach
  2. Echoic Assessment and Program Planning for Early Speech Learners
  3. Teaching Advanced Communication Lessons With Pictures: Comments, Attributes, Intraverbals, and Autoclitics – Oh My!

Friday May 24th

  1. A Constructional Approach to the Development of Oral Language Repertoires Following Early Childhood Treatment Failures
  2. How to Use Treatment Signals Within Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices to Teach Individuals When Requests Will Be Honored
  3. Verbal Operant Experimental (VOX) Analyses for Speakers With Autism and Other Contingency-Shaped Verbal Behavior Disorders

The weekend is full of interesting talks scheduled in the Verbal Behavior area. The table below offers a convenient view of the various talks, panels, and posters that will be featured.

Enjoy, and safe travels!

  Saturday May 25th Sunday May 26th Monday May 27th
8:00am Symposium #192Values-Based Programming and Dismantling Ableism in Behavior AnalysisSymposium #194

Embodying the Change We Want to See: Orienting Towards Therapist Behavior Using Clinical Behavior Analysis

Symposium #207

Analyses of Verbal Behavior in Complex Cases

Symposium #208

Exploring Verbal Behavior Research: Translational, Application, and Recommendations for Practice

Symposium #400Conceptual and Experimental Topics in the Formation of Stimulus EquivalenceSymposium #406

Incidental Naming in Children and Adults: Conceptual, Procedural and Empirical Issues

Symposium #407

“Getting More Bang for Your Buck”: Utilizing Acquisition Procedures to Teach and Evaluate Skill Emergence

9:00am  B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #213

Words Are Not Enough: Intervention Strategies That Promote Social Attention and Interaction in Autistic Children

Paper Session #214

Strategies for Teaching Expressive and Receptive Language to Children with Autism










Symposium #36

Learning to Play and Expanding Communication Skills: Important Targets for a School Setting

Symposium #59

Advancing Relational Frame Theory: Networks and Brains

Symposium #230

Olfaction in Behavioral Research: Studies of Equivalence and Social Reinforcement in Rats

Symposium #240

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Services to Facilitate Communication in Individuals with Complex Needs in the United Kingdom

Symposium #247

Recent Research Trends and Applications of Joint Control

Symposium #248

Recent Verbal Behavior Special Interest Group (VB-SIG) Winners Present Their Findings

Symposium #426

Bigger-Smaller/Same/Opposite: Some Unanswered Questions on Derived Responding

Symposium #437

Echoics: Conceptual Analyses and Applied Implications

Symposium #444

Cross-Cultural and Gender Differences in Therapist-Client Verbal Interactions in Clinical Setting

11:00am  Symposium #67

Applications of Derived Relational Responding

Symposium #463

Simple to Complex: Applying Relational Frame Theory to Promote Generalized Language in Children

12:00pm Paper Session #68

Comparing Human Video Modeling to Cartoon Video Modeling for Learners with Autism

Symposium #95

Optimal Procedures to Learn a Foreign Language

Paper Session #267

The Impact of Phonemic Frequency Building on the Emergence of Novel Reading Behavior

Symposium #288

Updated Considerations When Mand Training

Symposium #289

Are You Smarter Than a Chatbot: Exploring Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI)’s Performance on a Mock Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Examination and Complex Relational Framing Programs

Paper Session #467

Comparing Conditioned Motivation in Uninterrupted and Interrupted Behavior Chains: Implication for Manding and “Tact-Mand Transfer”

Symposium #472

Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACTr)and Mindfulness to Support Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Practitioners

Paper Session #483

The Role of Verbal Behavior in Translation and Humor

1:00pm-3:00pm  Poster Session






Poster Session






Poster Session







3:00pm Symposium #116

The Evaluation of Novel Procedures to Establish Equivalence Classes With Typical Adults

Symposium #129

Advanced Translational Research on Derived Relational Responding and the Relational Field

Symposium #320

Recent Advances in Training and Testing Relational Responding

Symposium #501

Tacting Interesting Stimuli and Private Events: Analyses and Procedures

Symposium #502

Innovations in Verbal Behavior Analytics