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MABA Newsletter 2018


The Mid-American Association for Behavior Analysis (MABA) is a regional affiliated chapter of ABAI. MABA is a membership organization devoted to promoting scholarly interchange in behavior analysis through its annual conference. The conference also allows for dissemination of the science of behavior analysis to the public and to professional behavior analysts in the Midwestern United States. The 18th annual MABA conference was September 21–22 in Normal, IL, at the Normal Theatre, an old Vaudeville theater converted into a conference venue!.

The 2018 MABA president, Thomas Critchfield (Illinois State University), began the conference welcoming attendees and introducing one of two keynote speakers, Dr. Gregory J. Madden (Utah State University), who presented “Reducing Impulsive Choice.” Our first symposium of invited speakers included Dr. Daniel Fienup (Columbia University) speaking on “Skill Acquisition Learning Arrangements,” and Dr. Olga F. Lazareva (Drake University) presenting “Non-Verbal Transitive Inference, Reinforcement History, and Spatial Representation” to end the morning sessions.

After lunch, our second symposium of invited speakers began with Dr. Janet S. Twyman (blast & Center on Innovations in Learning), who presented “The Teaching Machine in the Digital Age:  How Behavior Analysis Can Make Bad Teachers Good and Good Teachers Better,” which was followed by Dr. Terry Falcomata (University of Texas at Austin), whose talk was “Translational Evaluations of Treatment Relapse: Operant Variability, Resurgence, and Persistence During Functional Communication Training.” Our final symposium on Friday featured Dr. Andrew R. Craig (SUNY), who presented “Resistance to Change of Behavior and Theory” followed by Dr. Anna Ingeborg Petursdottir (Texas Christian University) with her presentation on “Emergent Tact Control: The Case of the Kitchen Bird and Other Stories.”

MABA then held an open business meeting, followed by the poster session, silent auction, and social. This year’s conference featured 25 posters representing work conducted at six institutions.

The second day began with Thomas Critchfield introducing our second keynote speaker, Dr. Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), who presented “On the Utility of Acceptance and Commitment Training for Behavior Analysts.” This was followed by our Forrest J. Files Symposium. Every year, we present two awards to graduate students who submit research papers. This year, our winners were Gideon P. Naude (University of Kansas) for his study, “Delay of Gratification in Preschool Children Following Access to Print and Mobile Electronic Media” and Elizabeth A. Foley (University of Kansas) for her project “Comparison of Components of the Good Behavior Game in a Preschool Classroom.” Our final invited speaker symposium included Dr. Cynthia Pietras (Western Michigan University) speaking on, “Behavior Analysis and the Psychology of Climate Change” and Dr. Iser G. DeLeon (University of Florida) speaking on “Social Motivation Theories of Autism: Is Insensitivity to Social Reward Really the Problem?.” Dr. Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University), the 2018 president-elect and 2018 president of MABA, closed the conference and announced the location for 2019.

We are looking forward to the 2019 conference, to be held October 18-19, 2019 in Omaha, NE, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton which will also have a block of rooms available at a discounted rate for conference attendees. The conference will again include addresses on both basic and applied behavior analytic research and theory. Early registration fees include MABA membership and are $35 for students and $100 for faculty and professionals. These fees will be available online only until October 4, 2019. After that, registration must be paid on site and will increase to $50 for students and $125 for faculty and professionals. CEUs are also available for pre-purchase at $10 each online until October 4, 2019. After that date, CEUs must be purchase on site and will be $15 each. We will offer approximately 10 CEUs during the entire conference.

Students and faculty are encouraged to present posters on their research or theoretical efforts. We have submission guidelines and links this on our website. In addition, up to two students are annually awarded the Forrest J. Files Student Research Award. This award includes the opportunity to present at the 2019 conference and a monetary award to help off-set travel expenses.

The 2019 president-elect of MABA is Dr. Amanda Karsten (Western Michigan University). More information about MABA, the annual conference, lodging, student presentations and awards, registration, and joining our email list can be found at the organization’s website,  or by contacting the operations coordinator, Dr. Julie A. Ackerlund Brandt (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology) at

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