Invited speakers

The program committee of the European Association for Behaviour Analysis (EABA) proudly announces the invited speakers of the 9th conference

Maurice Feldman

Maurice Feldman

Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada

About Maurice Feldman

Dr. Maurice Feldman is Professor and Chair of the Dept. of Applied Disability Studies at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. He is a registered psychologist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (Doctoral). He is an expert on parents with learning difficulties and their children. He has over 100 peer-review publications and 300 invited addresses, talks and workshops. He authored the first and only book on parenting capacity assessments for parents with learning difficulties (NADD Press). The evidence-based Step-by-Step© Parenting Program he developed and evaluated is emulated worldwide. 

He is a Brock Distinguished Researcher and Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association. He held a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Investigator Award and the Brock Chancellor’s Chair of Research Excellence. He was the first recipient of both the Ontario Association for Developmental Disabilities and The Association for Successful Parenting Awards for Research Excellence. He received the Career ABA Research Achievement award from Ontario ABA, which he helped found and now is an emeritus member. He received the United States National Distinguished Disability Researcher Award. He was a special advisor to the United States President’s Committee on Intellectual Disabilities, a visiting scholar at the University of Sydney (Australia) and the British Psychological Society. His research was cited in an Amici Curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on a case adjudicating parenting rights of persons with intellectual disabilities. He serves as an expert consultant to several government departments and service providers, and conducts parenting capacity assessments for parents with learning difficulties. His work has been covered in the Canadian and U.S. media.

Behavior Analysis in Child Welfare: Contextual behavioral assessment and intervention to prevent child-neglect in at-risk families

Child neglect harms more children than physical, sexual and emotional abuse combined. In this address, Dr. Feldman will describe an evidence-based behavioral parent education program for parents at risk for child neglect because of learning difficulties and parenting skill deficits. This program is based solidly on behavior analysis principles and is emulated around the world. Dr. Feldman and colleagues have developed an innovative contextual-observational parent competence assessment model that identifies potential motivating and inhibiting variables that may support or impede successful parenting. Such variables include the parent’s learning history, parental mental health, ongoing stigmatization and discrimination, poverty and social support. The assessment also includes direct observation of parenting skills in situ. The intervention model is derived from the assessment, and includes a focus on teaching parenting skills using evidence-based behavioral skills training. Numerous peer-review papers have demonstrated the effectiveness of this parent education model in not only improving parenting skills of parent with learning difficulties, but also having beneficial impact on the children’s health and development.



Mark Mattaini

Mark Mattaini

Jane Addams College, Chicago, USA, acting president of the Association for Behavior Analysis Interantiona

About Mark Mattaini

Mark Mattaini, DSW, ACSW, is president of the Association for Behavior Analysis: International, and associate professor emeritus at Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago, where he was previously director of the doctoral program. He has chaired 25 dissertations related to responses to social issues. Most of his PhD graduates are engaged in research and practice with marginalized populations, including those victimized by—and perpetrating—violence, and in developing evidence-guided supports for young people experiencing homelessness and social exclusion. Dr. Mattaini is author or editor of 12 books, two of the most recent being Strategic Nonviolent Power: The Science of Satyagraha, and Foundations of Social Work Practice, A Graduate Text (5th edition), as well as numerous other publications. Editor of the interdisciplinary journal Behavior and Social Issues, Dr. Mattaini has served on the editorial boards of multiple journals in behavior analysis and social work, and has been a long-time member of the Board of Planners for Behaviorists for Social Responsibility. He has developed, implemented, and researched behavioral strategies for individual, family, organizational, community and policy level intervention, increasingly emphasizing advocacy, accompaniment, and activism in recent years. Consistent with that emphasis, his recent scholarship has focused on nonviolent action supporting social justice, and behavioral systems science at the cultural level. 

Behavioral systems science for social action

Societal problems, from severe individual struggles (like those associated with autism) to broad social issues like racism and collective violence, are grounded in human action. For the past seven decades, beginning with B.F. Skinner, behavior analysts have asserted that behavior science could guide efforts to intervene in such challenges across system levels. This has proven largely true at personal and interpersonal levels, although our research findings still are not effectively applied in practice in most cases-so there is still much work to do there. More limited work has been done at community and public policy levels, although what has been done has been encouraging. Contemporary human societies, however, currently face a number of intractable and corrosive struggles grounded in social injustice, collective biases and associated violence, human rights violations, and marginalization of entire cultural, racialized, and oppressed groups. Seriously challenging such injustice is always costly (sometimes in lives), and often only marginally effective-or even counterproductive. In this presentation, the author will discuss recent behavioral systems science research and scholarship that holds promise for contributing to more effective and efficient strategies for social action (while fully recognizing that challenging serious injustice is always costly). Particular attention will be paid in the presentation to "constructional" options that may progressively shape more just societies, while respectfully accompanying those who are struggling. 

Nancy Marchand-Martella

Nancy Marchand-Martella

The University of Oklahoma, USA

About Nancy Marchand-Martella

Dr. Nancy Marchand-Martella is the Chair of Educational Psychology and Professor of Special Education at the University of Oklahoma, teaching classes in academic remediation with a focus on reading, writing, spelling, and mathematics interventions. She has more than 30 years of experience working with at-risk populations and more than 180 professional publications credited to her name. She is a board certified behavior analyst and an author of Multiple Meaning Vocabulary published by Sopris West/Cambium Learning and an SRA/McGraw-Hill author of Lesson Connections and Core Lesson Connections for Reading Mastery Signature Edition and adolescent literacy program Read to Achieve. She is co-author of the digital, print, and project-based SRA FLEX Literacy that is used throughout the U.S. and three territories.

When It Comes to Best Practices in Instruction, Remember to Be Like Kevin Bacon!

If there is one single feature of instruction that improves academic achievement, it is increasing the level of explicitness of how we teach. Unfortunately, explicit and more intentional instruction is often treated as a second-class citizen in many teacher education programs. This session will highlight the elements of explicit instruction wrapped around a movie clip featuring Kevin Bacon.

Carol Pilgrim

Carol Pilgrim

University of North Carolina, Wilmington, USA

Dr. Carol Pilgrim received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1987 with a specialization in the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. She is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she has been honored with a Distinguished Teaching Professorship (1994-1997), the North Carolina Board of Governors Teaching Excellence Award (2003), the Faculty Scholarship Award (2000), and the Graduate Mentor Award (2008).  She received the Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award and the College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award in 1992, the ABAI Student Committee Outstanding Mentor Award in 2006, and the ABAI Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis award in 2017.  Her research contributions include both basic and applied behavior analysis, with an emphasis in human operant behavior, relational stimulus control, and the early detection of breast cancer.  Dr. Pilgrim has served as editor of The Behavior Analyst, associate editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and The Behavior Analyst, co-editor of the Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Bulletin, and as a member of the editorial boards of those and several other journals. She is a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International and of Division 25 of the American Psychological Association. She has served as President of the Association for Behavior Analysis, the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis, Division 25 of the American Psychological Association, and the Southeastern Association for Behavior Analysis.  Additionally, she has been Member-at-large of the Executive Council of ABA and Division 25, and member of the Boards of Directors of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis, and the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies.

Translational Research and Stimulus Equivalence: A Case Study in the Benefits of Integrated Basic and Applied Science

There can be little doubt that Sidman's original definition of stimulus equivalence (Sidman & Tailby, 1982), based on the mathematical properties of reflexivity, symmetry, and transitivity, provided a critical starting point for a behavior-analytic examination of complex human repertoires often described in cognitive terms. As important as this starting point has proved to be, recent findings in equivalence research indicate that the original definition may not capture well the full range of emergent behavior patterns that are possible. Restricting ourselves to only those mathematical properties may underestimate the power and the promise of equivalence approaches for understanding and establishing necessary functional skills. This talk will review the basic equivalence approach, and then provide examples of emergent patterns that go far beyond the properties of reflexivity, symmetry, and transitivity. In doing so, the talk will highlight the benefits of lessons learned in applying equivalence approaches for basic science, and the potential that lies in application of new laboratory findings for furthering the impact of equivalence approaches.


Sigurður Óli Sigurðsson

rannís - The Icelandic Centre for Research

About Sigurður Óli Sigurðsson

Dr. Sigurdur Oli Sigurdsson obtained his Ph.D. in behavior analysis in 2006 from Western Michigan University. He is currently Senior Advisor to the Quality Board for Higher Education in Iceland. Dr. Sigurdsson is also an Associate Commissioner for the Behavior-Based Safety Accreditation Commission of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. He has provided organizational consultation for hospitals, autism treatment centers, and various other businesses and industries. He has published research in the Journal of Safety Research, Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, and Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Dr. Sigurdsson's interests are in the areas of safety-related decision-making and maintenance of behavioral safety processes.Dr. Sigurdur Oli Sigurdsson obtained his Ph.D. in behavior analysis in 2006 from Western Michigan University. He is currently Senior Advisor to the Quality Board for Higher Education in Iceland. Dr. Sigurdsson is also an Associate Commissioner for the Behavior-Based Safety Accreditation Commission of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. He has provided organizational consultation for hospitals, autism treatment centers, and various other businesses and industries. He has published research in the Journal of Safety Research, Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, and Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Dr. Sigurdsson's interests are in the areas of safety-related decision-making and maintenance of behavioral safety processes.

Behavioral safety: research and practical considerations

Behavioral safety is the application of the principles of behavior to workplace safety and health. This talk will present an overview of research in behavioral safety, including ergonomic interventions of lone office workers, multi-site organizational applications of behavioral safety processes, as well as research on a laboratory model of decision making in potentially hazardous workplace situations. The talk will conclude with some practical considerations derived from Dr. Sigurdsson's research, as well as his work on accreditation teams for behavioral safety processes on behalf of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies.

James Todd

Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, USA

About James Todd

James T. Todd earned a Ph.D. in Developmental and Child Psychology from the University of Kansas (1990), and is now Professor of Psychology at Eastern Michigan University (EMU). He has published on the history of psychology, schedule-induced behavior, animal models of exposure therapy, errors in psychology textbooks, and the discredited interventions Rapid Prompting and Facilitated Communication (FC). He is editor, with Edward K. Morris, of "Modern Perspectives on B.F. Skinner and Contemporary Behaviorism" and "Modern Perspectives on John B. Watson and Classical Behaviorism."  He has served as expert witness in several court cases involving FC and related issues. His most recent chapter on these issues is "Old horses in New Stables: Rapid Prompting, Facilitated Communication, Science, Ethics, and the History of Magic." In R.M. Foxx & J.A. Mulick (Eds.). Controversial Therapies for Developmental Disabilities: Fad, Fashion, and Science in Professional Practice."  He has also worked on the creation of legislation for autism insurance, the licensure of behavior analysts, and reform of psychology licensure in Michigan.

Some Personal Reflections on the Current Status of Behavior Analysis—With Pictures. 

Behavior Analysis has experienced remarkable and surprising success in recent years, especially in the United States. In the space of a few years the field went from wondering if it would even exist at all to domination in certain areas-particularly (1) autism treatment and (2) telling everybody how good we are at autism treatment. One problem with our journey to success is that some of us have not arrived as wise travelers who have benefited from seeing new things and meeting new people along the way, but more like the occupants of a private coach who expect everyone at the destination to understand their language and ways, and think that yelling is the best way to make themselves understood. In this presentation, we will explore some elements of this problem, speculate about how it came to be, and consider some potential avenues of remediation. There will also be pictures of horses and dogs.