Info

The Behavioral Observations Podcast with Matt Cicoria

This is a podcast about the field of Behavior Analysis. Each episode will feature an interview with a Behavior Analyst where we discuss a specific topic in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. Some of these topics include functional behavioral assessment, treating severe behavioral disorders such as aggression and self-injurious behavior, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), behavioral ethics, autism treatment, parenting, and the history of Applied Behavior Analysis.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
The Behavioral Observations Podcast with Matt Cicoria
2023
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2022
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2021
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2020
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: February, 2021
Feb 22, 2021

I've known that the 5th anniversary of the podcast has been coming up for quite some time now, and I've been wracking my brain on how best to commemorate this milestone. After considering a few different options, I eventually decided that there was no better place to start than by looking back at the first episode of Behavioral Observations, my interview with Dr. Greg Hanley.

In this episode, we discussed the origins of what is now called the Practical Functional Assessment approach, back when it was referred to as the IISCA.

I wanted to replay this show for a few reasons. First, even though the PFA process has gone through many refinements over the last few years, in this episode, Greg describes the factors that led him to deviate from the Standard Functional Analysis procedure. I think that part of the show on its own is worth revisiting.

The second reason for sharing this conversation again is that every day new listeners are coming in contact with the show. While I get emails from some of them who tell me that they binge the back catalog, with nearly 150 shows, I don't expect that everyone is going to subject themselves to that.

Lastly, this particular episode is the most downloaded episode when compared to all the other shows I've published. As of this writing, the show has been downloaded over 56,000 times. About 15,000 times more than the second-most downloaded show (which by the way, is Session 7, again with Greg... want to guess who's in the third-most downloaded show?).

So for all those reasons and more, I hope you enjoy this episode, whether it is for the first time, or if you're dusting it off for a re-listen.

On a broader note, I'd like to talk for a minute about my thoughts on the show turning five. It's not an understatement when I tell you that creating this podcast has been a life-changing experience for me. Most certainly life-changing in a professional sense, and very likely from a personal one as well. With regard to the former, starting the show really re-energized my passion for the field at a time when I was teetering on the brink of burnout (before burnout became a fashionable term).

With regard to the latter, I've met several hundred people and made some amazing friends throughout this journey. And when milestones like these come up, it is incredibly overwhelming to think through all of the people who've helped me make this show happen.

First, there are so many people who have been listeners and supporters since Session 1. People who've listened to every single episode... all of my filler words, awkward silences, vocal fry, the whole nine yards. I once had someone actually take data on my filler words and would send it to me from time to time. That's dedication! All kidding aside, this show would've quietly faded out over time if it wasn't for the support and encouragement from you, the listener.

I'm also grateful to everyone who shares episodes with friends and co-workers. And of course supervisors and professors who who force their mentees and students to consume this content. It is both amazing and gratifying that this fun side project is helping people learn more about the science we all know and love.

I've had countless people and organizations support the show financially, whether by purchasing CEUs*, subscribing to my Patreon membership, sponsoring episodes, or inviting me to speak at events. To be perfectly candid, the ability to generate some revenue from Behavioral Observations allows me to put more time into the show, and I'm grateful for everyone who has helped me do just that.

It is always a danger to list specific people to thank in situations like these, as it is all too easy to inadvertently leave someone out. As such, I've chosen to limit my shoutouts to one person in particular: my friend John Corley. John is not a Behavior Analyst, but he is a programmer and all around tech-savvy guy. I shared the idea of a podcast with him over a few beers, and he relentlessly encouraged me to follow through with it. In fact, he helped me set up my website, the podcast's RSS feed, showed me the basics of GarageBand, and lots more. He remains on standby to me whenever I have a bug or glitch that needs sorting out.

John Corley and me ~ 2017

So huge thanks to both John, and everyone else who has played a part in getting this show to nearly 2.5 million downloads in these last five years. I could say thank you a million times and it wouldn't be enough.

I look forward to sharing these conversations with you for the next five years and beyond!

  • The 2021 Virginia Association for Behavior Analysis Conference! This year's VABA conference is April 15th and 16th. While this will be a safe and socially-distanced in-person event, it will also be available online, so don't worry if you're not local to the Virginia area. If you do sign up for it, use the promo code, GOMBU - a nod to conference sponsor, Mary Baldwin University, to save at checkout.
  • Also, I'm throwing a 5-year anniversary sale for all BOP CEU events. Get 55% off all CEU events by using the promo code "fiveyears." This offer expires at the end of February, 2021. Don't need CEU's, but want to get ad-free podcasts, access to bonus content, member Q & A zooms, and more? Consider joining the BOP Patreon Group. For more info, check out patreon.com/behavioralobservations!

Feb 18, 2021

So the title of this show may be a bit of a misnomer. Let me explain...

In Session 148, Shira Karpel and Shayna Gaunt, founders of HowToABA.com, join me to talk about one of my favorite topics: supporting the newly-minted BCBA. As you might know by now, that's very often my closing question of the podcast.

In this episode however, we pretty much spent the entire time talking about strategies for helping early-career professionals succeed. So what is the misnomer all about? As it turns out, the advice that Shira and Shayna provided - on topics ranging from obtaining mentorship to setting professional boundaries - is helpful for BCBA's of all experience levels.

Moreover, Shira and Shayna created HowToABA.com to provide materials and continuing education opportunities for BCBA's, as well as a supportive community of like-minded practitioners. And in this episode, they share their experiences and insight and address the following:

  • Common challenges faced by newly-minted BCBA's (and how to address them).
  • Common mistakes early-stage practitioners make.
  • Strategies to establish professional boundaries.
  • What practitioners are looking for in their Continuing Education.
  • Why they started HowToABA.com.
  • The ABA Forum that they're hosting. It's a virtual 3-night event where they bring together recognized speakers in the field who will share on different topics in Behavior Analysis - from supervision to ethics and social skills and everything in between.

Again, despite the headline, there's something in this episode for everyone. Also, I want to note that we had some intermittent Zoom connectivity challenges, and Shira's audio flaked in and out in a few spots. I chose not to edit those segments out because I think she was still able to make her points known, and thankfully, we were able to resolve it as the show went on.

Here are links to some of the things we discussed:

Today's episode is brought to you by:

  • The 2021 Virginia Association for Behavior Analysis Conference! This year's VABA conference is April 15th and 16th. While this will be a safe and socially-distanced in-person event, it will also be available online, so don't worry if you're not local to the Virginia area. If you do sign up for it, use the promo code, GOMBU - a nod to conference sponsor, Mary Baldwin University, to save at checkout.
  • HRIC Recruiting. Barb Voss has been placing BCBAs in permanent positions throughout the US for just about a decade, and has been in the business more generally for 30 years. When you work with HRIC, you work directly with Barb, thereby accessing highly personalized service. So if you're about to graduate, you're looking for a change of pace, or you just want to know if the grass really is greener on the other side, head over to HRIColorado.com to schedule a confidential chat right away.
  • Also, I'm throwing a 5-year anniversary sale for all BOP CEU events. Get 55% off all CEU events by using the promo code "fiveyears." This offer expires at the end of February, 2021. Don't need CEU's, but want to get ad-free podcasts, access to bonus content, member Q & A zooms, and more? Consider joining the BOP Patreon Group. For more info, check out patreon.com/behavioralobservations!
Feb 10, 2021

In this episode of Behavioral Observations, I chat with Drs. Florence DiGennaro-Reed, Derek Reed, and Gregory Madden. While we talked a bit about their new book, An Introduction to Behavior Analysis, we framed the discussion around the process of teaching itself, textbook notwithstanding.

Before getting into the content itself, let me introduce our guests:

  • Dr. DiGennaro-Reed is an Associate Professor in and Chairperson of the Department of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas where she directs the Performance Management Laboratory and Performance Management Center. Her research examines effective and efficient staff training and performance improvement practices. She also conducts translational research in on-campus laboratory facilities.
  • Dr. Derek Reed is a familiar voice to long-time BOP listeners. He is, among other things, an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas where he directs the Applied Behavioral Economics Laboratory.
  • Dr. Gregory Madden teaches and conducts research at Utah State University. Here is an excerpt of his bio in his own words: "I am a Professor in the Department of Psychology. I teach PSY1400/1410, which is the introductory course in behavioral processes. Topics range from free will to interventions designed to treat depression and drug dependence. I also teach an upper-division course on applying behavior-change technology to workplace settings."

It turns out that they've been working on this book for roughly six years. We talked about why they thought a new ABA text was necessary, what makes this book stand apart from other really good ones that are out there, and how they attacked the massive challenge that is the writing process itself.

Along the way, we ended up getting into what makes for good university instruction, the need (perceived or otherwise) to "sell" students on Behavior Analysis, and lots of other interesting nuggets and tips for those who have the important task of teaching the next generation of behavior analysis students. As such, I think there are a lot of meta-lessons embedded in this episode that are relevant whether or not you teach this material.

Here are the links for this episode:

This podcast is brought to you with support from:

  • If you want to study ABA and Positive Behavior Supports at a top-notch setting in Europe, then look no further than the Tizard Center at the University of Kent. Since 1986, they've been training professionals to support individuals with disabilities. Their primary focus has always been promoting values-based and ethical approaches to supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. If you would like to learn more about ABA and PBS training on an international stage, check out www.tizard.org.
  • Gateway Learning Group, and their Autism Leadership Academy. Designed for new Regional Directors, the Autism Leadership Academy develops motivated BCBAs into successful leaders in the autism field. If you’re interested in running your own regional center and want to learn the skills to do so successfully, check out gatewaylg.com/BOPNote: Immediate openings available in Texas. BCBAs across the U.S. are encouraged to apply!
  • Behavior University. Their mission is to provide university quality professional development for the busy Behavior Analyst. Learn about their CEU offerings, including their brand new 8-hour Supervision Course, as well as their RBT offerings over at behavioruniversity.com/observations.
  • Consider joining the BOP Patreon. Patreon members get early access to podcasts, bonus podcast material, discounts on CEU events from FTF and other continuing ed purveyors, occasional Zoom hangouts, and more!
Feb 1, 2021

In the sixth edition of the Inside JABA Series, I'm joined by Inside JABA regulars Drs. Linda LeBlanc and Claire St. Peter, as well as Dr. Jesse Dallery, to talk about the paper he and his colleagues published in the latest issue of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.

This paper fits nicely in JABA's ongoing series on Public Health and Telehealth, and is a great example of the potential for Behavior Analysis to be used for so much more than the type of work many BCBAs are doing currently. As Linda states during the show, "public health is all around us," and that public health challenges, at the end of the day, are behavioral in nature. As an aside, if you're not currently subscribed to JABA, you can do so here

Here are some of the topics we discussed:

  • The current scope of cigarette smoking in the United States.
  • How cigarette smoking occurs disproportionately in individuals of lower socio-economic status.
  • Previous research in the contingency management (CM) of cigarette smoking.
  • The logistical challenges of previous work in CM.
  • How Jesse and his research team addressed these challenges in the current study by developing a mobile system of carbon monoxide sampling.
  • The relationship between the literatures of CM and Delay Discounting, and more generally, Behavioral Economics (I couldn't' help myself from butting in and asking a few questions about this).

Here are the links to papers, podcasts, apps, and other resources we talked about:

As with previous Inside JABA Series Podcasts, this one is eligible for BACB approved Continuing Education, click here to learn more! While we're on the topic of CEUs, allow me to suggest subscribing to the Behavioral Observations' Patreon page, where enrolled patrons get access to discounts in the BOP CEU store, as well as other purveyors of behavior analytic training. To learn more, head over to patreon.com/behavioralobservations!

1