NZABA 2014 CONFERENCE REPORT

NZABA’s 11th annual conference was hosted by the Department of Psychology, University of Otago, Dunedin, on the 29th to 31st August, 2014. Despite the travel involved for many attendees, 88 people attended, equalling the number at NZABA in Auckland last year (our highest attendance to date). This included a mix of students, academics, practitioners, and professionals from across New Zealand and Australia.  There were 31 paper presentations and 8 poster presentations at this year’s conference, and the standard of talks and posters was extremely high.  NZABA again offered Continuing Education Units to practitioners in applied behaviour analysis, administered by Katrina Phillips.

The conference’s social activities began with a welcome event on Friday evening at Geoff White’s house.  On Saturday evening, there was a tour of the Speight’s Brewery, and a conference dinner at the Speight’s Ale House. These events were very well attended (with a record number of 84 people at the dinner), and allowed conference attendees to mingle with one another.

Awards

At the start of the conference, Geoff White received a special award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to behaviour analysis in New Zealand.

Two student presentation prizes were awarded this year. John Bai (The University of Auckland) received the EAB award for his talk entitled “Response rates and persistence after response-contingent food and additional stimuli”.  Mitchell Stevenson, Shaun Pearl , Vanessa Rausa, and Simon Finkelstein (Monash University) jointly received the ABA award for their talk entitled “Teaching job skills to adults with ASD: Efficacy of video modelling”. Congratulations to these students on their awards, and thank you to all student presenters for contributing to an excellent programme.

At the end of the conference, Brett Furlonger passed the (now lost) Hatchet/Bullroarer to Katheryn Neilson (Victoria University of Wellington) for teaching him about his own gambling behaviours. Katrina Phillips passed the Spear to Randy Grace (University of Canterbury) for the use of various “mentalisms” throughout his talk.

AGM

The University of Canterbury in Christchurch was confirmed as the venue for the 2015 conference, and Celia Lie handed over the Chair/President role to Randy Grace, Anne Macaskill stays on as Secretary, and the Treasurer role is currently in negotiation.

 —

Thank you to everyone who helped organise NZABA 2014. Special thanks to Geoff White for hosting the welcome event at his house, and for making many, many pizzas to cater for the hungry crowd.

We look forward to seeing everyone at NZABA 2015 in Christchurch.

Celia Lie – 2014 NZABA President/Chair

2013 NZABA CONFERENCE REPORT

This year NZABA celebrated its 10th annual conference at the University of Auckland with its biggest attendance to date with 88 delegates, with a number traveling from outside New Zealand. The standard of the 34 presentations and 9 posters were excellent, as usual, and sparked a lot of interesting discussions. An informal gathering was held at SPE bar on Friday. The conference was held in the Copthorne Hotel on Anzac Avenue on Saturday and in the Human Sciences Building on Sunday.

NZABA once again offered Continuing Education Units to practitioners in applied behaviour analysis, administered by Oliver Mudford.

Student presentations always feature in NZABA’s programme but the bar continues to be set higher each year. For the second year in a row, Sarah Cowie won the best basic-research presentation with a paper entitled, “A step in time from 1 to 9: Discriminating local food ratio reversals that occur a fixed time after the last reinforcer”. This was the first time NZABA awarded the same student two years in a row, indicating the outstanding quality of Sarah’s presentation. Elin Engstrom won the best applied presentation with her talk entitled, “Applied behaviour analysis in a dementia care facility”. A number of high-quality Honours and Master’s presentations inspired the nomination of an award to Jonas Chan for his paper entitled, “Stimulus control and resistance to extinction in combined stimulus contexts”. Congratulations to these students on their awards and thank you to all student presenters for contributing to an excellent programme.

Previous winner, James McEwan, awarded Brett Furlonger the Bullroarer for pulling the cloth from our eyes and asking us to examine our effectiveness as teachers. After naming practically every word spoken at the conference, as previous winner, Dave Harper awarded Katrina Phillips the venerable Spear for her claims to play God.

Chris Podlesnik handed the position of President/Chair to Celia Lie, Celia Lie handed Secretary over to Anne Macaskill, and Doug Elliffe provisionally handed Treasurer to Brent Alsop pending Brent’s approval.

Thank you to everyone who helped organise NZABA 2013 and we look forward to NZABA 2014 at the University of Otago in Dunedin.

Chris Podlesnik – 2013 NZABA President/Chair

NZABA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2013 MINUTES

New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis Annual General Meeting

 Saturday 31st August, University of Auckland

 NZABA 2014

As per last year’s decision, the 2014 conference will be hosted by the University of Otago in Dunedin.

Committee Roles

Celia Lie (Otago) to be the next Chair/President, taking over from Chris Podlesnik (Auckland).

Anne Macaskill (VUW) to be Secretary, taking over from Celia Lie (Otago).

Brent Alsop (Otago) nominated to take over the Treasurer’s role from Doug Elliffe (Auckland).

Action: Celia to check with Brent if he is willing to be Treasurer.

Treasurer’s Report

Doug Elliffe (Auckland) reports that we had around $7200 in the NZABA account prior to the conference.

The current account with ANZ cannot be closed down without Nathalie Boutros’s signature (location currently unknown). One solution is to set up a new account, then withdraw all the money from the current account to place into a new account. The new account needs to be set up for a non-profit organisation, and preferably requiring only one signature for such activities as writing out cheques and closing the account down.

Action: Celia/Brent/Doug to organise this after all expenses for NZABA 2013 are taken care of.

Other Costs

Annual costs of renewal for the NZABA website (around $15). Doug has been paying this out of his own pocket.

Action: James McEwen volunteered to pay for the next year.

BACB fee for CE credits also needs to be paid once a year (around $150).

Action: New Treasurer to arrange to cheque to be sent.

Code of Ethics

Following an email to Chris earlier in the year regarding whether NZABA has a code of ethics, a brief discussion took place about whether we needed one. It was agreed that the code for ABAI would suffice, and that the NZ Psychological Board’s ethics code also covers research. No Code of Ethics would be adopted by NZABA specifically.

Student Travel Fund & Prizes

Because NZABA is in a good financial situation at the moment, it was suggested that we use some of this money to pay for student travel.

Doug also suggested that the student prizes be raised slightly (since they have been $100 for a long time and haven’t been adjusted for inflation). All in favour.

Action: Doug to email one person per University to see whether students have paid money out of their own pocket for travel expenses.

Action: Doug to send out cheques student prizes to the winners.

Thank You

Thanks to the University of Auckland Psychology Department for paying for most of the costs of the conference.

Thanks to Doug Elliffe for holding the Treasurer’s role for a number of years.

Thanks to Celia Lie for holding the Secretary’s role for a number of years.

Thanks to Chris Podlesnik for being the Chairperson for the past year.

Thanks to the organising team of NZABA 2013 for a well-run (and very well-attended) conference.

Meeting closed at 5:50pm.

NZABA ANNUAL REPORT (2012-2013)

The New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis (NZABA) consists primarily of staff, students, and recent graduates of the seven universities in New Zealand, but also includes therapists, business consultants, and some international members.

The School of Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington hosted our 9th annual conference from 31 August to 2 September 2012. Sixty people attended to see 34 presentations and 9 posters, with the range of topics matching the broad interests of those present at the conference. The topics covered included applied human and animal studies, as well as a range of basic studies addressing contemporary issues in the experimental analyses of behaviour. Participants in these studies included humans, rats, pigeons, hens, crows, possums, and dogs.

High-quality student presentations always are a feature of NZABA. We awarded three prizes for outstanding student presentations. Sarah Cowie of The University of Auckland tied with Gordon Tan of Victoria University of Wellington for best basic-research presentation. Sarah’s presentation was entitled: “Simplifying the contingency: reminder stimuli enhance control by local food ratios”. Gordon’s was entitled “The effect of relational training on slot machine play: Walking the walk as opposed to just talking the talk”. Rebecca Sharp of The University of Auckland won for best applied presentation, entitled “How representativeness is affected by temporal dimensions of responding”. Congratulations to Sarah, Gordon, and Rebecca!

Many papers provided opportunities for Continuing Education Units (CEUs). NZABA has been an “approved continuing education provider” for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) since 2006. CEUs are an almost essential part of the requirements for Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBAs) to maintain their certification. 36 x 1-hour CEUs every 3 years is the usual requirement. 21 New Zealand resident BCBAs have benefitted from the CEU events we have been able to provide. Since 2006, we have issued certificates for 459 CEUs from 16 events. The number of behavioural practitioners increased from previous years and 2012 was a record year for the number of CEUs provided by NZABA: 181 from 5 events. The annual NZABA conference provides excellent opportunities for BCBAs to earn CEUs, either through presenting or attending relevant sessions. New Zealand BCBAs expressed that they are grateful to NZABA for agreeing to be an approved CEU provider, for paying the annual US$100 fee to BACB to maintain that status, and for making any CEUs earned at NZABA available at no cost.

The School of Psychology at The University of Auckland, New Zealand will host the 10th annual NZABA conference from the 30st of August to the 1 September 2013. The call for papers will be announced soon and those interested should contact Chris Podlesnik at c.podlesnik@auckland.ac.nz for more information. We welcome local and international participants to our city, which is ranked as the world’s third most liveable city, according to the annual Mercer Quality of Living survey. NZABA will be conveniently held just before the New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS), which will be held from the 6 to 9 September (see their website for more information: www.psychology.org.nz).

There is no formal application process or fee to join NZABA. Attending the annual conference and paying fees constitutes active membership, and there are no fees for student presenters. Anyone interested in registering for NZABA membership should contact Celia Lie (celia@psy.otago.ac.nz), or complete the online form on the NZABA website (nzaba.org/membership/). For up-to-date news and more information about NZABA, please visit our website (nzaba.org).

Written by Chris Podlesnik, The University of Auckland, NZABA Chair 2013

NZABA CONTINUING EDUCATION REPORT

New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis

Report from Continuing Education Coordinator: Oliver Mudford

Date: 22/2/2013

NZABA has been an “approved continuing education provider” for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) since 2006.  Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are an almost essential part of the requirements for Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBAs) to maintain their certification.  36 x 1-hour CEUs every 3 years is the usual requirement.

21 New Zealand resident BCBAs have benefitted from the CEU events we have been able to provide.  Since 2006, we have issued certificates for 459 CEUs from 16 events.  2012 was a record year for the number of CEUs provided by NZABA: 181 from 5 events.  The annual NZABA conference provides excellent opportunities for BCBAs to earn CEUs, either through presenting or attending relevant sessions.

New Zealand BCBAs are grateful to NZABA for agreeing to be an approved CEU provider and for paying the annual US$100 fee to BACB to maintain that status.   Considering that CEUs usually cost BCBAs at least US$10 each but that NZABA CEUs are free, we certainly appreciate NZABA’s support.

NZABA 2012 AGM MINUTES

New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis

Annual General Meeting 2012

 Held Saturday 2nd September, 2012

at Victoria University of Wellington

NZABA Conference 2013

The NZABA Conference for 2013 will be hosted by the University of Auckland. It may be necessary to move the conference from August/September to July as holidays won’t be overlapping next year for some universities. It was also decided in advance that the 2014 NZABA conference will be hosted by the University of Otago.

There was some discussion about whether the 2013 NZABA conference could be held in conjunction with (merged or alongside) the Australasian Annual Behaviour Society conference. Conference fees for the Animal Behaviour are likely to be quite high however, especially for students.

Action needed: Doug to investigate the feasibility of this conjunction.

International Conference Bid

Maree Hunt was approached by Auckland Conventions (a management company) regarding whether we would be interested in hosting an ABAI International conference in Auckland. NZABA members present at the AGM all agreed that this would be a large amount of work and that we will not put a bid in to host an international ABAI conference.

Action needed: Maree to email Auckland Conventions to let them know the outcome of our decision.

Pre-paying for NZABA Conferences

The conference organising committee this year were approached on a few occasions for invoices for the NZABA conference registration fee, as employers wanted to pay for this in advance. A discussion about credit card and online banking/direct credit payments followed, with direct credits being the preferred option. Any direct credits that are received should be clearly marked with the name of the conference attendee and the organisation.

Action needed: Doug is to investigate electronic payment options.

Financial Report

Douglas Elliffe reports that as of 30-08-2012, NZABA have $4912.61 in the bank, with more to be deposited after 2012 conference expenses are taken care of.

Student Conference Travel Support

All agreed that NZABA should provide financial support for students who have paid for travel to conference out of their own pockets.

Action needed: Celia to email supervisors of presenting students requesting names of students who qualify for travel support.

 ISSN Numbers:

Lewis Bizo suggested getting an ISSN number for our conference programme for PBRF purposes.

Action needed: Lewis to investigate this.

 

NZABA Committee Members 2012-2013

Dr Christopher Podlesnik (Auckland) was elected as the next Chair of NZABA.

Dr Douglas Elliffe (Auckland) remains as Treasurer (for his final term). A vote of thanks was given to Doug for being the Treasurer for so long!

Dr Celia Lie (Otago) remains as Secretary.

Meeting ended 4:50pm.

NZABA 2012 CONFERENCE REPORT

The conference was very well attended with over 60 in attendance each day. There were 34 presentations and 9 poster presentations. The standard of both talks and posters was excellent, as was the discussion of talks during the question and answer sessions following each. The conference also included social drinks and nibbles on Friday night, and a dinner on Saturday night; both occasions afforded attendees the opportunity to meet each other and form research and professional connections.

NZABA was happy to host behaviour analytic practitioners in increased numbers this year- including some attending from overseas. NZABA was happy to be able to offer Continuing Education Units to practitioners in applied behaviour analysis again in 2012. CEUs were ably administered by Oliver Mudford and Rebecca Sharp.

The number of high-quality student presentations has historically been a feature of NZABA, and this tradition was continued this year. Three prizes for outstanding student presentations were awarded (in no particular order) to: Sarah Cowie of Auckland for her presentation entitled: “Simplifying the contingency: reminder stimuli enhance control by local food ratios”, to Gordon Tan of Victoria for his presentation entitled “The effect of relational training on slot machine play: Walking the walk as opposed to just talking the talk”, and to Rebecca Sharp of Auckland for her talk entitled “How representativeness is affected by temporal dimensions of responding”. Typically only two student prizes have been awarded, and the fact that a third was necessary this year is indicative of the year-by-year improvement in the quality of students’ presentations that has occurred over NZABA’s nine-year history.

James McEwan was awarded the “bullroarer” (a replacement for the hatchet) for achievements in unsubtle chairing, and Dave Harper won the spear for his industrious use of all the time available to him to revise his talk. Everyone in attendance also deserves prizes for successfully negotiating the construction work on the Victoria University campus and locating each of the venues in which portions of the conference were held – the organizing committee was appreciative to everyone’s patience in that regard.

Anne Macaskill (VUW organising committee)

2011-2012 NZABA ANNUAL REPORT

New Zealand ABA

The New Zealand ABA (NZABA) chapter consists primarily of staff, students, and recent graduates of the seven universities in New Zealand.  Additionally, our membership includes therapists, business consultants, and some international members.

The most noteworthy event for the year was our 8th annual conference hosted by the Department of Psychology at the University of Waikato in Hamilton (26th– 28th August 2011) and attended by seventy people.  The very full conference programme included 35 paper presentations as well as an expanded poster session with 13 poster presentations. The wide range of topics covered in papers and posters included both applied human and applied animal studies and a broad range of contemporary issues in the experimental analyses of behaviour.  Participants in the studies reported included humans, rats, pigeons, hens and possums. A significant proportion of the papers also provided opportunities for CE credits.

As in our previous conferences many of the papers were presented by postgraduate students.  The standard of all of these was very high but particularly so from the recipients of the annual student awards. John Bai (The University of Auckland) received the award for the best student presentation in the experimental analysis of behaviour for his presentation, “Context Matters: Resistance to Change in a Combined Stimulus Context”.  Victoria Burney (the University of Auckland) received the award for the best student presentation in the applied analysis of behaviour award for her presentation, “Using Brief Functional Analysis to Determine the Functions of Emerging Speech in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder”.

The very full conference programme also included informal opportunities to discuss research and issues relevant to the discipline with a social welcome event on the Friday evening and a conference dinner on Saturday evening.

A notable event at the conference was the presentation by NZABA of a lifetime contributions award to Professor Michael Davison (The University of Auckland) to acknowledge his extraordinary and sustained contribution to the development of behavior analysis in New Zealand.

The 9th annual conference of the NZABA will be hosted by the School of Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand from the 31st of August to the 2nd September 2012.  The call for papers is open until August 1st and those interested should contact Maree Hunt at maree.hunt@vuw.ac.nz for more information.  The conference welcomes international participants and those interested might note that the conference will be held in our beautiful capital city. Of interest also, the dates of our conference are arranged so that anyone interested, particularly those in the behavioural pharmacology field or with an interest in addiction or neuroscience, can also attend the Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research.  That conference is held in the ski town of Queenstown from the 25th to the 29th of August (for more information, please see their website at http://psy.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/index.html)

People interested in joining NZABA should note that there is no formal application process or fee. Active membership is achieved by attending the annual conference and paying any necessary fees (note that there are no fees for student presenters).  Any interested individuals should contact Celia Lie (celia@psy.otago.ac.nz) to register for membership, or complete the online form on the NZABA website (http://nzaba.org/membership/). For up-to-date news and more information about NZABA, please see our website at www.nzaba.org.

Written by Maree Hunt, Chair 2012

2010 CONFERENCE REPORT

NZABA 2010 was held at the University of Canterbury over the weekend of 3-5 September. There were 37 registered for the conference, and 26 presentations scheduled, along with 6 posters presented at the welcome event on Friday 3rd. As usual, nearly half the presentations were given by student researchers.

The welcome event went well. However, there was a massive earthquake at 4.36 am the following morning, setting much of the city in turmoil. Conference participants were all fine, fortunately. One conference participant wrote:

“Personally, I am glad to be back in Auckland. This was the most frightening experience of my life. … It started with a huge bang, and immediately the world started moving violently 8” back and forth—and the lights went out. I shot out of my unit, which was moving and creaking alarmingly, and into the courtyard (meeting others out there). It was almost impossible to stand, and there were fantastic showers of sparks on the horizon as transformers blew. … And then aftershocks, some very large, … The aftershocks were still occurring when I left at 2 pm Sunday – airport was working, and surprisingly the cellphones were working throughout, but started to run out of battery.

Things I learned: Keep your phone battery charged; use your laptop (not booted) as a light source; carry muesli bars just in case; fill something with water when you get to a motel room.”

Good advice for your next conference. We residents of Canterbury would add the following for home:

1) You can buy a “night light” that has a rechargeable battery, plugs into the mains, and turns on when the power goes off. It is cheap. Buy one.

2) Buy a car adaptor for your cellphone.

3) You may be separated from your wallet, keys, cellphone. Life is difficult without them. Keep a stash of cash somewhere easily accessible, and consider doing the same with a spare house key, an old cellphone, …

The conference

We displayed great resistance to disruption in that we salvaged a good bit of the conference. But circumstances were difficult — there was no power in our part of Christchurch until after midday on Saturday 4th, and the conference venue (University of Canterbury) was closed and sealed off. We met for talks in a motel dining room Saturday afternoon (without a data projector), and again from 9 am Sunday. In the end, most of the scheduled presentations were actually delivered. There was also a conference dinner, although the intended venue was closed.

Andrew Hucks was awarded the prize for the best student presentation, and the NZABA spear, awarded for various salient presentation features (originally for ―thrusting anthropomorphism‖), was awarded to Douglas Elliffe for reasons that are now forgotten. The NZABA Hatchet was not awarded this year, and was last awarded to Doug Elliffe (he now holds both). Our congratulations to Andy and Douglas.

Anthony McLean (Chair NZABA 2010)

2009 NZABA CONFERENCE REPORT

The Sixth Annual Conference of the New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis was hosted by The University of Auckland from 28-30 August.  The conference was the largest yet, with 28 graduate students and 14 faculty members and practitioners presenting a total of 41 papers, including 9 posters.  The six New Zealand universities that carry out behaviour-analytic research were all represented, and we were delighted to hear papers from visitors Steve Provost (Southern Cross University, Australia) and Takayuki Sakagami (Keio University, Japan).

Prizes for the best student papers were won by Nathalie Boutros (EAB: The characterization of conditional reinforcers) and Rebecca Sharp (ABA: Modified incidental teaching with lag schedules of reinforcement to increase variable manding in a child with expressive language deficits), both of The University of Auckland.

NZABA’s Seventh Annual Conference will be hosted by the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, around the end of August 2010. Check this website for details nearer the time. Abstracts of papers from the 2009 conference can be found on the Previous Conferences page.

By Douglas Elliffe

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