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)