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

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