The 2012 New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis Conference will be hosted by Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, NZ, on the Saturday 1st – Sunday 2nd September, with registration and a social event on the late afternoon/evening of Friday 31st August.

The call for submissions is now out. Please send your proposals to Maree Hunt ( Please include in your submission:

  • Title
  • Authors (including affiliations)
  • Abstract
  • Whether you are submitting a poster or talk
  • Indication of intention to attend the conference dinner on Saturday night

The deadline for indications/titles is the 20th July. Abstracts are due by the 17th August, but earlier indications and abstracts are appreciated.

For further information, please contact Maree Hunt (


NZABA 2011 Conference Summary & AGM Minutes

Minutes of the AGM NZABA 2011

The AGM was held on Sunday August 28th 2011 at the 8th Annual conference of the New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis.
Dr Maree Hunt was elected as the next chair of NZABA.
Dr Oliver Mudford was elected in his absence as the treasurer of NZABA.
Victoria University of Wellington was confirmed as the conference venue for 2012.

Other Note-worthy Happenings at the NZABA Conference

An award was made to Professor Michael Davison to acknowledge his considerable and sustained contribution to the development of behaviour analysis in New Zealand.

The conference was very well attended with over 70 in attendance on the first day of the conference, and nearly still that many at 5:00 pm on the Sunday when the conference ended. There were 35 presentations and 13 poster presentations. The standard was excellent, and was remarked upon by the two judges of the best student presentations.

John Bai (The University of Auckland) received the award for the best student presentation in the experimental analysis of behaviour award 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”.

Rebecca Sargisson was awarded the spear.

Michael Davison Says Thanks

Dear NZABA members

Thank you for giving me a lifetime contributions award at the recent NZABA Conference in Hamilton—a superb glass bowl on a lovely piece of Kauri. I won’t say I am humbled (that’s never been a problem of mine), but it really did give me a warm glow. Thank you, too, for the things you said about my contributions. But really, I don’t need a reinforcer because I enjoyed most all of the journey—and anyway, it would be silly to reinforce the terminal behaviour unless you expect me to do it all again in another life. That would be plagiarism, so I’ll take it as a sign to give up and go do something else.

Thank you, also, to all my excellent collaborators and students over the last – er – 42 years. Without you, I could have got nowhere. I hope the experience did you some good, too!

Thank you also for not making the presentation into a Roast. I’m so glad that I didn’t get a retelling (and surely an amplification) of some of the things that might have happened at prior conferences. I’m sure they didn’t. And if something like them did, they would surely not be good signposts for the young and unsullied amongst you. To you with a future and no past, I say: Remember the future perfect tense!

As I said at the conference, my journey through my academic career has been parallel to the development of NZABA to its current and excellent status. A few of us started in the late 1960s attending the NZPsS conferences and having symposia; a few years later, we attempted (initially unsuccessfully) to form a Division for Behaviour Analysis within the NZPsS –and when we achieved this, it was against some fearsome opposition from members of the NZPsS Council. But, then, we began to outgrow the time that could be allocated within the annual conference, and we were forced to go our own way. Probably, this was the best thing we did, because it allowed us to become masters and mistresses of our own fate. Some of the things we did as an independent organization were excellent: We had cheap conferences in which the waged essentially paid for the student unwaged, which fostered the attendance of, and presentations by, graduate students; and we also managed to support (to some extent) students travelling to the conference from the other island. Both of these have contributed hugely to making NZABA the success that it is now—as clearly evidenced by the recent conference. I do hope you’ll be able to maintain them.

I’ll miss all of you, occasionally, as I start Phase 3 (back to baseline? Or a new experimental condition?). I’ve had a great time, and just remember: It’s all a game!


ABAI Annual Convention – Seattle 2012

NZABA Poster:

Rebecca Sharp and Denys Brand from the University of Auckland will be presenting the NZABA Poster at the ABAI Expo on Saturday evening at the 2012 ABAI Annual Convention in Seattle (8-10:30pm on the 26th May). They would appreciate it if NZABA members came along to support them and to hang out around their presentation area to add a bit of a social dimension to the presentation.


The deadline for submissions to the 2012 Annual Convention in Seattle is this Wednesday, October 12, 2011, at 11:59 pm (EDT). With the exception of posters, submissions will be rejected after this deadline. To avoid high web traffic, submit here now:

You may submit a maximum of one oral presentation and one other submission as a chair or discussant.

Alternatively, you may submit two presentations as a chair or discussant.

In addition, you may submit up to two posters, making four the maximum number of submissions per person. Only posters submitted by next Wednesday, October 12, will be included in the program, receive priority scheduling, and be eligible for student presenter grants. Poster presenters who need more time to collect data will be able to submit in January.

Register now to benefit from early registration discounts.

Please email or call 269-492-9310 if you have any questions about submissions.

ABAI International conference in Spain

Dear colleagues,

The Association for Behavior Analysis International is excited to announce the upcoming 6th International Conference in Granada, Spain, November 24–26, 2011. The event will feature invited presenters and a poster session, encourage the dissemination of behavior analysis in Spain, and facilitate collaboration among and networking opportunities for behavior analysts internationally.

Granada is a dynamic and vibrant town located in Andalusia at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains near the Mediterranean shore—a mixture of ancient culture and youthful student life.

We invite you to join your colleagues from more than 30 countries for this exciting event.

The pre-registration conference rates listed below will be available only through October 21.

Student: $125/€95
Resident of Spain: $348/€260
ABAI Member: $413/€315
ABAI Nonmember: $565/€435

Take advantage of the discounted prices by registering now. To join ABAI or renew for 2012 click here and receive member pricing for the conference.

We hope to see you in Granada!


[CLICK HERE] to download the updated version of the 2011 New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis Conference Programme.

Please note there have been some minor changes to the programme circulated earlier, and we would draw attention to the addition on an extra talk on the Saturday. The first talk will now be at 8:40 am and not at 9:00 as previously advertised.

If any students would like to be billeted with Waikato students for the duration of the NZABA conference can they please contact Lewis Bizo directly ( and he will direct your request to students that have volunteered to act as billets.


We would like to announce that the annual conference will be held at the University of Waikato from Friday the 26th to Sunday the 28th of August 2011.

Also at the same time we’d like to announce the call for papers and poster submissions. The deadlines for titles and abstracts is 5:00 pm Monday the 1st of August, as well as an indication of intention to attend the conference dinner or not.

For further information, please contact Lewis Bizo (


Congratulations to:

Dr Chris Podlesnik – who arrived at Auckland to take up a lecturing job on 17 February, has been awarded the American Psychological Association Division 25 Early Researcher award.

And Michael Davison has been awarded the APA Division 25 Distinguished Contributions to Behavior Analysis award.

They will both be attending the APA Convention in August to receive their awards – they don’t get the awards unless they attend!


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)