Mark A. Mattaini's research while affiliated with University of Illinois at Chicago and other places

Publications (74)

Article
Does contemporary behavior science have the capacity to meaningfully contribute to global justice, and if so, do culturo-behavior scientists carry a moral obligation to do so? These are challenging questions for a science that began in the laboratory and whose applications have primarily targeted microsystemic interventions. Although justice and in...
Chapter
B. F. Skinner noted in 1971 that “there are many reasons why people should now be concerned for the good of all mankind” (p. 137). There is good reason to do so, and given that the most critical contemporary social and environmental issues—and the primary potential steps to address them—are grounded in human behavior, good reason for behavior scien...
Chapter
This chapter explores how systemic approaches to science enable behaviorists and those of other disciplines with whom we collaborate to understand and intervene in larger social and cultural processes. In work with virtually all cultural and community issues, behavior science needs to plan and act in concert with specialists of other disciplines—an...
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Behavior analysts have long argued that we can and should be doing more to contribute to addressing the world’s most pressing problems. A number of behavior analysts have made efforts in the application of a natural science of behavior toward these aims—particularly in the domains of cultural and community behavior science. This chapter details the...
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Violence in the U.S. is on the rise (e.g., Associated Press, Associated Press News, 2019; National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. Annex of statistical information: Country reports on Terrorism 2017, 2018). Interpersonal, collective, and structural violence are maintained by powerful contingencies that are not easi...
Book
All science proceeds by progressively building on the work of others while remaining open to new discoveries and challenging existing conceptual frameworks. The same is true of culturo-behavior science. This textbook presents the scientifically rigorous work of the last several decades that has taken a behavior-analytic view of social and cultural...
Article
Contemporary societies face critical, interlocking, “wicked” challenges, including economic inequities and marginalization, personal and collective violence, ethnic and religious conflicts, degradation of “the commons,” climate change, and more, and all of these issues clearly are grounded in behavior. An adequate culturo-behavior science could be...
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Full-text available
We discuss the inception and history of Behavior and Social Issues (BSI) and its predecessor journals, Behaviorists for Social Action Journal and Behavior Analysis and Social Action, as the journals approaches 40 years of publication. We offer an analysis of the past volumes of the journals to provide a status update on BSI. Data on BSI article imp...
Article
Issues like police-community relations, violence—from neighborhood to global levels, economic inequality, and climate change have been only minimally addressed within behavior analysis, despite the oft repeated mantra that they are all at root behavioral. Disciplines determine the scope of their interests; behavior analysis and behavioral systems a...
Article
We argue in this paper that we are in the midst of a period in which fundamental global change will be required if societies and many species, perhaps even our own, are to survive. The realities are inescapable, and the potential implications are likely to affect nearly every dimension of human life in the USA and globally. Current trends are disco...
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Given the increasing numbers of people in need of treatment for problems associated with Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) problems and the concomitant likelihood that social worker caseloads currently reflect this increase, a critical analysis of social work student attitudes towards different approaches to AOD treatment is warranted. Our study examin...
Article
Building on the examples of the Rank and File and Settlement House Movements, transformative social workers in the United States today have an obligation to strive to integrate liberation and resistance approaches into a broad range of settings. Liberatory social work practice requires us to challenge oppressive social conditions that regulate peop...
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Recently, researchers have linked the availability and popularity of energy dense fast-foods to an increasingly obesogenic environment. Such availability has led to both over consumption and under nourishment, especially in lower income neighborhoods that fail to offer healthier alternatives. These “food deserts” play their part in both the increas...
Article
Mohandas Gandhi often indicated that nonviolence was "a science," and he appears to have meant this literally. Consistent with this vision, in this paper, we outline and apply principles of behavioral systems science, an emerging data-based approach to understanding the dynamics of complex cultural systems, to the practice of constructive noncooper...
Chapter
In an increasingly globalized world, rates of violence among the young appear to be increasing nearly worldwide. The incidence of most types of violence is much higher in the United States, however, than in most developed countries. And although schools are the safest places for children, most schools are not safe. This chapter shows that school cu...
Chapter
The ecosystems perspective in social work emerged in the 1970s from two bodies of scientific theory, General Systems Theory and ecological theory. The available research suggests that social workers often did and do fail to notice essential variables and transactional realities in their cases, including patterns of domination and oppression. There...
Article
For further information or discussion of the content of this paper, readers may contact Dr Mattaini by email. Potential collaborators in the programs of research outlined here are particularly sought.Collective violence (war, terrorism, violent political conflicts, genocide, repression, organized criminal activity, disappearances, torture, and a ra...
Article
In this paper, the author argues that the concept of the metacontingency is not yet well enough developed to be very scientifically useful, although developers like Glenn and Malott (2004) should be encouraged to pursue more thorough development. By contrast, systems theory which Malott and Glenn (2006) also emphasize, may have real and immediate u...
Article
Youth violence is widely recognized as a critical social issue in the United States, and many approaches to prevention have been developed in recent years. Emerging research suggests that only approaches that are deeply embedded in cultural, community, and organizational contexts are likely to be powerful enough to have a meaningful collective impa...
Article
In their paper, Glenn and Malott (2004), both of whom have made important contributions to the science of behavior and its applications, have taken on a very complex and critically important subject, dealing with organizational change from a cultural analytic perspective. The article raises a great many interesting and important questions, which cl...
Article
Collective violence (including terrorism, gang warfare, war and genocide) is a critical concern worldwide. This paper explores the scientific roots of acts of collective violence to the extent they can currently by identified, and elaborates strategies that may have power for preventing and effectively responding to such acts, focusing particularly...
Article
Collective violence (including terrorism, gang violence, civil war, separatist ethnic and religious conflicts, and government sponsored wars) is a central concern of the 21st century. This analysis suggests a scientific strategy for reducing such violence by constructing functionally equivalent and highly effective nonviolent collective alternative...
Article
Sanford and Fawcett (1980) developed an approach for increasing informed public opinion called consequence analysis, in which more thoughtful, better informed opinions appeared to result from a procedure in which respondents were asked to consider, elaborate, and evaluate the multiple consequences of a public policy decision. In this partial replic...
Article
The United States is currently engaged in a wide-scale social experiment: the dismantling of entitlement programs in the name of welfare reform. While behavior and cultural analysts have been only minimally involved in these efforts, there are many contributions that they might make that could potentially improve aggregate outcomes for everyone inv...
Article
Welfare reform is high on the national agenda. This article clarifies facts about the welfare system, provides behavioral analyses of welfare and working, and reviews current and potential policy initiatives with potential for producing lasting solutions. The most frequent approach to the issue has been to cut benefits and exhort those on welfare t...
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Full-text available
In this paper the authors report on the early development of a cultural entity––Walden Fellowhip, Inc.––which was established “to explore and encourage the development of behavior and cultural practices which maximize reinforcement and minimize coercion over the long term for all persons in a manner consistent with the survival of the hum...
Article
Graphic visualization has demonstrated its value for organizing transactional data and modeling complex phenomena in a wide variety of fields, from theoretical physics to medicine. Behavior analysts have historically used a variety of graphic tools not only for presentation but also for analysis and teaching. As they turn increasingly to the analys...
Article
Rubin and Knox argue that single-case designs are currently overemphasized in social work education and are of more limited value in practice than is commonly stated. These conclusions are based on confusions between research and practice, misunderstandings and misstatements of the relative utility of single-case and group designs for both, and neg...
Article
One of the central goals of Walden Fellowship, Inc. is to interest new people in the science of behavior, how it can contribute to quality of life, and in becoming involved in related activities. An important group to reach in these efforts, as Skinner clarified in Walden Two (1948), are students and recent graduates who may be searching for ways t...
Article
Contingency diagrams are particularly effective teaching tools, because they provide a means for students to view the complexities of contingency networks present in natural and laboratory settings while displaying the elementary processes that constitute those networks. This paper sketches recent developments in this visualization technology and i...
Article
Graphic visualization has proven crucial to recent advances in many fields that deal‐with large amounts of data that interact in complex ways, including biomedical research, theoretical physics, computer systems analysis, and meteorology. The realities with which contemporary social workers deal are no simpler, although it is sometimes tempting to...
Article
Behavior analysis has made major contributions to social work practice on the individual, family, group, and organizational levels. Combining recent advances in behavioral theory, particularly Skinner's concept of cultural practices and Glenn's work related to sets of inter locking contingencies, with a review of the available empirical literature,...
Article
Social workers and other mental health professionals have developed and applied a number of typologies of family types in clinical practice, as well as for program planning. Most such taxonomies have emerged from theory and practice, but few are based on more than two or three dimensions or have been rigorously tested empirically. In this study of...
Article
The Center for the Study of Social Work Practice is a joint endeavor of a major school of social work and a major social agency. Structured around an administrative core and three major research streams, it offers one possible model for establishing the linkages between research and practice so essential to meaningful research on social work practi...
Article
In Walden Two, B. F. Skinner offered a cultural design that has intrigued behavior analysts and other thoughtful individuals for over forty years. Some experimental attempts to implement the technologies in the real world have occurred, but clearly the effects until now have been circumscribed, and behavior analysis is in short-term danger of becom...
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Full-text available
This article reviews trends in social work assessment that are likely to shape the future of clinical practice. In contrast to the rich contextual information provided by traditional psychosocial approaches to assessment, classification systems like DSM-III-R can lead to oversimplification and loss of information that is important to intervention p...
Article
Addiction to "crack" cocaine has rapidly emerged as a crucial social and political problem, particularly in major urban areas. Working as they do in child and family services, health and mental health, and other major social institutional settings, as well as in clinical and policy positions dealing directly with crack users, social workers deal in...
Article
Substance abuse in villages in rural Alaska has become an endemic tragedy. This article provides a summary contingency analysis of four behavioral repertoires: first use and experimentation with substances, regular use, problem use, and relapse. For each of these areas, the paper examines existing programs, as well as potential community-level appr...
Article
The ecosystems perspective offers a framework for assessment that considers the contextual web in which the client is enmeshed. To be immediately useful, however, the perspective must be operationalized. Contextual behavior analysis offers an approach to assessment that is systemic, operationalized, prescriptive, and amenable to rigorous evaluation...

Citations

... They involve complex sets of interlocking contingencies that evoke and maintain the interlocked behaviors of several, and often many, individuals. Often, these issues are sustained by multiple contingencies deeply embedded in our social and cultural institutions (Cihon & Mattaini, 2020). ...
... The appeal to evaluate practice has been a theme in the social work profession from Richard Cabot's 1931 entreaty to, "measure, evaluate, estimate, appraise your results, in some form, in any terms that rest on something beyond faith, assertion, and 'illustrative cases,"' to the 1991 Conference, "Research and Practice: Bridging the Gap," (Cheetham, 1992;Mattaini, 1992), in which the need for an empirical base for practice was argued once again. Competent practice evaluation conforms to research principles (Thyer, 1989), including well proceduralized interventions; authentic systems rather than analogue samples; multiple measures from multiple sources; use of time series designs; and the production of knowledge of practical, meaningful importance rather than statistical significance alone. ...
... Culturo-behavior science (CBS) is a developing area and recently formalized specialization in behavior science that brings together principles and techniques from behavior analysis (e.g., Skinner, 1953), behavioral systems analysis (e.g., Brethower, 2008), cultural analysis (e.g., Glenn et al., 2016), and cultural systems analysis (Mattaini, 2020). Culturo-behavior scientists typically work within a selectionist and/ or (ecological) systems perspective to advance our understanding of how cultural phenomena develop and change over time and how more effective cultures and systems can be designed , 2020b. The purpose of the current article is to describe CBS, to introduce the recently formulated Association for Behavior Analysis International verified course sequence (VCS) and certificate program in CBS, and to present different pathways to training in CBS. ...
... CBS is a developing area and recently formalized specialization in behavior science that brings together principles and techniques from behavior analysis (e.g., Skinner, 1953), behavioral systems analysis (BSA; e.g., Brethower, 2008), cultural analysis (e.g., Glenn et al., 2016), and cultural systems analysis (Mattaini, 2020). Culturobehavior scientists typically work within a selectionist and/or (ecological) systems perspective to advance our understanding of how cultural phenomena develop and change over time and how more effective cultures and systems can be designed , 2020b. ...
... And yet, although scientists may be making progress in their own research, for that work to impact others, it requires translation and engagement. According to our experience 1 and recent research, policy makers, with rare exception, do not read peer-reviewed journal articles (Mattaini et al., 2020;Newman et al., 2016). ...
... Yet despite the clear role of human behavior in constructing these systemic contingencies, the strategies and tactics to affect the behaviors and practices that lead to the inequities across communities are less clear (e.g., work in policy development and adoption; . Work in CBS that also emphasizes cooperative and coordinated responding (e.g., Ardila-Sánchez et al., 2020;Cihon, Borba, et al., 2020;Schmitt, 1998) and systems' interdependencies (cf. Mattaini, 2013Mattaini, , 2019 can contribute to these efforts. ...
... It is worth noting that adolescents living in rural communities may experience decreased access to these reinforcing substance-free activities simply because of decreased number of options in their physical proximity. Indeed, previous work has included such considerations when utilizing behavioral analytic approaches to explain substance use among adults living in rural communities (Mattaini, 1991). It is also certainly possible that structural racism has led to decreased access to certain alternative reinforcers to substance use (e.g., extracurricular activities are less likely to be offered at schools largely servicing students from minoritized backgrounds; Cohen et al., 2007). ...
... Further, the ways in which augmentals in political speeches form social values and affect public behaviors are best analyzed within the paradigm of cultural selection. Culture is an interlocking set of social contingencies maintained by a group (Mattaini, 1995;Skinner, 1953), and its practices are supported by cultural entities and selected by the aggregate outcome for the group, its members, or those who have power (Biglan, 1995). The selection of cultural practices related to entering or exiting the Paris Climate Agreement is likely determined by interactions of interlocking contingencies at multiple levels (Glenn et al., 2016). ...
... The effects of high testosterone appear to lessen if the youth is more integrated with positive social influences (Booth & Osgood, 1993;Dabbs, 2000). However, Mattaini, Twyman, Chin and Lee (1996) argue that testosterone increases after aggressive physical encounters; thus, increased levels of testosterone are not the cause of aggression but the outcome. ...
... Behavior analysts seeking to contribute to a more humane world should harness useful ideas wherever they may be found; those who focus solely on behavior analysis research and commune only with other behavior analysts may insulate themselves from both "unrelated" knowledge that could spur the next important discovery (Critchfield & Farmer-Dougan, 2014) and the selective forces that could promote its dissemination. The Matrix Project initiated by ABAI's special interest group, Behaviorists for Social Responsibility (Mattaini & Luke, 2014), is one notable effort to identify supports or barriers for behavior analysts addressing issues of social importance, and to facilitate systems-level change by connecting various actors and entities within and outside behavior analysis (see Seniuk et al. [2019], in particular for a description of how the Matrix Project is being used with respect to sustainability). Nevin (2010) shares a story of the way an island community in Denmark united to use wind power and other innovative practices to become energy independent (they now produce more energy than they consume); this project became the model for a similar one on Martha's Vineyard, in which Nevin himself was involved. ...