Counseling & Community Psychology - School of Health & Human Services - St. Cloud State University

Community Psychology
B210 Education Building
St. Cloud State University
720 4th Ave S
St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498
(campus map)

Office Hours:
Monday-Friday 8:00-4:30
Phone: (320) 308-2160
Fax: (320) 308-3216
Email: ccp@stcloudstate.edu

Ben Witts

Assistant Professor
Office B-246 Education Building
(320) 308-2233
bnwitts@stcloudstate.edu

Education

Winona State University         BA Psychology

Mankato State University       MA Clinical Psychology

University of Nevada, Reno   PhD Behavior Analysis

 

Professional Credentials

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

 

Program Areas

(Undergraduate) Community Psychology, Counseling, and Marital Therapy

(Graduate) Applied Behavior Analysis

 

Research Interests

APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS

My interests in ABA are diverse. However, I am very interested in the application of verbal behavior (Skinner, 1957) as it relates to young learners, the organization of functionally-diverse programs for easy consumption by school personnel, and anything else a student would want to pursue.

GAMBLING

I pursue gambling research for many reasons, the most important of which is to provide students the opportunity to explore basic, conceptual, and applied work with state-of-the-art equipment. I am very interested in near miss events, branding and slot machine selection, the illusion of control phenomenon, and the use of gambling equipment to study basic human behavior.

THEORETICAL/CONCEPTUAL/PHILOSOPHICAL ISSUES

The relation between TPC and applied behavior analysis is an important one, and it’s one that is undervalued in our scientific community. I am pursuing methods to integrate more TPC into practical work to better equip today’s practitioners to deal with sources of outside, non-behavioral influence, and to better address client concerns. Of particular interest right now is how understanding the conceptualization of verbal behavior can impact practitioner skills.

RECENT ACTIVITY

*Underline = master’s student mentee

*Double Underline = undergraduate student mentee

 

Select Publications:

Waldin, A., & Witts, B. N. (Under Review). When we speak of information. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior.

Arief, I., Hutter, E., & Witts, B. N. (Under Review). Lady Gaga’s Applause as an example of using pop music as a means to teach and study verbal behavior. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior.

Witts, B. N., Loudermilk, K., & Kosel, D. (In Press). Adult samples suggest slot machine and casino characteristics are possible sources for investigating the illusion of control. Analysis of Gambling Behavior.

Witts, B. N., Ghezzi, P. M., & Manson, M. L. (In Press). The simultaneous observing of concurrent schedules as a means to study the near miss event in simulated slot machine gambling. The Psychological Record.

Morford, Z. H., Witts, B. N., Killingsworth, K. J., & Alavosius, M. P. (2014). Gamification: The intersection between behavior analysis and game technologies. The Behavior Analyst, 37, 25-40.

Witts, B. N. & Ward, T. (2014). A review of Sam Harris’ Free Will. The Psychological Record, 64, 139-142.

Witts, B. N. (2013). Cumulative frequencies of behavior analytic journal publications related to human research on gambling. Analysis of Gambling Behavior, 7, 59-65.

Witts, B. N., & Lyons, C. A. (2013). Factors correlated with persistence in online Texas Hold’em poker play. Analysis of Gambling Behavior, 7, 17-24.

Seniuk, H., Witts, B. N., Williams, W. L., & Ghezzi, P. M. (2013). On terms: Behavioral coaching. The Behavior Analyst, 36, 167-172.

 

Recent Posters/Papers:

Witts, B. N. Why Understanding Theory and Philosophy will make you a better Practitioner (September, 2014). Invited address presented to the Minnesota Northland Association for Behavior Analysis annual Conference, Plymouth, MN.

Waldin, A., Janecky, M., & Witts, B. N. (September, 2014). Transfer of Stimulus Control of Toileting Behavior with a Somali Male using the Azrin and Foxx Rapid Toilet Training Protocol. Poster presented at the Minnesota Northland Association for Behavior Analysis, Plymouth, MN.

Arief, I., Frost, K., & Witts, B. N. (September, 2014). Increasing Duration on Vocational Tasks using Visual Prompts and Self-Monitoring by an Adult with Developmentla Disabilities. Poster presented at the Minnesota Northland Association for Behavior Analysis, Plymouth, MN.

McDonough, M. R., Witts, B. N., Rudrud, E., Sargeant, J., & Arief, I. (September, 2014). Effect of Command Type on the Latency to Student Responding. Poster presented at the Minnesota Northland Association for Behavior Analysis, Plymouth, MN.

Larum, T. J., & Witts, B. N. (September, 2014). Instrumental music as verbal behavior. Poster presented at the Minnesota Northland Association for Behavior Analysis, Plymouth, MN.

McDonough, M. R., Sargeant, J., Rudrud, E., & Witts, B. N. (May, 2014). Decreasing a Middle School Boy’s Head Rubbing Using DRL and Token Economy. Poster presented at the annual conference for the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Chicago, IL.

Manson, M. L., Witts, B. N., & Ghezzi, P. M. (May, 2014). Modified Observing Response Fails to Produce Near Miss Effect. Poster accepted to the annual conference for the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Chicago, IL.

Schienle, R. M., Ghezzi, P. M., & Witts, B. N. (May, 2014). The Role of Conditioned Reinforcement in the Near Miss. Poster presented at the annual conference for the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Chicago, IL.

Loudermilk. K., & Witts, B. N. (May, 2014). The Illusion of Control in Slot Machine Gambling: A Comparative Survey. Poster presented at the annual conference for the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Chicago, IL.

Larum, T. J., Washa, A., & Witts, B. N. (May, 2014). A Cumulative Analysis of Kantor and Skinner References in The Psychological Record. Poster presented at the annual conference for the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Chicago, IL.

 

Biography

Ours is a small field, and it can only grow if we take time to mentor and foster skill development in our students. Thus, my focus is on the student. Advanced undergraduates have opportunities to participate in research and work their way into graduate careers. Graduate students meet regularly in my lab to develop thesis ideas and integrate behavior analysis into other areas of life. We work together to disseminate our work, and every effort is made to enhance the student’s experience while here at SCSU.

Students interested in learning more can contact me at: bnwitts@stcloudstate.edu

 

updated 09/2014
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