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The impact of an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) intervention on parent behavior towards children with Autism

The impact of an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) intervention on parent behavior towards children with Autism

Article by Lisa Truong

Parents of children with autism or other developmental delays often face difficult challenges and negative private thoughts, which in turn inhibits parents’ abilities to implement effective interventions for their children. The parents’ behaviors are influenced by rule-governed behavior as opposed to contingency shaped behavior. Contingency-shaped behavior is controlled by being exposed to environmental contingencies, while rule-governed behavior (RGB) is an effect of our ability to derive rules from other experiences. Our ability to learn from other experiences and the verbal behavior of others and then apply it to situations abiritarily thought to be an essential human ability that explains many of our higher thinking capabilities. However, RGB can result in over-extension of rules to situations in which they do not apply. One particular category of RBGs, called plys (or “pliance”) is the over-extension of socially derived rules for behavior. For example, a child told by a parent that they should always wear a jacket when they go outside may derive a rule driven by social contingencies rather than appropriate response to the environment. If the child then tends to put on their jacket based on the rule, without regard for whether it is hot or cold outside, then this child is acting in pliance. This is likely to occur, in part, because one of the known properties of RGB is a reduction in sensitivity to environmental contingencies and contingency-shaped behavior. In a sense, the stronger RGB, the more in tune an individual is with rules rather than the environment. This tends to result in behavior that becomes increasingly narrow and inflexible.

Parents may also act in rule-governed ways when it comes to responding to their child’s behavior. An example would be how a parent would respond to their child crying in public. Rather than ignoring the child’s inappropriate behavior, parents tend to act according to societal expectations. Further, parents may experience accompanying aversive emotional states (e.g., anxiety and embarrassment) and seek to avoid these emotions by parenting in such a way that ends their child’s problematic behavior more quickly in the short-run but extends life of the behavior through reinforcement. This can lead parents struggling to deal with their own private events to ineffecitively follow behavior plans.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a contemporary behavior analytic approach to addressing these private events. The goal of ACT is to increase response flexibility so that clients can better track and engage in behaviors that lead them toward valued living. The ability to act in such ways is often referred to as “psychological flexibility.” Recent research has shown that parenting-specific psychological flexibility leads to more adaptive parenting behaviors and lower levels of child problem behaviors.

The main goal of ACT for parents of children on the autism spectrum is to increase adaptive parenting behaviors in the service of the parents’ values. Parents are asked to identify specific overt behaviors (e.g., playing with their child for at least 15 minutes each day) which would move them towards their own parenting values. A 2017 study (Gould, Tarbox, & Coyne) indicated that a six-week ACT protocol produced an increase in value-directed, overt behaviors in parents with children with autism. These increases in value-directed behavior were maintained at follow-up.

Sources

Gould, E. R., Tarbox, J., & Coyne, L. (2017). Evaluating the effects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy on overt behavior of
parents of children with autism. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, in press.

A behavioral intervention to reduce the affects of stigma (ACT).

A behavioral intervention to reduce the affects of stigma (ACT).

Photo by Jose A.Thompson on Unsplash

Article by Lisa Truong

Psychological inflexibility is a psychological process that can be used to explain how stigma affects us. Recent research (Krafft, Ferrell, Levin, & Twohig, 2017) indicates that distress experienced in reaction to stigmitization is less when those experiencing stigmitization are more “psychologically flexible.” Psychological flexibility is a a mid-level construct frequently used in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT; Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 1999) that refers to adaptive flexibility in behavioral repitoire, particularly in the face of distress or barriers.

Many groups (e.g., racial minorities, sexual minorities, and various social classes) experience stigmatization and distress as a result of this stigmatization. It is believed that observed elevations in psychological and physical health issues in these groups may be, in part, a result of the effects of stigmatization. Further, people who belong to stigmatized groups may generalize the stigmatization to their own self-concept, further exacerbating their distress. Self-stigmatization may lead to isolating behaviors and a lower overall quality of life.

ACT is believed to reduce the negative effects of stigma by targeting the relationship with stigmatizing thoughts and attitudes. ACT techniques were developed based on Relational Frame Theory (RFT; Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, & Roche, 2001) a post-Skinnerian behavior analytic formulation of how thought and human language develops. ACT techniques are thus meant increase one’s ability to accurately track the natural environment and react adaptively, rather than getting hung up in the distressing and awareness reducing properties that occur as a result of “languaging.” In practice, this means that ACT practitioners build psychological flexibility by experientially teaching them how engage in adaptive behaviors in accordance with their values, even when difficult emotions come along for the ride. This often involves the use of metaphor, experiential exercises, and other techniques that briefly alter the functions of verbal behavior such that other contingencies may be better contacted.

Numerous studies now indicate that ACT interventions for reduce the detrimental effects of stigmatization above other alternatives (e.g., education, multi-cultural training). These studies support the efficacy of ACT as an intervention for reducing distress associated with stigmatization and reducing internalized negative self-concept. Further, similar research has indicated that ACT may reduce the negative impact of stigma in a variety of groups, including but not limited to: those with Schizophrenia, HIV, obesity, substance abuse issues, and those who belong to racial and sexual minority groups.

Are you looking to reduce the impact of human bias in your organization? Or looking to learn ACT skills yourself? Schedule a free consultation here.

Sources

Hayes, S. C., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Roche, B. (2001). Relational Frame Theory: A post-
Skinnerian account of human language and cognition. Kluwer Academic: New York.

Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K. D., & Wilson, K. (1999). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: An 
experiential approach to behavior change. Gilford Press: New York.

Krafft, J., Ferrell, J.; Levin, M. E.; & Twohig, M. P., (In Press). Psychological inflexibility and 
stigma: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science

Lisa Truong

Lisa Truong

Contributing Writer

Lisa Truong graduated from the University of Texas of Austin with degrees in Psychology and Human Development and Family Sciences, with a concentration in personal relationships. She has over a year of experience in the applied behavioral analysis field and currently works as a behavior therapist at The Behavior Exchange. She has experience working with children from 2 to 16 years of age in both clinical and in-home settings. She also has an interest in tech, visual design, and art since she was young. Since graduating, she has been trying to find opportunities to bridge behavioral sciences, technology, and visual aesthetics to create beautiful and easy-to-follow experiences.

How to change a culture.

How to change a culture.

Photo by Pratham Gupta on Unsplash

Article by Angela Cathey

We work with companies to improve their cultures. I’ve noticed this term, “culture” inspires a bit of awe and confusion in both business and behavioral analytic communities.

Business leaders have come to a relative state of agreement that “culture is king” (source unknown) and “culture eats strategy for breakfast. (Peter Drucker)” . There’s less agreement about what culture is and if it is indeed changeable at all.

What is “culture”?

From a behavior analytic perspective, culture isn’t so ambiguous. It’s an emergent quality that arises from the interaction of behaviors. This may sound ambiguous but it makes what business often sees as vital and difficult to change, changeable.

Culture isn’t an amorphous cloud.

It’s the psychological effect of a collection of behaviors. It’s the product of people behaving together or over time (see Houmanfar, Rodrigues, & Ward, 2010) for a more thorough analysis. The import point is – it’s changeable and it’s the product of your interpersonal behavior, biases, policy decisions (laws, strucutres, etc.), and verbal behavior. With everything we do, we show others what we see as important, unimportant, desirable, and undesirable.

It sounds like a lot – but changing a culture is a matter of making different choices. It’s creating an environment that is purposeful, well-designed, and makes the choice to appropriately reinforce or reward what truly ‘matters.’ By looking at the collective behaviors of a culture, a business, and the experiences that relate to them (e.g., psychological safety), we can use behavior analysis to move key switch points and change a culture for the better.

If you’re thinking now, so what’s the answer – what do I do?

1. Start with the realization that the answer is dependent on the problem & desired endpoint. There is no single solution. Thankfully, their are methods and practices that have great evidence supporting them, these include behavior analysis and measurement.

2. With the endpoint you seek in mind, measure actual behavior and how it influences this endpoint.

3. Apply behavior analytic principles to create change and support that change.

4. Continue to measure and apply – real behavior change requires teaching skills to fluency and supporting the use of those skills. It’s not as complicated as it may sound – but it requires real thought and application of science to meet your goal.

What to know more about how to change culture? Contact us for a free consultation.

Sources:

Houmanfour, R., Rodrigues, N. J., & Ward, T. A. (2010). Emergence and metacontingency: Points of contact and departure. Behavior and Social Issues, 19, 78-103.

Ten books to help you create a better world.

Ten books to help you create a better world.

In this post, I recommend 10 books that show us how we can create a better future. These books are perspective shifting. They organize the chaos of our world and provide new direction for creating a better world.

  1. More Human: Designing a world where people come first by Hilton, Bade, & Bade

This book begins with a poignant story of the clash between humanity and red tape. A mother on a plane with a three-year-old is near removed as a disruptive passenger. Why?  Her child had to use the bathroom while the “fasten seatbelts” sign was lit.

This book is about designing better systems so we treat each other more humanely. If you’ve ever wondered, “Why the does everyone seem so content to blindly hurt each other?” This one’s for you. Design is a tool that can support our strengths or weaknesses. Choose wisely and enjoy.

  1. Blindspot by Anthony Greenwald

Blindspot is a book about our thinking biases and the influence that these have on our everyday behavior. Though I’m a behavior analyst I’ve also worked closely with cognitive psychologists and used tools like the Implicit Association Test (IAT) and its’ more behaviorally grounded counterparts.

I’d hope that everyone would read this book and take the biases to heart. Stop and notice exactly how much of our world we simply perceive and react to “as if.” Though the ability to automatically categorize our lives and react accordingly is essential ability to reduce the chaos around us to understandable level –  it often blinds us. In Blindspot, Anthony Greenwald talks about the most common effects of these blindspots and some of the ways in which we can detect our blindspots. Using this knowledge and stepping to behavior analytic theory – we can gain a better grasp of how to step back from the pervasive influence of assumption in our lives.

  1. Social Physics: How good ideas spread – lessons from a new science by Alex Pentland

Alex Pentland is a former MIT Media Lab leader. The MIT Media Lab is a veritable gift to cultural and scientific innovation. Those that have led or “grown-up” in this innovation stronghold have spawned technologies that now touch every aspect of our lives.

One these innovations that is quickly taking hold in the business world is, Alex Pentland’s People Analytics. People Analytics is a specific variety of Data Science that follows from “Social Physics,” essentially a Big Data application of sensor technologies (badges, passive mobile data, etc.) to understanding social behavior dynamics. Pentland term’s these dynamics “Social Physics.” Social Physics specifically tends to deal with how structural (i.e., architectural, ergonomic, or human factors) factors influence human interaction patterns.

Here we’re seeing the science of how organizations work at the level of placement of the water cooler, or speed of preferred communication forms, results in change in interaction patterns between employees. It’s a look at the many things that go unnoticed but yet deeply influence how we interact with each other.

  1. The Social Labs Revolution by Zaid Hassan

The Social Labs movement is near and dear to us. This book, and the movement it describes, addresses a movement and methodology that is being used to solve complex social problems. It’s a look at the types of institutions we’ve traditionally used to solve issues that matter, their failings, and a manifesto for creating hybrid organizations that marry social entrepreneurship to participatory applied research methods. 

  1. People Analytics by Ben Waber

This volume further elaborates on what the “new science” of People Analytics has found in its first few years of Big Data research in organizations. The methods used by Waber and other’s (“People Analytics”) are new in the technological sense, but simply make contingencies previously unobservable more observable.

This methodology is potentially a great growth area for behavior analysis. People Analytics as a framework has traditionally focused on large-scale predictive analytics (i.e., they’re using an analytic strategy that relies on averages and unfortunately can speak little to adjusting for better outcomes in the evolving context). Behavior analysis, used in coordination with these types of live-feed data collection methods allows the behavior analytic practitioner to take a look at behavior at micro and macro levels, and cater change efforts to their function at multiple levels. This allows for a more powerful, flexible, and scalable ‘medicine’ than simple predictive models for change management.

  1. Honest Signals: How they shape our world by Alex Pentland

This is another volume further that describes methodology that can be used to measure contingencies ‘typical’ in interpersonal interactions. Though cultural and individual differences may be ‘averaged’ out by the traditional analytic strategy used by People Analytics practitioners the measurement is useful for behavior analytic purposes.  Some of the topics of interest included in this volume include understanding how vocal tone, body positioning, and other ever present social variables tend to influence others.

  1. The Time Paradox: The new psychology of time that will change your life by Phillip Zimbardo

Phillip Zimbardo was made famous by his early work with the Stanford Prison experiment. Unfortunately, few may be aware of his more recent work which has focused much more on the effects of one’s predominantly used time perspective. If you’re more familiar with Relational Frame Theory (RFT) and temporal deictics you’ll find the response sets described around “future focus”, “past focus”, and “present focus” interesting.

  1. The Nurture Effect: How the science of human behavior can improve our lives and our world by Anthony Biglan

Anthony Biglan writes this inspiring text. Biglan hails from a more familiar behavior analytic background. His work on how the behavioral sciences can influence large-scale change is popular. As a speaker, you can often catch him at the Association of Contextual Behavioral Science conference. In this text, he describes, among other treasures, how we can improve education practices and how traditional corporate marketing practices may be influencing our society. This is an easy and inspiring read.

  1. Connected: The surprising power of our social networks and how they shape our lives. James Fowler & Nicholas Christakis

This book takes a look at the social structures of influence in our lives. As social creatures, humans are highly interconnected. We are influenced by the ideas, choices, and verbal behavior of those around us. The connectedness of our society only provides a better platform for emotion, health behavior, and ideas to spread across groups. This book reviews a great deal of research about the kinds of habits, choices, and moods that spread across our social networks and the conditions under which they optimally spread.

  1. Contagious: Why things catch on by Jonah Berger

Contagious may seem like an unlikely favorite for a behavior analyst but again we’re looking at conditions and platforms under which information and emotion spread and influence. This book focuses on marketing influence. Media, social media, and now the algorithms that rank this material, now greatly influence our lives. This book does a great job of being a fun introduction to a wealth of research about the conditions that lead to viral spread of ideas. For the behavioral analyst, there’s an interesting blend of focus on basic human responses to aversive and appetitive conditions and their interaction with environment.

The Power of Choice: An interview with Benji Schoendorff, MSc

The Power of Choice: An interview with Benji Schoendorff, MSc

Angela:

“Benji, you’re a celebrated trainer of ACT and FAP. You travel the world teaching others to be more aware, mindful, and courageous in how they work with each other.”

“Though you’ve had a great deal of impact on many in psychology, by teaching evidence-based interventions, your work has ventured more and more into changing larger contexts as well.”

“Can you tell me a bit about this focus and how it has brought you further into consulting?”

Benji:

“My personal mission, and that of our institute, is to slip psychological flexibility in the water supply.”

“What I mean by ‘psychological flexibility’ is the ability to choose to do what matters, even in the presence of obstacles. It is about choice.

“Individuals who are ‘stuck’ feel they don’t have a choice, and the same is true of teams and organizations—and of course of individuals within teams and organizations.”

“We all know that businesses and organizations are sitting atop a hard to tap gold mine: employee engagement. I believe being able to choose to do what matters in your professional life just as much as in your personal life is the key to both well-being and to fully engaging in our lives and work. After all, we spend a good chunk of our waking life working.”

“Yet paradoxically, our present organizational structures largely deprive us of choice. Is it a wonder that employees aren’t as engaged as they could be?”

“What we’ve discovered is that using the applied principles of modern behavioral science, there is an easy and intuitive way to increase ‘psychological flexibility’ in the workplace and in organizations. It’s a simple and intuitive model we call The ACT Matrix and I believe it has the potential to revolutionize our working lives as much as our personal lives.”

Angela:

“That’s wonderful Benji. For those who haven’t met you, can perhaps tell us a bit more of what is it like to work with you personally in personal or organization psychological flexibility initiatives?”

Benji:

“In the spirit of 360-degree feedback, I’d invite you to ask my team members and past clients. I think they would say that I am creative, passionate, values-driven, flexible, fun to work with and always human.”

“My working style is highly participatory and I love to make work fun! I seek to create contexts in which people can best contact their resources and make their own best choices. I believe every person can make their own choices and I know how to inspire folks to feel that way.”

“As a leader, I trust my team members to make decisions, preferring to advise than dictate. As a consultant, I connect with my clients’ unique needs and perspectives to help them identify original and above all workable ways to reach their goals.” 

Angela:

“I see the flexibility and awareness in the way you pursue life itself. It is takes a deep commitment to innovation and humanity to truly walk the path you espouse so fully.”

“I’m excited to be working with your team more closely these days and enjoying the development of technology and change with you.” 

“Can you tell us what your strengths and ‘learning edges’ are?”

Benji:

“The learning edge feels tricky..”

“I have many learning edges. The one I am working on at the moment is to further develop my ability to integrate the technology you are developing into my consulting work to help clients track how effective working with The ACT Matrix can be to foster team and individual productivity and empowerment.”

“I am also working on being more compassionate and validating, more consistent in my work, more responsive.”

Angela:

“Those are certainly worthwhile goals and lately, it seems like you’re all over the world putting these into place while doing workshops? How do you see this work developing as you put ‘psychological flexibility into the water’ so to speak?”

Benji:

“Well, I am trying to write a lot of blogs and of course I give lots of trainings, nearly one a week, and we are getting more trainers to work with our institute, though that’s barely started.”

Angela:

“That’s wonderful! I am looking forward to seeing more from you & CPI.”

“Tell me, is there a leader, idea, or experience that has most influenced you on your path?”

Benji:

“The person that has most influenced me in my work is without question Steven Hayes, the main founder of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or Training (ACT). Steve is an absolute trailblazer, and the sweetest human being, combining the sharpest intellect and a deeply human heart. His stroke of genius was to see that human suffering and getting stuck are not “pathological” processes, but an inevitable byproduct of how our minds work. He set about to understand what processes could account for the difficulties we experience and what to do so we can more easily get unstuck and do what’s important to us.”

“That makes ACT translatable to the world of business and organizations.”

“In my organizational work, I am so grateful to Kevin Polk and colleagues who developed The ACT Matrix, a simple and intuitive way to bring the power of Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) to the world of business.”

“Finally, I want to mention Dennis Bakke’s books, “The Decision Maker” and “Joy at Work”. Bakke built a 47,000-strong multinational Electricity-generation company by radically devolving decision-making to his employees. His core idea is that if we treat people as fully responsible adults in the workplace by letting them make all the decisions that concern them, they will fully engage in their work. For Bakke as for me, this doesn’t just make perfect business sense, it is a core value for the full realization of our human potential.”

Angela:

“Interesting.”

“There’s been a great deal developing across fields that I believe will change the face of our workplaces in the future.”

“As our lives have become more connected by technology, I believe we’ve become more disconnected in our lives. Workplaces offer these wonderful microcosms of our lives and networks, both socially and technology… In an era of constant movement and short job tenure the characters in our lives are ever changing, connected-but-not… our lives and well-being increasingly seem tied to our ability to co-exist productively, sustainably, and cooperatively with others who may not know us or understand us well. This is both exciting and terrifying. We have the chance to grow as a species, but will we choose to? I believe that if there are people like you, who choose to walk the more challenging paths, we may have a chance.”

“Thank you so much for your time, Benji. I look forward to seeing more and more of your work and deepening the ties between our organizations.”

Benji Schoendorff, MSc is a renowned Acceptance and Commitment trainer. He is joint owner of the Contextual Psychology Institute (CPI) with his wife Marie-France Bolduc. They, and their beloved son, travel the world doing their part to put “psychological flexibility in the water supply.” Benji is a deeply principle-driven clinician and trainer. His work is highly informed by Relational Frame Theory (RFT) and behavior analysis.

In addition to the many trainings that Benji does to increase the skill of individuals, Benji and the Contextual Psychology Institute (CPI) also work to improve contexts by training organizations to better engage with the difficult in the service of reaching their goals and values. 

Angela Cathey, MA

Angela Cathey, MA

Owner, Consultant, Scientist, Speaker

Angela Cathey is a behavior analyst and data scientist. She is a published author, blogger/writer, speaker, and futurist. Her master’s and doctoral training specialties focused on change measurement and promotion of effective emotional and social regulation with groups and individuals. Cathey’s change measurement experience includes use of Natural Language Processing, eye-tracking, and mobile technologies to both learn from and inform diverse perspectives. She uses data to understand the important ‘switch points’ in systems and provide customized data-driven change strategies to groups and individuals. She works with leaders and organizations as a business strategist, consultant, and technology developer. As a consultant, developer, and strategist, Cathey is known for her ability to help leaders and groups clarify their purpose and build industry disrupting strategies. Her passion is in creating ‘nudge’-based strategies that nurture change in leaders and cultures. She believes that real change occurs when we create tools that are engaging, easy to use, and allow people to better connect with themselves and others. Angela is owner of an independent culture and performance enhancement firm, ENSO Group.

5 ways technology and behavioral science can create a better world.

5 ways technology and behavioral science can create a better world.

I ran across another article today about how society is slowly devolving, in part, due to technology. This is becoming a more common refrane. Tech leaders are frequently quoted saying they don’t allow their children to play with the devices they create.

The ‘tech elite’ are onto something and we are just coming to terms with it in many sciences. We’ve known for many years, in the behavioral sciences, that the environments we exist in influence us – for better or worse.

We like to think of our experiences simply and tend to perceive only those consequences closest to us temporally, spatially, and socially. We “like” and emoticon ourselves into disconnection as we feel the bright shiny connection in front of us, and in the process, we miss the people sitting next to us.

We as a society are overwhelmed, over-worked, and driven, most logically, to distraction in the screen faces we carry with us. In the Behavioral Sciences, B. F. Skinner (1986) wrote “What’s wrong with the Western World” and described the impact of modern work processes on how we as human’s function. The summary, “distance from the impact of our behaviors, is not a good thing.”

 

In a hyper-connected world – we have customized technologies around natural human desires. We buy ‘shiny’ distraction avoidance tools. As tech has evolved, it has also come to offer us other tools shaped around human values and goals. We now have FitBits and Alexa to help us live better lives.

The missing piece; however, is that the solutions themselves are one-sided. We have learned to embrace algorithms to help us choose movies (Netflix, etc.) and quickly tag pictures of our friends (Facebook), but we distrust technology in its ability to help us truly improve ourselves.

We offer a few ideas from the nexus of Behavioral Science and Technology, to help humanity connect to itself again.

1) Build technologies that adapt to intended purpose. 

When we build technologies without awareness to our own essential humanness we inadvertatly reinforce our worst behaviors. People will always be attracted to ‘shiny’ things, they will want quick rewards AND we need to plan technologies for exceptional #humanexperience right along with our #USERexperience.

More on that, below.

2) Build technologies that help us engage other perspectives. 

In a hyper-connected world, we’ve become sucked into news loos and algorithm echo chambers. We see the news that we “like,” not what we need to see about our own worlds. Unawareness, we are silently told, “is bliss.” It is not, we are progressively more lonely, less able to self-regulate, more depressed, more anxious… and of course, given all this we stare at our phones more unable to handle perspectives that differ from our own.

The solutions we typically hear for this are “put down your phone” and, in deed, this is one solution but only short-sighted. The long-term route is to appreciate that we are human, flawed and beautiful all the same.

If we want to pick a realistic way forward, maybe we should begin to use technology to help us see our individual strengths, weaknesses, and perspectives in relation to one another.

3) Build technologies that make us aware of our strengths and weaknesses, in RELATION.

Remember the human tendency to seek out the ‘shiny’? We tend to look for easy answers, for the “best” answer. What we miss is how to balance ourselves in relation to our world, and those in it. We then design FitBits, Alexas, and solutions around the easy answers that inevitably lead us in the wrong direction. Any healthy behavior can go wrong taken to full tilt, and yet we persist… chasing easy answers.

One way that we can address this is to begin to focus on answers in relation to context. Contextual technologies allow us to notice what the best answer is for the current situation, environment, and purpose.

4) Use Intelligence Augmenting technologies to alert us of when we are falling into our patterns of dysfunction, bias, and unawareness.

 

Intelligence Augmenting technologies are one possible way forward here. Our patterns of avoidance, bias, and unawareness are no secret. The Behavioral Sciences have been using studying how to reduce mismatch between person and environment, and labeling it “psychopathology” for many decades.

It is time that we begin to work across lines to find solutions that bring us together.

5) Build technologies through “open” paticipatory design methods.

One key to advancing us must be opening the doors to participatory development. We need to recognize human motivations and flaws in our processes. If “tech” is not working, it is because “we” are not working towards a common perspective in what we create.

In this world, there are few easy answers; however, one I’d stake my work on is:

We as humans need to work on embracing our natural complexity and celebrating our strengths. If technology can help us do that, we should be working towards that purpose together.

Angela Cathey

Angela Cathey

Owner, Consultant, Scientist, Speaker

Angela Cathey is a behavior analyst and data scientist. She is a published author, blogger/writer, speaker, and futurist. Her master’s and doctoral training specialties focused on change measurement and promotion of effective emotional and social regulation with groups and individuals. Cathey’s change measurement experience includes use of Natural Language Processing, eye-tracking, and mobile technologies to both learn from and inform diverse perspectives. She uses data to understand the important ‘switch points’ in systems and provide customized data-driven change strategies to groups and individuals. She works with leaders and organizations as a business strategist, consultant, and technology developer. As a consultant, developer, and strategist, Cathey is known for her ability to help leaders and groups clarify their purpose and build industry disrupting strategies. Her passion is in creating ‘nudge’-based strategies that nurture change in leaders and cultures. She believes that real change occurs when we create tools that are engaging, easy to use, and allow people to better connect with themselves and others. Angela is owner of an independent culture and performance enhancement firm, ENSO Group.

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