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ABACLive Cambridge Center Series Presents: Dr. Brady J. Phelps: Looking at Dissociative Identity Disorder through a Behavior Analytic Lens


Tuesday, April 20, 2021 

Brady J. Phelps Professor of Psychology, South Dakota State University

Time: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm eastern (New York)

Recording Availability:

You must register prior to the LIVE event to have access to the video. Video closes 10 days after the LIVE webinar.

Video closes 4/30/21 at 11:59 pm eastern (New York)

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Event Information


Skinner (1974) stated "Complex contingencies of reinforcement create complex repertoires, and as we have seen, different contingencies create different persons in the same skin, of which so-called multiple personalities are only an extreme manifestation"" (p. 171-172). Except for this reference, Skinner did not elaborate on the topic of “multiple personalities.” Arguments will be made that personality is behavior, and this behavioral repertoire could exhibit sufficient variability to be described as the display of multiple role enactments. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) can be conceptualized as overt behavior as well as complex verbal behavior, primarily in the sense of inappropriate tacting of one’s experiences, emotional responses and bodily states. But, as Skinner alluded, such behavior would result from complex contingencies of social reinforcement and punishment. The behaviors of reporting to be different individuals, with different histories, and having differential abilities are likely operants resulting from atypical reinforcement and punishment contingencies, as well as inappropriate rules controlling a persistent avoidance or escape repertoire.

Target Audience: Professionals for whom the topic is within their scope of practice. We welcome students and others who are also interested in the topic to join us.


By the end of this event participants should be able to:

1. Identify the changes in the concept of MPD/DID over the various editions of the DSM.
2. Identify the two models that are put forth to explain the behaviors of DID, the PTM or Post
Trauma Model and the SCM or SocioCognitive Model
3. Identify the facts that the initial presentation of the behaviors of DID are difficult to discriminate
but become more apparent as conventional therapy progresses.
4. Differentiate the behaviors of DID as overt behaviors and complex verbal behavior
5. DIfferentiate the SCM to the application of behavioral mechanisms.


Dr. Brady J. Phelps joined the psychology department at South Dakota State University in 1992, after finishing his doctorate in the analysis of behavior at Utah State University. Before I finished my graduate program, I served one year as an invited lecturer for the University of Maryland in the Republic of Korea, including a very brief incursion into North Korea.
I teach undergraduate courses in psychology and behavior analysis with emphases in basic research and theoretical analyses. At South Dakota State University, I have conducted research and published when he can, on topics such as involves habituation of human’s startle response, foraging of free roaming squirrels, planarians in a conditioned place preference procedure, the topic of personality and dissociate identity disorder, from a behavior analytic perspective. And I try to not take myself too seriously.


The presenter and/or presenter's  family members do not have financial arrangement or affiliation with any of the products, organizations, or programs mentioned during this talk.


    • Behavior Analysts earn 3 CEUs (Learning): LIVE & RECORDING
    • Psychologists earn 3 CEs: LIVE & RECORDING
    • Not eligible for NBCC, AOTA, or ASWB credit hours. You may download a certificate of attendance if your profession is not represented.


Please read the following information carefully:

    • You must attend the entire event to receive credit.
    • Must pass post-tests with 80% or above and submit all attendance codes.
    • For ABAC's continuing education approvals statements please view our Continuing Education page.


12:00 pm: Introduction
12:05 pm: Webinar begins
1:30 pm: 10 minute break
1:40 pm: First Q&A session
1:50 pm: Webinar resumes
2:45 pm: Second Q&A session
3:00 pm: Evaluation, post-test and code submission forms