Dr Vikki Joy Bland
BA (Hons) Psychology First class
I use basic research to analyze and investigate the core mechanisms underlying human and animal behavior. These findings may be translated with the aim of improving treatments designed to modify harmful or unwanted behavior. Examples include aggression, addictive behaviors, self-harm, and harm of others.
My current research investigates the efficacy of using a functionally negative discriminative stimulus to reduce unwanted or harmful behavior. As the use of punishment in behavioral treatments has largely been abandoned for ethical reasons, a new approach to the development of punishing stimuli is required. This research is timely given that alternative behavioral treatments that use positive reinforcement may fail to reduce harmful behavior to safe levels.
Research | Current
Does a negative discriminative stimulus function as a punishing consequence?
Can sub-optimal choice processes be subverted by using a negative discriminative stimulus as a punishing consequence?
Does the use of a negative discriminative stimulus as a punisher reduce the rate of relapse?
Teaching | Current
PSYCH 309 Guest lecturer
PSYCH 203 Lab coordinator
PSYCH 711 Guest lecturer
Associate Professor Douglas Elliffe and Dr Sarah Cowie, University of Auckland
Associate Professor Christopher A. Podlesnik, Florida Institute of Technology
2016 Claude McCarthy Fellowship Grant
2015 University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship
2015 Best Experimental Presentation - NZ ABA conference, University of Canterbury, August 2015
1998 Qantas Media Award for Newspaper feature writing - Information Technology category
Doctoral research, Undergraduate Lab Co-ordination, Guest lectures
Areas of expertise
Behaviour Analysis, Teaching, Public Speaking
European Association of Applied Behavior Analysis
NZ Association of Applied Behavior Analysis
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Bland, V. J., Bai, J. Y. H., Fullerton, J. A., & Podlesnik, C. A. (2016). Signaled alternative reinforcement and the persistence of operant behavior. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 106 (1), 22-33. 10.1002/jeab.212
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Christopher Podlesnik, John Bai