Thought Leaders 011 | Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua | Part 1

Thought Leaders, we are sitting down and speaking with Dr. Wayne Fuqua about his history shaped him into the behavior analyst he is today and a chance encounter that could have changed the future of the field of behavior analysis as we know it.

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Shauna Costello (00:01):

You're listening to operant innovations, a podcast brought to you by ABA technologies this month on thought leaders. We're talking with Dr. Wayne Fuqua from Western Michigan university, as he tells us his history and how he got to where he is in the field today. So I will hand it over to you. And if you could jump into letting us know how you started in the field and how you got to where you are today.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (00:31):

Okay. Great. Thanks Shauna. Um, I'll start with a little more expansive history here. If I could. Um, I was born in Florida. I was born in Jacksonville. Uh, one of only a few native Floridians, of course. Uh, but I was born in Jacksonville and, uh, enjoyed growing up there. And then, um, I moved to a very small town North of Jacksonville. When I was about 12 years old, 13 years old, it was a little town called Hilliard. It had one traffic signal in it. It was flashing most of the time. It didn't have to turn it on, cause it wasn't much traffic. We used to joke that people didn't need turn signals because you always knew where people were going to turn. Cause you could recognize their cars and that's relevant only in the following sense. And that is that. Um, I ended up graduating from high school in Hilliard.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (01:24):

Uh, we had the largest ever graduating class for Hilliard and that consisted of 25 people. So it was fairly tiny. Uh, I got to be the valedictorian. Uh, so that was wonderful, but it was a fairly, a small sampling of competition in that particular situation. And I mentioned that only because well, several relevant elements that had an influence on me, one of them is for those people who were kind of growing up in small towns, uh, it is possible to succeed and to do other things and don't feel like you're forever, uh, trapped in the small town if you don't want to be trapped. But there's plenty of wonderful things about small towns that are admirable and wonderful. And I certainly benefited from lots of good friends there. Uh, lots of experience out in nature because, uh, our recreation was going off to rivers and stuff like that.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (02:17):

But I'm also old enough that growing up in North Florida, uh, there were some things that really had an impact on me. One of them was I'm old enough to remember some of the segregation and discrimination things that were happening at the time. And, uh, I remember seeing bathrooms that would have colored only or white only. And I was, you know, I was very young at the times, going, what is this all about? Uh, there was no diversity in my high school whatsoever until my senior year, in which case three African American students enrolled in the high school for a short period of time. Uh, but they left the high school fairly quickly after that, which is very sad to me. I mean, I don't have many regrets in my life, but one of my very tiny regrets is that when I was in high school, I didn't go out and go out of the way to befriend these African American students.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (03:16):

They were only there for three days, but I look back and I go, you know, I really should have gone over and befriended them, but all of my friends were all so very anti integration at the time. And I was not, and I think the only reason that I was not is because I was really a reader. I did a lot of readings. So I had a bigger world perspective than some of my friends did. Uh, and I remember reading a couple of books that really had an impact on me. One of them was a book called black like me, which was the story of a white man who tainted his skin Brown using shoe Polish to see what the experience was like living in the South as a black man or a man of color, essentially.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (03:58):

And it was a really eyeopening book for me. Um, so I, I, I was just amazed at what awful experiences he had just with the minor changes that happen there. And then the other book which I read probably my senior year in high school was a book by a man named Eldridge Cleaver called soul on ice. And it was about his experiences as a black man. And there was one element of that that always has stuck with me. It was the catch phrase out of the book. Saying essentially, if you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem. And it really struck with me thinking that, you know, this is not something you can simply sit by and observe you need to be part of the solution. Now, my part of the solution was I ended up leaving that small town going off to the university of Florida, where I was accepted for admission there.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (04:49):

And that, by the way, it was my closest major university is about, you know, an hour and a half or so from my hometown at the time. And that was a very eyeopening experience. Um, my first exposure to diversity, different types of thought, the courses I was taking, you know, as you know, your basic curriculum, I thought I wanted to be a physician. Uh, my father, my grandfather had been a physician. My father had been a pharmacist. Uh, so I thought I was going to move in that particular direction. Um, I had an awful calculus course that convinced me that maybe I didn't really want to do it. The guy couldn't speak English, but he was pretty good with calculus, but he had a hard time explaining things. So that was a real challenge. And that kind of got me into looking at some other alternatives.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (05:32):

Um, at the university of Florida, I started taking a couple of psychology courses and my first experience with psychology was very disappointing, uh, I took a course in what they call humanistic psychology and out of reading this. And it was just like psychobabble from my perspective, I was going to, you know, cause by this time I was already had read enough and I'd taken physics courses in high school and stuff like, and I was very interested in science, uh, and this was nowhere close to that. So I almost kind of gave up on that. And then however I said, well, let me try one more. And I took a course with this guy named Hank Pennypacker and uh, this turned out to be a revelation for me because he was using a personalized learning, uh, PSI system to teach the course, uh, use the Holland and Skinner book.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (06:24):

It was just a program text and uh, I got to see that this is the way a science of behavior might apply in the education area. So that was a phenomenal experience for me. Um, and it got me to stay in psychology, continue taking courses in psychology, um, and eventually apply to graduate school. Um, I was not very astute. I did, I needed to really have a person who was an advisor. Cause I said, I have no idea when the admission deadlines are for graduate school. So I missed all of those, but I'd taken the GRE. And as a result of being a fairly avid reader, I did well on the GREs. And I went in and talked to Pennypacker and said, what do you think I should do? And he said, well, your GRE is a pretty good why don't you get into this one, I went, okay, great.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (07:10):

I will enroll here. So anyhow, I enrolled at university of Florida as a graduate student after I finished my bachelor's degree. And, uh, uh, it was just a marvelous program and I would like to give credit to not only to Hank Pennypacker, but at the time Jim Johnston was there. Um, Brian Iwata came much after I was, but a guy named Mark Branch was there Ed Malagodi was there, and a few people that are not as recognizable men and Cal Adams who did work in the visual processes. Uh, was there a guy named Dick Willis who did some work and, um, uh, avoidance conditioning, uh, and a guy named Martin Goldstein who did a lot of work in behavior therapy. So it was a pretty rich environment, but this was in the very, very early stages of behavior analysis. But as a result of that program, I remember reading of course, um, science and human behavior by Skinner.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (08:04):

And that was also another, in addition to some of the early work, on civil rights that I read that was a really an important experience for me because it, let me see the range of applications that might be possible for a science of behavior. And, uh, you know, of course, a lot of what was going on was laboratory experimentation, a fair amount of stuff and the Keller personalized system of instruction, but the Skinner books, including of course beyond freedom and dignity walled into in science and human behavior gave me a hypothetical perspective on all these different areas in which behavior analysis could be applied and that to a certain degree has been one of the defining features of the way I've approached behavior analysis is to ask myself questions about, well, where can behavior analytic principles be applied? And eventually it kind of spilled over into not only some of the work that I've done in autism, but a lot of the work that I've done and what might be called health psychology and behavior therapy, but all of those were kind of influences there.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (09:06):

And it continues to be from my perspective, a really important influence. I know we'll talk about this later on, but I would love to see, um, behavioral analytic concepts applied well beyond the autism area. Not that autism is not critically important, we've done wonderful work in that particular area, but there's just so many areas where behavioral analytic principles should and could be applied. And we'll talk about these later on and then include things like, uh, environmental sustainability, health issues, including COVID related behaviors. So just in ethics certainly, and also applying in the area of, uh, uh, diversity, equity and inclusion. So those were all things that kind of were instrumental for my experience in that situation. So at the university of Florida, I did, uh, a lot of work with all the different faculty that were there, had some interesting and diverse experiences actually. Uh, I did a fair amount of work in personalized systems of instruction with Hank Pennypacker.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (10:05):

We ran kind of a, a small, uh, personalized learning center on campus where we, uh, you know, hundreds of students coming through doing flashcards and repeated measures of how they're doing and plotting all this stuff out in six cycle charts and getting great reviews and stuff like that. But, you know, I also had other interesting experiences there too. That gave me a sense of diversity of the applicability. Um, uh, for the early years of my graduate career, I spent some time working, uh, doing animal conditioning on a project. Uh, this was with Dick Willis and Cal Adams, and they were doing a project where they were attempting to develop what they call a visual prosthetic device. And these are for people that had, for whatever reason, eye damage or optic nerve damage. And they were using, uh, in this case, monkeys, uh, SUNY manganese monkeys in this case and rhesus monkeys, and they were implanting electrodes directly into the visual cortex of these animals.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (11:06):

And they had to have a way for the animals to tell them what they were seeing as a result of the stimulation they were doing for the visual cortex. Because eventually the idea was that you could Mount a miniature camera and have people that did not have adequate visual systems, directly image things by stimulation of the brain, the visual cortex part of the brain. And part of my job there was to train these animals where their protocol to tell what they were seeing on a screen that would put a visual screen in front of the animals. And they were trained to see, to respond to one level of behavior when they see one dot, regardless of where it was on the screen, a different level when they saw two dots in a different behavior pattern when they saw something that was just jibberish, essentially. So this was way that we were training the animals to tell us what they were seeing.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (11:56):

So the protocol was interesting because once you got the animals responding very consistently one dot versus two dots versus jibberish, essentially something was not dots. Essentially you would put a dot on the screen and then stimulate one electrode and the animal would then say am I seeing two dots? And that was important to know. So, uh, but, and the interesting thing about us, you can also then take that same electrode and begin moving the dots around on the screen where the animal was looking. And when the animal began to say, now, I'm just seeing one dot that would tell you that this visual stimulation in their cortex was in the lower, right, where now you put a dot on top of that one, and now they're only seeing one dot. So I thought it was a very creative way to go about, um, using behavioral procedures for a whole different reason in this particular situation.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (12:51):

So, um, they eventually, um, I don't think that they ended up with a product, but eventually people much later on developed a product that was a miniaturized camera that would allow direct electrical stimulation into a visual cortex for people that were optically blind and could give them a very rudimentary sense of vision. So that was a really interesting experience from my perspective, because it was like, how do I use behavioral analytic principles to ask questions about other things? And of course at that time, that was not the only way you were doing that, but a man named Mark Branch, fantastic behavioral pharmacologist was using behavioral principles to study the effects of drugs. And once again, those behaviors are the indicators of what is the drug feeling like to the animal? Is it more like a stimulus or a depressive event? Uh, what impact is it having on other types of behavior?

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (13:49):

And all of that was with non-humans. So I got a fair amount of exposure to that. And, uh, certainly of course did lots and lots of reading and behavior analysis across this whole spectrum. But my real interest at the time was I really wanted to work with people. And by that time I had a, my guess, my very first experience working with people really was an undergraduate at a crisis and drug intervention hotline where a lot of people start off and just was amazed at the challenges people had and sometimes frustrated at how difficult it was to, uh, encourage them and support them to change meaningful behavior and find myself going, gosh, I need, we need to have better tools to help people achieve their maximum potential, whatever it might happen to be. So those were some of the things that kind of got me moving in the direction of doing applied work.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (14:41):

And then of course, my faculty advisor, Hank Pennypacker, uh, was doing most of this work, doing educational interventions, using behavioral principles. So went through all of that. Uh, and, uh, I also near the end of my graduate time at uh at university of Florida. Um, this strange little organization was having a conference up in Chicago. It was something called, uh, the MABA, the Midwest association for behavior analysis, which many people probably know was the predecessor of ABAI association for behavior analysis international. So I went up to the, it was technically, it was the second of the MABA conferences. And, uh, this was held at the Blackstone relatively small hotel in downtown Chicago, uh, flew up there with my faculty advisor, Hank Pennypacker, who was a pilot with a small plane and two other graduate students, uh, man named Bill Hartman, a man named Jay Heckler.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (15:42):

And, uh, it was just a fantastic experience. Uh, of course that was the first time I'd ever flown in a small plane. Uh, and on top of that, it was, uh, the conference was just, I couldn't believe all these people, many of whom were from Western Michigan university were doing all these presentations. And it was like, just this, it was small, but it was like this cornucopia of behavioral analytics stuff that was going on of which I had a little awareness. Now I did a presentation there. It was probably a terrible presentation. I don't remember for sure, but I did a presentation at that particular conference. Um, we did have an interesting experience on the way back. Um, we were finished the conference and we're out of the airport and we were ready to, we'd already loaded up the plane with our luggage and stuff and ready to fly back down to Florida.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (16:29):

And, uh, Pennypacker mentioned to, uh, one of the maintenance people they said, you know, uh, could you take a look at the strut on the plane over here, which the strut, by the way is the thing that holds up the plane has the wheel on it essentially. Uh, I says, you know, it had kind of a little bit of a bouncy landing. And when we refueled in Kentucky and the guy got in another, started looking at it and in the plane, the strut collapsed and the plane fell down on top of the guy and we go, Oh, no, what's going on now, we ran over there and, you know, you think a plane would be hard to move. And, you know, when you get way out on the wing tip, you got a leverage point out there. It was pretty easy to pick the plane up off the guy, you know, and he wasn't really hurt.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (17:07):

He was just, you know, a little shaken up with this plane falling on him. And, uh, it was an interesting experience because we were realizing that gosh had, we've been trying to take off and this strut had collapsed. We, uh, might not have ever made it off the ground or any place else. We weren't sure. So, uh, it was, uh, an interesting experience along those lines up. I ultimately flew back commercially. So, uh, but, uh, Pennypacker and one other, the students hung around and got the plane all fixed up and flew back safely enough. So it was an interesting experience on multiple levels.

Shauna Costello (17:40):

That's so interesting to think about to, to, cause I mean, that was somewhere I pulled up. I pulled up your, um, your, when you were at you, when you were at UF, um, sometime in the seventies, but to think about what could like the butterfly effects, if something would have changed or gone wrong there, like what the field, what might not have happened in the field since then.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (18:10):

You make a good point. I actually thought about that a few times, you know, I'm fairly modest, but I was looking around and saying, you know, Pennypacker is pretty influential. And some of these other folks I'm going up there with our really bright promising behavior analysts. And I was thinking, gosh, what kind of contributions might not have ever happened to the discipline? And in that sense, I feel like, you know, it wasn't like I was thinking that I've got a second lease on life. You know, some people have near death experiences and go, oh my gosh, let me dedicate my, I was already dedicated to doing behavioral analyst analysis stuff at the time, but it kind of gave me a sense that, you know, um, let me make sure that I make the best out of whatever talent and time that I do have.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (18:52):

Uh, so that's always been kind of a defining feature for me in that particular situation. So, um, but, uh, that, and then, you know, I mentioned also the experiences at the university of Florida and dealing with discrimination and stuff. Um, you know, I didn't mention at the time, but also, uh, I was at the university of Florida at the time that, uh, the Vietnam war protests and riots were happening. And, uh, I was not an active leader, but I participated in some of those, uh, street demonstrations and got teargassed and stuff. And, uh, uh, began thinking very carefully about, um, what do I believe in, what are my values? Do I simply defer to authority figures? And, um, you know, I, I've never been a bumper sticker kind of person, but if I had a bumper sticker on my car, it would probably say something like question authority, uh, just because I want, and by the way, that applies to me too, I always encourage students in my class to question me and not necessarily believe something, just because I say it is to make their own opinions about things, challenge different people in authority about what is the rationale for it.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (20:01):

So that I think has always been from my perspective, a very healthy thing, and question authority, by the way, does not mean be disrespectful. It means something very different than that. And it's then, you know, why are you saying, why are you doing this sort of thing? So that has always been a major influence on me. And then, you know, the Vietnam war protests got me to thinking very carefully about what are my values, what is the role of government, uh, create a fair amount of conflict with my father who was a world war II veteran, who was upset that I was questioning authority as it pertained to the Vietnam war. Um, I, by the way, I did not serve in the military. Uh, I was, uh, at the time when they were having the lottery system for the draft. And, um, I think that the number drew was a 149 cause they, everybody drew based on birthdays and stuff like that.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (20:53):

And that year they drafted up to 130. So I missed by about 19 being drafted, uh, but I'd thought carefully about it at the time. And I was so concerned about the lack of moral justification for the Vietnam war, from my perspective that I decided, you know, that I was gonna move to Canada or whatever I had to do, uh, cause I was simply not willing to, uh, go over and serve in something that I didn't think was morally justified. Uh, so that was an interesting experience also that once again, got me thinking carefully about authority figures and what my values might happen to be. So those are all kind of interesting little variations that were in, by the way, all of us have those types of influences, whether you were acknowledging them or not. We're all a product of our culture, of our upbringing, even of the music we listened to it, you know, as we're going along, you know, and I was at a time when I was spending a lot of time listening to everything from Bob Dylan, to Jimmy Hendrix, to Joan Baez, to Joni Mitchell, just all kinds of interesting musical influences and reading all kinds of things that people read at that time in their life.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (22:04):

I can remember reading the a whole series of books that people as they're kind of searching for their moral compass, but sometimes read including the prophet by Kahlil Gibran and Siddhartha by Herman Hesse and this whole range of other books along those lines. So in that sense, a very, you know, typical where am I going? What isn't really important. And the interesting thing from my perspective was that, um, behavioral analysis seemed to provide an awful lot of guidance about why people are, what they are, how people develop, values, how people find meaningful contributions to life. So for me, it ended up being more than just academic curiosity. It ended up being something of a philosophy of life that many people think about behaviorism as a way of life. Um, and that's been a persistent thing for me throughout my life, thinking about behaviorism and as a way of life.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (23:01):

So moving forward, um, it got time when it was time to find a job. Um, so I started looking around for jobs and truthfully at that time, um, the job market for behavioral analysis was pretty darn limited. Quite honestly, this was 1976. Uh, so I interviewed for several community college jobs. I interviewed for a job in Southwest Missouri state university, where I was going to be teaching four sections of psych 1000 and thought, gosh, I'm not sure if I can really. I mean, I love teaching by that time, by the way, I taught courses at the university of Florida by that time. Uh, so I was at the, the disadvantage of being fairly young looking, uh, and, uh, I would always get challenged. Are you teaching this course? How can you be teaching the course and stuff like that. And by the way, I had that also when I took my job at Western, uh, every now and then would go into my very first classes and my Western ID and say, I'm not the teaching assistant, I'm really a faculty member right here.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (24:06):

So when people go really you're young and dumb. So anyhow, um, the bottom line was, is that I, it was an interesting experience that along those lines, but anyhow, I, um, I passed up a couple of jobs and thought, Oh, this is really dumb. I can't believe it. And then I got very lucky. I got a call from Western Michigan university, uh, that one of their faculty members, a woman who had graduated from the university of Florida a couple of years before me named Kass Lockhart had moved on to take a job on the West coast. And they had now had a faculty position open. So they invited me to come up I raced up to Western, uh, never having been to Michigan by the way at the time and gave a colloquium. I remember Dick Milad asking me questions during the colloquium, uh, going, why is this guy asking me these strange questions?

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (24:57):

But they were good questions of course certainly, uh, showed me around. Uh, and then eventually I was offered a job at terribly low starting salary. I didn't have enough sense to know that I should negotiate a starting salary. Uh, but I thought, you know, this sounds like it might be a pretty interesting place, uh, because they're doing all this stuff in behavior analysis. And by the way, at the time, um, Roger Olrick was up here still active Neil Kent, Dave Lyon, um, Jack Michael of course Dick Malott and a little did I know, but I was kind of getting myself. I kind of had a sense of this getting myself into what was really a hotbed of behavior, analytic teaching and dissemination. So, um, I moved up to Kalamazoo, um, found a place to live. I thought being from Florida, I thought I would freeze to death during the winter time.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (25:51):

I mean, after all there was snow everywhere and stuff like that. So I took a good hunk of my first year salary and started buying all this warm clothing, which I made the mistake of buying what was really expedition grade down clothing. And I would be walking around going, God, I'm hot and I'd be having this big coat on. And it would be like, you know, 29 degrees outside, but this thing was designed to be at minus 40 or something like that. So eventually I learned how to survive and I made a promise to myself that I was going to live in Michigan. I'm going to learn how to enjoy the snow. So I went out and bought cross country skis. So I could go do things during the winter time and got to where I loved that. And there's some cross country ski touring events and races and stuff like that.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (26:35):

I was never good, but I was out there doing things, you know, so that was cool. So anyhow, when I was hired there, I, um, um, ended up teaching some courses that were, uh, a little bit of a stretch for me. I taught a course in behavior therapy. Now I taught a course in marital and family therapy. These were both from a behavior analytic perspective. There weren't many course options available in many book options at that time. But, uh, once again, turned them into courses that really focused on evidence based behavioral interventions. Um, eventually, um, I kind of moved my area a little bit and I began doing a fair amount of work in, um, like things like motor tics and a little bit of stuff in social validity, interventions on eating and, uh, uh, things that really fell in this interesting cusp between behavior analysis and what might be called health psychology.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (27:32):

And, uh, by that time I was developing and teaching courses in health psychology. And as I read everything, I was absolutely convinced that, uh, most of the world's health problems were a result of either behavior such as cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, uh, drinking and driving, that sort of thing, or else had behavioral solutions to it such as getting people to take medication or, you know, do their insulin or to take their nebulizer if they have asthma or something like that. So a fair amount of my teaching and research and dissemination activities focused in the health arena. Uh, but once again, uh, as things were evolving essentially, um, the demand for also work in the autism area was extreme. Uh, I ended up getting myself appointed to a board of directors for a local service provider and Kalamazoo wonderful organization called residential opportunities, inc. That did, um, uh, um, group homes and other things for people with intellectual and physical disabilities, and eventually helped that organization develop a, um, an autism treatment and research center.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (28:44):

So those were interesting experiences and, um, also ended up, um, getting appointed to the state of Michigan's, uh, initial autism council to develop policy and dissemination things. Um, that was about the time that I was once again, I was appointed chair of the department, um, and I was served in that role for 14 years during the last maybe three or four years, I really got interested in active and in what might be called public policy. So I was not only doing some of the work in autism, but I was also helping develop, uh, uh, licensing laws for behavior analysts. I was also, uh, involved in once again, developing Western's program as a certified core sequence to train people who are board certified behavior analysts. Um, and then the other thing that I ended up doing about that time is, um, I was real curious about how, how good the, how effective the services were that BCBA is we're providing in the autism area.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (29:48):

And I was invited to do some case reviews for a, uh, an insurance company in Michigan. And Leonardo is all of this stuff was rolling out, uh, with insurance, you know, authorization for ABA services, the insurance companies were just at a loss to go. We aren't sure what this is supposed to look like. This is such a different model than we're used to how much service is appropriate under what conditions. So I ended up getting called to do some of that. And it gave me a, a really interesting perspective, uh, to see, well, here's what our students are actually doing when they're out there providing services. And a lot of it was inspiring and wonderful. Some of it was quite frankly disappointing. And I want to say our, um, I will say that for the most part, I think Western students did great work, uh, but every now that I'd see students coming out of different programs and go, well, why are you doing that?

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (30:44):

And sometimes the plans are not very well articulated, most of the time the real problem was after you've implemented the plans they didn't do a very good job of evaluating the impact of the plans on the relevant behaviors and selecting behaviors that were critical for quality of life for these children and their families in troubleshooting, uh, interventions that don't work very well. So it really got me thinking an awful lot about, uh, dissemination and quality control. And how do you, once again, assure that people are providing high quality services, and that then links to one of the other areas that I've been involved in for probably the last decade or more. And that is the area of ethics, teaching of ethics and dissemination of ethics. And a lot of what we talk about in terms of quality links back into the BACB code of ethics in terms of what we should be doing and how we do it ethically and how we do it effectively.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (31:45):

So those would all be things that kind of showed up in the teaching and the workshops and the training, and some of the research that I've done in the ethics area. And it is the case, by the way, that ethics I've always thought is admittable, like everything to behavior analytic interpretations about what are the conditions under which people behave ethically and what are the conditions under which people behave unethically either intentionally or as oversight. So I've always thought that rather than simply labeling people as good or bad people or ethical or unethical people, we ought to be thinking carefully about the conditions where people are blind to an ethical issue or intentionally ignore ethical guidelines and those situations where even if it's not in their best interest, they behave in an ethical, honorable fashion. So it it's, uh, it's always, you know, permeated a lot of the work that I do in the ethics area.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (32:45):

And, um, the other thing that I've done in the ethics area is I've spent a lot of time thinking about, well, you don't just teach people what the code is. You teach them how to resolve ethical problems. So in the courses and workshops that I've typically done, it tends to be very interactive and teams where they have to talk about the ethics issue, do their analysis, and also come up with strategies to resolve an ethical problem and rehearse it, get feedback on it and do it again. So it's really almost a fluency based approach to teaching people, not just the analysis part about ethics, but the practical applications of how do you get people to resolve the ethical dilemmas that they're going to be encountering as tactfully as possible. So those are some of the things that kind of led me to where I am right now.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (33:35):

Um, I should also say that, uh, I'm old enough now that I've, I'm more than qualified for retirement. Um, but you know, it's been such a part of my life. I'm really not willing to, you know, break off my relationship with a discipline at all. So I'm doing what they're referred to as a, uh, um, um, graduated retirement or something like that. So I'll be still teaching some, but with a reduced load essentially. So that'll give me some options, opportunities along those lines. So anyhow, that's kind of how I got to where I am right now. Um, I'm sure I've left out lots of important things and failed to acknowledge, uh, though I did mention by the way, some of my absolutely wonderful colleagues at Western, all of whom have been, you know, just tremendously influential and they include everybody, you know, from, you know, Dick Malott to Jack Michael, to Al Polling, to Stephanie Peterson, to Ron Van Houten, uh, and you know, Scott Gainer and a whole range of people. And I know I won't list everybody, but, uh, there's been a lot of very important influential people that have been part of the context that has encouraged me to engage in some of the professional behavior that I've engaged in over the course of time.

Shauna Costello (34:51):

And I'll say too, just knowing that, you know, like I know a little bit more about who's been at Western longer and this and that, but just, you know, really hearing it from you and kind of seeing while I was at Western, I can, I can see that you, you know, the way you helped build, build the program. I can still see that from when I was at Western. Um, one of my favorite classes that I ever took, and I still talk about to this day is your ethics class. That was probably one of the best classes I've taken. And I consider you one of the biggest ethics gurus that are out there, because its.

Shauna Costello (35:34):

Like you said, it's an ever evolving, it's an ever evolving thing is ethics. And it's something that changes on a day to day basis, but to hear about your history and everything, not everything, but you know, some of the stuff that you were involved in and experienced back in the, in the sixties in the seventies is I can now kind of understand more about how you and why you teach your ethics class. Like you teach it. And it's, yeah, it's really cool to see that as well.

Dr. Wayne Fuqua (36:11):

And, you know, it's, like I say, we're all a product of our history and our current context right there. I mean, many of those things are really important experiences for me.

Shauna Costello (36:19):

Thank you for listening to thought leaders come back next month. As we ask the question, where does Dr. Fuqua see the field going, or where would he like to see the field go? And as always, if you have any questions, comments, feedback, or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to us at


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