2004: Anna I. Pettursdottir


Western Michigan University


After an elective course on single-case experimental design sparked her interest in applied behavior analysis (ABA), Anna I. Pettursdottir abandoned her graduate school plans in favor of working in an ABA home program for a child with autism and assisted in developing and maintaining a network of parents and professionals working in the area. This experience, combined with frequent contact with Icelandic behavior analysts and opportunities to meet several prominent behavior analysts who visited Iceland, led her to pursue a degree in behavior analysis at Western Michigan University. Despite interest in autism and the identification of effective procedures for teaching language and other important skills to this population of children, her research shifted toward more fundamental questions regarding the nature of verbal behavior and its acquisition. She helped conduct empirical investigations of the various behavior analytic accounts of language offered in the literature, along with potential applications. Anna’s research efforts focused mainly on childhood verbal behavior acquisition, and her master’s thesis examined the functional independence of tacts and mands in typically developing preschoolers.




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