Bridging Different Ways of Knowing – Amplify the Experts: Positive Deviance as a Cultural Learning Approach to Effect Group Behavioral Change with Tiffany Dubuc, BCBA and Sage Gibbons

Tiffany Dubuc, BCBA, & Sage Gibbons

This event is Session 8 in our series,

Bridging Different Ways of Knowing: Making Non-Behavioral Concepts Accessible and Actionable for Behavior Analysts

There are many ways of knowing. And these ways of knowing are differentially useful for promoting knowledge and effective action in different contexts. Despite our terribly powerful analyses and technologies, however, behavior analysts have repeatedly found our impact limited by rigid adherence to our contextual way of knowing and technical way of speaking. Some behavior analysts, however, have been successful in connecting concepts and issues from across the spectrum of knowledge with accessible and effectively actionable behavioral conceptualizations. This series aims to celebrate that practice of bridging by inviting experts and activists in fields of social significance (1) to present the concepts that emerge from their way of knowing and (2) to participate in a translational conversation that brings a behavioral way of knowing to bear.

Connections Behavior Planning and Intervention is excited to welcome Tiffany Dubuc and Sage Gibbons for a Continuing Education webinar for Behavior Analysts! This event will consist of (1) a presentation on current issues related to Positive Deviance, led by Sage Gibbons; and then (2) a discussion between Tiffany and Sage to translate important issues and concepts into language familiar to and actionable by behavior analysts and other professionals.

This is the eighth session of an 8-session series. If you would like to register for all 8 sessions at a discount, please visit the Bridging Series page.


Efforts to solve complex problems like malnutrition or poverty in developing countries are often limited by top-down approaches that offer generic, analytical solutions to local behavioral challenges. These efforts are often unsuccessful because they do not prioritize the existing social and cultural ecology of a community. However, in every community there is local variation, with some people doing better than others at managing a shared challenge. “Positive Deviance” is an approach that seeks to amplify these successes within the context that they emerged from. In particular, it reframes the challenge of group behavioral change not as stemming from a lack of intellectual understanding, but from a need for reinforcement opportunities where community members can learn by doing. As Positive Deviance is a nonformal method developed by practitioners in applied settings, there is a significant opportunity for behavioral analysts to translate its features into a practical toolkit for group behavioral change.

About the Presenters:

Tiffany Dubuc, MS, BCBA is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst, from Ottawa, Canada.  She has obtained graduate and post-graduate training in Applied Behaviour Analysis and the Contextual Behavior Sciences.  Her research interests include the analysis of verbal behaviour, relational frame theory, and areas of broad-scale social change (research and practice), particularly the translation of experimental and applied interventions to address psychological flexibility, cultural discrimination, and climate change.

Sage Gibbons is a ProSocial Facilitator with experience leading group-level ACT interventions with community organizations, Graduate Research Assistant at Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI) at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Sage holds a BA in Environmental Studies and a BA in Biology, and currently working on a Master of Science Degree in Urban Informatics at Northeastern University. You can hear Sage co-host an episode of David Sloan Wilson’s podcast ‘This View of Life’, here.

Presenter Financial Disclosures:

Tiffany Dubuc will receive an honorarium payment for participation in this event, and a portion of proceeds from future on-demand purchases.

Sage Gibbons will receive an honorarium payment for participation in this event, and a portion of proceeds from future on-demand purchases.

Aside from proceeds from registration, Connections Behavior will receive no commercial support for hosting this event.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will describe three examples of the successful application of Positive Deviance on complex group behavior change not typically discussed from a behavioral perspective.
  2. Participants will describe behavioural principles or practices relevant to at least one issue described.

BACB CEU’s included, and Cost to Attend:

  • 1.0 Learning BACB CEU
    • $19.99 (CEU’s included in price)


For questions, challenges with registration, or any other needed information, please contact Dusty, Director of Continuing Education and ACE Coordinator for CBPI, LLC, at continuingeducation@connections-behavior.com.

Connections Behavior Planning & Intervention, LLC, is a BACB-Approved ACE Provider (Provider # OP-17-2781). The BACB does not directly sponsor or endorse this event, its speakers, or its content.

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