Making a Footprint in Environmental Sustainability: A Behavioral Systems Approach to Engaging the Behavioral Community
Climate change is arguably the most pressing issue facing humanity today. There is significant research to support the argument that climate change is a human-created problem and it can only be addressed by changing human behavior. Despite the magnitude of the issue and the potential for behavior science to make a significant contribution, there are few behavior analysts/scientists currently working in climate change. One possible explanation is that there is limited access to preparation for and opportunities to apply our science to large-scale issues. In response, the Behaviorists for Social Responsibility Special Interest Group of the Association for Behavior Analysis International developed the Matrix Project as a way to apply Behavioral Systems Analysis to issues of social importance. By understanding the contingencies that hinder or promote working in a particular area we can begin to create the conditions that will facilitate such work. The purpose of this article is twofold: 1) to demonstrate how the Matrix Project may be used to increase the likelihood that behavior analysts/scientists will work in areas of social importance using environmental sustainability as an example, and 2) encourage behavior analysts/scientists to target and understand complex systems by providing examples of actionable steps that could be generalized to other important social issues.
KeywordsApplied behavior analysis Behavioral systems analysis Climate change Environment Sustainability
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The information presented here is in compliance with the ethical standards of this journal.
Conflict of Interest
Holly A. Seniuk, Traci M. Cihon, Molly Benson, and Molli M. Luke declare that we have no conflict of interest.
No human or animal subjects took part in the current study.
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