Culture Always Matters: Some Thoughts on Rosenberg and Schwartz

  • Matthew T. BrodheadEmail author
Special Section: Diversity and Inclusion


The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to and highlight some particularly enlightening arguments described by Rosenberg and Schwartz (2019). First, I emphasize the importance of the role of culture in ethical analysis and describe how the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts (2014; hereafter referred to as the BACB Code) unintentionally underplays the importance of culture. Second, I express support for the model of ethical analysis proposed by Rosenberg and Schwartz and explain how their model provides an excellent and much-needed framework for the observation (and subsequent study) of ethical decision-making in behavior-analytic practice. Finally, I go all in and join Rosenberg and Schwartz in their call for scholars to critically analyze and discuss the BACB Code and to challenge the status quo (or call into question those who do). Such a discussion is healthy for our science and understanding of ethics and behavior analysis.


applied behavior analysis culture ethics decision-making models dissent 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by the author.

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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