What Happened to Analysis in Applied Behavior Analysis?
- 3 Downloads
This paper addresses the current help-oriented focus of researchers in applied behavior analysis. Evidence from a recent volume of JABA suggests that analytic behavior is at low levels in applied analysis while cure-help behavior is at high strength. This low proportion of scientific behavior is apparantly related to cure-help contingencies set by institutions and agencies of help and the editorial policies of JABA itself. These contingencies have favored the flight to real people and a concern with client gains, evaluation and outcome strategies rather than the analysis of contingencies of reinforcement controlling human behavior. In this regard, the paper documents the current separation of applied behavior analysis from the experimental analysis of behavior. There is limited use of basic principles in applied analysis today and almost no reference to the current research in the experimental analysis of behavior involving concurrent operants and adjunctive behavior. This divorce of applied behavior research and the experimental analysis of behavior will mitigate against progress toward a powerful technology of behavior. In order to encourage a return to analysis in applied research, there is a need to consider the objectives of applied behavior analysis. The original purpose of behavioral technology is examined and a re-definition of the concept of “social importance” is presented which can direct applied researchers toward an analytic focus. At the same time a change in the publication policies of applied journals such as JABA toward analytic research and the design of new educational contingencies for students will insure the survival of analysis in applied behavior analysis.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Catania, A. C. On being behavioral in nonbehavioral places. Invited address given to the Division of Experimental Analysis of Behavior at the meeting of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, August, 1978.Google Scholar
- 2.Epling, W. Frank and Zelhart, P. F. An animal analogue of Anorexia Nervosa. A paper presented to the Psychologists Association of Alberta, Jasper, Alberta, Canada, 1978.Google Scholar
- 3.Hayes, S. C., Rincover, A. and Solnick, J. V. The Technical Drift of Applied Behavior Analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, (in press), 1980.Google Scholar
- 4.Johnston, James M. Personal Communication, March 3, 1980.Google Scholar
- Baum, W. M. On two types of deviation from the matching law; bias and undermatching. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 1974, 22, 321–342.Google Scholar
- Burgess, R. L., and Bushell, D. Jr. Behavioral sociology: the experimental analysis of social processes. New York: Columbia University Press, 1969.Google Scholar
- Campbell, D. T., and Stanley, J. C. Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for research. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1963.Google Scholar
- Catania, A. C. Concurrent operants. In W. K. Honig (Ed.), Operant behavior: areas of research and application. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1966.Google Scholar
- Ferster, C. B., Culbertson, S. and Boren, M. C. P. Behavior principles. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice Hall, 1975.Google Scholar
- Gewirtz, J. L., and Boyd, E. F. Experiments on mother-infant interaction underlying mutual attachment acquisition: the infant conditions the mother. In T. Alloway, P. Pliner and L. Kranes (Eds.), Attachment behavior. New York: Plenum Press, 1977.Google Scholar
- Skinner, B. F. The flight from the laboratory. In B. F. Skinner (3rd Ed.), Cummulative record. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1972.Google Scholar
- Skinner, B. F. The design of cultures. Daedalus, 1961, 90, 534–546.Google Scholar
- Skinner, B. F. Science and human behavior. New York: The Free Press, 1953.Google Scholar