The Behavior Analyst

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 97–108 | Cite as

Making Behavioral Technology Transferable

  • H. S. Pennypacker
  • Larry L. Hench


The paucity of transferred behavioral technologies is traced to the absence of strategies for developing technology that is transferable, as distinct from strategies for conducting research, whether basic or applied. In the field of engineering, the results of basic research are transformed to candidate technologies that meet standardized criteria with respect to three properties: quantification, repetition, and verification. The technology of vitrification and storage of nuclear waste is used to illustrate the application of these criteria. Examples from behavior analysis are provided, together with suggestions regarding changes in practice that will accelerate the development and application of behavioral technologies.

Key words

technology transfer basic research behavioral technology 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Best breast self-exam. (1997, May 13). Family Circle, 110(7), 66.Google Scholar
  2. Branch, M. N., & Hackenberg, T. D. (in press). Humans are animals, too: Connecting animal research to human behavior and cognition. In W. O. Donohue (Ed.), Learning and behavior therapy. New York: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  3. Campbell, H. S., Fletcher, S. W., Pilgrim, C. A., Morgan, T., & Lin, S. (1991). Improving physicians’ and nurses’ clinical breast examination: A randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 7, 1–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Campbell, H. S., McBean, M., Mandlin, H., & Bryant, H. (1994). Teaching medical students how to perform a clinical breast examination. Academic Medicine, 69, 993–995.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Fletcher, S. W., O’Malley, M., & Bunce, L. (1985). Physicians’ abilities to detect lumps in silicone breast models. Journal of the American Medical Association, 253, 2224–2228.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Fletcher, S. W., O’Malley, M., Pilgrim, C. A., & Gonzalez, J. (1989). How do women compare with internal medicine residents in breast lump detection? Journal of General Internal Medicine, 4, 277–283.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Geller, E. S. (1991). Is applied behavior analysis technological to a fault? Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 24, 401–406.Google Scholar
  8. Hawkins, R. P., & Hursh, D. E. (1992). Levels of research for clinical practice: It isn’t as hard as you think. The West Virginia Journal of Psychological Research and Practice, 1, 61–71.Google Scholar
  9. Hench, L. L. (1986). International collaboration in nuclear waste solidification. Nuclear Technology, 73, 188–198.Google Scholar
  10. Hench, L. L. (1990, August). From concept to commerce: The challenge of technology transfer in materials. MRS Bulletin, 49–53.Google Scholar
  11. Johnson, K. R. (1997). About Morningside Learning Systems [on line]. (
  12. Johnson, K. R., & Layng, T. V. J. (1992). Breaking the structuralist barrier: Literacy and numeracy with fluency. American Psychologist, 47, 1475–1490.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Johnston, J. M. (1996). Distinguishing between applied research and practice. The Behavior Analyst, 19, 35–47.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Mace, F. C. (1991). Technological to a fault or a faulty approach to technological development? Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 24, 433–435.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. Mace, F. C. (1994). Basic research needed for stimulating the development of behavioral technologies. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 61, 529–550.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. Madden, M. C., Hench, L. L., Hall, D. C., Pennypacker, H. S., Adams, C. A., Goldstein, M. K., & Stein, G. H. (1978). Development of a model human breast with tumors for use in teaching breast examination. Journal of Bioengineering, 2, 427–435.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Moxley, R. A. (1995, March). Treatment only designs. Invited presentation to the seventh annual convention of the International Behaviorology Association, Gainesville, FL.Google Scholar
  18. Newland, M. C. (1994). Motor function and the physical properties of the operant: applications to screening and advanced applications. In L. W. Chang & W. Slikker (Eds.), Neurotoxicology: Approaches and methods (pp. 265–300). San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  19. Osborne, J. G. (1995). Reading and writing about research methods in behavior analysis: A personal account of a review of Johnston and Pennypacker’s Strategies and Tactics of Behavioral Research (2nd ed.) and others. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 64, 247–255.CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. Pennypacker, H. S. (1981). On behavior analysis. The Behavior Analyst, 4, 159–161.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. Pennypacker, H. S. (1986). The challenge of technology transfer: Buying in without selling out. The Behavior Analyst, 9, 147–156.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  22. Pennypacker, H. S. (1992). Is behavior analysis undergoing selection by consequences? American Psychologist, 47, 1491–1498.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Pennypacker, H. S., & Binder, C. (1992). Triage for American education. Administrative Radiology, 9, 19–25.Google Scholar
  24. Pennypacker, H. S., & Iwata, M. M. (1990). MammaCare: A case history in behavioral medicine. In D. E. Blackman & H. Lejeune (Eds.), Behavior analysis in theory and practice (pp. 259–288). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  25. Pennypacker, H. S., Kirsh, W., Johnson, G., Coleman, C., Summerlot, L., & Iwata, M. (1996). Teaching proficient clinical breast examination to community physicians. Gainesville, FL: Mammatech Corporation.Google Scholar
  26. Peterson, L., Homer, A. L., & Wonderlich, S. A. (1982). The integrity of independent variables in behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 15, 477–492.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  27. Pilgrim, C. A., Lannon, C., Harris, R., Cogburn, W., & Fletcher, S. W. (1993). Improving clinical breast examination training in a medical school: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 8, 685–688.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Pryor, K. (1994). Don’t shoot the dog. The new art of teaching and training. New York: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  29. Skinner, B. F. (1979). The shaping of a behaviorist. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
  30. Thomas, D. B., Gao, D. L., Self, S. G., Allison, C. J., Tao, Y., Mahloch, J., Ray, R., Quin, Q., Presley, R., & Porter, D. (1997). Randomized trial of breast self-examination in Shanghai: Methodology and preliminary results. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 89, 355–365.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Verhave, T. (1966). The pigeon as a quality control inspector. In R. Ulrich, T. Stachnik, & J. Mabry (Eds.), Control of human behavior: Vol. 1. Expanding the behavioral laboratory (pp. 242–246). Glenview, IL: Scott Foresman.Google Scholar
  32. Wilkes, G. W. (1996). Click! & treat training kit. Phoenix, AZ: Click! & Treat Products, Inc.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Mammatech CorporationGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Imperial College of Science, Technology and MedicineLondonUK

Personalised recommendations