Beyond Basic or Applied
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Applying a categorical label to something forces discriminations about that thing. This object is a chair (and that object is not). This writing utensil is a pencil (and that writing utensil is not). This research is applied behavior analysis (and that research is not). If we have labels, we must have some boundary condition of what constitutes exemplars and non-exemplars of that label. The boundary conditions for applied behavior analysis established by Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968) occurred at a time that traditional operant procedures were receiving considerable negative public press (see Critchfield & Reed, 2017, and Rutherford, 2009for detailed discussions). Applying a new label to research that emphasized social validity may have been historically important to establish applied behavior analysis as something “other” than the experimental analysis of behavior (either human or nonhuman). This distinction may have allowed a generation (or more) of behavior modifiers and applied...
KeywordsBehavior Analysis Applied Behavior Analysis Behavior Analyst Applied Behavior Informative Work
Thanks to Karen Anderson, Katherine Kestner, Henry Pennypacker, and the doctoral students working with me at West Virginia University for their insights about issues mentioned in this manuscript.
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Conflict of Interest
The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.
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