The Behavior Analyst

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 193–196 | Cite as

Beyond Basic or Applied

  • Claire C. St. Peter

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...


Behavior Analysis Applied Behavior Analysis Behavior Analyst Applied Behavior Informative Work 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



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.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA

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