Guest Blogger: Dr. Andy Lattal There is another question to be answered before considering the question in the title of this commentary: “What is a free operant, anyway?” It is an expression that sometimes appears in talks and articles, but it isn’t as commonly used as it once was. Free operant originally described an experimental arrangement in which

Treating Dangerous Behavior

Guest Blogger: Andy Lattal Dangerous behavior simply can’t be ignored. The person engaging in it is going to either hurt herself or someone else if it continues. Saying that is easy, knowing what to do about it is a rabbit hole. At what point does the behavior become more than “disruptive” and cross the “dangerous”

Behavior in Translation

Blogger: Dr. Andy Lattal Have you ever heard a paper presented at a conference or elsewhere about research with rats or pigeons, and it seems like the findings might be helpful in working with your clients? But then you wonder, is there really a connection between the two? How do people know if a basic

Psychology Spectrum Disorder (PSD)

Blogger: Dr. Andy Lattal In a famous article entitled “Are Theories of Learning Necessary,” published in 1950, Skinner examined the broad spectrum, that is, psychology, and presented it to the Midwestern Psychological Association. He proposed that approaches at either end of the psychology spectrum were, from his vantage, somewhat disordered. They remain so today. At one end were theories that
Guest Blogger: Andy Lattal Many applied behavior analysts find themselves in a different world from that in which they were trained. Most are trained by other behavior analysts in programs or even departments where the principal worldview is that of behavior analysis. Fast forward a couple of years (or more) and many of those same
Guest Blogger: Jackie Noto Effectively planning and leading meetings are beneficial for the success of employees and the company alike. Research has shown that productive meetings can have a significant return on investment for a company; however, few have received instruction on how best to plan or lead meetings. With the high levels of time

Measuring Thoughts

Guest Blogger: Andy Lattal “Neuroscientists Decode Brain Speech Signals into Written Text.” If you suspect that the National Enquirer wrote this recent newspaper headline, you would be wrong. It was published by the respected British newspaper, The Guardian. It caught my eye for obvious reasons. I have not checked out the science, but the report

Agency and Shaping

Guest Blogger: Andy Lattal Shaping, or the differential reinforcement of successive approximations, is thought by many to be the most important tool in the behavior analyst’s toolbox. Shaping is usually thought of as something one human does to change the behavior of another living organism, most often to a human but also to a pet
Performance problems plague organizations both big and small. Wherever humans work, performance is happening, and so too are problems. Though each company’s performance issues are unique, often a formulaic—read: cookie-cutter— approach is the chosen remedy. In other words, let’s train and retrain everybody.
Guest Blog by Andy Lattal, Ph.D.   I just googled the word “self”: 3,540,000,000 hits, more or less. That’s three point five billion, just to be clear. Wow. What a word. What a construct. Whoever came up with the idea of self? (In his recent book, Flesh in the Age of Reason, which I highly recommend,