Andy Lattal is Centennial Professor of Psychology at West Virginia University, where he has taught and mentored 45 doctoral students since 1972. Andy’s research, covering a host of topics across the discipline’s spectrum, has appeared in more than 180 research articles, chapters, and edited books. A past Editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, he currently serves in editorial capacities for eight professional journals. Andy has been recognized with several teaching and research awards, and for his professional service with the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis’s awards for Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis and for the International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis. He was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Lille in France and in 2019 will be a Fellow of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science in residence at Osaka Kyoiku University in Osaka, Japan.
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Honk More—Wait More

Practicing Behavior Analysis on the Streets of Mumbai, India Blogger: Andy Lattal, Ph.D. The following article appeared recently in the New York Times. It describes how police in Mumbai, India, undertook an experiment to control the excessive blowing of car horns by drivers caught in what must be nightmarish traffic in that largest of Indian cities.
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Happiness

Blogger: Andy Lattal, Ph.D.   Happiness pervades modern life. It is a major topic of talk-show interviews, best-selling books, psychotherapeutic interactions, everyday gossip (“How can she really be happy with him?”), and personal ruminations. Poets, cartoonists, and novelists have done as good a job as psychologists in understanding it. I personally have always preferred Charles Shultz’s
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Blogger: Andy Lattal, Ph.D.   The A-B-A, or reversal, design is one of the most recognized, single-case experimental designs in both research and practice (although in practice, the return to baseline is followed by a return to the treatment, or B, phase). In non-experimental settings, A-B, or non-reversal designs, occur often. Sometimes this is in the
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Getting to the Cause of Things

Blogger: Andy Lattal, Ph.D.   “Why did Johnny just throw the mother of all temper tantrums?” is a question many of you have asked and been asked, in some form or another. The response to this question, under scrutiny, may have been different. The perpetrator may have been different. The circumstances may have been different. But
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Blogger: Andy Lattal, Ph.D.   Social distancing to many public health leaders and politicians is the COVID-19 Rosetta Stone. In the absence of a vaccine, if we can understand and manage social distancing, it may be possible to reverse the awful upward trend in the infection data in many American states that we have seen in
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Blogger: Andy Lattal, Ph.D. Every behavior analyst (hopefully) has learned that ours is a science of behavior. We do not learn that ours is a science of the individual or a science of the person. Why is that? Are we not, however, concerned with people, you may ask? Are we not concerned with the human condition?
Dissing-Ability

Dissing Ability

Blogger: Andy Lattal, Ph.D. Suddenly, an observable response pattern—reading—is turned into an internal state. Too many times I have read in both student and professional papers something to the effect that “the child had the ability to solve the problem” or “the pigeon had the ability to discriminate…” Three problems render such expressions untenable and therefore
Catch-Up Contingencies

Catch-Up Contingencies

Blogger: Andy Lattal, Ph.D. Ever heard the expression “closing the barn door after the cows are out?”  It basically means coming up with a solution that is too little, too late, to work. This happens even at the cultural level in that sometimes society recognizes that the way things have been done is in the long-run
When Punishment is a Reinforcer

When Punishment is a Reinforcer

Blogger: Andy Lattal, Ph.D. Punishment, by definition, reduces, weakens, or eliminates (depending on one’s theoretical bias) the responses on which it depends. But punishment also reinforces other behavior, notably that of the one administering the punishment. It does so because the behavior being punished is reduced or ceases altogether. And once the behavior of punishing is
Obsessing over OCD days of COVID-19
Blogger: Andy Lattal, Ph.D.   “Wash your hands for as long as it takes to sing the ‘Happy birthday’ song – twice” is the mantra of 2020, and with good reason. Not only that but also spraying packages from Amazon with Lysol and using that stuff on doorknobs and everything else metallic or cardboard or other