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By Vince Bello ABA Technologies CSF Student Behavior analysis today gets most of its mainstream recognition for the work being done in applied settings, referred to as applied behavior analysis (ABA). The progress of behavior analytic applications has been important for the dissemination of the science and even better for the clients across the world
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Blogger: Andy Lattal, Ph.D. The distinction between contingency governed (or “shaped”) and rule-governed behavior is an old saw for most behavior analysts. Like most dichotomies, this one doesn’t hold up under careful analysis. Behavior that is shaped by its consequences gives rise, at least with humans, to rules that can impact future actions along the lines

As Useful as a Third Ear

Blogger: Andy Lattal, Ph.D.   When I was a graduate student in clinical psychology, lo those many years ago, I was assigned Theodore Reik’s book, Listening with the Third Ear.  Reik was a psychoanalyst of considerable reputation and his book was widely read by my generation and earlier generations of clinical psychology students. The message, of
Terminology

The Term DRO

Bad or Possibly Redeemable Label? Blogger: Andy Lattal, Ph.D. A procedure in which each target response postpones a scheduled reinforcer most often is described in both the basic and applied research and practice literature as a differential-reinforcement-of-other-behavior schedule, or DRO. The term first was used by Reynolds (1961), although in a paper received two months before
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Covid-19 Dreamin’

Blogger: Andy Lattal, Ph.D. I, like many people of my age, am gravely concerned about getting infected by the coronavirus and coming down with a devastating-to-deadly case of COVID-19. Since early March, my wife, Darnell, and I have meticulously social distanced, ordered groceries online, washed our hands to the tune of the happy birthday verse (twice),
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Praying Deer

Blogger: Andy Lattal, Ph.D.   For the past six months I have had the pleasure of living in the beautiful city of Nara, Japan, during a sabbatical leave to conduct research at nearby Osaka Kyoiku University with my fine colleague Professor Hiroto Okouchi. Among the many beautiful sights of Nara is a 1300- acre park. And
Is Bigger Better

Are Bigger Reinforcers Better?

Blogger: Andy Lattal, Ph.D.   When it comes to reinforcement, it is difficult to say. We can measure how “good” a reinforcer is in different ways. One measure is preference, but there may be many reasons why I prefer something that do not necessarily translate directly into how well it will maintain my behavior. The example
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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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