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The Importance of Analysis in Applied Behavior Analysis

2 hours, 17 minutes
2.5 BACB

“You need to understand the causes of behavior before you identify effective treatment, and the only way to do that is through experimentation.”

Henry Schlinger Jr., PhD, BCBA-D


The field of Applied Behavior Analysis is growing and, as it continues to grow, we have a responsibility to the next generation of behavior analysts. In this continuing education course, Dr. Schlinger will challenge you to consider how we can do a better job of educating future behavior analysts. He uses literature to make the case for an increased focus on experimental and conceptual analysis. With an understanding that behavior is multiply controlled, it seems obvious that no single form of treatment will work. To develop treatments, we need to understand the function of behavior. A true experimental investigation of behavioral function would look at motivating operations, discriminative stimuli, and consequences as they influence behavior. Without this investigation of behavioral function, we risk becoming technological to a fault. We may be able to demonstrate the effects of behavioral interventions, but if we’re overly focused on technological efforts and not on analysis, we may not be able to achieve the outcomes we’ve come to expect. Furthermore, we may inadvertently have a negative impact on the field. One solution is to increase the training that new practitioners receive in the areas of Experimental Analysis of Behavior and Conceptual Analysis.

Learning Objectives

What you’ll learn in the course and be able to do afterward

  1. Describe what it means to call oneself a behavior analyst
  2. Identify and list the three branches of behavior analysis and the place of analysis in each
  3. Describe the origin of the term analysis in behavior analysis
  4. Describe how the term analysis and similar terms (such as experimental analysis, functional analysis) in ABA are typically used
  5. List the seven dimensions of ABA and say what the analytic dimension is and how it is related to the problem of reliability
  6. Describe the contributions to the concept of functional analysis by Skinner, Iwata, et al
  7. Describe three ways that research and practice in ABA should be closely related
  8. Describe the importance of analysis in any treatment program
  9. Describe the role of analysis in applied behavior analytic research compared to the evolution of technologies of behavior change
  10. Describe what is meant by technology
  11. Describe what researchers mean by a technical drift in ABA
  12. Describe the general positions of several behavior-analytic researchers on the so-called technical drift in ABA
  13. Describe seven areas of possible analysis relevant to any treatment program
  14. Describe the possible role of autism, the expanded diagnostic category of autism spectrum disorders, and the BACB on the lack of (experimental) analysis in ABA


This course is delivered through Florida Tech. Clicking "Enroll Now" will take you to Florida Tech’s website where you can Add to CartCheckout, and complete the course. Come back to our website for podcasts, blogs, courses, and content.


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