What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

(A more technical approach)

“Applied behavior analysis is the is the science in which tactics derived from the principles of behavior are applied systematically to improve socially significant behavior and experimentation is used to identify the variables responsible for behavior change” (Cooper, Heron, and Heward, 2007).

The work we do should be…… 

  • Applied ... In that the work conducted must have social significance
  • Behavioral ... In that precise and reliable measurement of behavior should be attainable 
  • Analytic ... In that it must be shown that the treatment resulted in behavior change, and not something else
  • Technological ... In that procedures used should be clearly described and identified
  • Conceptually systematic ... In that procedures should be described in terms of their principles 
  • Effective ... In that procedures should improve the behaviors being addressed to a practical degree
  • Generalized ... In that positive changes should extend over time, environments, and behaviors

Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968

Terms such as discrete trial teaching (DTT), natural environment training (NET), incidental teaching (IT), and task analysis (TA) refer to teaching strategies/procedures often employed within the behavior analytic paradigm.  These terms are not synonymous with ABA. That is, they are formats in which to teach a particular skill or concept using the principles of behavior to assist the acquisition of skills and concepts.  Verbal Behavior (VB) is concerned with the application of the principles of behavior at the level of communication.

ABACS, LLC services adhere to the seven dimensions of applied behavior analysis, and use any or all of the teaching strategies listed above, as appropriate, to help each learner achieve success.