DANGERS Facing Behavior Analysis | For All who Care About Our Science

DANGERS Facing Behavior Analysis | For All who Care About Our Science


hi my name is Erin Bertoli and I am a
board certified behavior analyst with Brett DiNovi & associates the following
video is based on an article written by dr. Steven Hayes entitled the greatest
dangers facing behavior analysts today dr. Hayes is a professor in the behavior
analysis program at the University of Nevada he has authored over 40 books and
nearly 700 scientific articles as the developer of relational frame theory he
has focused his career on an analysis of human language and cognition and the
application of this to acceptance and commitment therapy his work has been
extremely influential in my own study of rft and act and has sparked what I will
refer to as a healthy skepticism of where our field is going and my own work
as a behavior analyst of course I will always work in accordance with the bacb
task list but I’m very grateful and respective of the fact that the fifth
edition is coming out in 2022 and hope that our field continues to
expand our scope of practice because as a wise man once said if we do what we’ve
always done then we’ll get what we’ve always gotten in this article dr. Hayes
states that behavior analysis is underfunded under taught and
underappreciated he believes that there are dangers
lurking that can hurt behavior analysts and our field as a whole he proposes six
dangers that I feel all behavior analysts should consider if we’re going
to expand our field and take our science to new levels as we all know behavior
analysis was originally focused on animal learning but as Skinner explained
the importance of a science of behavior derives largely from the possibility of
an adventure extension to human affairs our mission from the very start was to
understand complex human behavior where are the experimental analyses of emotion
friendship sexuality health reasoning humor intelligence and so on as time has
passed both basic and applied behavior analysis has narrowed it seems ABA is
now a subfield of developmental disabilities and that original mission
has gotten lost the second is tool polishing Ohel
behavior analysts love our principles principles of behavior are our tools and
our ways of speaking about the prediction
an influence of the historically and currently situated actions of organisms
that are precise broadly applicable and coherent in terms of the larger fabric
of science yes principles are our tools but we may need to focus less on these
shiny tools and focus more on all they can fix behavior analysis is a pragmatic
discipline are we using our tools to unlock the complexity of human behavior
or are we just polishing them up to use them again and again on the same
problems the third is the joy of precise irrelevance at various times throughout
our fields existence preparations arise that offer an opportunity to deal with
greater complexity and take steps toward expanding our field but after the
initial excitement we sometimes lose our way and forget why these preparations
are important to begin with one example of this that dr. Hayes gives in his
article is stimulus equivalence in some Reacher’s hands it has gone from an
outcome that Orient’s the field to key process issues in the analysis of
language to an end in and of itself equivalence has already been studied for
25 years and if we continue to consider it as an end in itself where are we
going with it we cannot waste another 25 years in extremely precise irrelevance e
the next is danger of hero-worship now this is a bold one dr. Hayes is one of
my most respected and inspiring leaders in our field but here he is putting down
our forefather the late and great BF Skinner but what he’s presenting does
make a lot of sense he speaks of other intellectual fields that are associated
with a great leader and how one of two things usually happen the field becomes
a kind of living memorial where the great leader is set aside as an honored
parent primarily of historical interest he argues that if Skinner’s ideas are of
sufficient current interest then we will develop use them and write our own
literature making his ancient texts a lot less necessary if the books are
needed because others are not expressing these ideas or not doing so in a way
that maintains their integrity vitality or
meaning then behavior analysis is a field in which old is better than new is
that what we want the alternative he proposes is our field to embrace a post
Canarian era he is not proposing that someone else should assume Skinner’s
place as he feels that the error of great leaders is forever in our
behavioral science but maybe our field move Skinner into his rightful place as
a historical antecedent of contemporary behavior analysis the fifth is the
danger of self-righteousness behavior analysts do a lot of hard work without a
lot of pay the reward is more social where a good scientist earns respect but
dr. Hayes points to signs that behavior analytic culture is beginning to reward
sameness and rigidity over an increased ability to predict an influence
important behavior with precision scope and depth he fears that we are more
satisfied with familiar behavioral raps than with making a difference in the
larger body of science for example all of the successful work with direct
contingency analysis and warns us that relatively narrow areas of interest are
dominating the field is our field really expanding because the field not busy
being born is a field that is busy dying all of these dangers combined in this
last warning a failure to replicate while the number of masters levels
behavior analysts are exploding there are way too few at the PhD level he
warns us about the integrity and quality of these few doctoral programs and is
fearful of the low number of qualified candidates to teach in these programs
some of which are not explicitly behavior analytic the field is aging and
as some of our brightest behavior analysts leave they are not being
replaced yes these dangers seem bleak and maybe they’re a bit of a stretch but
they’ve certainly made me reflect on what kind of behavior analyst I want to
be and where I want my field to go and I think as a community maybe we need to be
a little bit more skeptical in order to do everything we can to ensure that our
field continues to expand that we continue to push the envelope refuse to
accept interpretation and be true scientists be open to new theories when
the data is pointing us in that direction and get back to our fields
original mission of being a comprar pensive experimental account of all
psychology and address complex human behavior because it is not the strongest
of the species that survive nor the most intelligent but the one most responsive
to change so what are your thoughts on this thoughts on entering a posts
Canarian era please leave your comments below and subscribe to receive more
content and help disseminate the science of behavior analysis you you

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