If a child constantly receives rewards, won’t he/she refuse to work in their absence?

his raises the age-old question of whether intrinsic motivation (e.g., being naturally motivated) is hampered by extrinsic motivation (e.g., being motivated by possible rewards). The truth is: extrinsic motivation can, and often does cultivate intrinsic motivation. The principles of ABA suggest that we are more likely to enjoy the things that are associated with rewards, […]

How does ABA differ from Verbal Behavior and Positive Behavior Supports?

Verbal Behavior (VB) and Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) can be thought of as offshoots or extensions of ABA, which is the parent science. Both sets of methods utilize behavior analytic principles, and despite slight differences in terminology, do not conflict with ABA in any meaningful way.

Is all that data really necessary?

In most cases, yes. Behavior analysts use data to assess the effectiveness of their teaching. This means they can quickly modify ineffective procedures when necessary. Also, data are used to determine precisely when a skill has been learned to criterion, so that skill can be advanced, and the extra teaching time can be allocated to […]

Is ABA all discrete trials and rote memorization?

No! Quality ABA service providers ensure that students learn to “apply” the skills they’ve learned in truly functional ways. Discrete trial teaching is often used to introduce and hone skills (e.g., playing with a doll, math facts, putting on socks) in a controlled distraction-free environment (e.g., at a desk). However, once the skill is adequately […]

How extensively have ABA principles been researched?

Behavior analysts have rigorously tested the principles of their science for over 50 years. Unlike many sciences, ABA researchers administer numerous controls to enhance the validity of their experiments. Some of these controls include: baseline measures, inter-observer agreement, treatment integrity, and social validity. Furthermore, behavior analytic research refrains from “averaging” data, which can mask the […]

What is ABA?

In their definitive textbook “Applied Behavior Analysis,” Cooper, Heron, and Heward define ABA as “a science devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior.” ABA researchers have spent decades studying how people’s behavior can be shaped by the behavior of others, as well as the rules and routines they encounter. ABA service providers use […]