B-01: Use the dimensions of applied behavior analysis (Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968) to evaluate whether interventions are behavior analytic in nature

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Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis (Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968)

1. Applied: in behavioral application the behavior, stimuli, and/or organism under study are chosen because of their importance to man and society, rather than their importance to theory. An important question to ask when evaluating applied research is: how immediately important is this behavior or these stimuli to this subject?

2. Behavioral: the scientific study of behavior requires precise measurement of composed physical events; explicit measurement of the reliability of human observers is a prime criterion of whether a study is appropriately behavioral. It is important to ask: was behavior changed? and whose behavior changed?

3. Analytic: an experimenter has achieved an analysis of a behavior when he can exercise control over it; in applied research/settings, when enough control is shown for believability. Two designs are commonly used to demonstrate reliability: the reversal technique, and the multiple baseline technique.

4. Technological: the techniques making up a particular behavioral application are completely identified and described; procedural descriptions require considerable detail about all possible contingencies of a procedure. It is important to ask: could a typically trained reader replicate the procedure well enough to produce the same results given only a reading of the description?

5. Conceptually systematic: relevance to principle; shows the reader how specific procedures are derived from basic principles. [Examples: “social reinforcement procedure,”  “fading,” “errorless discrimination”]

6. Effective: whether behavioral techniques produce large enough effects for practical value. One may ask: how much did the behavior need to be changed? (This is often answered by people who deal with the behavior)

7. Generality: a behavioral change may be said to have generality if it proves durable over time, if it appears in a wide variety of possible environments, or if it spreads to a wide variety of related behaviors. Generalization should be programmed (not simply expected).

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