Behavior Analysis Association of
Special Online Graduate Course in Behavior Analysis at Western Michigan University
Fundamental Issues in Theory and Philosophy
(Featuring live discussions with M. Jackson Marr)
This fully online 2-credit course is comprised of video presentations and
corresponding readings on the fundamental issues in theory and
philosophy of behavior analysis. In addition to the videos and
readings, students will participate in discussions with Dr. Jackson
Marr, a renowned behavior analyst, regarding the topics in the readings
Discussions occur each
Wednesday from 3:00 – 5:00 pm EDT from September 17–November 5, 2014.
Students will complete exams online to demonstrate acquisition of the
is expected that students will have a general understanding of basic
behavior analytic theory and behavior analysis principles. Students
should have a solid foundation in B.F. Skinner's operant principles and
theories of behavior (reinforcement, punishment, extinction, stimulus
control, motivating operations). This is an advanced behavior analysis
course. Individuals without behavior analytic preparation should not
Course topics will include:
- Consciousness and private events
- Behaviorism, values, and ethics
- Logical and scientific verbal behavior—What’s happened to Skinner’s “empirical epistemology?”
- What counts as behavior?
- Patterns of explanation in behavior analysis—models and theories.
More information can be found here.
buffs, try this in class. It shows the power of immediate verbal
stimulus control over delayed control:
In-Class Experiment on Instructional
Control & Observer Bias
is also an excellent demonstration of unconscious cueing or bias.
It shows how difficult it is for observers to avoid biasing an outcome
D.W., Fuller, V.A., & Sparrow, B. (2003). Clever hands: Uncontrolled
intelligence in facilitated communication. Journal of Personality
and Social Psychology, 85, 5–19. (PDF)
BAAM Movies: ABA in Natural Settings
Now available for viewing on
mobile web browsers including iPhone and iPod Touch!
Take a look at BAAM's new video series, "Applied Behavior Analysis in Natural
Settings." This series of 32 video vignettes shows how ABA is
applied in natural settings to promote more effective teaching and
generalization of skills.
Designed primarily for parents and new professionals, each video includes
a brief descriptive introduction and a detailed explanation of the
important elements of each teaching interaction. BAAM has also provided
an overview of ABA and glossary of basic behavioral terms to help those new to ABA
appreciate the technical details of the presentations. A technical assistance page will guide those few who might
not already have a compatible web-browser*. Although these videos
are not designed to teach therapeutic techniques, they will provide
an appreciation for the range of settings and circumstances in which
high-quality ABA teaching can and should occur.
*All videos require a Quicktime compatible viewer or web browser.
All videos and related material are for personal use only. The videos
and related materials may not be downloaded, re posted, distributed,
collected, or used for any commercial purpose without the expressed
written permission of BAAM.
a "Virtual Member"
Virtual membership page
BAAM Statement of Purpose
The Behavior Analysis Association of Michigan has been organized to
support and promote scientific research on the basic principles
of behavior and the extension of those principles to create
demonstrably effective and humane outcome-based therapies
with the primary goal of establishing and enhancing functional
independent living skills.
Attention to Eyes Less in Infants Who Develop Autism
Beyond Autism: Did
you know that the most effective (by far), intervenions for cocaine
addiction and smoking during pregnancy, multibillion dollar problems,
were designed by behavior analysts using empirically validated learning
From the Abstract: "Here we show in a prospective longitudinal study that infants later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) exhibit mean decline in eye fixation from 2 to 6 months of age, a pattern not observed in infants who do not develop ASD."
Applied Behavior Analysis
What is ABA? It is the use of laboratory- and application-tested learning principles to teach important academic, social, and life skills.
Is ABA proven?
ABA is not
an untested "theory" being sold in advance of scientific validation.
Applied behavior analysis is based directly on scientific
findings. If you need the new
behavior to persist, ABA therapists know how to use special schedules
of reinforcement--proven in the lab for over 75 years--to make that
happen. If you need the newly learned behavior to work at home
and school, ABA therapists know how to use scientific knowledge about
generalization--based on 100 years of science--to make that happen.
Does ABA with autism involve mindlessly repeated trials using M&Ms as rewards?
Only in the misleading advertising of those offering "treatments" that
don't have good scientific support. ABA uses the most effective
rewards, chosen specifically for the person, and does not waste time
teaching things that have already been successfully learned.
We need to remind those outside our field that ABA is far more
than a teacher sitting knee-to-knee with a student endlessly
repeating discrete trials.
Vincent Strully, Director of the New England Center for ChildrenWatch some genuine ABA done in a natural setting. ABA uses the most appropriate reward for the situation in the most appropriate setting to teach effective behavior as quickly as possible.
Want a little more information? Look at the links below.
take on pseudoscience
Behavior Analysis Certification Board Publishes ASD Treatment Guidelines for Applied Behavior Analysis
Health Plan Coverage of Applied Behavior Analysis Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder.
B.F. Skinner's William James Lectures and Columbia
University Verbal Behavior course notes by Ralph Hefferline
Skinner's 1948 William James Lectures were his 1957 book Verbal
Behavior in draft form. Shared for decades in mimeographed
form among a few lucky behavior analysts, this is the first time
this classic has been generally available. Ralph Hefferline's
1947 class notes from Skinner's Columbia University course in
verbal behavior show even earlier development of the same ideas.
These are true classics in the history of psychology, made available
through the generosity of the B.F.
BAAM Science and Practice
Facilitated Communication is back and growing in popularity. People
are once again being falsely accused of abuse, and facilitated
communication advocates are once again being given lavish attention and financial rewards for their dangerous and scientifically discredited pseudoscience.
sign the BAAM Resolution on the Scientific Evidence Against "Facilitated
by other medical, professional, scientific, and support organizations
on ineffectiveness of facilitated communication
"Rubber Hands Illusion"
Stroke a rubber
hand with a laser pointer light. If the fake hand is positioned
such that the subject believes it is their own hand, over 60% "feel"
the light, mostly where the fake hand is.
This is a very nice demonstration of "conditioned feeling."
It demonstrates that private sensations are conditioned like other
responses. The stimulus control over the response is so strong that
the subject actually locates the source of stimulation outside the
body, not where the subject's hand actually is, but where the light
F.H. et al. (2007). Rubber hands feel the touch of light. Psychological
Science, 18(2), 152-157 (PDF)