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Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

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Category: Learning Center Videos

Marr, M. Jackson. Presidential Address: The Future of Behavior Analysis: Foxes and Hedgehogs Revisited. Presentation plus 1 credit BACB CE

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Some twenty-five years ago The Behavior Analyst published a paper by David Rider entitled �The speciation of behavior analysis.� By applying a selectionist analysis, including analogs with basic science and engineering, Rider predicted that basic and applied behavior analysis were destined to become independent species. In a commentary on this paper, Dr. Marr pointed out that scientists and engineers are interdependent, especially at the frontiers of application. He was sanguine about a continuing analogous relationship between basic and applied behavior analysis. However, especially in the last decade, indications are that basic and applied behavior analysis may indeed be emerging as distinct species. In a review of what Dr. Marr calls the �literature of survival,� he discuss several themes addressing the evolving complex relations between basic and applied behavior analysis, including constraints on training leading to a narrow spectrum of applications, our often self-imposed isolation from those with whom we could productively collaborate, and the difficulties of obtaining sufficient support for our science. All these challenges reflect a briar-patch of interlocking contingencies; each one depends crucially on the others and we cannot effectively address any in isolation. Thus solutions will not be easy, but our long-term survival as a coherent discipline depends on finding some.

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