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.

Ogden R. Lindsley

Lindsley Ogden


Ogden Lindsley was born in Providence, Rhode Island on August 11, 1922. He was a decorated veteran of World War II, having served in the Air Force as an engineer-gunner (1942-45). He earned his A.B. Highest Honors in Psychology (1948) and Sc.M. in Experimental Psychology (1950), both at Brown University. He then studied under B.F. Skinner at Harvard University, where he awarded his Ph.D. in Psychology (1957). During that time, Lindsley was Director of the Behavior Research Laboratory at Harvard Medical School (1953-56). Later, he remained affiliated with Harvard Medical School, first as a Research Associate in Psychiatry (1956-61) and subsequently as an Associate in Psychology (1961-65). In 1965, Lindsley shifted his focus from the laboratory to special education teacher training. For several years at the University of Kansas (1965-71) he was director of Educational Research in the Medical Center and a Research Associate in the Bureau of Child Research. He eventually became Professor of Education at the University of Kansas (1971-90) and became Professor Emeritus upon retirement. Lindsley died on October 10, 2004.


Lindsley served on the editorial boards of numerous journals and the advisory boards of several learning centers. He was President of the National Association for Gifted Children (1969-70), the Association for Behavior Analysis (1985-86), and the Standard Celeration Society (1993-95). Lindsley is the sole author of 53 scientific articles and co-author of 29 others. He has written on a wide range of topics (e.g., schizophrenia, pharmacology, television viewing, psychotherapy, geriatric behavior prosthetics, retardation, and education). Thirteen of his articles have been reprinted by anthologists. He has also been productive in other forms of media, having developed three scientific films, six audiotapes, and four videotapes, and co-developed four instructional microcomputer software programs.


Lindsley has been awarded various honors, including the Hofheimer Research Prize by the American Psychiatric Association (1962), the Golden Plate Award by the American Academy of Achievement (1964), and the Outstanding Contributor Award by the Northern California Association for Behavior Analysis (1994). He also established the Behavior Research Laboratory in 1953 to analyze the behavior of persons with schizophrenia. It is widely regarded as the first human operant laboratory. Lindsley is perhaps best known for his role in precision teaching.


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