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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Paper Session #408
CE Offered: BACB
The Dimensions of the Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 30, 2022
8:00 AM–8:25 AM
Meeting Level 1; Room 156B
Area: PCH
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Edward K. Morris (University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Edward K. Morris, Ph.D.
The Dimensions of the Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis
Domain: Theory
EDWARD K. MORRIS (University of Kansas), Deborah E. Altus (Washburn University), Matthew Novak (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract: In 1968, Baer, Wolf, and Risley described “some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis” (ABA). Since then, their article and the dimensions have been fundamental to defining ABA research: “Obviously, the study must be applied, behavioral, and analytic; in addition, it should be technological, conceptually systematic, and effective, and it should display some generality” (p. 92). Occasionally, the dimensions have been used to describe and critique applied research in behavior analysis (e.g., crime and delinquency, gerontology). More recently, they have been used to rate the quality of ABA research articles and research programs. For these, rubrics have been developed. This presentation brings one to bear on the issue of whether articles published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) should require all seven of the dimensions for publication. The advisability of the requirement notwithstanding, it may prove onerous because each of the dimensions varies in the criteria that define it. That is, the dimensions of ABA have dimensions. The presentation then describes the dimensions of the dimensions through, in part, the rubric for scoring them and discusses their relevance for defining ABA and what research JABA should publish.
Target Audience:

Applied researchers

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the current tensions in defining applied behavior analysis in terms of its seven dimensions (e.g., how many, which ones); (2) distinguish between the dimensions of the applied behavior analysis and the dimensions of their dimensions; and (3) describe the latter for each of the dimensions.



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