For January, I have selected not one, but two texts. The first is a foundational article that every behavior analyst has probably read more than once. However it’s an important one to revisit, and one that I gain more insight from with each read. The second is a follow-up to the original article.
Discussion Questions for Baer, Wolf, Risley (1968):
The tone of the 1968 article is hopeful. The authors express a belief that behavior analytic procedures will become more prevalent as people understand the technology. Do you think they were accurate in this belief? What has been your experience with people accepting the principles of ABA?
Among the seven dimensions discussed in this article, what did you find most interesting?
The authors state that the term applied is defined by the interest society shows in the problem being studied. Is this how you have thought of the term applied in the past? How does your current work fit into this description? And how do we know society is interested?
In their discussion of analytic, the authors explain two designs commonly used to demonstrate reliable control of behavior change. Do you use these designs in your every day practice? Why or why not?
Do you think all seven of these dimensions hold equal importance? Why or why not?
How do the seven dimensions make ABA different from other fields?
Discussion Questions for Baer, Wolf, Risley (1987):
Compare and contrast the descriptions of each of the seven dimensions across the two articles.
The authors identify social validity as a good measure of effectiveness. However, they also identify issues with the assessment of social validity. How do you think that has changed since they wrote this article? How do you assess social validity in your own work?
What do you think of the discussion of high-quality failures?
In what ways do you follow the seven dimensions in your current work?
Can you identify a way to improve your own work based on the seven dimensions?
If you were to identify an eighth dimension that is not currently represented in these articles, what might you add?
SAM BLANCO, PhD, LBA, BCBA is an ABA provider for students ages 3-15 in NYC. Working in education for twelve years with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental delays, Sam utilizes strategies for achieving a multitude of academic, behavior, and social goals. She is also an assistant professor in the ABA program at The Sage Colleges.