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Rooted in Science

Observable & Measurable behaviors

Evidence-based approach

Data-driven discipline

If you ever read a psychology or social science article, chances are the name B.F. Skinner was cited. Burrhus Frederic Skinner was an American psychologist in the mid 1900s. He is considered to be the "father" of Behaviorism.

Behaviorism was a new branch of psychology built on observable behaviors (something you can actually see and measure) and the rate of response to a stimulus. Skinner ignited a new field of study that lead to Applied Behavior Analysis which aims to strengthen an individual's behaviors in order to increase their functional capacity.

Being based on science to ensure the effectiveness of the interventions, Applied Behavior Analysis is based on three pillars:

  • Observable and measurable behaviors

  • Data-driven

  • Evidence-based

BUT... it's important to remember that behavior analysis always considers the individual throughout and ensures that whatever the intervention, that it must be socially valid. That means it will have a positive impact on the individual's life and be important for them.

Observable and measurable behavior

One of the foundation of Applied Behavior Analysis is the focus on observable and measurable behavior. Any ABA intervention is based on a behavior that can seen and measured. By using the ABC tool, an ABA practitioner will identify the Antecedent, Behavior and Consequence. You can understand the function of a behavior once it is observed.

Father measuring his son

Data-driven discipline

ABA practitioners takes a lot of data!

Once they identified the function of a behavior and implemented an intervention, they will take data throughout the intervention to know if the intervention is successful or not. It is dangerous to fall into the trap of anecdotal observations, intuition or the use of words like "often", "rarely", "sometimes", "big", "small", etc...

Board Certified Behavior Analyst will want to hear things like: "my child used to scream for ice cream 10 times out of 10. Since using the strategies recommended, last week he screamed 4 times out of 10.". That way, both parents and practitioners know exactly how the child is progressing. If there wasn't a significant improvement, the therapist would modify the intervention.

Individual analysing tons of data to make a decision

Evidence-based discipline

The field of Applied Behavior Analysis has been developing since de middle of the 20th century. B.F. Skinner's book published in 1957, Schedules of Reinforcement, launched a new field of psychology. Since then, studies have been building upon themselves for practitioners to implement interventions that have been tested and are supported by empirical evidence using the scientific research principles. ABA researchers studies have demonstrated the effectiveness and replicability of a specific intervention to produce a meaningful and positive behavior change.

By using evidence-based interventions, ABA practitioners ensure their interventions are not only theoretically sound but also practically effective. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board makes sure ABA practitioners candidates go through a thorough program to understand the importance of the scientific method, test them extensively and have them receive hundreds of hours of supervision from a qualified BCBA to cement the use of evidence-based strategies and ethical practices.

Drawing of an investigation board

Applied Behavior Analysis is a constantly evolving field with thousands of researchers and practitioners testing new intervention methods and theory using the scientific method and the systematic manipulation of environmental variables to understand their impact on behaviors. Functional relationships between stimuli and responses are highlighted, setting a strong foundation to design new interventions.

In conclusion, ABA stands out as a powerful and evidence-based approach to understanding and modifying behavior. Rooted firmly in the principles of science, ABA is a systematic and data-driven discipline that has proven effective in a wide range of applications. It is constantly evolving as new strategies and interventions are researched and found to be (or not to be) supported by science. Its emphasis on observation, measurement, experimentation, and empirical evidence distinguishes ABA as a systematic and evidence-based approach to understanding neurodiverse individuals and improving their lives.

ABA practitioners understand every individual has different needs and environment surrounding them. Even though trying strategies found on the web might potentially be helpful, it is highly recommended to consult a professional to have an individualized intervention plan based on the most recent research. Progress can be monitored and adjustments can be made based on what works for the individual.

If you would like to know more about the science of behaviors and how we implement ABA principles in our interventions, book your complimentary call with our Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

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