Read & Reflect: Some Still-Current Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis (Baer, Wolf, and Risley)

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

The ABAI Task Force for the Promotion of Quality & Values-Based ABA recommends thoughtful reading and reflection upon another influential article in the evolution of applied behavior analysis.

Twenty years following the publication their seminal article, Baer, Wolf, and Risley revisited the “seven classes of tactic labels [that] were proposed as stimulus controls for appropriate behavior-analytic conduct in the new world of application” (Baer et al., 1987, p. 313). In particular, Baer, Wolf, and Risley examined the extent to which the tactics for which those labels were applied had changed.

While reading (or hopefully revisiting) this influential work, we encourage behavior analysts to consider:

  • Baer, Wolf, and Risley‘s possible motivation(s) to reexamine these seven classes of tactic labels;
  • how the seven classes of tactic labels had changed since the original publication 20 years earlier;
  • the extent to which the tactics to which these tactic labels were applied have changed since this publication.

A Final Consideration
After reflecting regarding the dimensions of applied behavior analysis, what changes in how applied behavior analysis is done might be important for the field of behavior analysis in general and for your own work in applied behavior analysis?

Baer, D. M., Wolf, M. M., & Risley, T. R. (1987). Some still-current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 20(4), 313-327.