Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Applied Behavior Analysis
Edward G. Carr
Applied behavior analysis is the science in which procedures derived from the principles of learning are systematically applied to address problems of social significance. Burrhus F. (B. F.) Skinner, for many years a professor at Harvard University and, arguably, the most famous psychologist of the 20th century, studied learning processes in both laboratory animals and humans, carefully delineating a behavioral principle known as operant conditioning. Operant conditioning, the central principle of applied behavior analysis, refers to a process in which the future probability of a behavior is powerfully controlled by both its positive and negative consequences. In 1968, the growing relevance of this approach to addressing social problems was recognized with the publication of the first issue of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and, subsequently, further extended in 1999 to community venues with the publication of the first issue of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions . The approach ...