How to Think Like a Behavior Analyst : Understanding the Science That Can Change Your Life

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-05-26
  • Publisher: Lawrence Erlbau

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How to Think Like a Behavior Analystis a revolutionary resource for understanding complex human behavior and making potentially significant quality of life improvements through this evidence-based treatment approach. Behavior analysts offer a worldview of the human condition different than almost any other professional perspective. To a behavior analyst, human behavior is largely learned and subject to change if the right variables are put into play. This is an empowering outlook, providing an opportunity for individuals to analyze the actions of those around them and an understanding of why others exhibit such behavior. Practical, clear, and direct, this book addresses basic questions such as how behavior analysis is different from psychotherapy, what analysis involves, and the meaning of evidence-based treatment. A chapter on Applications presents tips on using behavioral procedures to improve lives and deal with others, and articulates how behavioral procedures are used in community settings. In question and answer format, the text thoroughly covers 50 frequently asked questions about behavior analysis in an educational and entertaining manner. It was developed out of questions raised by students in behavior analysis classes over the last 35 years, as well as questions raised by consumers of behavior analysis services. This textis written for all professionals concerned with behavior, including undergraduate students in psychology and behavior analysis, parents, teachers, employers, and employees. The book can easily be used as a supplement to primary texts in introductory psychology courses, and the exercises that follow each question can be used to stimulate lively discussion in role-play and other active learning situations.

Author Biography

Jon S. Bailey, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at Florida State University where he teaches graduate courses for behavior analysts. Dr. Bailey is a founding director of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board™, and he is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst™. Dr. Bailey received the Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis in 2005. Dr. Bailey is co-author of the books How Dogs Learn, Ethics for Behavior Analysts, and Research Methods in Applied Behavior Analysis. He has given major addresses at conferences throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. 
Mary R. Burch, Ph.D., is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst™. She is also a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist. Dr. Burch is an award winning writer and frequent judge of writing contests. She has published eight books and over 200 articles. Dr. Burch has been a reviewer for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and her behavioral research has been published by the U.S. Department of Education. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and she is known for her writing about using behavior analysis in animal training.

Table of Contents

Preface xiii
Introduction xix
Chapter One Basic Concepts 1(34)
1. What is behavior analysis? Is it psychotherapy?
2. It's called behavior analysis; just what does analysis mean and how exactly do you analyze someone's behavior?
3. Is behavior analysis a science or is it just another form of clinical treatment?
4. What exactly is evidence-based treatment? Isn't there evidence for all treatments?
5. Who provides direct behavior-based services?
6. Is behavior really all that predictable?
7. So, behavior analysts don't have theories, they just have data?
Summary of Basic Concepts
Chapter Two Applications 35(30)
8. Can you use behavior analysis in "real life"?
9. Can I use behavioral procedures to help me improve my own behavior or enhance my performance?
10. My roommate (spouse, boyfriend, child, etc.), is driving me crazy; can any of this help me get along with him?
11. Why is behavior analysis so popular in the treatment of developmentally disabled individuals?
12. I've read that behavior analysis is used with autistic children too. How do you work with autistic children?
13. We know that you can use behavior analysis with children, but what about with senior citizens or older people?
14. What do behavior analysts think about changing behavior in a business setting?
15. What about other areas of application such as the community? Does behavior analysis work there too?
16. What do you think the future holds for behavior analysis research? Is it primarily focusing on developmentally disabled individuals?
Chapter Three The Science and Technology of Behavior 65(14)
17. Behavioral research methods seem to be quite different from any other psychology that I have studied, is that right?
18. What is the difference between behavioral research and behavioral treatment?
19. Is it really possible to find the cause of a certain behavior?
20. I took my dog to obedience school and he learned to walk on a leash, sit, and stay, but he still jumps on people at home and he won't come when I call him if he gets loose in the neighborhood. Does this mean that behavior shaping doesn't work with dogs?
Chapter Four General Issues of Behavior 79(20)
21. Does behavior analysis work with groups?
22. What is a history of reinforcement? Do people have their own unique histories of reinforcement?
23. Is all behavior learned?
24. Can you really replace a behavior? Can habits really be broken?
Chapter Five The Behavioral Take on Other Fields of Psychology 99(20)
25. What do behavior analysts think of counseling? I know it is often recommended for personal problems that people have.
26. What do you think of the disease model of behavior? I've also heard this called the medical model.
27. What is the behavioral position on depression, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder and other "mental" disorders?
28. What do behavior analysts think of cognitive psychology? Do they believe in IQ? What about motivation and emotions?
Chapter Six Basic Skepticism 119(12)
29. You seem so skeptical of other approaches. Can you tell me why?
30. What is the behavioral position on freedom and free will?
31. What is your standard of proof? What I mean is, what does it take for you to believe that a treatment or procedure is effective?
Chapter Seven Myths and the Media 131(18)
32. Some people refer to reinforcement as a form of bribery. Do you agree with that?
33. If you use behavioral procedures like food treats and tokens with your kids, will they get to where they only work for reinforcers?
34. I heard that Skinner raised his children in a box and that they became mentally ill and that one sued him. Is this true?
35. I saw Dr. Phil on TV one time and he sounded sort of like a behaviorist. He was talking about consequences of behavior and taking responsibility. He's known for asking, "How's that working for you?" What do you think of him?
36. Is the "Supernanny" just a behavior analyst with a British accent?
Chapter Eight Getting Started in a Career in Behavior Analysis 149(24)
37. What exactly is the job of a behavior analyst and what are the educational requirements? I'm not sure what degree I should get in graduate school.
38. What kind of jobs and professional opportunities are available for behavior analysts?
39. How do you get started in this field?
40. How do I become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst™?
41. Can I receive certification while I am in graduate school?
42. What is the daily routine of a behavior analyst?
43. Do you always work one on one with clients?
44. What skills are involved in being successful in 164 applied behavior analysis?
45. What steps do you need to take to work 167 competitively in this field?
46. How does applied behavior analysis relate to performance management? I think I might be interested in working in a business setting when I graduate.
Chapter Nine Behavior Analyst Code of Ethics 173(12)
47. Is there a code of ethics that behavior analysts must follow?
48. Do behavior analysts believe in punishment?
49. Is it ethical to try to change someone else's behavior without his or her permission?
50. When you are introduced to someone as a behavior analyst, what do you say when a person asks if you are going to analyze his or her behavior?
References and Recommended Reading 185(4)
Glossary 189(6)
Appendix 195(2)
Author Index 197(2)
Subject Index 199

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