Joseph E. Spradlin
University of Kansas
Dr. Joseph E. Spradlin held several positions including senior scientist emeritus at the Institute for Life Span Studies and professor emeritus in the Department of Human Development and Family Life at the University of Kansas. With more than 50 years of experience in the field, his career spanned the foundational period of applied behavior analysis research. Dr. Spradlin's research techniques and advancements in quality controls set the bar high for those who would follow. During the 1950s and 1960s, Dr. Spradlin pioneered research on various features of operant performance (schedule control, extinction, and discrimination) and the use of token reinforcement; he also emphasized discrimination learning. In addition, Dr. Spradlin stood out as a leader in program administration. His work as a senior scientist at the Institute for Life Span Studies spanned nearly two decades. He also served as a director at the Parsons Research Center. His work reflected care and compassion toward his participants, clients, and colleagues. His honors and recognitions included being named a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Psychological Society, the Shriver Center Prize for Research and Service to People with Mental Retardation, APA's Division 25 Don Hake Award, and the Academy on Mental Retardation Career Scientist Award.