|Abstract: What is the quantitative analysis of behavior? How do we parse a piece of verbal or nonverbal behavior to determine whether it was, or was not, a member of this operant class? Which should come first, the behaviors or the class definition—or should these co-develop dynamically? This talk is a personal and idiosyncratic view of what I think are, or should be, the topographies that satisfy this class and be reinforced by the scientific community. In particular, I will go to some pains to make clear that “quantitative” is not an alternative to “experimental” (thus, the better term for what I want to do is the “Quantitative Experimental Analysis of Behavior”)—because there does exist a non-experimental quantitative analysis of behavior, about which I shall wonder. What are the benefits of a quantitative approach relative to other approaches—is it better, or just harder? How might we convince audiences that are quantitatively unsophisticated that there are reinforcers to be gained from such behavior? Can this be done by giving invited talks at ABAI on the quantitative analysis of behavior?
Michael Davison is Professor of Psychology, Honorary Professor in The Liggins Institute, and Director of the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour Research Unit, at Auckland University, New Zealand. He has been at Auckland for too many years. He got a Ph.D. from Otago University, NZ, and a D.Sc. from Auckland. He is a Fellow of ABAI and current Chair of the Fellows’ Committee; he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and was awarded their Silver Medal for Research. He served a term as International Director on the ABAI Council, and on the SABA Board. He was given a SABA Award for the International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis in 2004, and the lab he directs will receive the SABA Award for Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis in 2009. He has been on the Board of Editors of JEAB too many times to count, and has also been an Action Editor for JEAB. His interests are in the quantitative experimental analysis of choice and behavior allocation, and in the application of quantitative technologies to questions in Neuroscience. He has had a number of other interests: Potting, self-sufficiency, poetry, recorder music, and he intends, soon, to give up behavior analysis completely and to learn wood turning.|