Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Paper Session #7
Expanding the Horizons of Research and Application
Saturday, May 28, 2005
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
Waldorf (3rd floor)
Area: TPC
Chair: Dennis McDougall (University of Hawaii)
Introducing Two New ABA Research Designs: The Distributed Criterion and Range-Bound Changing Criterion Designs
Domain: Applied Research
DENNIS MCDOUGALL (University of Hawaii)
Abstract: Few new applied behavior analysis (ABA) research designs have emerged since the fertile period, four decades ago, when ABA design innovations flourished. Moreover, Kazdin (1982) concluded, “Few variations of the changing criterion design have been developed” (p. 159). Consequently, the purpose of this presentation is to describe and illustrate two very recent and novel ABA research designs. The first design, the distributed criterion design, is a variation of the changing criterion design and incorporates elements of the classic multiple baseline and reversal. The second design, the range-bound changing criterion design - a simple extenision of the classic changing criterion design - uses both an upper and lower criterion for each stepwise intervention phase of a study. McDougall (2004a; 2004b) utilized these novel designs for the first time in intervention studies that combined goal setting and behavioral self-management components to: (a) increase the duration of daily exercise, reduce body weight, and improve post-exercise pulse rate of an overweight adult; and (b) increase the research productivity of a professor. The presenter will provide guidelines for effective use of these two new ABA research designs.
Breaking the Harness: How Behavioral Research Can Release Itself from the Confounding Variable of Funding
Domain: Theory
Abstract: Science is the process of applying rigorous controls to the act of discovery to ensure that the knowledge produced is as close to a true description of natural phenomena as a human can make. Experimentation cleans up human understanding, removing assumptions, inferences, bias, hunches and personal agendas, but a vital component of the process remains in the realm of subjective experience. In developing experimental questions, researchers make assumptions about nature and inferences from previous research. They act on biases that skew their approach, develop hunches about how things work and operate from agendas aimed at answering questions asked by those who fund the research. Would this be true if scientists provided their own funding? Unfortunately, behavioral researchers remain dependent on government funding, and practitioners rely on insurance companies, because they are too involved in conducting research or providing services to explore other options. The end product of scientific labor, then, is publication, which is valuable, but limited in its ability to sustain further work. This paper contends that journal publications are only a first step in disseminating the results of experimentation. The next step is developing applications useful to consumers, which, if successful, can turn science into a self-sustaining endeavor.



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