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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Paper Session #31
Behavior Analysis in Historical Perspective
Saturday, May 29, 2010
1:30 PM–1:50 PM
Bonham C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: TPC
Chair: Joseph J. Pear (University of Manitoba)
A Brief History of Behavior Analysis
Domain: Theory
JOSEPH J. PEAR (University of Manitoba)
Abstract: As time goes by fewer and fewer members of ABAI remember the rich and varied history that put behavior analysis on the path to what it is today. The purpose of this talk is to provide a brief overview of that history, so that more ABAI members are aware of where our approach came from and the commonalities that bind us. The talk begins with John B. Watson and the behavioral revolution that launched the field that become behavior analysis. Then, we look back through history from Descartes to the events leading up to the behavioral revolution. Following the exit from the field by Watson, the rise of other early behaviorists is examined. Skinner's discoveries and those of his students and followers are then traced. Highlighted is the advancement of behavioral progress through the study of contingencies of reinforcement to the ongoing applications of behavior analysis to areas such as developmental disabilities, autism, psychiatric patients, addictions, and education, and the founding and importance of organizations such as ABAI and the BACB.



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