A concentration is a set of courses and experiential learning in a specific area of behavior analysis. The concentration has been reviewed and verified by ABAI as meeting a focused area of content area and hours, including rigorous competencies, and a specialized area of faculty standards.
Behavior science has the potential to make substantial contributions to addressing complex cultural issues affecting people and society. This concentration includes three areas of graduate training to prepare students to work on areas that affect public policy, or to engage in interdisciplinary work. Training areas may focus on complex needs and addressing large-scale societal issues, such as climate change, failing educational systems, poverty, and drug addiction.
Verification of the concentration meets coursework eligibility criteria for a certificate in Culturo-Behavior Science (CBS) awarded by the Association for Behavior Analysis International. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can earn the certificate.
The CBS concentration contains three main content areas.
Basic Principles in Behavior Analysis
As a prerequisite, students will demonstrate satisfactory completion of a class in Principles in Behavior Analysis to provide students with common language and basic knowledge. At the end of the course, it is expected that students can:
- Identify the main concepts of behavior analysis;
- Analyze behavior using such concepts;
- Formulate the research question, the experimental design, and collect and analyze data of experiments; and,
- Prepare scientific reports following international publishing standards
Behavioral Systems Analysis
Behavioral Systems Analysis (BSA) comes from a synthesis of the fields of behavior analysis and systems analysis and can be defined as the analysis of behavior that occurs in complex and organized social environments. BSA offers much to promote behavioral solutions to socially significant practices within large social units like organizations and cultures. At the end of this course, it is expected that students can:
- Explain conceptual development and technological application of behavioral systems analysis;
- Describe conceptual, methodological, and technological strengths and weaknesses associated with this approach; and,
- Integrate themes and topics in behavior analysis that may contribute to the conceptual, methodological, and technological development of BSA.
Experiential Learning (Practicum/Internship)
Experiential learning could focus on any of a myriad of topics, depending on the individual program and transdisciplinary opportunities; for instance: public policy advocacy, violence, climate change, science policy, governance, business management, public health or criminal justice.
There are four areas of focus:
- Saying Doing: The Detection of Micro-Cultural Discrepancies of Saying and Doing. Upon completion, the student should be trained with a focus on observing the coherence between saying and doing as an expression of the coherence between strategy and culture.
- Subcultures: Subcultures and Sub-Optimalization. Upon completion, the student should be able to reveal cultural sub-optimalizations and subcultures.
- Systems Architecture and Engineering: Cultural Architecture and Systems Engineering. Upon completion, the student should be able to model alternative ways to disseminate information and reinforce cultural practices by tracing the information and influence flow and identifying network structures.
- Policy and Cultural Dissemination: Cross Sector and Multidisciplinary Approaches to Complex Societal Challenges. Upon completion, the student should be able to use the growing body of behavioral insights and debias this process by moving away from sometimes unrealistic assumptions of rationality to discover the actual behavior of individuals through problem identification, behavior analysis, experimentation and trialing that tests multiple policy responses at a smaller scale to determine the best course of action in a cost-effective manner.
The basis of the experiential learning requirements includes 10 hours a week, 150 hours a semester, for a total of two semesters (300 hours). The experiential learning requirement can be met through the student’s professional employment if an appropriate level of supervision or oversight is provided by program faculty and the experiential learning is a requirement for obtaining the degree – that is, if the experiential learning occurs before the degree is awarded. Regardless of the location or nature of the experience, it is incumbent on the program to show how it meets the hourly requirements.
The course credits may be arranged differently per institution. Typically, institutions in the United States may use a 3-credit practicum course, per semester, to fulfill this requirement. Non-U.S. institutions may fulfill this requirement equally, according to discipline, credit hours, ECTS, or others according to national requirements/standards.