Topic: Applied Behavior Analyst
Question 1: Mentalism and Behaviorism
Your Unit 1 readings address the behavior analytic perspectives on what behaviorists refer to as the “mentalistic” approach to analyzing and solving human problems. Discuss the difference between the mentalist’s and the radical behaviorist’s perspectives regarding feelings, “states of mind,” and unobservable “mental” events. Is there a special thing called “the mind”? In your response, describe the radical behaviorist’s perspective regarding feelings, states of mind, and mental (covert or private) events. Then provide a recent example of a situation where you were exposed to or considered a mentalistic explanation for your own or someone else’s behavior.
New learners of ABA often have difficulty with changing their perspectives about the causes of behavior. Explain how you will reconcile your past experiences with using mentalistic explanations and shift to a behavior analytic perspective.
Question 2: Core Principles of Applied Behavior
Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968) discuss the following core principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) in their groundbreaking JABA article: Applied, Behavioral, Analytic, Technological, Conceptually systematic, Effective, and Generality. Please be prepared to discuss the definitions of these terms and provide examples of (or ask questions about) how they might affect clinical or educational applications of ABA.
Baer, D. M., Wolf, M. R., & Risley, T. R. (1968). Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1(1), 91–97.
Question 3: Read and Discuss:
Read the following PowerPoint presentations in preparation:
Chapter 1, “Definition and Characteristics of Applied Behavior Analysis.”
Chapter 2, “Basic Concepts.”
Use your Psychology of B. F. Skinner text to read the following:
Chapter 4, “Skinner’s Philosophy of a Science of Human Behavior—Radical Behaviorism,” pages 55–72.
O’Donohue, W., & Ferguson, K. E. (2001). The psychology of B. F. Skinner. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. ISBN: 9780761917595.
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