Applied Behavior Analysis
The science in which tactics derived from the principles of behavior are applied to improve socially significant behavior and experimentation is used to identify the variables responsible for the improvement in behavior.
The philosophy of a science of behavior; there are various forms of behaviorism (See methodological behaviorism, radical behaviorism).
The assumption that the universe is a lawful and orderly place in which phenomena occur in relation to other events and not in a willy-nilly, accidental fashion.
The objective observation of the phenomena of interest; objective observations are "independent of the individual prejudices, tastes, and private opinions of the scientist... Results of empirical methods are objective in that they are open to anyone's observation and do not depend on the subjective beliefs of the individual scientist."
A carefully controlled comparison of some measure of the phenomenon of interest (the dependent variable) under two or more different conditions in which on;y one factor at a time (the independent variable) differs from one condition to another.
Experimental Analysis of Behavior (EAB)
A natural science approach to the study of behavior as a subject matter in its own right founded by BF Skinner; methodological features include rate of response as a basic dependent variable, repeated or continuous measurement of clearly defined response classes, within-subject experimental graphed data instead of group design, visual analysis of graphed data instead of statistical inference, and an emphasis on describing functional relations between behavior and controlling variables in the environment over formal theory testing.
A fictitious or hypothetical variable that often takes the form of another name for the observed phenomenon it claims to explain and contributes nothing to a functional account or understanding of the phenomenon, such as "intelligence" or "cognitive awareness" as explanations for why an organism pushes the lever when the light is on and food is available but does not push the lever when the light is off and no food is available.
A verbal statement summarizing the results of an experiment (or group of related experiments) that describe the occurrence of the phenomena under study as a function of the operation of one or more specified and controlled variables in the experiment in which a specific change in one event (the dependent variable) can be produced by manipulating another event (the independent variable) and that the change in the dependent variable was unlikely the result of other factors (confounding variable; in behavior analysis express as b-f(x), (x2).... where b is the behavior and x1, x2, etc are environmental variable of which the behavior is function.
A presumed but unobserved process or entity (eg Freud's id, ego, and superego).
An approach to explaining behavior that assumes that a mental, or "inner", dimension exists that differs from a behavioral dimension and the phenomena in the dimension either directly cause or at least mediate some forms of behavior, if not all.
A philosophical position that views behavioral event that cannot be publicly observed as outside the realm of science.
The practice of ruling out simple, logical explanations, experimentally or conceptually, before considering more complex or abstract explanations.
An attitude that the truthfulness and validity of all scientific theory and knowledge should be continually questioned.
A thoroughgoing form of behaviorism that attempts to understand all human behavior, including private events such as thoughts and feelings, in terms of controlling variables in the history of the person (ontogeny) and the species (phylogeny).
(a) Repeating conditions within an experiment to determine the reliability of effects and increase internal validity. (see baseline logic, prediction, verification.) (b) repeating whole experiments to other subjects, setting, and/or behaviors. (See direct replication, external validity, systematic replication.)
A systematic approach to the understanding of natural phenomena (as evidenced by description, prediction, and control) that relies on determinism as its fundamental assumption, empiricism as its primary rule, experimentation as its basic strategy, replication as a requirement for believability, parsimony as a value, and philosophic doubt as its guiding conscience.