Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968)

Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968)
Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968)
Discussion: Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968)

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Applied behavior analysis is a movement that began in the late 1950s within the field of experimental analysis of behavior (EAB) and was based on B. F. Skinner’s operant conditioning principles. As the applied orientation began to develop, it focused on practical interventions and applied topics relevant to socially significant behavior. This focus represented an incongruity with the criteria and research questions representing basic theoretical research and analysis in the field of contemporary applied psychology. This incongruity grew enough to demonstrate a need for a journal focused on the increasingly popular applied orientation Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968).

In 1967, the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) was launched to address the need. The editors of the journal included Donald Baer, Montrose M. Wolf, and Todd Risley, who in the first issue of the JABA journal contributed an article that proposed criteria that would come to inform the application of concepts of applied behavior analysis. It also served to provide guidance to researchers seeking to be published in the journal. As indicated by the title of their seminal 1968 article, “Some Current Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis,” Baer, Wolf, and Risley proposed seven criteria, or dimensions, of applied behavior analysis (Baer et al., 1968).
For this Discussion, you will reflect on the seminal article by Baer et al. (1968), located in this week’s Learning Resources, and evaluate the relevance of the seven dimensions of behavior analysis in the article to the practice of behavior analysis today. You will also identify your most important takeaway from the article Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968).

Baer, D. M., Wolf, M. M., & Risley, T. R. (1968). Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1(1), 91–97.

To Prepare

From the Learning Resources for this week, review the seminal Baer, Wolf, and Risley article and consider how the information applies to applied behavior analysis today.

By Day 4 of Week 5

Post what makes the information in the Baer, Wolf, and Risley article relevant to the practice of Applied Behavior Analysis today, more than 50 years later as well as what is the most important thing you learned from this article and how might this information impact your future professional work as a behavior analyst.
One thing that sticks out to me the most when I first stated reading this article was the quote “Applied research is constrained to look at variables which can be effective in improving the behavior under study.” (Bear, Wolfe, & Risley, 1968). This article explains that Applied behavior research is not to discredit any other form of research. It emphasizes the purpose of applied research to study socially important behaviors in their usual setting and apply principles of behaviors to improve those behaviors (Baer, Wolfe, Risley, 1969). I believe this article is relevant because it serves as a guide to understanding and practicing Applied Behavior Analysis.  It explains every aspect of ABA and in a very informative way. This article enhanced my understanding of applied behavior, and increased my passion to be apart of this field Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968).
Baer, D.M, Wolfe, M.M., Risley. T.R. (1968). Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1(1), 91-97.
Read your colleagues’ postings.

Note: For this discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the To Participate in this Discussion link, then select Create Thread to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Submit!

By Day 6 of Week 5

Respond to at least two colleagues’ posts in one of the following ways:

Expand on their explanation of what makes the information in the Baer, Wolf, and Risley article relevant to the practice of Applied Behavior Analysis today, more than 50 years later.
Offer additional insights regarding the most important thing they learned from the article and its potential impact on their future professional work as a behavior analyst.

Be sure to support your posts and responses with specific references to behavior-analytic theory and research. In addition to the Learning Resources, search the Walden Library and/or the internet for peer-reviewed articles to support your posts and responses. Use proper APA format and citations, including those in the Learning Resources.
Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights that you have gained because of your colleagues’ comments Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968).

I think that the article is relevant to the practice of ABA because it explains what to look for in a behavior and it defines the intended purpose of ABA. It is my opinion that the context of each dimension acts as a guide for BCBAs in being able to teach parents or RBTs on what kind of behavior to look for and how to go about implementing it. If we aren’t able to distinguish what type of behavior needs to be modified, then we wouldn’t be able to improve anything. BCBAs also would not know if an individual is improving in an area or getting worse without these dimensions. These principles are also needed in order for BCBA’s to go back an say what works and what doesn’t work based on verifiable information provided. I think having this information available now allows the study of ABA to improve. We can define in more detail the type of behavior that is being viewed and we can add new findings and data.
I think that the most important thing that I learned from this article is the importance of being able to generalize a behavior. Walden University (2021) suggests that a behavior is generalized if it can spread to different environments. I’m still learning as an RBT, and I am learning that just because a client is able to demonstrate a desired behavior, they also need to be able to do that same behavior in other settings or else it really defeats the purpose of demonstrating the behavior. It is important that the individual is able to learn a behavior and continue to exhibit the behavior around other people and in other places. I think these dimensions will help me in my future in being able to implement intervention plans that work for the client and it will help me determine if the techniques I am using is working or not.
Baer, D. M., Wolf, M. M., & Risley, T. R. (1968). Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1(1), 91–97.
Walden University, LLC. (2021). Dimensions of applied behavior analysis [Video]. Walden University Blackboard. Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968)


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