Behavior analysts apply scientific principles to promote and support socially meaningful behavior change and the way the principles are applied varies widely. This blog represents an integrative approach as we — the writers — practice in many different fields and hold multiple perspectives. This blog is explicitly communal from behavior analysts for behavior analysts. It reflects the views and expertise of behavior analysts who practice in different fields.
As you may have deduced, this blog is co-written by a sub-group of the ABAI practice board (bios below). Thus, although one name will appear in the byline each post, a link to the bios of all authors will appear beside the single name.
Each blog tackles a topic from multiple perspectives. The perspectives are united by one behavior analytic philosophy and one science. Diversity in perspective and expertise is a strength for applying behavior analysis to the broadest possible range of socially meaningful topics. Thus, as a diverse group of scholar-practitioners, we seek to (1) share topics from multiple broad perspectives that are consistent with behavior analytic science and practice; (2) encourage readers to consider varied perspectives, varied contexts, levels of contingency, influence of systems, and advocacy; and (3) model communal problem solving from multiple behavior analytic perspectives.
Each blog will have a similar structure that presents the topic from micro to macro-level considerations, connects to existing or potential research, and provides resources:
- Intro to Topic
- Response from Applied Behavior Analytic Perspective
- Considerations (e.g., context, learning history, the learner’s skill set, points of controversy)
- Other Relevant Perspectives/Conceptualizations (e.g., development, biology, or prompt the reader to consider application to other situations)
- Discuss context of systems
- References to existing or potential research and Resources
We look forward to sharing our blog posts with the ABAI community.
Laura C. Chezan is an Associate Professor of Special Education in the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies at Old Dominion University and the Program Coordinator for the Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate Program. Her research interests focus on interventions to promote social-communication in individuals with autism spectrum disorder, positive behavior support, quality of life, and single-case experimental design. Dr. Chezan has written a book and several book chapters on topics related to assessment and evidence-based interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and cognitive disabilities. She has published empirical studies in peer-reviewed journals, including Behavior Modification, Focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder, the Journal of Behavioral Education, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Autism Research. Dr. Chezan currently serves as the associate editor for Preventing School Failure and the Journal of Behavioral Education. She was a US Fulbright Scholar in Romania in 2023.
Claudia Drossel is an associate professor at Eastern Michigan University. Holding doctoral degrees in the experimental analysis of behavior (Temple University) and clinical psychology (University of Nevada, Reno), she teaches functional analysis as a key process in cognitive behavior therapies, including acceptance and commitment therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. Her research focuses on enhancing the quality of life of individuals in midlife and older who are living with progressive neurodegenerative diseases, such as Lewy body’s, Alzheimer’s, or frontotemporal lobar degeneration, and their families.
Mychal A. Machado is an Associate Professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage in the Department of Psychology. They received their Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2015 and are now a Board Certified and Licensed Behavior Analyst. Their research interests include many applications of behavior analysis, such as the integration of applied behavior analysis and technology-based interventions to improve behavioral healthcare and social justice issues, using a behavior analytic lens to evaluate methods related to popular claims in health and psychology, and the analysis of verbal behavior. Clinical areas of interest include inpatient and outpatient applications of behavior analytic treatments for children and adults experiencing autism, mental health disorders, or both. Outside of academia, Dr. Machado enjoys skiing, fishing, crocheting, Lego art creation, and spending time with their family.
Jennifer McComas is Professor of Special Education and Rodney S. Wallace Professor for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at the University of Minnesota where she is the faculty lead of the Collaborative Action for Radical Equity in Applied Behavior Analysis (CARE ABA) lab. She is former Editor in Chief of the Journal of Behavioral Education and former Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Her research focuses on systematic and individualized analysis and intervention for supporting successful academic and social behavior in educational and other community settings. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and results published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. She co-coordinates the University of Minnesota MA program in special education with an emphasis in applied behavior analysis, recently co-authored a chapter titled, “Beyond Cultural Responsivity: Applied Behavior Analysis Through a Lens of Cultural Humility,” and is humbled by how much autistic people, individuals with disabilities, and other marginalized relatives teach her every day. “We are all connected” is her mantra.