Deadline Extended to December 30 for the “Is Behavior Analysis Better?” Contest

Readers, defend your discipline!

Are the practices that make behavior analysis unique an improvement upon what other scientists and practitioners do?

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When we first learn about behavior analysis, we’re told that they are… But how would you know for sure? It has been suggested that our distinct practices, rather than being important innovations, are more like fraternity rituals. They hold us together as a verbal-social community, but they don’t necessarily make us better at science or practice. One tenet of this “costly signaling hypothesis” is that the “evidence” we’re sometimes offered for the superiority of behavior analysis doesn’t really hold up to critical examination. For a complete explanation of the hypothesis, see this post. 

The “Is Behavior Analysis Better?” contest gives you an opportunity, in a short essay, to defend your discipline by weighing in on whether it is, in fact, better than the alternatives. Selected entries will be shared with readers of this blog, and readers will decide on a contest winner.

Thoughtful entries will serve two useful functions:

  • They will stimulative constructive thinking about the place of behavior analysis among the disciplines that intersect with behavior (a useful exercise, since you’d better believe that people outside of behavior analysis aren’t yet persuaded that we do anything “better”)
  • They will give you a chance to win some cool prizes, including ABAI swag, Operant Coffee, author-signed copies of behavior analysis books, and more, like the one-of-a-kind hat shown above.

The contest deadline has been extended from December 15 to December 30. Anyone involved with or interested in behavior analysis is eligible to enter. And by the way, you can argue in the affirmative or the negative, as long as you advance the conversation about the status of behavior analysis among the disciplines. See here for a full description of the contest and a link to submit your entry.

Please share the contest information with colleagues and students!!