ABA in Your Day-to-Day: Products That Use the Power of Behavior Principles

The principles behind Behavior Analysis (ABA) are everywhere– if you know what to look for. It probably wouldn’t surprise a BCBA (or future BCBA) to know that ABA inspires everyday products that help people live healthier, more productive lives. What better way to celebrate World Productivity Day than with an ABA-inspired list to help prompt your productivity. 

Smart Water Bottle

While these water bottles might not reach the cult-like status of a Stanley cup any time soon, they are helpful for those who need visual prompts and reminders to stay hydrated throughout the day. These app-enabled water bottles help you set and reach hydration goals, keep track of your liquid consumption, prompt you to drink water, and reinforce your water drinking behavior.

The ABA Behind It: goal setting, prompting, reinforcement, visual display of behavior, self-monitoring, self-evaluation.

Fitness Trackers

FitBits, Apple Watches, and other fitness wearables are all about ABA. Like the smart water bottles, fitness trackers can help you visualize your progress and keep track of certain stats. Depending on the model, they can also help you set goals, stay on target, and even congratulate you when you reach a milestone. 

The ABA Behind It: goal setting, visual display of behavior, self-monitoring, prompting, reinforcement.

Rolling Alarm Clock

Perhaps not the most expected choice. But believe it or not, even this alarm clock can be viewed through an ABA-lens. If the goal is to reduce pressing snooze in the morning, then this a great choice for those who struggle with more traditional alarms and need an added (physical) element. 

The ABA Behind It: environmental manipulation, self management, natural reinforcement, negative reinforcement, matching law.

Magnetic Dry Erase Board

PTB is Big on dry erase boards for exam prep, but don’t think their usefulness ends there. Whiteboards are great for everyday prompts, reminders and lists. Plus, keeping a magnetic dry erase board on the fridge is an ABA-approved move that reduces the response effort needed for writing down the little things that come to mind (like adding milk and sugar to your shopping list) so you’ll be more likely to engage in that behavior (getting milk and sugar the next time you’re at the store).

The ABA Behind It: response prompt, self management, environmental manipulation, reducing response effort, reinforcement.  

Vacation Fund Jar

Whether it’s for a vacation, new shoes, or a new outfit, those and other variations of the “swear jar” have become ABA-inspired classics for a reason. These handy little jars pack a punch of behavioral principles, including positive reinforcement for adding visualization as your funds keep growing.

The ABA Behind It: generalized conditioned reinforcement, backup reinforcement, goal-setting, visual display of progress, motivating operations, premack principle

  • BEPW
  • Study Manual
  • Related Content

  • PTB founder Dana Meller clarifies the specific steps for evidence-based supervision, not to be confused with behavior skills training.Dana Do's: 7 Steps of Evidence-Based Supervision
    PTB founder Dana Meller clarifies the specific steps for evidence-based supervision, not to be confused with behavior skills training.
  • Dana Do's: What is the Difference Between Trial-Based and Free-Operant Teaching Arrangements?
    Not too sure about discriminating between the different teaching arrangements? Not to worry. PTB founder Dana Meller is here to explain trial-based vs free operant procedures.
  • 6 Science-backed tips to improve memory.6 Science-Backed Tips for Improving Your Memory
    The first part of those all-important MAC skills: memorization. Being able to recall information, facts, concepts, and terms is essential (that probably goes without saying). If you find your memory…
  • Dana Do's: All the Validities in ABA, Explained
    PTB founder Dana Meller helps connect each of the validities to the validity of this explanation.
  • Dana Do's: Will Reinforcer Assessments be on the BCBA® Exam?
    The Task List and the TCO (Test Content Outline) both include preference assessments. But, they don't mention reinforcer assessments. Does that mean that reinforcer assessments will not be on the exam?
  • ABA in Your Day-to-Day: Products That Use the Power of Behavior Principles
    The principles behind Behavior Analysis (ABA) are everywhere– if you know what to look for. It probably wouldn’t surprise a BCBA (or future BCBA) to know that ABA inspires everyday…
  • If you need help breaking down test questions, there's a simple tool you can use to eliminate the risk of making assumptions on the BCBA® exam.Dana Do's: The ABCs of Breaking Down BCBA® Exam Test Questions
    If you need help breaking down test questions, there's a simple tool you can use to eliminate the risk of making assumptions on the BCBA® exam.
  • Feeling unprepared from insufficient coursework? You’re not alone. Many students find themsleves in this position, but luckily there’s hope. PTB co-founder Dana Meller offers her advice for what to do when your coursework just isn’t enough.Dana Do's: Has Your Coursework Left You Unprepared for the BCBA® Exam?
    If your coursework left you unprepared for the BCBA exam, PTB co-founder Dana Meller offers some ideas of how to avoid the hamster wheel of multiple exam retakes.
  • If a response prompt and a stimulus prompt both prompt correct responses, what is the difference?Dana Do's: What's the Difference Between Response vs. Stimulus Prompts?
    If a response prompt and a stimulus prompt both prompt correct responses, what is the difference?
  • Beat the Odds: 5 Tips You Need If You’re Retaking the Exam
    Retaking the exam? You’re in good company. In fact, PTB conducted a study of BCBA® exam candidates in 2023 that showed more than ⅓ of test-takers are in fact retakers.…
  • Dana Do's: What Should I Do If I Don't Pass the BCBA® Exam?
    If you're retaking the exam and you don't know how to proceed with studying again, PTB co-founder Dana Meller has some suggestions that you might want to consider.
  • Dana Do's: Why BCBA® Exam Retakers Should Ignore the Score Report
    PTB's retaker philosophy has not changed since we first began BCBA® test prep, 12 years ago. In fact, the philosophy has only been reinforced over the years as retaker pass rates continue to drop. If you're retaking the exam, you need to hear this advise from PTB co-founder Dana Meller.
  • 3.14 Tips to Make Exam Prep as Easy as Pi
    #1: Set Specific (And Smaller) Goals Setting goals when developing a study strategy is important, but even more important is setting goals that are rational, realistic, and manageable. Setting too…
  • Dana Do's: How to Discriminate What 'Is' or 'Is Not' Behavior in BCBA® Exam Questions
    There is a struggle with identifying what is or is not a behavior when it comes to BCBA® exam questions. PTB co-founder Dana Meller offers some simple yet critical ways to make those discriminations.
  • Dana Do's: Do Alternative Behaviors Need to be Functionally Equivalent?
    Do alternative behaviors always have to be functionally equivalent to the target behavior that we're trying to reduce or eliminate? PTB co-founder Dana Meller breaks in down.
  • Dana Do's: And Just Like That, Context and Application for Task List Items
    How does going to ABA conferences help you pass the BCBA® exam? PTB co-founder Dana Meller recalls her student journey and the "a-ha moment" when she realized, attending forced her to generalize what she was studying, in context. Suddenly, ABA terminology was no longer a foreign language she was trying to master.
  • Dana Do's: How to Determine Value vs. Behavior Altering Effect
    A motivating operation is not a thing that you hold in your hand. It is the state or condition of being deprived of something or satiated with something. PTB co-founder Dana Meller dives into the in-the-moment effects to help explain the difference.
  • PTB Partner Spotlight: In Conversation with APBA’s CEO, Dr. Tyra Sellers
    An industry veteran who watched the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) grow into what it is today, Tyra Sellers, J.D., Ph.D., BCBA-D joined the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA) in January 2023 as CEO. Her first ABA certification came before the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) even existed. Some years later, as fate would have it, Sellers found herself at the  BACB, serving as the director of the ethics department. Now, she is bringing her knowledge and experience to the distinguished organization with a strategy that is focused on access, education and community.
  • Dana Do's: Cracking the Ethics Code on Consent vs. Assent
    The ethics code asks behavior analysts to obtain informed consent before starting a treatment plan. But…what does that entail? PTB co-founder Dana Meller breaks down informed consent, assent, and the ethics elements you need to know. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Code Section E- 2.11 Obtaining Informed Consent
  • Dana Do's: Discriminating Between Masking and Overshadowing
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller offers detailed examples to help students better discriminate between two often confusing concepts: masking vs. overshadowing.
  • Dana Do's: Chain Chain Chain, Chain, Chain...
    Which chaining method goes with which behavior? Dana Meller offers some considerations that may help you answer that question on the exam. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section Section G-8: Use chaining.
  • Dana Do's: Confused About Automatic and Socially Mediated Reinforcement?
    It’s not wrong to associate sterotypic behaviors with automatic reinforcement— but there are other factors to consider. PTB co-founder Dana Meller offers a quick explainer to clear up the confusion. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section B-7: Define and provide examples of automatic and socially mediated contingencies.
  • Dana Do's: If All Prompts Prompt Behavior, What's the Difference?
    If all prompts prompt behavior, how can you tell the different between stimulus and response prompts? PTB co-founder Dana Meller simplifies it with one word. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section G-4: Use stimulus and response prompts and fading (e.g., errorless, most-to-least, least-to-most, prompt delay, stimulus fading).
  • Self-management: one process, two behaviors. PTB co-founder Dana Meller explains controlled vs controlling response, and shares real-life examples of how they are used together in self-management strategies.Dana Do's: Fun Fact. The Process of Self-Management Requires Two Behaviors
    Self-management: one process, two behaviors. PTB co-founder Dana Meller explains controlled vs controlling response, and shares real-life examples of how they are used together in self-management strategies.
  • 4 Paths to Becoming a BCBA®The Path(s) to Becoming a BCBA®
    Currently, there are four paths to meet the eligibility requirements, though it’s important to note that the BACB® will be revising the pathways in 2027.
  • What Is a BCBA® Certification and Why Get One?
    The Board Certified Behavior Analyst® exam (or, BCBA® exam) is a graduate-level certification in behavior analysis administered by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB).
  • Beat the Odds: Factors that Impact Performance on the BCBA® Exam
    Though the exam may be difficult, it’s not impossible to achieve a passing score. There are several ways students can improve their chances and beat the odds. The right preparation is essential.
  • How Hard is it to Pass the BCBA® Exam? 
    The question every future BCBA® inevitably asks: how hard is it to pass the BCBA® exam? If you’ve heard the stories or seen the data, then you know the exam has a reputation for being difficult. Ask around and you’ll likely hear that it’s sort of like running a marathon. But barefoot, on broken glass, in a giant corn maze, guarded by storm troopers and you can’t remember where you left your lightsaber…oh, and your headphones just died. 
  • It often feels like the board is asking candidates to study concepts you may never use in practice. PTB co-founder Dana Meller explains why that's actually inaccurate. The philosophical assumptions underlying the science of behavior analysis is so much more integral than just passing the big exam. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section A-2: Explain the philosophical assumptions underlying the science of behavior analysis (e.g., selectionism, determinism, empiricism, parsimony, pragmatism).Dana Do's: What Do Philosophical Assumptions Got To Do With It?
    It often feels like the board is asking candidates to study concepts you may never use in practice. PTB co-founder Dana Meller explains why that's actually inaccurate. The philosophical assumptions underlying the science of behavior analysis is so much more integral than just passing the big exam.
  • 10 Positive Effects From Prioritizing Self-Care
    Self-care. It’s a bit of a broad term, and a total buzzword these days. It’s often used in the context of bubble baths and “unplugging.” But, at its core, self-care is about more than just “me-time.” It’s about taking care of yourself in a way that works best for you and your lifestyle.
  • 5 Ways to Make the Big Exam Feel Less Scary
    #1: Arm Yourself (With Knowledge) As they say, knowledge is power, and the best defense on exam day is knowing your stuff. It’s ok to reschedule if you’re not ready.…
  • Feeling isolated on ABA islandDana Do's: Feeling Isolated on ABA Island
    The life of a behavior professional can be rewarding, but it can also be a little lonely. PTB co-founder Dana Meller shares her experience with overcoming isolation with some recommendations for students and current BCBAs.
  • Desk Yoga: 7 Stretches for Your Next Study Session
    Long days and even longer study sessions, can leave your back and neck feeling stiff. Luckily, PTB has just the thing: 7 desk-friendly, do-anywhere yoga moves. While it can’t replace your regular yoga routine, these stretches can help you reset your mind and body when you’re glued to your desk (or couch, or kitchen chair). 
  • Five tips to make your study space more soothing5 Science-Backed Tips to Make Your Study Space More Soothing
    #1 – Declutter to De-stress Fortunately, this first tip costs nothing. Unfortunately, it may require a bit of elbow grease. Organizing your study or work station can help you better…
  • 6 Stress Tips for Managing BCBA® Exam PrepKeep Calm and Study On: 6 Strategies for Managing Test Prep Stress 
    It goes without saying that studying for the BCBA® exam is stressful. The experience can fray the nerves of even the most level-headed student. If you’re feeling the test prep…
  • Big Exam Prep Workshop
    PTB’s Big Exam Prep Workshop is a live, interactive 6-week intensive (with up to 14 weeks of access to online materials, subject to registration). Integrating behavior analytic strategies, the hands-on masterclass breaks down the BACB® 5th Edition Task List, harnessing PTB’s signature formula for organizing and structuring BCBA® exam prep.
  • From PTB’s Test (Prep) Kitchens: A Brain-Boosting Berry Smoothie
    It’s important to fuel your brain and body with nutritious food that will give you the energy to power through long days and even longer study sessions. But, between school,…
  • What chaining methods to use on what behaviors.Dana Do's: What Chaining Method to Use When?
    The books don't really say much about what chaining methods BCBA's should apply to what behaviors. PTB co-founder Dana Meller breaks it down. Refer to BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section G-8: Use chaining.
  • Go behind the scenes with PTB co-founder Dana Meller for the making of the PTB Streaming Lecture Series.Behind the Scenes of the Big Exam Prep Workshop
    Known for her trademark humor and clinical knowledge, PTB co-founder Dana Meller takes students behind the scenes of creating the PTB Streaming Lecture Series, a collection of 9 pre-recorded lectures covering each of the BCBA® 5th edition task list sections.
  • What are the Markers of a Good Supervisor?Dana Do's: What are the Markers of a Good Supervisor?
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller identifies the markers of being a good supervisor. BCBA® Task List (5th ed.) Section I-8: Evaluate the effects of supervision (e.g., on client outcomes, on supervisee repertoires).
  • By examining BACB Task List verbs, you can actually determine the specific type of discrimination required in your BCBA exam studies.Dana Do's: Yes, verbs are clues that can help you prep for the BCBA exam
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller shares how the verbs used in the Task List can provide you with significant clues for effective studying. By examining task list verbs, you can actually determine the specific type of discrimination required in your studies. Learn how understanding these verbs can guide your preparation and better equip you for success on the big exam.
  • 5 Test-Taking Tips to Help You Pass the BCBA® Exam 
    Prep the Night Before Pack up everything you’ll need for exam day the night before so you won’t need to worry about it the day of. Are you wearing comfortable…
  • 6 Science-Backed Study Tips for Your Next Study Session
    Switch Up Your Environment Studying in a new environment has been shown to help improve memory and concentration levels. Try studying at a coffee shop, library, or a new spot…
  • PTB Study Essentials for BCBA® exam prepAdd to Cart: PTB’s Study Essentials
    When it comes to test-prep, you need the right tools for the job. PTB has compiled a must-have list of study supplies so you can stock up on your next…
  • How to decode the BACB® ethics code.Dana Do's: How to Decode the Code
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller suggests that memorizing the sections of the BACB® Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts will in fact help you make correct discriminations when prepping for the BCBA® exam.
  • Why Retaker Odds Are LowerDana Do's: Why BCBA® Retaker Odds are Lower
    There's a danger of studying only the score report. PTB co-founder Dana Meller offers insight on why it's important to study like a test virgin.
  • Freaking Out Over the BCBA® ExamDana Do's: That Feeling of Freaking Out Over the BCBA® Exam
    Everyone feels like they won't pass the BCBA® exam, not just you. PTB co-founder Dana Meller talks about the experiences her students share as they prep for the exam. And surprise surprise, you are not alone in feeling scared, dealing with the pressures of everyday life, and trying to negotiate so many variables. If that's you and you're struggling, the good news is that it's temporary. And the payoff, that is fantastic.
  • The Task List is a Jigsaw PuzzleDana Do's: Imagine the Task List is a Jigsaw Puzzle
    PTB cofounder, Dana Meller treats the task list like a puzzle, and so should you. Like a puzzle, all the task list items are interconnected. To be exam ready, you need all the pieces, and every piece needs to be in place.
  • Look at the World Behavior AnalyticallyDana Do's: Looking at the World Behavior Analytically
    Why should you look at the world behavior analytically? Because it will help you build ABA fluency.
  • How to Optimize MemorizationDana Do's: How to Optimize Memorization
    PTB Co-founder Dana Meller reinforces the importance of memorization and offers some practical, empirically validated tips for memorizing the task list.
  • Memorization, application and comprehension are key to building fluency.Dana Do's: Get Your M.A.C. Skills Together
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller offers a key to building fluency and BCBA® exam readiness. Memorization. Application. Comprehension.
  • Dealing with the Frustration of Missing the BCBA® Passing Score by a Few PointsDana Do's: Dealing with the Frustration of Failing the BCBA® Exam
    PTB cofounder Dana Meller offers some unsolicited advice for candidates who have experienced the frustration of failing the BCBA® exam by only a few points.
  • Why You're Not Passing the BCBA® ExamDana Do's: Why You're Not Passing the BCBA® Exam
    PTB cofounder Dana Meller helps candidates retaking the exam consider a functional approach to defining the obstacles holding them back.
  • Shortcuts to BCBA® exam prep don't workDana Do's: Short Cuts Don't Work
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller talks about avoiding shortcuts in your exam prep. Becoming a BCBA® is not just about passing the Big Exam, it is about taking on a professional identity.
  • Why its Important to Speak ABADana Do's: The Importance of Speaking ABA
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller shares the importance of speaking ABA and being able to fluently read and understand the Cooper text in order to pass the big exam.
  • The ABC's of ABADana Do's: Understanding the ABC's of Behavior Used to Break Down Test Questions
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller shares how our ABA superpowers can be used to break down exam questions to organize BCBA® exam prep.
  • Put On Your BACB® Board HatDana Do's: Put On Your BACB® Board Hat
    Want to know what to study for the BCBA® exam? PTB co-founder Dana Meller reminds candidates that the exam is a knowledge assessment, not a skill assessment.
  • Advice for juggling life with exam prep.Dana Do's: BCBA® Exam Prep Studying Tips
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller shares helpful tips about incorporating studying into your already busy lives.
  • Use your BCBA® mock exam mistakes to assess how you test.Dana Do's: Use Mistakes to Assess How You Test
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller shares insights on how to use your mock BCBA® exam mistakes to assess and improve your test-taking behavior.
  • 5th Edition Study Manual (Current Version 2.2)
    Universally recognized as the “other white book”, the comprehensive PTB ABA Exam Study Manual organizes and breaks down the complete 5th Edition Task List, distilling the Cooper text (Applied Behavior Analysis by John Cooper, Timothy Heron and William Heward) to include all critical exam concepts. The Manual is structured for quick navigation, contextualized with situational and relatable examples, salient visuals, and detailed explanations. In its 11th year of publication, the Manual is widely regarded as an ideal study companion and ABA bible, proving valuable as a quick reference tool beyond the exam. Save $60 when purchased with the PTB Big Exam Prep Workshop. FREE SHIPPING (U.S. ONLY): Delivery within 7 - 10 business days. PRIORITY SHIPPING (U.S. ONLY): Delivery within 3 - 5 business days for an additional fee. Select USPS Priority at checkout.
  • What kind of learner are you? PTB co-founder Dana Meller spells out the differences between flashcards and SAFMEDS, so you can pick the best study tool based on how you learn.Dana Do's: SAFMEDS or Flashcards? How to Choose the Tool Most Effective for You
    What kind of learner are you? PTB co-founder Dana Meller spells out the differences between flashcards and SAFMEDS so you can pick the best study tool based on how you learn.
  • Power through your exam prep with foods that fuel.Fuel Your Focus: 5 Foods That Help You Study
    Preparing for the BCBA® exam takes focus, stamina, and a whole lot of brain power. You’ve got to learn the entire Task List– from top to bottom– plus, the ethics…
  • The PTB ABA Exam Study Manual: A Guide to the Other 'White Book'
    The PTB ABA Exam Study Manual has become a mainstay of BCBA® exam prep– and with good reason. Expertly written to break down the critical Task List information the BACB®…
  • Dana Do's: Tips for Exam Questions About Ethics
    There is a difference between ethical decision-making in practice, versus ethical decision-making on test question scenarios.
  • Get the Scoop: What You Need to Know About the BACB’s Transition to the 6th Edition
    You may have heard horror stories about the last BACB transition from the 4th to the 5th edition Task List. Not without good reason, too. The 5th edition brought changes to the supervision requirements, an increase to the number of test questions, and the introduction of the Ethics Code. Luckily, this time around won’t be such a shake up. Candidates caught on the cusp of this transition will be relieved to know that most of the updates are minor. Many find these transitions intimidating and overwhelming because they think they’ll have to learn an entire list of new information. Thankfully, that’s not the case. Think of it as more of a restructuring, rather than a total revamp.
  • Dana's Do's: Struggling with ABA Jargon? Watch This.
    The clinical jargon of ABA can be one of the most intimidating parts of BCBA® exam prep. However, as PTB co-founder Dana Meller explains, understanding the source material like textbooks and literature— no matter how dense they may be— is imperative for exam day success.
  • 5-Foods to boost your brainpower when studying for the BCBA® exam5 Foods to Boost Brainpower While Studying
    #1 Green tea You’d be hard pressed to find an ABA student who isn’t reaching for caffeine in one form or another. Try sipping on green tea the next time…
  • PTB co-founder offers a new approach to reframing your mindset when answering questions on the BCBA® exam that may help you beat the odds.Dana Do's: What Would Cooper Do?
    PTB co-founder offers a new approach to reframing your mindset when answering questions on the BCBA® exam that may help you beat the odds.
  • How to Know When You're Ready to Sit for the BCBA® ExamDana Do's: How to Know When You're Ready to Sit for the BCBA® Exam
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller talks about measuring exam readiness. How do you know if you’re ready to sit?
  • How to Make Time for Studying for the BCBA® ExamDana Do's: How to Make Time for Studying for the BCBA® Exam
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller shares helpful tips about incorporating studying into your already busy lives.
  • You know what they say about making assumptions on the BCBA® exam.Dana Do's: The Problem With Making Assumptions on the BCBA® Exam
    PTB co-founder Dana Meller shares practical insight on the importance of approaching exam questions at face value.
  • Shopping Cart
    Scroll to Top