ABA Glossary

By Dana Meller, M.A., BCBA
Edited by Tyra Sellers, J.D., Ph.D., BCBA-D
ABA Glossary by Dana Meller, M.A., BCBA, edited by Tyra Sellers, J.D., Ph.D., BCBA-D

Pragmatism

A philosophical assumption underlying the science of behavior analysis that focuses on practical solutions (e.g., if it works, don’t fix it), which at the level of behavior, involves the relation between the setting (A) and the behavior (B) is because of the consequence (C).

A-2 Explain the philosophical assumptions underlying the science of behavior analysis (e.g., selectionism, determinism, empiricism, parsimony, pragmatism).

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  • Parsimony
    A philosophical assumption underlying the science of behavior analysis that the simplest theory requiring the fewest assumptions must be ruled out before considering more complex explanations.
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    A philosophical assumption underlying the science of behavior analysis that anything that evolves does so because of the consequences of behavior, meaning that behaviors that result in positive consequences survive…
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    A philosophical assumption underlying the science of behavior analysis that a controlled comparison of the dependent variable under two or more conditions (independent variables) is required to assess if one…
  • Replication
    A philosophical assumption underlying the science of behavior analysis that experiments should be repeated to determine the reliability and usefulness of their findings and to discover and correct mistakes.
  • Philosophical doubt
    A philosophical assumption underlying the science of behavior analysis that the truth should always be questioned with healthy skepticism, which means viewing the results of studies and clinical work with…
  • ABA terms you need to know: determinism.Determinism
    A philosophical assumption underlying the science of behavior analysis that the world is an orderly, predictable, and lawful place where all events occur as a product of cause and effect.
  • Empiricism
    A philosophical assumption underlying the science of behavior analysis that knowledge is built on objective observation and measurement (data).
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