How Behavior Principles Can Affect You Around The House

Photo by RW Studios on Unsplash

Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D & Angela Cathey, M.A.

bSci21Media, LLC

Brett DiNovi, M.A., BCBA

Brett DiNovi & Associates

People often have a difficult time grasping the true ubiquity of behavior analysis. Our field is often conceptualized under particular labels (e.g., ABA Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Functional Analytic Psychotherapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy), or associated with particular problems which we might frequently treat (e.g., Autism), or associated with the setting in which we generate behavior change (e.g., Organizational Behavior Management). This is functional in many respects as it helps people come to appropriate behavior experts with specialization in seeing the particular topographies that may come up with an issue, setting, etc. The difficulty with such labels is the increased likelihood of losing touch with the fact that our science is one based on principles which applies to behavior in all settings, regardless of the particular label or form it may take for a particular population or setting.

In a recent video by Brett DiNovi & Associates, a behavioral analysis of an individual’s “Morning Hustle” is provided. We love this kind of work as it reminds the public and behavior analysts that our work can apply to any and every situation. In this video-based behavioral analysis of the “Morning Hustle,” you see simple life activities overlaid with behavioral concepts as they show up in the routine.

As the video opens, we see a person turning off his alarm clock, a behavior that is presumably negatively reinforced by the removal of the aversive clock ringing stimulus. The actor then goes on to respond to visual prompts (text messages) from his employer to engage in certain tasks (turning in data). Then we see the actor requesting to play video games and being told that he will need to clean the bathroom prior to playing video games. Presuming that the actor does engage in more video game playing than bathroom cleaning, this indeed follows the Premack Principle by making engagement in a higher frequency behavior contingent on engagement in a lower frequency behavior.

The video then goes on to demonstrate the verbal operant of manding one’s preferences to obtain a desired response as a second actor requests an item from the first. In this particular video, even the actor’s dog is involved in demonstrating behavioral principles as the video demonstrates how the actor enriches the dog’s environment to reduce engagement in undesirable behaviors (e.g., chewing on the couch). These types of short videos help us stay in contact with behavioral principles as they apply to our daily life and all environments we contact.

We challenge you do as the video has done in your daily life. Take a moment to do an analysis of contingencies driving daily behavior in your life or in the current events in larger society. This will help you keep your skills sharp and your mind open as a behavior analyst.

To hear more, be sure to check out the full video, and to subscribe to Brett DiNovi’s YouTube channel and let him know what you would like to see in future videos.  Also be sure to subscribe to bSci21 via email to receive the latest articles directly to your inbox!

Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D is the President and Founder of bSci21Media, LLC, which owns the top behavior analytic media outlet in the world,  bSci21Media aims to disseminate behavior analysis to the world and to support ABA companies around the globe through the Behavioral Science in the 21st Century blog and its subsidiaries, bSciEntrepreneurial, bSciWebDesign, bSciWriting, and the ABA Outside the Box CEU series.  Dr. Ward received his PhD in behavior analysis from the University of Nevada, Reno under Dr. Ramona Houmanfar.  He has served as a Guest Associate Editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, and as an Editorial Board member of Behavior and Social Issues.  Dr. Ward has also provided ABA services to children and adults with various developmental disabilities in day centers, in-home, residential, and school settings, and previously served as Faculty Director of Behavior Analysis Online at the University of North Texas.  Dr. Ward is passionate about disseminating behavior analysis to the world and growing the field through entrepreneurship. Todd can be reached at [email protected]

Angela Cathey, M.A. is a writer, consultant, entrepreneur, and Owner, Director, and Team/Leadership Development Consultant of Enso Group. Her background is in processes of change and intervention development. She has trained with experts in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP), cognitive-behavioral exposure-based treatments, and Relational Frame Theory (RFT). Her interests are in process, innovation, and development of solutions for sustainable large-scale change. She has published in numerous academic journals on process, measurement, and intervention development. Enso-driven analytics systems are used to inform leadership and team building interventions, culture design, and research in the behavioral sciences. Angela can be reached at [email protected]. Stay up-to-date with Enso Group at and LinkedIn.

Brett DinoviBrett DiNovi, M.A., BCBA has the unique and distinguished experience of studying the principles of applied behavior analysis under the rigorous scrutiny of both Dr. Julie S. Vargas (formerly Skinner) and Dr. E.A. Vargas at West Virginia University’s internationally recognized program. For the past 26 years, Brett has used behavior analytic principles to create large scale change across school districts, Fortune 500 companies using principles of Organizational Behavior Management (OBM), and across individual learners. Brett has been a OBM consultant in Morgantown WV, an instructor at West Virginia University, a guest lecturer at numerous universities, a speaker on multiple Comcast Newsmakers TV programs, an expert witness in due process hearings, has publications in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, and has been in in executive leadership positions across schools and residential programs nationwide. In addition to an award from South Jersey Biz Magazine for “Best Places to Work,” an award for “Best of Families” in Suburban Magazine, and the distinguished “Top Ranked U.S. Executives” award, Brett’s proudest accomplishment is being a role model and father for his daughter and two stepchildren (one of which has autism). Brett can be reached at [email protected]

*Paid content by Brett DiNovi & Associates.

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