By Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D
Founding Editor, bSci21.org
Andy Lattal published an article on the Aubrey Daniels Institute blog, which strikes at the core of many concerns in the field today. As demand for certified behavior analysts skyrockets, many are concerned that we might be meeting this demand at the expense of quality training.
Lattal specifically focused on how we talk about reinforcers.
A case-in-point is a phrase I’m sure most of you have heard before – choosing “effective” reinforcers. This phrase has redundancy written all over it. If reinforcers are reinforcing, then they are necessarily “effective” by definition. At the heart of the issue, which Dr. Lattal emphasizes, is confusing reinforcers with “things” rather than “functions.”
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Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D is President of bSci21 Media, LLC, which owns bSci21.org and BAQuarterly.com. Todd serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and as an editorial board member for Behavior and Social Issues. He has worked as a behavior analyst in day centers, residential providers, homes, and schools, and served as the director of Behavior Analysis Online at the University of North Texas. Todd’s areas of expertise include writing, entrepreneurship, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Instructional Design, Organizational Behavior Management, and ABA therapy. Todd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.