Jazz in Deep Ellum, Texas

Photo by Cole Hutson on Unsplash

Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D

bSci21Media, LLC; Ignite STEAM Labs

If direct acting contingencies had a sound, it would sound like improvisational jazz.

No words, just reacting to the present moment.

No thinking, only feeling.

No destination, only being.

No structure, only fluidity.

Rule-governed behavior breaks down to reveal the direct acting contingencies of this moment.

This ever-evolving present moment, with its myriad of stimulus functions.

Collectively participating in and blending with the unique histories of everyone in the room.

This article is part of our larger series on behavioral science and art, as a joint collaboration between bSci21Media and Ignite STEAM Labs.  We invite you to check out the full series below, and to reach out to us if you would like to discuss how to integrate behavioral science and art into your work.

Behavioral Science and Art: A Manifesto

Behavioral Science and Art: Don’t Overthink Writing

Behavioral Science and Art: The Defusing Effects of EDM

Behavioral Science and Art: Primal Musical Expression in a Rule-Governed Society

Ignite STEAM Labs is the non-profit innovation arm of ENSO Group. Ignite STEAM Labs creates science-based art and art-based science. It is in this integrative work that we can do as those before us like John B. Watson did – to extend the appetitiveness of behavioral science to larger audiences, not by talking about behavioral science, but by affecting others through the science.  The behavioral analysis of symbolic thought and language as guided by Relational Frame Theory is prime for an explosion of science-guided art for Skinner’s original vision of a world improved through behavioral science.

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, bSci21.org.  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 todd.ward@bsci21.org

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