By Matt Cicoria, M.S., BCBA
Host, The Behavioral Observations Podcast
In this session of The Behavioral Observations Podcast, Dr. Jim Johnston, BCBA-D, joins me for a conversation about the history of contemporary Behavior Analysis. Jim is uniquely equipped to provide this perspective, having held presidential positions in all of our flagship professional organizations (e.g., the Association for Behavior Analysis International, the Association for Professional Behavior Analysts, the Behavior Analysis Certification Board, etc…).
As a young graduate student at Auburn University, I had the opportunity to work in Jim’s laboratory at the Institute for Biological Detection Systems, where we conducted federally contracted research on the olfactory capability of explosive and drug detecting dogs (perhaps a story for another podcast). I was also fortunate to have Jim supervise my Master’s Thesis, so it is a treat to have him on the podcast for a long overdue chat.
Dr. Johnston received his doctorate from the University of Florida in 1970 and held faculty positions at Georgia State University, the University of Florida, and Auburn University. He has published both laboratory and field research with both human and non-human species on a variety of topics. He has longstanding interests in the area of developmental disabilities and founded the Master’s Program in Applied Behavior Analysis in Developmental Disabilities at Auburn University. He has served as editor of The Behavior Analyst and on the editorial boards of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, among others.
In addition to discussing the development of our field, we talk about the challenges associated with the rapid growth of practitioners and how the 4th edition of Strategies and Tactics for Behavioral Research is coming along. Finally, Jim concludes with some sage advice for new practitioners.