Philosophical Underpinnings of Applied Behaviour Analysis
Run by School of Educational Sciences
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Semester 1 & 2
Organiser: Prof Carl Hughes
Overall aims and purpose
This module is a key module that sets the foundation for understanding behaviour analysis on a theoretical and philosophical basis and the implications these principles have for the treatment of behavioural problems. The module aims to build knowledge of the conceptual and philosophical background to the philosophy of the science of behaviour analysis.
The course will introduce the philosophical underpinnings of behaviour analysis. The content is drawn from the BCBA Task List (5th Edition), Section 1: Foundations, Content Area A: Philosophical Underpinnings.
- Identify the goals of behaviour analysis as a science (i.e., description, prediction, control).
- Explain the philosophical assumptions underlying the science of behaviour analysis (e.g., selectionism, determinism, empiricism, parsimony, pragmatism).
- Describe and explain behaviour from the perspective of radical behaviourism.
- Distinguish among behaviourism, the experimental analysis of behaviour, applied behaviour analysis, and professional practice guided by the science of behaviour analysis.
- Describe and define the dimensions of applied behaviour analysis (Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968).
-B / 60%>
- Some insight into the applications of behaviourism in the real world.
- Strong knowledge of key concepts in applied behaviour analysis.
- Solid understanding of theoretical issues mostly free of factual errors.
- Evidence of critical analysis and evaluation of theory and research.
- Coherent arguments presented, with some limited synthesis and original interpretation
- Answer focused on question, but with very little irrelevant material and clear structure
- Well-structured presentation showing focus of argument and expression.
-C / 50%>
- Some basic consideration underpinning principles of the applications of behaviourism in the real world.
- Adequate knowledge of some of the key concepts in applied behaviour analysis only.
- Weaknesses in understanding theoretical issues with multiple/major factual errors.
- Limited evidence of critical analysis and evaluation of theory and research.
- Arguments are presented briefly, but they are weak with no synthesis or original interpretation.
- Answer only briefly focused on question and with some irrelevant material and poor structure.
- Weak argument with disjointed structure and major APA format errors.
-A / 70%>
- Depth of insight into behavioural principles underpinning the applications of behaviourism in the real world.
- Comprehensive and detailed knowledge of applied behaviour analysis.
- Excellent understanding and original interpretation of theoretical issues with no factual errors.
- Clear evidence of critical analysis and insightful evaluation of theory and research.
- Logically presented and defended arguments presented with coherent synthesis and original interpretation.
- Answer focused on question, with no irrelevant material and clear structure.
- Well-structured argument showing focus and clarity of argument and expression.
Students will critically analyse seminal texts to describe and explain the philosophical underpinnings of behaviour analysis.
Explain the philosophical assumptions underlying the science of behaviour analysis (e.g., selectionism, determinism, empiricism, parsimony, pragmatism).
Consider behaviour from the perspective of radical behaviourism.
Students will consider the dimensions of applied behaviour analysis and how applied behaviour analysis relates to both research and professional practice.
|ESSAY||Philosophical Underpinnings Essay||
Students will critically analyse seminal texts to inform their understanding of the philosophical foundations of behaviour analysis.
The exam will consist of essay questions designed to examine students' knowledge and understanding of the the philosophy of behaviour analysis.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Lectures will be pre-recorded and students will be able to access the lectures at any time. The lecture time will include time spent reading and evaluating relevant papers and texts, completing unmarked MCQ and interacting with an on-line community of students.
Students will be expected to complete the given readings and prepare for any in-class activities. Private study will also include exam preparation.
Core Text: Cooper, J.O., Heron, T.E., & Heward, W.L. 2nd Ed. (2007) Applied Behavior Analysis. NY. MacMillan. Johnston, J. M. (2014). Radical Behaviorism for Practitioners. NY. Sloan Publishing Students may find it useful to print materials for class preparation, but this is not necessary. Most of the readings are available in the library or electronically.
Seminars will run for 90 minutes every week for 8 weeks. Two seminar groups will be conducted; the content in each group will be same. The seminars will be delivered synchronous in person if allowed and also via a remote platform. Students will be able to choose which seminar group to attend. The seminars will be an opportunity for students to consider how to apply the information they learned in lectures to clinical practice. Seminars are optional and will not be recorded because we anticipate students may wish to discuss confidential, clinically relevant material.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
- Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
- Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
- Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in
Subject specific skills
- Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
- Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
- Communicate psychological concepts effectively in oral form.
- Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
- Retrieve and organise information effectively.
- Handle primary source material critically.
- Engage in effective teamwork for the purpose of collaborating on psychological projects.
- Be sensitive and react appropriately to contextual and interpersonal psychological factors.
- Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
- Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
- Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.
- Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
- Carry out empirical studies by operationalizing research questions, generating hypotheses, collecting data using a variety of methods, analysing data using quantitative and/or qualitative methods, and present and evaluate research findings (under appropriate supervision).
- Comprehend and use psychological data effectively, demonstrating a systematic knowledge of the application and limitations of various research paradigms and techniques.
- Employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology.
- Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/plp-4043.html
Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2007). Applied Behavior Analysis (2nd ed.). Pearson.
Skinner, B. F. (1974). About behaviorism. New York: Knopf; [distributed by Random House.
Chiesa, M. (1994). Radical behaviorism: The philosophy and the science. Authors Cooperative.
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- C8EB: PGDip Applied Behaviour Analysis year 1 (DIP/APPBA)
- C8BL: MSc Applied Behavioural Analysis year 1 (MSC/ABA)
- C8EN: MSc Applied Behaviour Analysis with Practicum year 1 (MSC/ABAP)
- C8EC: MSc Applied Behaviour Analysis year 1 (MSC/APPBA)