BASIC RESEARCH NEEDED FOR STIMULATING THE DEVELOPMENT OF BEHAVIORAL TECHNOLOGIES

Authors


3405 Civic Center Blvd., Children's Seashore House, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104

Abstract

The costs of disconnection between the basic and applied sectors of behavior analysis are reviewed, and some solutions to these problems are proposed. Central to these solutions are collaborations between basic and applied behavioral scientists in programmatic research that addresses the behavioral basis and solution of human behavior problems. This kind of collaboration parallels the deliberate interactions between basic and applied researchers that have proven to be so profitable in other scientific fields, such as medicine. Basic research questions of particular relevance to the development of behavioral technologies are posed in the following areas: response allocation, resistance to change, countercontrol, formation and differentiation/discrimination of stimulus and response classes, analysis of low-rate behavior, and rule-governed behavior. Three interrelated strategies to build connections between the basic and applied analysis of behavior are identified: (a) the development of nonhuman animal models of human behavior problems using operations that parallel plausible human circumstances, (b) replication of the modeled relations with human subjects in the operant laboratory, and (c) tests of the generality of the model with actual human problems in natural settings.

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