One skill of an applied behavior analyst is collaborating to identify negative behaviors an individual is exhibiting and then developing treatments for those behaviors (e.g., strategies, interventions, etc.) to help them change the behaviors and derive improved outcomes for themselves. Radical behaviorism posits there is a science of behavior that has shown the environment as a significant cause of behavior and that experiential factors play a primary role in determining behavior (Cooper et al., 2020). The strategies and interventions of the applied behavior analyst represent efforts to change maladaptive behavior by systematically employing techniques that control circumstances in which negative behaviors arise and helping individuals learn and apply new skills.

For example, if a child in a classroom is repeatedly leaving their seat during instruction (i.e., maladaptive behavior), an applied behavior analyst would work with the child to identify the factors contributing to the maladaptive behavior and then develop strategies or interventions to generate more appropriate behavior by the child.

For this week’s Discussion, you will consider your perspectives on radical behaviorism and its learning principles.
Post an explanation of whether you agree or disagree with the following statement, and why or why not:

Skinner’s “radical behaviorism” proposes that behavior, rather than cognitive processes, should be the primary topic of study.

Moxley, R. A. (2004). Pragmatic selectionism: The philosophy of behavior analysis Links to an external site.. The Behavior Analyst Today, 5(1), 108–125.

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