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Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a scientific discipline devoted to understanding and to improving human behavior. While numerous social sciences and helping professions share similar aims, ABA’s focus, behavior change interventions, and evaluation methods distinguish it as a unique discipline. Applied behavior analysts select behaviors that improve the quality of people’s lives, alter environmental antecedents and/or consequences to change the target behavior(s), and employ methods of scientific inquiry (e.g., objective measurement, controlled experimentation) to seek functional relations between interventions and behavioral improvements. In short, ABA is a scientific approach for discovering environmental variables that reliably influence socially significant behavior and for developing a behavior change technology based on those discoveries. A significant part of ABA’s technology comprises strategies and tactics for effective therapy.

Historical Context

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