Discussion: Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968)

aer, Wolf, and Risley (1968)


      Baer et., al (1968) are providing us with core dimensions for behavioral analysis that will lead to effective behavioral change and interventions. The 7 dimensions of applied behavioral analysis, as stated by the article are behavioral, analytic, technological, conceptual systems, effective, and generality. The authors talked about some of the constraints to applied research, such as lack of control in an experiment of target behaviors in normal setting verses laboratory setting. They demonstrated how to apply each dimension to the overall behavioral analysis. While showing that behavioral analysis is an effective science though control is hard when it comes to consistent experiments in the natural environment. I believe the information in this article is still relevant to the practice of applied behavioral analysis today because these dimensions are still valid in the work we do. Behavioral analysis still applies these principles in their daily work with clients.  

      From this article I have learned the importance of being thorough in my analysis, make sure I have all the parts, be detailed, define the behavior, and is detailed in the process of interventions. Something I found interesting was in the behavioral section of the article. The authors talked about the importance of also asking the question of ‘whose behavior’ has changed. The article stated that sometimes behavioral change can represent a change only in the observing and recording response rather than in the client’s behavior (Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968). Also, I learned the importance of being able to show what actually changed the behavior. This information impacts my future professional work as a behavior analyst because it is a criterion to follow during my practice to better service my clients.  


  Baer, D. M., Wolf, M. M., & Risley, T. R. (1968). Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1(1), 91–97. 


Discussion: Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968)

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Applied behavior analysis is a movement that began in the late 1950s within the field of experimental analysis of behavior (EAB) and was based on B. F. Skinner’s operant conditioning principles. As the applied orientation began to develop, it focused on practical interventions and applied topics relevant to socially significant behavior. This focus represented an incongruity with the criteria and research questions representing basic theoretical research and analysis in the field of contemporary applied psychology. This incongruity grew enough to demonstrate a need for a journal focused on the increasingly popular applied orientation.

In 1967, the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) was launched to address the need. The editors of the journal included Donald Baer, Montrose M. Wolf, and Todd Risley, who in the first issue of the JABA journal contributed an article that proposed criteria that would come to inform the application of concepts of applied behavior analysis. It also served to provide guidance to researchers seeking to be published in the journal. As indicated by the title of their seminal 1968 article, “Some Current Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis,” Baer, Wolf, and Risley proposed seven criteria, or dimensions, of applied behavior analysis (Baer et al., 1968).

For this Discussion, you will reflect on the seminal article by Baer et al. (1968), located in this week’s Learning Resources, and evaluate the relevance of the seven dimensions of behavior analysis in the article to the practice of behavior analysis today. You will also identify your most important takeaway from the article.

Baer, D. M., Wolf, M. M., & Risley, T. R. (1968). Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1(1), 91–97.

To Prepare

  • From the Learning Resources for this week, review the seminal Baer, Wolf, and Risley article and consider how the information applies to applied behavior analysis today.

By Day 4 of Week 5

Post what makes the information in the Baer, Wolf, and Risley article relevant to the practice of Applied Behavior Analysis today, more than 50 years later as well as what is the most important thing you learned from this article and how might this information impact your future professional work as a behavior analyst.

Read your colleagues’ postings.

Note: For this discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the To Participate in this Discussion link, then select Create Thread to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Submit!

By Day 6 of Week 5

Respond to at least two colleagues’ posts in one of the following ways:

  • Expand on their explanation of what makes the information in the Baer, Wolf, and Risley article relevant to the practice of Applied Behavior Analysis today, more than 50 years later.
  • Offer additional insights regarding the most important thing they learned from the article and its potential impact on their future professional work as a behavior analyst.

Be sure to support your posts and responses with specific references to behavior-analytic theory and research. In addition to the Learning Resources, search the Walden Library and/or the internet for peer-reviewed articles to support your posts and responses. Use proper APA format and citations, including those in the Learning Resources.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights that you have gained because of your colleagues’ comments.

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