What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

Applied Behavior Analysis is the process of increasing or decreasing the recurrence of targeted behaviors through the application of behavior principles. Behaviors are learned and can change in response to positive reinforcements, or rewards. ABA seeks to decrease certain behaviors such as self-injury, while increasing others such as eye contact and conversation. Over time, the result is a change in overall behavior for the better.

There are seven dimensions to Applied Behavior Analysis: (“GETACAB”)

  1. Generality – Applied interventions are designed from the outset to operate in new environments and continue after the formal treatments have ended
  2. Effective – Applied interventions produce strong, socially important effects
  3. Technological – Applied interventions are described well enough that they can be implemented by anyone with training and resources
  4. Applied – Applied interventions deal with problems of demonstrated social importance
  5. Conceptual Systems – Applied interventions arise from a specific and identifiable theoretical base rather than being a set of packages or tricks
  6. Analytic – Applied interventions require an objective demonstration that the procedures caused the effect
  7. Behavioral – Applied interventions deal with measurable behavior (or reports if they can be validated)

Source: Behavior Analysis Association of Michigan