Science is a study showing facts that are systematically arranged and show the operations of general laws. It is a wide discipline, and some of the characteristics of science are;
Description: Science collects facts that can be quantified, examined and classified allowing linkage with other facts in the events under study.
Prediction: Science does not only explain but shows the probability and the correlation of events under study.
Control: Science uses constant standards in making comparisons in a scientific experiment to show the extent of the effects of the independent and the dependent variables under study.
A scientific attitude is a deposition to act in a certain manner or demonstrate feelings or thoughts. Some of the attitudes of science are;
Determinism: a philosophical aspect of Applied Behavior Analysis that holds that behaviors follow certain rules and law and therefore doesn’t occur randomly
Empiricism: The practice of objective observation of the phenomenon of interest.
Experimentation: Manipulation of the independent variables to effect a change in the dependent variable.
Replication: Repeating a research is done to confirm results that are of great importance to the study.
Parsimony: Requires that scientists should rule out the simple answers in study results before finding a more complex explanation to the study.
Philosophic doubt: continuously questioning the truthfulness of a fact in a study.
Watson argument on psychology, and his major contribution to the field
Watson, a behaviorist, argued that consciousness cannot be studied scientifically because it is undefined and cannot be defined. He argued that behaviorist would eliminate introspection from psychology and that psychologists could only adhere to scientific methods and study the things that could be only observed (Schneider, Pierson & Bugental, 2015). He also said that this practice would allow scientists to control the human behaviors like never before. According to Schneider et al., (2015), Watson contributed to psychology by trying to broaden its scope through providing behavioral methods that psychology could be applied to mental patients, retarded people, infants or animals and all the other groups who could not provide introspective reports of mental activities.
Dimensions of ABA
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a scientific discipline that analyzes how the principles of learning affect environmental stimuli and applying the technology to change the social significance behavior. Some of the dimensions of ABA according to Sarafino (2012) are;
Applied: Determined by the societies interest in the issues being researched and there is a relationship between the stimuli under study and the subject being studied.
Behavioral: It focuses on objective and precise measurement of behavior by considering what a person does, says and thinks about an issue.
Analytic: used to show that the experiment exercises control over the behavior under study.
Technological: Shows that the techniques constituting a certain behavior are identified and carefully described for clarity purposes.
Conceptually Systematic: The procedures have to be relevant to the principles so that the technologies turn into a discipline, therefore, making it easier for teaching, learning and collaborating with other fields.
Effective: The interaction should provide substantial effects for the values being used such that it has practical importance specifically into power in alternating behavior.
Generality: ABA should be considered durable if it appears in different environments or spreads to different or wider variety of behaviors. The new behavior continues even after the behavior stops or occurs in a different setting.
The extent to which a society is willing to consider a technology of behavior
Society is willing to support technology of behavior on aspects that constrain it or reduce its effectiveness. Something that can directly or indirectly have an impact on their lives is also likely to bring about the need to support and embrace it with the aim of transforming or bringing a permanent positive mark in the society. Issues of crime, retardation and mental illness affect the effectiveness or the general productivity of individuals and the whole society. This, therefore, means that a technology that is meant to cause a change or resolve these issues could be implemented and upheld by the society. Education, on the other hand, is a society transformer as it should bring about independence and expose the society to the world advancements and therefore increasing the chances of acceptance by the society.
Why “anxiety” and “hungry” are not behaviors
Anxiety is a feeling of unease such as fear or worry and hungry on the other hand is a feeling showing the need for food or having a strong craving or desire for food. Behavior should be observed, recorded and measured and in the case above hungry, and anxiety doesn’t qualify or have the characteristics that qualify them to be classified as behaviors.
Respondent conditioning is a learning procedure where a previous natural stimulus is pared to a biologically potent stimulus. Operant conditioning on the other hand in a study is the procedure where behavior is controlled by consequences.
Compare and contrast operant and respondent conditioning
Operant and respondent conditioning basic similarities lie on the principles and the procedures. The basic principles shared by operant and respondent conditioning are spontaneous recovery, acquisition, stimulus generalization and extinction (Sarafino, 2012). The two major differences between operant and respondent conditioning are;
Respondent conditioning relies on stimuli and response while operant conditioning relies on reinforcements.
Voluntary behavior is one of the strongest bases used in operant conditioning while respondent conditioning is strongly based on involuntary reflexive behavior.
Sarafino, E. P. (2012). Applied behavior analysis: Principles and procedures for modifying behavior. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Schneider, K. J., Pierson, J. F., & Bugental, J. F. (2015). The handbook of humanistic psychology: Theory, research, and practice. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.