What is Applied Behavior Analysis?
Behavior analysis is a scientific approach to understanding behavior and
how it is affected by the environment. "Behavior" refers to all kinds of
actions and skills (not just misbehavior), and "environment" includes all
sorts of physical and social events that might change or be changed by
one's behavior. The science of behavior analysis focuses on principles
(that is, general laws) about how behavior works, or how learning takes
place. For example, one principle of behavior analysis is positive
reinforcement: When a behavior is followed by something that is valued (a
"reward"), that behavior is likely to be repeated. Through decades of
research, the field of behavior analysis has developed many techniques for
increasing useful behaviors and reducing those that may be harmful or that
interfere with learning. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the use of
those techniques and principles to address socially important problems,
and to bring about meaningful behavior change.