Applied behavior analysis
Applied behavior analysis (ABA), also called behavioral engineering, is a scientific technique concerned with applying empirical approaches based upon the principles of respondent and operant conditioning to change behavior of social significance. It is the applied form of behavior analysis; the other two forms are radical behaviorism (or the philosophy of the science) and the experimental analysis of behavior (or basic experimental research).
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The name applied behavior analysis has replaced behavior modification because the latter approach suggested attempting to change behavior without clarifying the relevant behavior-environment interactions. In contrast, ABA changes behavior by first assessing the functional relationship between a targeted behavior and the environment. Further, the approach often seeks to develop socially acceptable alternatives for aberrant behaviors.
ABA has been utilized in a range of areas, including applied animal behavior, schoolwide positive behavior support, classroom instruction, structured and naturalistic early behavioral interventions for autism, pediatric feeding therapy, rehabilitation of brain injury, dementia, fitness training, substance abuse, phobias, tics, and organizational behavior management.
ABA is considered to be controversial by some within the autism rights movement due to a perception that it emphasizes indistinguishability instead of acceptance and a history of, in some embodiments of ABA and its predecessors, the use of aversives such as electric shocks.