Science For Sale: But At What Price?

Mickey Keenan, Karola Dillenburger, Paolo Moderato, Hans-Rüdiger Röttgers


Educating the public accurately about Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an important undertaking, not least because misconceptions and myths about ABA abound. In this paper we argue that, unfortunately, the efforts of many dedicated professionals and parents to disseminate accurate information about the benefits of ABA for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are damaged by a few behavior analysts whose focus seems to be more on monetary gains than social responsibility. We cite examples of the resulting harm to the public image of behavior analysis from a number of European countries. We conclude by calling upon fellow scientists to unite in their opposition to unscrupulous abuses of free market forces for short-term monetary gains that damage the dissemination of the science of behavior analysis and thereby ultimately disadvantage those who should benefit primarily from our science, i.e., some of the most vulnerable citizens of society.


ABA, autism, marketing, political naivety, profit, science, public, government, misinformation

Full Text:



Published by the University of Illinois at Chicago Library

And Behaviorists for Social Responsibility