The Impact of Applied Behavior Analysis on the Science of Behavior

Mitch J. Fryling


Applied behavior analysis is increasing in popularity within the culture at large, the result of which has involved several socio-political developments in the field. This paper provides an overview of J. R. Kantor’s description of applied subsystems, as described in his text Interbehavioral Psychology (1958). In particular, the verification and exploitation aspects of applied subsystems are highlighted. The implications of this perspective for the discipline of behavior analysis are reviewed, and specifically, the dangers associated with an over-emphasis on application within the discipline are described. It is argued that adopting a systemic perspective highlights possible problems that may emerge within applied subsystems, whereby the development of such problems might be prevented or their impact made less severe.


system building, applied behavior analysis, domains of behavior analysis, interbehavioral psychology, interbehaviorism

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Published by the University of Illinois at Chicago Library

And Behaviorists for Social Responsibility