Human Simulations in Behavior Analysis (1987-2010): Facilitating Research in Complex Human Behavior

Todd A. Ward, Ramona Houmanfar


The authors reviewed human empirical studies from 1987-2010 in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (JEAB), Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA), Journal of Organizational Behavior Management (JOBM), and Psychological Record (PR). Out of 2286 empirical studies, the authors classified 45 as simulation research, which fell into 4 main categories including organizational, gambling, financial, and other. JOBM contained over half of the simulations, while JEAB contained two. A subsequent citation analysis found that the original simulations informed 15 service delivery articles, across five journals. In addition, the original articles also informed 35 other behavioral simulations across 19 journals. Simulation research could be ideally placed between theory and application to facilitate empirical research and applications in complex human behavior and the development of an empirically validated, comprehensive, system of behavior analysis.


simulation, analogue, behavioral systems, cultural analysis

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Published by the University of Illinois at Chicago Library

And Behaviorists for Social Responsibility