As a dog trainer, I am working with changing behavior in the real world in dogs and humans. And also myself. Trying to understand and modify behavior as it’s happening in the world… in animals and human learners. So much of animal training is based on anecdote and tradition, rather than on actual evidence and data.
Periodically, some research article will hit a publication like Psychology Today or be shared on social media, and tends to ignite long internet arguments. Particularly when there are articles that seem to show contradicting conclusions.
Part of the problem is that there is a gap between those applying principles in real life and those studying them in a research setting. I think a lot of us working with animals directly don’t really know a lot about how behavior analytic research works. And I’ve heard that behavior analytic research is often done a little bit differently than other forms of research, but what does that even mean?
Given that we live in a headline-driven world, how can we, the trainers in the trenches, make sense of the research beyond just the headline?
How can we make the research relevant to what we’re doing every day so we aren’t changing our methodologies every time a new study comes out with a headline that seems contradictory?
In this episode, I talk with Jackie MacDonald and Diana Parry-Cruwys, hosts of the ABA Inside Track podcast about how behavior analytic research works and what we can learn from it.
Diana Parry-Cruwys received her masters in applied behavior analysis from Northeastern University and a doctorate in behavior analysis from Western New England University. She received her training at The New England Center for Children. Diana is currently an assistant professor at Regis College and co-directs the Regis Autism Center. Her research interests include early intensive behavioral intervention, joint attention, and play. She has presented research at numerous national conferences and is published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Research in Developmental Disabilities.
Jacquelyn MacDonald completed her masters in applied behavior analysis at Northeastern University and her doctorate in behavior analysis at Western New England University. She is currently an assistant professor at Regis College. Her research interests include observational learning, typical child development, and animal behavior. She has also presented research at numerous national conferences and is published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.
- ABA Inside Track Podcast!
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