Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as an Emerging Segment of Psychology

ABA has emerged as an important and successful discipline used clinically for the treatment of varied psychological problems. The principles researched and developed by psychology are successfully applied in the clinical treatment of various disorders. Psychology itself is the science of studying the root behaviors and ABA segment tends to become a therapy that can be made available to different sources for social utilization.

Known methods of analysis:

1. Experimental investigation of behavior

2. Applied behavior analysis

3. Conceptual behavior analysis

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA): What it is?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a medley of cognitive and clinical psychology and technology. Every individual behaves and responds differently. ABA seeks to understand the behavior of individuals and apply it for the benefit of the society by the methods of experimental analysis. The principles we have derived from the past scientific research are applied to meet with the behavioral challenges being faced on the day. Basic behavioral processes are blended with the scientific derivative procedures and research methods to treat the behavioral problems faced by the society. Since the research methods are based on scientific research, they tend to be reliable for their effectiveness. Moreover, the principles developed are evidence-based and not just mere hypotheses. It is pertinent to an overall conceptual system of behavior.

Applications and scopes:

Society today is facing challenges in every arena starting from a child’s birth. Every single day is a different challenge in parenting, education, working, community behavioral problems of social importance. And ABA has a lot to offer in its basket for those who want to explore and apply its methodology. The scope is vast.

1. Developmental disabilities: ABA aims at improving the outcomes in children with developmental disabilities like autism, and neurogenetic disorders such as Down Syndrome.

Psychology used here uses the technology of the differences between the excesses and the deficiencies. These two lie at extreme ends of the same cord. Autism is associated with varied behavioral changes. For instance, deficiencies in a child with autism are studied at the individual level and then dealt with by meeting certain requirements necessary to gain social aptitude. If a child lacks in eye contact which is a major social requirement of communication, the therapy shall start with this basis. So, a broad categorization is done to be able to make a range of intervention tools available. The different categories and behaviors are studied and applied just like other training skills. This ensures improved cognitive, language, communication, and adaptive abilities.

Comprehensive ABA treatment addresses all major areas of human development, including language, motor skills, play skills, communication skills, independent skills, and academic skills at the individual level.

2. Education and learning: Education and learning start with our beginning and goes on and on. But, teaching as a profession and make the newer generations learned and skilled needs the teacher to understand the behavioral pattern of each student. What can be derived with is the best outcome. It helps one understand the hidden potential and the actual arena. It helps a person understand what he is actually good at and what he should choose as a discipline to be successful. Behavioral training skills and procedures are important learning tools for teachers, parents, staff so as to create better individuals.

3. Career Opportunities: ABA treatment lets one shape his life by making the right professional choices. A happy and content life comes out of right decisions made at right times which constantly provide the driving motivation, inspiration, and hope.

4. Industrial or Organizational behavior: Specific populations behave differently under similar or different conditions. As far as the industries or organizations are concerned, these are the workplaces which require people to work together as a team. But, every individual as his/her own intellectual level and for the smooth functioning of an organization, people have to come together and work together. ABA aims at learning such behavioral patterns to be able to provide training programs for the same. As per a classic study of 1987, researchers were able to improve the prevailing situations for pit-mine workers.

5. Animal intelligence: ABA has a scope of learning behavioral patterns of animals. For example, dog bites are not rare to be seen. But an insight into the behavior can help prevent such incidents. Conditioned response as brought to our knowledge by Pavlov’s experiment is a significant example in this context.

6. Criminology: ABA can provide a valuable and valid framework of interventions to deal with social issues such as racism, drug abuse, sexism, violence and many other crimes. Understanding the behaviors of criminals as well as the victims can bring about a significant reduction in the crime rate. What leads to and how can be prevented are the two important segments of the. ABA has the ability to provide the requisite mesh-work for both prevention and the treatment.

Techniques and strategies involved in behavior analysis:

1. Chaining: A whole piece of work is difficult to accomplish and gets complicated. This technique involves breaking down the task into smaller components. After having taught one task, another can be started with and the chain goes on. These can then be successfully chained.

2. Prompting: This involves using particular triggers to generate the desired response.

3. Shaping: This is the most important technique which recognizes the behavior and provides the desired shape. Recognition in close proximity is required with rewarding the desired behaviors.


• Least invasive treatment method

• Improvement in the levels of cognition, language, communication skills

• Improved lifestyle

• Enhanced confidence and Improved self-determination

• Hope in despair

Aims and intentions of ABA:

Providing productive, independent, enjoyable and socially-acceptable lives are what psychology research in ABA is aimed at. Fostering empowerment and happiness has been realized with ABA clinically used for treatments. It does not fill in the deficits but trains how the same work intended to be done can be done in many other ways. It aims at sorting the disoriented lives to shape and direct them in the right directions.


1. American Psychological Association. (2017)

2. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (2nd Edition), 2015

3. Clinical and Organizational Applications of Applied Behavior Analysis, 2015

4. Quality Activities in Center-Based Programs for Adults with Autism, 2017

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