Defining Characteristics of Behavior

Characteristics of ABA

The field of ABA is a relatively new field.  It’s defining characteristics were identified about fifty years ago.  These characteristics help define the field and are used as guidelines for best practice.

Seven characteristics of ABADefinitionApplication
AppliedCommitment to enhancing and improving people's livesTarget behaviors are carefully selected to have the most meaningful impact on the individual's current situation and future.
BehavioralReliable and valid measurement of behaviorChange in behavior is precise and defined for each individual
AnalyticalIn research, the experimenter must be able to control the occurrence and non-occurrence of the behaviorThe procedures RBTs use are proven to be effective.
TechnologicalProcedures are written in a way that they may be replicated by othersPresentations and research articles provide all the information needed to apply the procedures with other clients.
Conceptually SystematicAll procedures are derived from the same basic principlesWith training on the basic principles, RBTs have all the knowledge they need to understand even the most complex interventions and assessments described in research
EffectiveEffective means making a change that is clinically or socially significant - practical importance is values over statistical significanceThe work of RBTs changes lives
GeneralityBehavior change lasts over time and across environments, also when behaviors change that were not the focus of the interventionInterventions are designed to have lasting effects