Medical Dictionary

applied behavior analysis

variants: or

Applied Behavior Analysis


applied behavioral analysis


applied behavioral analysis

Medical Definition of applied behavior analysis

  1. :  psychological therapy that uses techniques (such as operant conditioning) developed from the objective analysis of observable behavior to make changes to socially significant behaviors that are abnormal or harmful Called applied behavior analysis, it uses rewards—goldfish crackers, playing with toys, praise—to teach children all kinds of behaviors, lessons and life skills, step by tiny step, in intensive, one-on-one drills.—Rosie Mestel, The Los Angeles Times, 12 Mar. 2001 The vast majority of programs for autistic youth in the U.S. use an approach called Applied Behavior Analysis, in which teachers and therapists use well-established techniques of reward and punishment to shape a student's actions toward goals like toilet training, learning vocabulary or completing a puzzle.—Melissa Fay Greene, The New York Times, 19 Oct. 2008—abbreviation ABA

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