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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