Applied Behaviour Analysis

Its applications and limitations

Authored by: Louise Porter

The Routledge International Companion to Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties

Print publication date:  August  2012
Online publication date:  October  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415584630
eBook ISBN: 9780203117378
Adobe ISBN: 9781136303111


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Given that thoughts or emotions can only be inferred from observation of actual behaviours, many proponents of applied behaviour analysis (ABA) take little interest in hypothetical entities such as the mind or will (Gresham et al. 2001). Therefore, ABA dismisses diagnoses such as emotional disturbances, characterising them as ‘explanatory fictions’, in that children are said to behave poorly because they are emotionally disturbed, and are diagnosed as being disturbed because they behave poorly (Alberto and Troutman 2009: 17).

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