Title

Science, skepticism, and applied behavior analysis

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Behavior Analysis in Practice

Department

Psychology

ISSN

1998-1929

Volume

1

Issue

2

DOI

10.1007/BF03391727

First Page

42

Last Page

49

Publication Date

12-1-2008

Abstract

Pseudoscientific claims concerning medical and psychological treatments of all varieties are commonplace. As behavior analysts, a sound skeptical approach to our science and practice is essential. The present paper offers an overview of science and skepticism and discusses the relationship of skepticism to behavior analysis, with an emphasis on the types of issues concerning behavior analysts in practice.

Comments

I would like to acknowledge the writings of Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, and Michael Shermer as primary influences on the present paper. Wherever possible, I cite directly the sources from which specific material is drawn. However, the overall content of the paper cannot be meaningfully disentangled from my extensive history of reading the work of these three authors. I also would like to acknowledge the insightful comments of the reviewers of this manuscript. Their comments were especially useful and contributed to a greatly improved paper.