Don’t Worry, He Won’t Bite

Here’s a question for all you readers who are parents, walkers, bicyclists, or runners. Have you ever been engaged in any of these activities when a strange, leashless, dog bounds up to you or yours…

Wait, Then Go: The Strange Case of So-Called DRL Schedules

Ever see one of those u-tube videos where the dog has to sit there with a biscuit on its nose while some snarky owner says with pointed finger “Noooooo waaaaaaait” as the dog drools all over the…

Six Ways to Succeed at Budgeting

We all look forward to paying our taxes, right? It’s always nice to know that our hard-earned dollars are going to be used responsibly. Or are they? A search for ‘government waste’ on Google returns…

Some Ins and Outs of Private Events

No one can deny as an individual having experiences, most commonly described as thoughts and feelings, which are not shared with others. Nor can we unequivocally show that others have such…

Cooperation is Behavior

Individual learning provides much of the scientific foundation of behavioral psychology.  A person’s actions are assessed in relation to the physiology, personal history, and current forces…

When Is Behavior “Good Enough?”

When is enough enough? This question has been asked by evolutionary theorists, teachers, employers, and all of the rest of us interested in how people and other living organisms survive and do things…

A Behaviorist Exorcise

Now that Halloween is here, I’ve a tale to weave, so gather near. All Hallows Eve would have us believe From spirits and the like there’s no reprieve. Alas, it was from just such intuition That…

The Great Escape of Pigeon 2748

The laboratory study of reinforcement began with Psychologist Edward L. Thorndike’s doctoral dissertation at Columbia University in New York City. Thorndike built a series of wooden “puzzle boxes,”…

Culture, Leadership, and Football

Recent events on the football field have reminded me of a story told to me by my former business partner,  Fran Tarkenton. Fran, then Quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings,  was heading out…

Book Review of "Behave" by Andromeda Romano-Lax

Behave takes its narrative from the lives of the two people behind one of the most famous experiments in the history of psychology: the analysis of the development of fear conditioning (phobia) in an…

Burnout as Behavior

Burnout, whether at work, in sports, or just in life is a concern often described in self-help books, manuals, and websites concerned with the human condition. It is said to occur when people stop…

The Sweet Spot in Communicating Behavior Analysis to the Lay Public

I am often surprised when I hear people who should know better categorically caution behavior analysts about using the precise language of our discipline when communicating with clients or other…

A Review of "Shelly’s Heart" by Charles McCarry

Charles Mc Carry is a former journalist and best-selling author of novels of intrigue. Apropos to this summer of political conventions, “Shelly’s Heart ” is the story of political maneuvering at the…

Hares, Tortoises, and the Persistence of Behavior

Remember Aesop’s fable about the hare and tortoise? The tortoise got tired of the hare’s constant bragging about how fast he ran, so the tortoise challenged the hare to a race. The tortoise…

Agency, Labels, and Changing Behavior

“You don’t pay attention.”   “You are not paying attention.” There is a subtle but important distinction between these two descriptions. Can you identify the difference? In the first case, the…

Unintended Consequences

The best laid schemes o' mice an' men. Gang aft a-gley. Ever have a sure-fire positive reinforcer fail to change the target behavior? Or, worse yet, make things worse instead of better? Or maybe…

Fifty Shades of Behavior-Analytic Grey

Charles Darwin’s insights about the origin of species were based on his observations concerning the relation of selection and variation to change. The variations among individuals allowed selection…

Creative Self-Management: Plotting to Change Personal Behavior

Changing things about ourselves that we want to change is a big challenge for everyone. It often can seem even harder if they also are things we need to change for reasons of physical or behavioral…