Leadership Behavior: Focused Listening

Institute Note: Jamie Daniels is an experienced behavioral consultant who an was a senior member of Aubrey Daniels International for many years, co-authoring with Aubrey Daniels, The Measure of…

Ability is not an Inside Job

On a recent exam, one of my students observed that her rat had the ability to get the reinforcer.” Relatedly, star athletes often are said to have “great athletic ability,” scholars are said to…

The ABCs of Antecedents

Lost to history is the name of the first person who applied the expression “A-B-C” to the relation between antecedent events, behavior, and its consequences.  The expression stuck as a shorthand…

How to Manage Through Uncertainty

If you look around the workplace today, whether your company is thriving or fighting to stay alive, it’s not uncommon to see and feel uncertainty. The instability of the marketplace, vying for top…

The Power of Alternative Reinforcement

There are, in principle, several ways to get rid of unwanted behavior: you can extinguish it, punish it, or reinforce some other behavior in its place. In my experience, it seems that the first thing…

Bad Behavioral Engineering

I am a Francophile. I have great respect for French values, history, cuisine, and culture. But I do not like all things that come out of France. One such thing is the recent whacky idea of placing…

Is “Deskilling” a Threat to Safety in Your Workplace?

Maybe you’ve heard the term de-skilling. It refers to the loss of knowledge or skills on the part of a person as a result of technology doing more of the work for them.  In work environments…

Symptoms, Causes, and Behavioral Enviroscience (a.k.a. Behavior Analysis)

Way back in the 1950s and ‘60s, early behavior analysts waged a war of ideas with the established psychiatric practices of treating behavior problems. Those proto-behavior analysts attacked something…

The Yin and Yang of Reinforcement

Most everyone who is a behavior analyst and works with helping people change, focuses on the use of positive reinforcement to do so. Positive reinforcement is, indeed, one of the premier principles…

Labeling Actions and their People

In a paper that I recently edited for a professional journal, I encountered the following description of the behavior of a young girl with developmental delays: “She exhibited aggression (i.e.,…

A Review of “Believing in Magic” by Stuart Vyse

Reviewed by Mirari Elcoro, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, Armstrong State University (Savannah, GA) Are you superstitious? Whether the answer is yes or no, Stuart Vyse, Professor of…

Leadership Behaviors: An Introduction

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, then you are a leader.” —John Quincy Adams   It has been almost a decade since Measure of a Leader was published yet…

The Learning Curve

The learning curve is one of the classic findings of psychology, dating at least to the end of the 19thcentury. Two different learning curves are shown in the figure accompanying this commentary.…

Give Me that That Ole Time Religion?: On Differences and Similarities

A long time ago one of the most influential scientists in behavior analysis, Murray Sidman wrote on the subject of comparative psychology that differences between species were easy to find, but, he…

Get Outta My Head

Have you ever had someone perceive you to be a certain way as if they know what you’re thinking? I just received an invitation to a webinar that teaches managers to read people’s minds.  What a…

The Pleasure of Reinforcement

I don’t know about you, but I would describe most of the things that positively reinforce my behavior as “pleasurable.” But, hold on, you say. One of the first things one learns when being taught…

Shaping the Shaper

Shaping is the process whereby we selectively (differentially, for the more technically inclined) reinforce closer and closer approximations to our goal or target behavior to eventually achieve that…

Queens Paideia School: Educational Excellence

Let me introduce you to one school that we think has much of offer American education.  Aubrey Daniels and I went to visit Dr. Francis Mechner’s kindergarten through 8th grade Paideia School in…