What The F Is The EAB?

Ok, so how many acronyms do we have in ABA? It’s kind of ridiculous… But for real. What is the EAB and why is it always referred to as something our founding fathers were a part of? Well, let the bitches walk you through it and tell you if it’s still relevant SNABA style!

Experimental Analysis of Behavior (EAB):  So when you learned about the branches of behavior analysis the EAB came up for sure. We all know that this is the branch dedicated to super-controlled experiments in a laboratory-like setting, exploring the basic principles of behavior analysis. It sounds great, right?

Our boy Skinner really started this branch off when he published The Behavior of Organisms (1938) which elaborated on his laboratory research on both respondent and operant behavior. Skinner outlined the practice of the EAB, an experimental approach that demonstrates orderly and reliable functional relations between behavior and environmental events in highly controlled experimental settings.


Well, does anyone still use the EAB? One thing will give it away…

The answer is, of freaking course! The Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (JEAB) still exists folks, which means that yes, people are still conducting studies that are considered basic or translational research! This is a snip of the latest issue, July 2022. You all have access to this journal in the resources tab of your BACB account if you are a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. 

And let me make this clear, all of the studies found in JEAB are not just rats, ok? Take a look at these titles in the most recent addition. (Ok maybe there are some about rats, but still not all)

You might think, hmm… Gender bias as a basic concept? Yet when you open the article it becomes more clear how this type of research constitutes a publication in JEAB.

So, where are these people actually conducting their research? That’s the really cool part. All over. Some conduct their research in laboratory settings, while others use technology and reports to demonstrate a highly controlled setting. Some people apply and gain grants to conduct their research at Universities and Colleges in Behavioral or Psychological departments. Some people even use basic science strategies such as recruitment and hypothetical situations to conduct their research to gain a better understanding of behavior but not in an applied setting. 

What Can I Do With The EAB?

Here’s what we suggest (meaning that you also don’t have to). What we have historically found most useful from the EAB, is to find research about topics that we don’t fully understand. Reading published literature from JEAB has increased my understanding of a concept because we can see the process in its most basic form. So, if there is a topic that you would like to understand better, grasp more of, or simply expand on your knowledge check out the published work of the EAB.

And you know what else? Some people like research in our field. There are literally jobs that will pay you to conduct research! You can become a part of the EAB branch of behavior analysis and evaluate basic or translational research topics. Check out our video “I’m a BCBA now WTH do I do?” on our YouTube channel for more job information! Also if you need help reading research articles, read this article, “How the F#%k to Read ABA Research Articles” on our site!


Related Articles