Monday, July 21, 2008

Why can't we have a marriage of ethics and behavior sciences?

[Edit note April 28, 2017: I retain this post. I was calling ABA science then. It's part foray into ethics. Good for me when I had not yet known that ABA is highly unethical down to its very core, historically, factually, and currently, as ABA retreats today into its false argument, as its critics gain ground: Old ABA was bad. New ABA is good.]


Hunch: behavior science is short on ethics and rich in method and ethics is short on method. Independently, you've got a method that is subject to misuse, as in any technology, and a morality that cannot be achieved. Merge the two and you've got a way to determine the good life and a way to make it happen.

To see how they might reconcile their differences, read the paper in this blog called Behavioral Ethics: The Consent of the Subject of Behavior Research and Therapy.

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I am an advocate for people with disabilities certified to teach special education with a Master of Arts in Teaching. I am not a Licensed Psychologist or a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. When in doubt, seek the advice of an MD, a PhD, or a BCBA. My ability to analyze the ethics of ABA stems from the fact that I am disabled and ABA interventions are often done to people like me, which I voluntarily accept, but only when I alone am the person granting consent, and not a parent, sibling, guardian, or institution.