The Association for Behavior Analysis International

This statement was created in response to our concerns that the Association for Behavior Analysis International ® (ABAI) is considering modifications to its accreditation standards that are not in the best interests of all of its members, the organization, or the science.

We, the undersigned, stand by the following position statement with regard to the accreditation standards of ABAI.

We support comprehensive accreditation standards that include coursework in the philosophical, experimental, and applied domains of our science.

We do not support the adoption of accreditation standards that focus on training in a single domain. We contend that standards which focus only on practice endanger our field and risk turning our science into a technology only applicable to certain populations and problems. Instead, we believe that students exposed to the philosophical assumptions and theories which form the foundation of our science are better prepared to operate within a coherent naturalistic framework, extend our theories, methodologies, and technologies to novel areas, and generally function more effectively as behavior analytic scientist-practitioners. We also believe that students trained in the basic experimental domain of our science are better prepared to recognize the breadth and limitations of our current theories, identify novel solutions and areas of application, and adhere to best scientific practices.

Further, we believe that students taught to apply our science in natural settings are better prepared to extend our principles to relevant socially valid contexts, disseminate our science to a non-professional audience, and directly improve the lives of people. Most importantly we recognize that all three of these domains are interrelated with one another and believe that comprehensive training extending across the three domains is necessary for behavior analysis to continue to grow as a science. Finally, it is our belief that accreditation standards which require comprehensive training in the philosophical, experimental, and applied domains of our science are necessary for the Association for Behavior Analysis International to fulfill its mission, which is stated as follows:

The mission of the Association for Behavior Analysis International is to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

We believe ABAI should continue to support comprehensive training standards by establishing accreditation at the undergraduate level, becoming a nationally recognized accrediting agency, and promoting the inclusion of ABAI accreditation standards within their model licensing act. We believe these steps will add more value to ABAI accreditation, result in more programs becoming accredited, and ultimately support the growth of our science.

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