What is a Behavior Analyst?

I came across this image on Pintrest and thought it really captured some of the mystery around what a behavior analyst does. So, what does a behavior analyst really do?

Behavior Analysts (BA) work across many fields. The first most obvious one is in human services. Many know that they work with individuals with autism or other disabilities, but BAs also work in mental health, rehabilitation, geriatric and prison settings. They use principals of learning and behavior to address problem behaviors and to teach new pro-social skills.

Some behavior analysts work with animals. In Zoos they  facilitate improved applications of health and husbandry management. They also work to enrich the psychological environment of the animals, replicating or replacing core behavioral components. Other BAs train animals for specialized work such as search and rescue or scent work.

Another application of behavior analysis is in business.Organizational behavior analysts work within businesses to address issues surrounding productivity and quality, customer satisfaction, and training and development.

Regardless of  what population a behavior analyst is working with they are using the science of learning to directly address behaviors of social significance and using data to guide their practice. They are all bound by the same ethical guidelines. If you find your self with a few minutes to spare check out this seminal article on the 7 Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis or you can visit the page on What is ABA?

Do you work in ABA? Tell me about your job!