I just read an issue of ‘operants’ magazine for the first time, as encouraged to do so by our Australian Associate, Psychologist & Behaviour Analyst Rachel McGregor. I can’t believe I haven’t read this before! I could not put this issue down and thoroughly enjoyed it. One of the comments resonated with me as I always struggle with what to call myself or how to explain my job when asked what I do.
Jerome Ulman, Ph.D., BCBA-D said this in his interview:
I believe a big challenge for those who identify themselves as behavior analysts is to critically appraise precisely what that term means.
It is in fact quite ambiguous, constituted of behavioral psychologists, interbehaviorists, contextualists, methodological behaviorists, and so on—some actually being anti-Skinnerian! In contrast, I describe my discipline as behaviorology: the natural science of the relations between actions and the contingencies that control those actions built on the behavioral principles and philosophical perspective that B. F. Skinner contributed to humankind. I may not see it in my lifetime, but I am confident that the day will come when the name Skinner will be just as prominent in the life sciences as that of Darwin.
So that’s it folks, my discipline is behaviorology……