The values shared by behaviour analysts working in applied settings have been defined by several seminal articles across the past 40+ years (e.g., Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968; Wolf, 1978; Van Houten et al., 1988). These values include
Focus on the individual
Behaviour analysts ensure that the goals, methods, and outcomes of any intervention are important, understandable, and acceptable to the person whose behaviour is being changed, as well as to those who care about the person (e.g., parents, carers, teachers). Any decisions made about how behaviour will be assessed or changed are sensitive to the individual circumstances of the person and are aimed at improving quality of life.
Focus on positive intervention and use of least restrictive alternative
Behaviour analysts value the use of positive, reinforcement-based interventions as the first choice for enacting behaviour change.
Focus on skill acquisition
Behaviour analysts take a constructive approach to behaviour change and view acquisition (not reduction) of behaviour as the primary goal. Behaviour analysts value equipping individuals with skills that will make them more successful across a range of life domains (e.g., work, leisure, home).
Reliance on science as basis for assessment and intervention
Behaviour analysts have a commitment to using evidence-based practice. This commitment involves selecting strategies validated by research, as well as evaluating the efficacy of any interventions they implement (i.e., data-based decision-making). If you would like to know about the history and development of the science of behaviour analysis, you can read about it here.
Focus on ecological validity of intervention strategies and behaviour change
Behaviour analysts value lasting change. They recognise that an individual’s skills must be portable across different environments and across time, and consider the wider context in which behaviour occurs when planning strategies.