Episodes
Shane and Abraham (Shanebraham) explore the not-a-disorder, but still very real experience that many people have. Misophonia (not the sound of musical miso, although that's what the name seems like it should imply) is a relatively common experience of an extreme aversion to certain sounds. For Abraham it is heavy machinery, for Shane, Avril Lavigne (jk!). Shane and Abraham have fun unpacking the science behind how misophonia develops and what you can do to change it you want to. Links for...
Published 07/28/21
If the last episode was the end, consider this the epilogue. The making-of, if you will. We recount our experiences with anxiety, ethics, planning, and all of the wonderful feedback we received. This is our postmortem for the process. Links for...
Published 07/21/21
The end. Fin. The culmination of the miniseries on the controversy around Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as harmful. This final discussion is what we have been working toward over this entire series: the comparison of ABA to conversion therapy. The argument focuses on stereotypic behaviors and other "quirky" or non-normative behaviors in which non-neurotypical people might engage (not to mention that those neuro-typical people also demonstrate!). This was the most complex issue that we...
Published 07/14/21
The argument is that Behavior Analysts don't consider a child's emotional well-being and ignore their feelings. Specifically, this is in regard to blocking or preventing self-soothing behaviors such as self-stimulatory "stereotypic" behaviors. Discussions of feelings are essentially absent from professional discussions as well. The first thing to address in this space is that behavior analysts are humans with feelings and consider the fact that emotions are important. However, behavior...
Published 07/07/21
Teaching, managing, supervising, etc. requires some amount of scaffolding to train new skills. For example, providing explicit instruction, demonstrating the performance, immediate feedback, and even physical guidance are all used to help learn a new skill. However, if not faded from the instruction, then the learner becomes dependent on the guidance to perform the task. Several strategies can help mitigate prompt-dependency and we talk about them! Links for...
Published 06/30/21
Over compliance can arise in coercive situations inside of many contexts including workplaces, relationships, and in ABA. It can also arise under multiple circumstances such as a highly reinforcing, or a highly coercive environment. Either way, we want people to think for themselves and ask for help. Noncompliance for the win! Links for...
Published 06/23/21
One of the most substantial hurdles is ensuring that what we do can be applied to real-life situations. Generalization is one of the stated goals of the field of ABA and much has been done to increase the likelihood that kids can generalize their skills. Nevertheless, it is one of the areas in which we can and should do better. Links for...
Published 06/16/21
One of the challenging aspects of teaching new behaviors is to teach them in such a way that they are meaningful to the individual, their social community, and to their family. Doing so can result in behaviors and speech that sound repetitive to the point of appearing robotic. It is something that can be offputting, and something that we can improve. Onward! Links for...
Published 06/09/21
This discussion follows us into the past as we talk about the use of punishment as an intervention for changing behavior. This practice stood alongside a host of horrific treatments from a range of different fields for neuro-diverse individuals. But the use of punishment is all but completely absent from contemporary ABA. Nevertheless, we understand the concern about seeing our loved ones in distress. Links for...
Published 06/02/21
Recent increases in the controversial accusations that Applied Behavior Analysis is harmful, abusive, and similar to conversion therapy, have lead to a vitriolic feud online. Although the message isn't very clear, we did our best to listen and distill the most common arguments into several points specific points. This is the first part introducing what is shaping up to be our most ambitious project to date. Links for...
Published 05/26/21
Sex work is one of the oldest professions. In places where it is legal (or at least decriminalized), sex work is safe, healthy, and protects the workers. In places where it is blocked and criminalized, sex workers are raped, brutalized, exploited, and suffer mental health issues. The "righteous" path is the dangerous path. The worst part is, the people who condemn sex work are often benefitting from it. Learn all about why it happens and some of the myths that exist around it. Links for...
Published 05/19/21
There are certain gifts expected for specific anniversary traditions. What may have started out as genuine support eventually blossomed into a practice guide and capitalist boondoggle. Plus, we found some bizarre and fascinating trends along the way. Four more years, four more years! Links for...
Published 05/12/21
Emotional marketing is a strategy that has been deeply incorporated into campaigns to solicit donations, sell products, gain brand loyalty, and other uses for decades. Finding successful methods to persuade people to buy into a product or an idea has been around since ancient times. Whether with familiar faces, hard facts, or clever stimuli, advertising experts play into our very predictable behavior given ad campaign characteristics. If you think you’re impervious to donating money, buying...
Published 05/05/21
Emotional marketing is a strategy that has been deeply incorporated into campaigns to solicit donations, sell products, gain brand loyalty, and other uses for decades. Finding successful methods to persuade people to buy into a product or an idea has been around since ancient times. Whether with familiar faces, hard facts, or clever stimuli, advertising experts play into our very predictable behavior given ad campaign characteristics. If you think you’re impervious to donating money, buying...
Published 04/28/21
We are dipping our toes into the bio-cast style of discussions. What do you know about the scientist behind the classic(cal) experiment with teaching dogs to salivate to a bell? Starting out as a religious man, Pavlov eventually made is way to science. From there, he worked in biology, only accidentally contributing one of the most ground-breaking studies of all time to psychology. Links for Today: Original Footage of Pavlov w/ Dogs….brought to you by Philip...
Published 04/21/21
This is an exploration of the "psychology" of the circumstances that lead to the decision to cannibalize others to survive. This large group of ambitious, largely white emigrants made several ill-informed decisions that put them several months behind schedule to reach their destination. Their delay had them stranded in an inescapable snowstorm in already nearly impassable terrain. The rest, as they say, is history. Links for...
Published 04/14/21
Coined by psychologist Edward Thorndike in 1920, “The Halo Effect” helps us explain how a strong first impression or perceived relation among characteristics leads us to view other individuals as more perfect than they may be. Similarly, the “horns effect” works inversely, allowing for one negative characteristic to sour an overall impression of someone. Together, these terms help explain how biases form, whether influenced by past experience or cultural traditions. While we are all victims...
Published 04/07/21
Science doesn't really know why sleepwalking occurs. We know it has something to do with certain parts of our brain. What we understand about psychology implies that there is essentially reduced cognitive capacity while still interacting effectively with one's environment. We also bust some myths about sleepwalking. Links for Today: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep https://www.sleepfoundation.org/parasomnias/sleepwalking We are on Reddit!...
Published 03/31/21
In just the last couple of decades, people have started anonymously donated organs to strangers. In this episode, we tell the story of two people who decided to donate their organs to someone they had never met or had just barely met. Why would someone do this? We explain the psychology of anonymous organ donors, why living donors are so important, and the process of donating organs. Links for...
Published 03/24/21
Are you one of those people who has trouble falling or staying asleep? There are things you might be doing to make it worse. Tossing and turning, the snooze button, and sleeping in are but a few of the things you can do to ensure that your sleep is wrecked. We'll count them down. In addition, we cover the world record for staying awake, and why sleep is important. We will either help you stay awake or help you fall asleep. Up to you! Links for...
Published 03/17/21
What do our old friend Stu Law, our writers, Ryan O'Donnell, Matt Cicoria of the Behavioral Observations Podcast, Salena Schilling, and our composer have in common? They are all guests on our 200th episode variety show celebration extravaganza. Join us for trivia, fun, and jokes! Links for Today: https://www.thedailyba.com/ https://behavioralobservations.com/ listennotes.com/podcasts/marriage-and-movies-terry-salena-schilling-8oa7wIs3txA/ We are on Reddit!...
Published 03/10/21
In 1968, an Iowa teacher named Jane Elliott created a powerful lesson demonstrating the effects of prejudice with a classroom of white children, in an effort to foster empathy that she believed was sorely needed around the world at the height of racist tension. As prejudice evolved in different forms during subsequent decades, she repurposed the lesson as an effective exercise that could be tailored to many different populations, all with the intention of encouraging understanding and...
Published 03/03/21
Why we punk rock? Counter-cultures and sub-cultures are a fascinating evolution in the social dynamics of a society when a population reaches a threshold that is no longer unified by a shared set of values. Small cliques and offshoots might work toward something or against something and either way stand apart from the group whence they originated. These occur because cultural norms shift and change over time. They sustain because the group supports the group... until it doesn't. At which...
Published 02/24/21
Within certain communities that contain a hierarchal structure, most notably the military, the existence of an authoritative figure has a unique effect on behavior. Some scientists suggest that the coercive effects of following orders shifts the agency of responsibility onto a superior, allowing for a slippery slope of questionable behavior to take place. Many individuals throughout history have pointed to obeying orders as a means for exonerating them of responsibility for anything from...
Published 02/17/21
The human tendency to use language to name things is remarkably important and foundational. While we don't delve into the incredibly deep and nerdy philosophy of naming specifically, we tackle some of the major implications and interesting effects of naming tendencies. Links for Today: Bertrand, M., & Mullainathan, S. (2004). Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination. The American Economic Review, 94(4), 991-1013....
Published 02/10/21