What are Values in Clinical Behavior Analysis?

  • Tiago Alfredo da Silva FerreiraEmail author
  • Aline Souza Simões
  • Amanda Raña Ferreira
  • Bruno Oliveira Santana dos Santos
Original Research


The context of psychotherapy involves ethical, theoretical, and technical matters regarding limits and possibilities to clinical practice. Some of these matters concern values and their importance for clinical interventions. Given the central role that the concept of values seems to have in current behavioral therapeutic models, this article intends to analyze and discuss perspectives regarding this concept as presented by authors such as Skinner, Leigland, Plumb, Wilson, and Harris. It is argued that the definition of values should be described using low-level terms, so that it may generate basic and applied research without losing its relevance to the clinical setting. We propose that values are stable and comprehensive qualities of behaving, described by the subject in augmental rules that establish a positive reinforcing function for his/her own described behavior. Further utility of such a definition involves its precision and focus on aspects that are under direct influence of the client.


Values Clinical practice Clinical behavior analysis 



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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de PsicologiaUniversidade Federal da BahiaSalvadorBrazil

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