The Psychological Record

, Volume 68, Issue 1, pp 103–105 | Cite as

Applied Behavior Analysis: Definitional Difficulties

  • Todd M. Furman
  • Tracy L. Lepper
Theoretical Article


A new science should provide an intensional definition of itself to delineate the necessary and sufficient conditions for an activity to qualify as an instance of said science (Baronett, 2013, pp. 46–48). However, current definitions of applied behavior analysis offered in leading ABA textbooks are descriptive instead of intensional. Therefore, an intensional definition of ABA is offered.


Applied behavior analysis Experimental analysis of behavior Intensional definition Science 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

This submission complies with all of the ethical rules of the journal The Psychological Record. As this manuscript is conceptual in nature, human and non-human animals were not involved in this project.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


This work has not been previously published; nor, is this work under consideration for publication elsewhere.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyMcNeese State UniversityLake CharlesUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyMcNeese State UniversityLake CharlesUSA

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