Methods of Conceptual Research in Clinical Behavior Analysis

Abstract

This article aims to propose and discuss a set of criteria for conceptual research in clinical behavior analysis. The existing lack of consensus on such criteria hinders advances in conceptual research that is needed for the advancement of clinical treatments. The research criteria proposed here are mindful of and try to manage some of the practical problems inherent in this type of research (e.g., dealing with psychotherapy goals and the potential disadvantages of using middle-level terms). In particular, the article, (1) offers a definition of conceptual research that is consistent with relevant theory and philosophy; and (2) explores five criteria currently used in clinical behavior analysis regarding conceptual developments. These criteria include coherence with basic research; coherence with applied research; coherence with philosophy and the theory of clinical behavior analysis; conceptual precision; and the potential to provide the practitioner with the means to develop and use technology. These five criteria are discussed and offered as a potentially useful basis for conceptual developments in clinical behavior analysis.

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Ferreira, T.A.d.S., Simões, A.S., Santos, F.M.S. et al. Methods of Conceptual Research in Clinical Behavior Analysis. Psychol Rec (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40732-020-00411-4

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Keywords

  • conceptual research
  • clinical behavior analysis
  • clinical psychology
  • methodological criteria
  • theoretical research