The problem that the article is attempting to dissect is whether the seven-dimension framework serves as a bottleneck that may prevent many socially important issues from receiving adequate attention in applied behavior analysis research. Thus, there is an issue of viewing the framework as a conjoint set of rules in which “good” research must equal all seven dimensions at equally high integrity levels.
The traditional view of the characteristics of Baer, Wolf, and Risley is that an individual’s treatment plan should include the dimensions of generality, effectiveness, technological, applied, conceptually systematic, analytic, and behavioral.
The unique applications of ABA include using the best procedures of measurement and research designs that there are (even if they are not perfect) and revising the research procedures in alignment with researching new domains of high social importance. Overall, ABA may not follow a set of rigid rules to be followed; instead, a trial-and-error experience with new problems could yield interesting results.
The experimental-control camp asserted that responsible application needs preliminary explorations of the generality to humans of basic behavioral principles derived from animal research. The social-validity camp took a different route and aimed to change the behaviors chosen for practical importance instead of laboratory convenience.
After reading the article, my opinion on ABA implementation has changed. I think that the framework should be up to interpretation, evolve, and be changed if needed. When applied as a strict set of rules, ABA restricts the scope of research as not all topics may align with the seven dimensions. As research evolves, so should ABA, thus extending and expanding to meet the contemporary needs of applied behavior analysts.
Axelrod, S. (2017). A Commentary on Critchfield and Reed: The Fuzzy Concept of Applied Behavior Analysis Research. The Behavior Analyst, 40(1), 167–171. Web.
Critchfield, T. S., & Reed, D. D. (2017). The Fuzzy Concept of Applied Behavior Analysis Research. The Behavior Analyst, 40(1), 123–159. Web.