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What is Applied Behavior Analysis in Psychology?

Newsroom | From the Faculty May 8, 2024
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Have you ever wondered how to influence behavior? You may be curious about the science behind learning or interested in helping others develop and maintain new skills and/or reducing the occurrence of problem behaviors. If so, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) might be the perfect field for you! 

ABA therapy is a type of behavioral therapy that uses a scientific approach to understand and modify behaviors. By focusing on how we learn and how our environment and consequences shape our actions, ABA can be a powerful tool for creating positive change. 

Learn more about what ABA is, its applications within psychology, and the career opportunities available after earning LSU Alexandria's online Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis. 

Defining Applied Behavior Analysis 

Applied Behavior Analysis is a form of behavioral therapy that uses a scientific approach to understanding and modifying behavior. It focuses on how learning takes place and how our environment and consequences influence our actions. Developed from the principles of behaviorism, ABA uses systems such as positive reinforcement and data-driven strategies to achieve specific goals. 

ABA therapy is a powerful tool that can be used with people of all ages and abilities. It can help patients do the following: 

  • Develop essential skills: This can include improving communication, social skills, daily living skills, and academic performance. 
  • Improve focus and attention: ABA techniques can help individuals with attention difficulties stay on task and improve their learning abilities. 
  • Reduce challenging behaviors: ABA therapy can address a wide range of behavioral challenges, including tantrums, self-injury, and disruptive behaviors. 
  • Promote positive behavior: By reinforcing desired behaviors, ABA therapy can help individuals develop new skills and habits. 

Applications of ABA in Psychology 

The appeal of ABA lies in its versatility. We can apply it across various settings and populations to improve a range of behaviors and improve quality of life. ABA has diverse practice areas, including:  

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Developmental Disabilities: ABA therapy is used to help individuals develop essential communication, social, and learning skills. 
  • Education: ABA principles can be integrated into educational settings to improve classroom management, learning strategies, and student performance. 
  • Clinical Therapy: Clinicians can leverage ABA techniques to address behavioral challenges in people with various diagnoses, including anxiety, phobias, and ADHD. 
  • Substance Use Disorders: ABA therapy can be used to help people with substance use disorders develop coping mechanisms, identify triggers, and build positive reinforcement systems to promote abstinence and recovery. 
  • Organizational Behavior Management: Businesses can utilize ABA principles to promote desired behaviors within their workforce, leading to increased productivity and a more positive work environment.  

These are just a few examples, and the potential applications of ABA continue to grow. 

Benefits of Pursuing a Psychology Degree with a Concentration in ABA 

Choosing a concentration in ABA offers several advantages: 

  • Specialized Skills and Knowledge: Gain a deep understanding of core ABA principles, intervention strategies, and data analysis methods, preparing you for a successful career in this in-demand field. 
  • Career Opportunities: The need for qualified ABA professionals is rapidly growing. An education can open doors to rewarding careers in various settings like schools, clinics, home-based programs, substance abuse treatment centers, and private practice. Job titles can include: 
    • Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) 
    • Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) 
    • Behavior Therapist 
    • ABA Consultant 
    • Organizational Behavior Specialist 
    • School Psychologist 
  • Personal and Professional Growth: Witnessing the positive impact of ABA on individuals' lives can be fulfilling, offering a sense of purpose or professional satisfaction. 

Start Your Education Journey with LSU Alexandria 

LSU Alexandria's online Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis equips you with the knowledge and skills to become an expert in this growing field. In this affordable program, you'll gain the tools to make a positive impact on the lives of others while building a rewarding career. The online format makes it convenient for you to get a life-changing education on your schedule. 

Take the first step towards a fulfilling career and learn more about our online psychology: applied behavior analysis degree or apply today! 

Explore the BS in Psychology with Applied Behavior Analysis from LSU Alexandria!



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