About Us

The Centre for Behaviour Analysis (CBA) at the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work is an international research centre with associations from across QUB, other national and international Universities and Research Centres, and the local and international community.

The Centre for Behaviour Analysis is based on a philosophy of inclusion, evidence-based effective education, and person-centred research and practice. Our mission is to provide knowledge and skills that improve confidence and competence and lead to improvements for individuals, families and caregivers, and society. We conduct research into a range of topics related to Education, Pedagogy, Curriculum, and Learning across the lifespan.

The Centre for Behaviour Analysis is home to:

The main focus of behaviour analysis is the discovery of natural laws of behaviour; that is, the study of how behaviour is shaped by environmental contingencies (distal and proximal) and how changes of contingencies affect behaviour. Behaviour is defined holistically, as anything a person does, including acting (motoric), thinking (cognitive), feeling (emotional), neurological etc.

Behaviour analysts consider at least three interconnected levels of analysis: personal learning history, prevailing contingencies, and cultural meta-contingencies and develop procedures that focus on enhancing socially significant behaviours.

In the search for an explanation of behaviour (i.e, the underlying causes of behaviour), reifications and hypothetical mentalistic interpretations are avoided in favour of contextual and functional contingency analyses. This inductive approach is based on the inclusive perspective of the individual bound into their social, emotional, and cognitive environment. Analysed using within-subject time-series designs, for the behaviour analytic scientist and practitioner, observation of nature is the authority.

Our research covers three distinct but related fields:

  • Philosophy of the science: Radical Behaviorism
  • Basic experimental research: Experimental analysis of behaviour.
  • Applied research: Applied Behavior Analysis.

Centre Director: Professor Karola Dillenburger

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