2008: Kennedy Krieger Institute

The principles and basic research findings of operant learning offer considerable potential benefits to society, which can be hindered by a variety of factors, such as organizational structures and professional biases. Over several decades, a behavior analytic approach was applied to various structural, clinical, and academic variables at two institutions, one specializing in pediatric disorders of the central nervous system (Kennedy Krieger Institute) and the other involved in the entire spectrum of medicine (the Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Medicine). Systemic reinforcers and aversive conditions affecting these variables were identified and systematically influenced. The outcomes included high rates of scientific productivity, professional development, programmatic growth, and financial success. A systemic approach to the use and promotion of behavior analysis should have generality to other institutions, organizational structures, and approaches to solving societal problems. 


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