Principles of Behavior
Richard W. Malott
Advanced Study Objectives
Purpose of the book: As part of this course, it is our goal to help you develop into the
most proficient behavior analyst possible. Regardless of the career path within behavior
analysis that you choose to take, a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts and
principles of the field will be necessary. If you master the objectives1 included in this
book, you will have an excellent understanding of the most commonly confused issues in
behavior analysis, issues that even many professionals seem to struggle with.
Instructions: Often it is the case that professional behavior analysts will erroneously
classify two different concepts as the same one, therefore this book is designed to help
develop your skill in discriminating between behavior analytic concepts and principles.
You are asked to answer the questions in this book using the knowledge that you have
gained from reading the Principles of Behavior (POB) and also the Advanced Enrichment
Section (AES) which is included at the back of this book.
Throughout this course, you will be quizzed on the material in this book. The quizzes
will take both a written and oral form. It is important that you know the material well,
thus the written quizzes. However, it also quite important that you are able to fluently
speak about the material, as it is your verbal repertoire that you will use the most as you
develop into a professional behavior analyst.
If you look through this book, you will find that the questions are presented first for each
chapter, and immediately following, you will find the answers for those questions. The
answers are included so that after attempting to answer the questions, you can receive
immediate feedback as to the correctness of your response. It is important for you to
know though that for the quizzes in this course, novel responses are not necessary for a
correct answer. The answers were written to provide you with a model response. It is
acceptable to quote the answers in this book on your written and oral quizzes, especially
for those questions in which you are asked about general conceptual aspects. For the
parts of the questions that ask for examples, again, it is acceptable to use the examples in
this book (because you know that they are correct), but it would be quite commendable if
you were to use an original example as it would demonstrate a greater mastery of the
material. Finally, you will notice that ever other page in this book is blank. This is done
so that you can take notes and make comments.
Now you are prepared to begin your path towards becoming a fluent, professional
behavior analyst. Enjoy the journey!
These Advanced Study Objectives were originally developed as part of a doctoral comprehensive
examination in 1993 by Judy DeVoe. Bill Boetcher revised them for an MA seminar in the principles of
behavior in 1994. They were revised by Dr. Richard Malott in 1996. Steven Celmer created the current
edition in 2007 as part of his MA project.