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Neither dark age nor renaissance: Research and authorship trends in the experimental analysis of human behavior (1980-1999).

Authors
  • Dymond, S
  • Critchfield, T S
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Behavior analyst / MABA
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2001
Volume
24
Issue
2
Pages
241–253
Identifiers
PMID: 22478368
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The anniversary of several milestones in the experimental analysis of human behavior (EAHB) provides a prompt for updating previous surveys of EAHB publication trends, which portrayed the field's overall health as good but raised questions about its breadth and trajectory. For the years 1980 through 1999, we examined trends in annual frequency of data-based EAHB articles published in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (JEAB); in the topical emphasis of those EAHB articles; in the geographic region of origin of EAHB articles; and in the relative contributions of new and veteran authors. Our findings show continued productivity in the field, but contradict an earlier report by showing little sustained growth in EAHB over roughly the past 15 years. In terms of authorship, an increasing proportion of EAHB articles are authored by veteran investigators, although the field also benefits from a steady infusion of new authors. International participation in EAHB is limited, with most EAHB research originating in North America. In terms of content, our findings replicate those of previous reports in showing stimulus control and reinforcement and punishment to be the field's most commonly addressed research topics, although content emphases apparently differ across regions of origin. Overall, the data depict EAHB at the close of the 20th century as a multifaceted enterprise, one that is neither bankrupt nor at its full potential for contributing to the overall analysis of behavior. We close with some observations on the value of this type of archival research and some suggestions for improving the archival characterization of the field.

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