Behavior Analysis Program Goals and History
The behavior analysis graduate program trains students in basic research, theory, and applications of behavior principles. Through research, course work, and practica, students develop skills in the experimental and applied analysis of behavior, including a strong conceptual background and methods appropriate for developing behavioral technologies. The basic, conceptual, and applied areas are integrated in the curriculum; however a student may emphasize either basic or applied research.
The goal of the program is to produce a psychologist who is qualified to teach a variety of courses in psychology, who can function effectively in either an academic or an applied setting, and who can use the principles and findings of the science of behavior in solving significant problems of human behavior.
The Behavior Analysis Program at West Virginia University was started in 1976, following a major reorganization of the Department undertaken by then-Department Chair Roger Maley and his Associate Chair, Jon Krapfl. Don Hake was recruited to West Virginia University to be the program area coordinator, a position that he held until his untimely death in 1982. The founding faculty members of the Behavior Analysis program were Don Hake, Andy Lattal, Kent Parker, and Jim Shafer. Andy Lattal served as area coordinator from 1982-2012. Mike Perone now serves in that capacity. Of the present faculty, Andy Lattal arrived in 1972, Mike Perone in 1984, Karen Anderson in 2003, Claire St. Peter Pipkin in 2006, Elizabeth Kyonka in 2009, and Regina Carroll in 2012.
Since its inception, the program has awarded 93 Master’s degrees and 82 Ph.D. degrees to students who have come from all parts of the United States and from many other countries to study with our faculty. The Department of Psychology is a past recipient of the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis Award for Enduring Programmatic Contributions to Behavior Analysis. This award is given to an agency, department, or facility of an organization that contributes to the ongoing and enduring development of behavior analysis. In addition, the behavior analysis program is fully accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis.
Over the years, our faculty members have been recognized for their teaching, research, and professional service through their receipt of external research grants, major teaching and research awards given by both the university and by professional societies, service on boards of national and international organizations and journals, and editorships and associate editorships of major behavior-analytic journals. This information about each faculty member is available on their individual web sites.<< Back to Doctoral Programs
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