5 Reasons to study Behavior Analysis
Understanding human beings and their motivations, needs, desires, attitudes, and feelings have been the goal of sociologists, psychologists, and several philosophers for a long time. The philosophy of Behaviorism and the science that emerged from their methods, Behavior analysis, has become one of the most prominent subjects today. Behavioral scientists rely on observation and analysis of any human response to stimuli. These analyses help understand and answer the questions such as why humans behave and react in a certain manner.
Behavioral science has multiple uses in business, sociology, education, and public health applications. One of the most widely used methods to practice behavioral science is shaping. Individuals get a physical or verbal appreciation for the actions that most closely approximate the desired behavior. It’s a popular science applied in various fields, and you can learn the application of behavioral methods by studying applied behavior analysis, also called ABA.
What is ABA?
ABA focuses on studying human behavior and then applies that knowledge practically by using several approaches that can help promote and ensure behavioral changes. ABA is also concerned with identifying and managing specific habits and behaviors that can impact academic performance, social behavior, job competency, etc.
Growing awareness of the significant role behavioral analysts can play has led to an increase in the number of people ready to pursue a formal career in this field. If you are one of them, you can opt to study a behavior analyst online degree to acquire the qualification needed to work as a behavioral analyst.
Behavior analysts help children and adults manage their behaviors that affect different aspects of their lives. For example, if they face difficulties interacting with authority figures or talking to strangers, a behavior analyst can help them overcome these problems.
With a degree in applied behavior analysis, you can find careers in different work settings such as community mental health clinics, schools, private clinics, etc.
With that said, let us discuss why you should study behavior analysis.
Reasons to Study Behavior Analysis
1. Help a large number of children and adults with autism
Behavior specialists are employed to assess and treat children and adults with autism. According to an estimate by the World Health Organization (WHO), one out of every 160 children in the world has an autism spectrum disorder. The high rate of ASD may be due to increased awareness among parents, siblings, teachers, counselors, etc., of the symptoms of the disease. As a result, more cases are on record and receiving treatment.
A Clinical Behavior Analyst uses techniques like the Discrete Trial Training or the Lovas Method, one of the methods based on the principles of behaviorism, and uses it to help autistic children learn communication skills in incremental stages. Such techniques also help children who have OCD or ADHD and similar disorders.
2. ABA is a growing field
ABA specialists’ skills and expertise are useful in various fields as profilers, trainers and motivators. To put it simply, a behavior analyst can work with anyone who requires behavior modification or wants to learn and adapt to new behaviors and skills. Hence, people suffering from substance abuse, having an eating disorder, memory problems, any unhealthy habit, or developmental disability require the assistance of a behavior analyst. A clinical social worker can help them change these behaviors and provide support in abuse or trauma situations.
3. Diverse work opportunities
Corporations tend to hire behavior analysts as Market Researchers to develop target market profiles and understand consumer behavior. Behavior analysts can also work as organizational behavior managers and use their skills to bring a positive change in the office. Their skills can help company leaders guide and manage their team of employees, improve the work ethics to enhance work performance, and change disruptive behaviors. As a result, they help improve productivity and promote a positive working environment.
ABA is the study of behavior and human psychology, so it has its influence in a diverse range of different careers. You can work in the corporate sector, education, physical therapy, addiction treatment, general counseling, environmental sciences, teaching, and health and behavioral economics.
4. There is a lot of creativity and fun in behavioral analysis
Behavioral analysts have a wide range of different tools at their disposal to help with their practice. They have to observe and learn through imagery, art, audio and visual stimulation, and coaching. It suggests that you won’t get tied down to a particular method of practice as a behavioral analyst. You can use your creativity and seek fun and innovative strategies to assess and teach others.
For example, when dealing with a child client, you can engage them in play therapy, art therapy, role-playing and expose them to a different range of technology, visuals, and toys to achieve your results. These fun and engaging methods help improve and teach skills and create a positive environment.
5. The day-to-day routine never gets old
As a behavior analyst, you will have to work hard throughout your shift. You can work for someone or independently. You can work a 9-5 scheduled job or open up an independent consultation and therapy clinic and set your working hours. However, no matter how many hours you work, things are unlikely to get monotonous or dull. For instance, if you specialize as a forensic profiler, you can help law enforcement agencies generate the profile of a criminal and his motivations.
When you plan your schedule, you must keep all your clients and their need and convenience in mind, especially for the clients who have unique needs. Apart from your working hours, you will have to plan treatments by using several different techniques to create an educational and engaging experience for your clients. Hence, you will be conducting various activities throughout the day according to the client and the schedule. This aspect plays a crucial role in keeping things interesting.
How you choose to utilize your skills after acquiring a behavior analysis degree depends on you. Working in this profession can sometimes get highly challenging and even frustrating at times. However, suppose you genuinely feel motivated and energized by the idea of helping people with genuine problems adjust to their social and work lives. In that case, this profession can be very rewarding. All that frustration is worth the outcomes you receive as you see signs of improvement in your clients. Hence, you can help numerous individuals from all walks of life and help make their lives better, and this aspect of working in the field of behavior analysis makes the work highly satisfactory.